Corey Mwamba creates music using vibraphone, dulcimer, electronics and small instruments. His music contains elements of jazz, folk from different countries, and electronica.
Born in Derby and a former chemist and librarian, Corey is virtually self-taught in music having made the decision to take up vibraphone in his late teens after seeing a picture of Orphy Robinson in a book and taking five lessons with the orchestral percussionist Lewis Dyson.
Corey is primarily known as a highly creative improviser with a wide stylistic range: there have been appearances with Orphy Robinson, Pat Thomas, and Lol Coxhill; Andy Hamilton, Tony Kofi, the Master Drummers of Africa; Mat Maneri, Evan Parker, the Quantic Soul Orchestra, Robert Mitchell's Panacea; as well as his own solo performances and with his collective the Symbiosis Ensemble. He has also worked as a percussionist with Derby Concert Orchestra.
Corey is also seen as a skilled composer and band-leader. His work includes
- The Vision, a piece for solo vibraphone commissioned by Derby City Partnership in 2001
- Dhara Blues, a work for percussion and Kathak dancers for Surtal Arts and Derby Jazz
- circle, a work using dulcimer, piano, acoustic guitar and sampling for the choreographer/dancer Louise Collinson
- Nature's Glory, Fancy's Child with writer Bea Udeh and the Midlands-spanning group the Symbiosis Ensemble, Corey Mwamba's literature and music piece. This piece was selected for the regional Decibel Live! Showcase in 2004 and Derby Jazz Week 2005. The research for this work led Corey to present a talk on the creative presentation of history for the Black and Asian Studies Association at the V&A Museum in 2005
- Argentum a piece for voice and jazz quartet commissioned by Derby Jazz in 2007
Corey's compositional method focusses on devising "maps" or "scripts" to create and inform the nature of the music; and conducting the music through gestures, silence and associative phrases. Although it took some time to develop (he started work on it in 2003) there are now four main pieces of work using the method:
- Seven Gates (three works, site specific), 2009, performed by dectet in Skopje Museum.
- the worm, 2010, for sextet
- everybody's reading, 2011, for trio commissioned by Leicester NHS Arts in Health and Leicester's Everybody's Reading Festival
- Orrery, 2012, for nonet commissioned by Derby Jazz
In 2005 his solo improvisation, Three Two One, was selected for the Freeness album set up by CDR, Chris Offili, and the Observer Music Monthly.
Corey was granted 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; was selected by Arts Council England for The International Association of the Biennial of Young Artists from Europe and the Mediterranean (BJCEM) event in Skopje; and was awarded an AHRC studentship for a Research Master's degree (MRes) in music at Keele University in 2013.
Nothing happened in 2006.
Advocacy and consultancy
An active member of his local arts community, Corey has worked with many regional arts organisations in advocacy and consultancy. He has held board positions for Derby Jazz, World Song Derby, and the Three Cities selection panel steering group, among others. He helped set up the Freestyle jam sessions in Leicester, Knit Club [which has been featured on BBC East Midlands Today, BBC Radio Derby and Jonathan Ross' Radio 2 show] and has made various fun contributions to the Derby Festival of Words. In 2012 he petitioned for fair pay to artists fairly during the London Olympics, and helped to engineer a moratorium and review of arts funding cuts in Derby through debate with the city council. He is also an adventurous programmer of new music in Derby, setting up One Note Sunday and The Family Album as well as programming Derby Jazz's improvised music stream called 2ndline.
List of appointments:
- Arts Council England - East Midlands
regional council member [2005-2011]
- Derby Cultural Diversity Arts Network
steering group member [2004-2009]
- Derby Cultural City Executive
individual artists' representative 
Corey Mwamba has had a web-site since 2001, coding it himself. His hands-on experience in HTML, CSS, PHP and SVG has led him write occasional tutorials and simple music-related web applications; and he currently has two articles published by the Opera Developers Network.
Selected projects and articles
- a simple SVG audio player, April 2010
- Showing and hiding content with pure CSS3, Jun 2010
- CSS3 :target based interfaces, Oct 2010
More can be seen at http://www.coreymwamba.co.uk/testbed.