Corey Mwamba

United Kingdom °1976
research interests: music, improvised music, phenomenology, Practice-as-research, musicology
affiliation: Birmingham Conservatoire

Born and based in Derby, Dr Corey Mwamba's commitment to jazz and improvised music in Britain and Ireland drives all aspects of his work, whether through making, presenting, promoting, or researching music. 

Corey predominantly plays vibraphone; he also plays dulcimer and uses audio processing software. He is recognised as a highly creative improviser and composer working across a wide range of jazz and contemporary music, having won a PRSF/Jerwood Foundation Take Five artist development award in 2007; was short-listed for the Innovation category in the BBC Jazz Awards in 2008; and received nominations for "Rising Star on Vibraphone" in the 62nd, 63rd, 64th, 65th, 66th, and 67th DownBeat Annual Critics' Polls.


Mwamba was granted an AHRC studentship for a Master of Research degree in Music at Keele University, for which he was awarded a distinction in 2014. Through this research, he developed new dark art, which is a notational and theoretical music system that takes early European medieval music practice as a starting point to create modern music. He was recently awarded a doctorate in Jazz Research at Birmingham City University, which was funded by a Midlands3Cities/AHRC studentship.

Corey Mwamba is the current presenter of Freeness, a weekly show on BBC Radio 3. The programme plays adventurous jazz and improvised music from across the globe.


how the vibraphone can be a mouth

  • open exposition comments (0)
  • the third masking (01/11/2018)
    Art object: Sound, artist(s)/author(s): Corey Mwamba
    The vibraphone is hidden by the keyboard and the drums. Why is it hidden? What/where is the vibraphone?
  • body (#as_the_tex_t) (01/03/2017)
    Art object: Composition, artist(s)/author(s): Corey Mwamba
    This piece asked improvisers to view my body in musical action as a dynamic score. From a video of a a performance in Leeds with my trio in 2013, I selected seven discrete physical states or poses that my body adopted while improvising. I drew line drawings of these poses, and utilised them in a schematic for improvisers Each pose is assigned a guiding statement for the performer. There is a text score, which I play, but the other improvisers do not. When the performer observes pose from me that matches one in the schematic, they improvise using the their guiding statement until they register another movement; or they feel that musically they should move on, or improvise independently. PERFORMANCES Leicester, May 2017: presentation at Midlands3Cities Research Festival (solo) Bucharest, June 2017: part of “21st Century Jazz - from tradition to the avant-garde" Artist in Residence” series (solo) London, June 2017: headline at LUME Festival (quintet)