Tony Cox


Tony Cox
Many people have contacted me in the UK asking when Tony Cox will be playing nearby, so I am delighted he is now UK based.

Against all odds, in a country that has struggled through the deprivations of apartheid and had very little time and money for its home-grown musicians, acoustic guitarist Tony Cox has managed through sheer persistence and dedication to his craft, to carve out a singular niche for himself in South Africa. A genre of one; as one South African journalist calls it: Southern African, Acoustic, Instrumental, Fingerstyle, Guitar Music. Others simply slot him under the 'World' music label.

Born in Zimbabwe, Cox moved with his family to South Africa in the late sixties having absorbed and assimilated the traditional African styles of his birthplace that were a constant source of inspiration and delight to him. This grounding in the African way of creating music stayed with him throughout the plethora of influences to come from the rest of the world that began in earnest when the family settled in Cape Town, home of many superb musicians.

Over the years the guitarist adopted an eclectic approach to his own personal compositional style; seeing very little worth in confining himself to a particular genre beyond the immediately commercial which anyway, was never a factor in his growth as a musician. Many years before it became acceptable for a white boy to outwardly demonstrate a love for African music and indeed dangerous to do so, his early compositions all had a strong African flavour to them.

Inspired greatly by the human condition, Cox wrote many songs with powerful anti-apartheid themes, such as The Lions' Roar about the inevitable retribution that would befall the then South African government; or the Easy See, a song about avoiding being conscripted into the SA army at all costs.

Of-course these songs and many others were never allowed to be heard on the radio back home but nonetheless, that did not stop Cox from belting them out at every performance, invoking some strong and sometimes violent reactions from conservative whites in his audience.

Myspace music playerQuantcast

Eventually Cox's love of the guitar won out and he dropped singing altogether to concentrate on writing instrumental music for the acoustic guitar.

The themes though are still deeply connected to the human condition and are reflected in tunes like Jambanja, a very recent composition, the title being the Shona word that Robert Mugabe's war veterans use to chant as they descend on farms in order to enact what the word means: to turn everything upside-down.
The piece itself is a breathtaking and relentless barrage of angry and insistent fingerpicking only a master of the craft would be able to deliver.

Before you get to thinking though that it is all deeply serious work, Cox has a dry and wicked sense of humour; he is a superb entertainer and often has his audiences in stitches.

In his time as a recording artist, Cox has won three South African music awards, all in the 'best instrumental' category. It is a category he seems to dominate. Tony tours world-wide as a solo artist and has recently released an album in Canada where he performs regularly.


'In a year of many outstanding performances at the Evergreen Theatre, this concert by Tony Cox has to be one of the highlights' - Steve Kennard, Evergreen Theatre, Margaretsville, Nova Scotia, Canada - Nov 2007

'Lewes Guitar Festival has been delighted to invite guitar maestro Tony Cox to perform twice at our festival over the last few years - he's simply an entrancing performer who has that special knack of engaging all his audience while at the same time delivering a highly skilled and entertaining show. Highly recommended...'Laurence Hill, Festival Director, Lewes, UK - 2006

'On behalf of the Cornwall Folk Festival organizing committee I would like say a big thank you for contributing towards the success of our festival with your excellent performances. Your guitar playing is unique and was the hit of the festival' Alan Collins, Festival Committee, Cornwall, UK - 2006

'Tony conjured up varying moods and layers of emotion and swept the audience along from American Blue Grass to the camp grounds of Shongweni, to the turbulence of life on Zimbabwe's farms' The Highway Mail - 2007

'Put a party together and go have your mind blown to bits (and reconstructed) by a musician who is well on his way to becoming a living legend' Daily News - 2007

'Tony Cox is something of a phenomenon in the world of guitar music' The Mercury - 2006

'Be prepared to be wooed by Tony Cox's musicianship and blown away by the sheer mastery of his playing' Durban D'arts - 2005

Tony Cox is one guitarist you should not miss, and once seen you will want to see him again.

Tony Cox MySpace page

To Book Tony Cox contact

Lynne Barnes
AmandaLynne Music
68 The Beeches,

Tel 01270 628041 Mobile 077 900 82523

E-mail: Lynne

AmandaLynne's MySpace Page
Share on Tumblr

updated: 7 years ago