In the late 70s, an American promoter heard Kokomon Clottey’s band, Ensroma, playing in a hotel in Accra, Ghana, and brought them to Los Angeles where he thought audiences were ready to hear their exciting West African music. Throughout the 80s, Ensroma played local clubs, developing an African Jazz Rock sound that was musically adventurous and infectiously danceable. In 1990, Kokomon moved to the Bay Area, got married, became involved in nonprofit community activist work, and put his musical career on hold for 25 years.
Fast forward to 2012 when Kokomon meets Brett Cosby, a drummer active on the Bay Area Jazz scene. After becoming involved in Kokomon’s “Mindful Drumming” sessions at the Attitudinal Healing Connection center in Oakland, Brett began thinking of ways to integrate the djembe, Kokomon’s drum, and his African rhythms and sensibilities into his Jazz ensemble, the King Cosby Band.
The King Cosby Band is Jazz-oriented, but eclectic in taste and influences. Made up of professional musicians, the band blurs the line between Jazz, R&B, and World music. They’ve released two albums, Journey to the One and Music for Dancing, and have performed at many clubs and festivals over the years, including the Pleasant Hill Art Jazz & Wine Fest, Fremont Festival of the Arts, Concord’s Todos Santos Plaza, Clayton Summer Music Series, and Martinez Art in the Park.
The King Cosby Band, featuring vocalist Rita Lackey with Kokomon Clottey on vocals and percussion, is comprised of Brett King Cosby on drums and percussion, Doug McKeehan on keyboards, Karl Hartmann on bass, JoJo Styles on guitars, John Christensen on trumpet, and Pete Cornell on reeds.
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