Friday, 9 March 2012

Femi Temowo at TEDxEuston - Back to my guitar roots

Speakers and performers at TEDxEuston are found in all sorts of ways. We debate and argue, some speakers are easy choices, some not so easy and some are found in the most pleasant of circumstances - like how we found Femi Tomowo! In mid-2011, a member of the TEDxEuston team, Paddy Anigbo had the privilege of spending his birthday with friends from his boarding school days at Federal Government College in Enugu, Nigeria; friends with whom he had shared the most exciting 5 years of his life. They chose the superb Hideaway in the heart of Streatham for their rendezvous. After settling down to the offering of Femi Temowo’s music, they were off their seats dancing away the night. They could not get enough of him and at that point decided that he had to be on the TEDxEuston stage! So when we started discussions in the TEDxEuston team, Paddy was so convinced that it took little to get the team to agree - we had to share his story and work with the TEDxEuston community. Femi came on board and not only told his story so well; he thrilled us with the beautiful music from his new album.

Femi Temowo is a guitarist ‘par excellence’. Born September 1976 in the city of Akure in Nigeria, Femi moved to London in 1986. He began playing the guitar at 17 and by 21 was already highly regarded on the jazz and popular music scene. Between 1998 and 2001 Femi studied jazz at Middlesex University under the great educator Stuart Hall (Loose Tubes). After graduating, he was approached by UK Jazz/Hip-Hop artist Soweto Kinch to join his then brand new quartet. The quartet went on to win many awards including a Mercury Music Prize nomination, BBC jazz award for best new group and several Mobo awards. Femi’s slick and melodic guitar sound has earned him a place beside many great musicians and artists from across many genres. His latest project sees him in a Trio/Quartet setting where he is currently expanding some of the ideas he started on his debut album but in a smaller group setting, experimenting with Nigerian folk sounds and jazz song form. The trio consists of Guitar, Bass and Drums and are sometimes joined by a vocalist.

Listen to his excellent talk here!!

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