Winner of the 2018 BBC Young Jazz Musician of the year, Xhosa Cole is an embodiment of the success of numerous community arts programmes in Birmingham including the Midland Youth Jazz Orchestra, Jazzlines Ensemble and Birmingham Music Service. Having grown up in Handsworth and first played the Tenor at Andy Hamilton’s Ladywood Community Music School, he’s now among a long legacy of Birmingham Saxophonists including Soweto Kinch and Shabaka Hutchings. Xhosa has performed twice at the BBC Proms, Composed music for the Ripieno Players, a Birmingham Based String Orchestra, recorded saxophone for Mahalia’s debut album ‘Love and Compromise’, completed a 22 date UK tour, all along side his studies as a scholar at Trinity Laban Conservatoire. Xhosa Also received the Parliamentary Jazz Award for ‘Best Newcomer’ in 2019 and Jazz FM ‘Breakthrough act of the year’.
Xhosa’s earliest memories of the arts are with ACE Youth Dance group. However, since playing in Holyhead School’s Jazz band with Ray Prince and Sid Peacock he decided to pursue music and joined the Jazzlines Ensemble, Birmingham Schools Symphony Orchestra, Midland Youth Jazz Orchestra among others. Xhosa attended courses with the National Youth Jazz Collective and National Youth Wind Orchestra. He is now finishing his degree in Trinity Laban Conservatoire in London alongside a wide spectrum of work writing and performing across the UK. in 2019 Xhosa received the Parliamentary Jazz award for ‘Best Newcomer”.