Bukky Leo

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Bukky Leo
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Born (1957-11-22) November 22, 1957 (age 65)
London UK

Leoford Olubukola Afolabi Bukky Leo , born 22 November 1957 in Paddington, London UK, is an Afrobeat and Jazz musician based in London, and a saxophonist and lead singer with his band Black Eygpt. He is best known as a contemporary of Fela Ransome Kuti and Tony Allen..[1] and produces Afro Jazz music on current label Drift-Recordings.


Moved to live in Nigeria in (1964) at the age of 6. Aged 10 years he played with the Baptist Church in Lagos where he was also given an Alto Saxophone. When playing saxophone aged 14, he was spotted by Tony Allen[2]

During 1970 - 75 he became a regular attendant of the Kalakuta Republic the residence of Fela Ransome Kuti. He associated with Tony Allen and played with his band [the Mighty Iroko's[3] in Lagos.

In 1982 Bukky moved to the United Kingdom where he became one of the forerunners of the Acid jazz scene[4], performing live and recorded with numerous bands including Highlife International, Farenji Warriors and Bush Men Don't Surf led by Banjo Mosele.

In 1988 Bukky recorded and released his debut solo EP Future Generation, released on InTouch Records featuring Master percussionist Gasper Lawal. He was then championed by Gilles Peterson [5] and recorded an album for Acid Jazz Records titled Rejoice in Righteousness (1988), which made No 1 in the Rhythm & Blues charts that year.

Bukky collaborated with US Drummer Clifford Jarvis on Evolutions in 1987 and Volume 1 of the album was released decades later after Jarvis' passing in 2020.[6]

In 1990 Bukky recorded the River Nile album. In 1992 Bukky made a pilgrimage to Egypt. The River Nile album led him to San Francisco USA through his association with the legendary tenor saxophone star Joe Henderson.

In 2003, Bukky joined African Jazz Allstars (AJAS) fronted by the late Lucky Ranku and Pine Saul and toured Cape Town, North Sea Jazz Festival and Senegal up to 2008.

Bukky Leo and Black Egypt's first release came in 2012 on Mr Bongo Records.

Bukky Leo and Black Egypt released latest album 'The Legend Of William Onyeabor' in 2021[7] [8]

Bukky paid tribute to his great friend and mentor Tony Allen when he passed away in May 2020[9]

Bukky Leo and Black Egypt pay tribute to Fela Ransome Kuti at the Jazz Cafe with regular annual shows.[10]


As Sideman

Prince Fatty - Survival of the fattest - (Mr Bongo) 2007

Carl I - Jahug 2007

Mek It Run with Dennis Bovell - (Pressure Records) 2018 -

Living Am I Living - The Mitchell & Dewbury Band (Mr Bongo) - 2015 - Featured artist

As leader

Future Generation - (Intouch Records) - 1988

Rejoice in Righteousness - (Acid Jazz Records) - 1988

Huw Price & Bukky Leo Live - 2007

River Nile - (Moles Records) - 1990

Precious Mother - (Strut Records) - 2000

Bush Men Don't Surf - (Pau Records 2004)

Afrobeat Visions - (Mr Bongo Record) - 2005

Ramaja O (Broadcite) 2007

Anarchy / Skeleton - (Agogo Records) - 2012

Spaceships Over Africa Bukky Leo with Ra Bob Moses (musician)|Kalam Bob Moses - (Ra Kalam Records) - 2017

Tribute To Fela vol 1 & 2 (Drift-Recordings) 2018

Evolution The Bukky Leo Quartet featuring Clifford Jarvis (Drift-Recordings) 2020

The Legend Of William Onyeabor (Drift Recordings) 2021


  1. Ronnie, Scotts. "Funk of Nigeria - Kuti, Allen, Onyeabor". Ronnie Scotts. Ronnie Scotts. Retrieved 9 May 2021.
  2. Vortex, Jazz. "Bukky Leo Quartet". Vortexjazz.co.uk. Vortexjazz.co.uk. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
  3. Rhythm, Passport. "Interview with Bukky Leo". Rhythm Passport. Rhythm Passport. Retrieved 1 June 2020.
  4. Open, The Gate. "Bukky Leo & Black Egypt". OpenTheGate. Retrieved 1 June 2020.
  5. Black History, Month. "Bukky Leo and Black Egypt". Black History Month. BlackHistoryMonth.org. Retrieved 23 October 2021.
  6. McKergow, Mark. "Bukky Leo Quarter ft Clifford Jarvis Evolution". London Jazz News. London Jazz News. Retrieved 22 June 2020.
  7. News, Resident Advisor. "The Legend Of William Onyeabor". Resident Advisor. Resident Advisor. Retrieved 6 October 2021.
  8. Forrest, Benjamin. "Bukky Leo & Black Egypt: The Legend of William Onyeabor – Live at Belgrave Music Hall & Canteen". The Gryphon. Retrieved 17 October 2021.
  9. Rhythm, Passport. "Afrobeat No Go Die". Rhythm Passport. Rhythm Passport. Retrieved 1 May 2020.
  10. Rhythm, Passport. "Preview: A celebration of Fela Kuti". Rhythm Passport. Rhythm Passport. Retrieved 20 July 2016.

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