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October 2002
Corey Mwamba
Corey Mwamba and Vibraphone
Corey Mwamba and his vibes
Corey Mwamba is one of the new generation of British jazz musicians.

The Derby-based vibraphone player talks about his performances and compositions.

audio Corey Mwamba - Three Two One

Corey Mwamba - Excerpt from Dialectic
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Find out about Corey's latest project 'Dialectic'

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Corey's website
The Voicebox

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Corey and his vibraphone are a regular sight in Derby’s pubs and clubs, but that’s the just the tip of the iceberg.

At just 25, he’s already an extremely accomplished musician having performed with jazz greats, composed for a range of musical genres and has his own radio show.

Listen now
Corey Mwamba - Three Two One

Corey Mwamba - Excerpt from Dialectic
Corey first became interested in jazz when he mistakenly tuned in to a piano concert whilst studying for his GCSEs.

He began composing music before he could even play an instrument; he claims to be able to whistle and hum at the same time!

It was only when he saw a picture of legendary musician Orphy Robinson playing his vibraphone that Corey knew he had found the instrument for him.

Corey is self-taught apart from five lessons he received whilst at the college in Southampton.

Whilst typically humble about his ability, Corey’s performances are fluid, funky and mesmerizing to watch.

He regularly joins jamming sessions in Derby, plays alongside the decks of DJ Vuyani in nightclubs and plays duos and improvisation sets with percussionist Walt Shaw.

Not to mention various ensembles performing his compositions. His repertoire goes on and on!

Listen now
Corey Mwamba - Three Two One

Corey Mwamba - Excerpt from Dialectic
His compositions cover the whole spectrum of jazz from trad to funk. He's also written for a death metal band and composed modern classical music for the flute.

Corey’s current experimental project is a collaboration with Walt Shaw and dance producer Ben Shaw, who is also originally from Derby.

<dialectic>, which has received funding from East Midlands Arts, explores the parallels between a conversation between strangers and totally improvised music.

Conversations between strangers are edited and remixed by Ben and replayed during the performance whilst Corey and Walt improvise to the voices. Find out more here.

Corey and Walt are now running workshops based on the project with under-privileged children in Loughborough and Derby.

They hope to help kids communicate and resolve problems as well as having fun with music.

Although living in Derby, Corey has expressed frustration at the lack of opportunities for jazz musicians in the city.

"Most of the venues that have live music have a reputation for playing rock or punk bands.

Whilst there are plenty of opportunities to play in bars or clubs with a DJ, that’s just a small part of what I do. There doesn’t seem to be any promoters around who are willing to take a risk."

Listen now
Corey Mwamba - Three Two One

Corey Mwamba - Excerpt from Dialectic
One venue that has provided a setting for the real Corey Mwamba is The Voicebox in (fill in details).

The venue, which opened last year, only hosts acoustic music because of its city location.

The owner, Colin Miller, explains: "We were conscious there was not a small, cheap, arts-based venue in Derby with a good acoustic for good amateur musicians and small groups.

We’ve had jazz, improvisation and classical musicians using the venue including some really unusual combinations; oboe and percussion, harp and saxophone as well as Corey and Walt."

Corey’s aim is to give a personal edge to his music whether it’s totally improvised or his delicately constructed compositions.

He expresses a passion that’s contagious, whether he’s performing or just talking about music.
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