JAZ COLEMAN IS A MULTI-FACETED ENIGMA. THE CHARISMATIC (SOME WOULD SAY CRAZY) FRONTMAN OF SEMINAL POST-PUNK BAND KILLING JOKE, HE’S ALSO AN AWARD-WINNING CLASSICAL COMPOSER AND AN AUTHOR.
Born of Anglo-Indian stock Coleman grew up around Cheltenham, and swiftly displayed an almost supernatural aptitude for music. Having studied violin and piano from the age of four, he went on to study in Leipzig and Cairo, where he completed a major study of Arabic quartertones, an influence that would go on to play such a large role in the development of his music oeuvre. On his return to the UK in 1978, a chance meeting with ‘Big Paul’ Ferguson in a Notting Hill dole queue would change the course of Coleman’s life. This was the beginning of a group that went on to become one of the most influential UK bands of all time – Killing Joke. Celebrating their 40th anniversary next year, the story of Killing Joke is one of excess, chart success, magick and rock ‘n’ roll mayhem… As a classical composer, Coleman has scored works by Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Doors, Nirvana and more, to critical acclaim, and has worked with many notables including Nigel Kennedy. Described as “the new Mahler” by composer Klaus Tennstedt, Coleman won three Andel awards for his work with Czech band Cechomor and was made a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture for his outstanding contributions to music.
Now a dual resident of Prague and New Zealand, Coleman returns to Cheltenham for an intimate evening of spoken word and music, on Monday 27th November. It will delight and intrigue hardcore fans and newcomers in equal measure. Ahead of the event, and in a remarkable conversation, Coleman opens up to The Mouth Magazine about his early days, his life and his work…
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