Born in Zimbabwe, multiple award-
has become a veritable icon of the instrument in his own country and has been
described as one of South Africa’s finest musical exports. For a number of years now
he has undertaken regular forays into Europe and North America and has seen a
When he was just nine years old Tony began, incredibly, learning and playing the
Hawaiian guitar in what was then Rhodesia. This was brought about by one Archie
Pereira arriving from Lisbon and for reasons unknown decided to settle in the
backwater of Kwe-
In his teens and after Archie disappeared back to Lisbon, Tony changed to a
conventional guitar style and later, in order to ‘get the technique’, he studied the
classical guitar for an intensive 2-
settle in Cape Town South Africa and it is here the young guitarist really started to
absorb and assimilate the multi-
music of his upbringing and surroundings.
He began to compose his own music early and immediately charged it with the
African imagery that is very much a part of this unique guitar player's world
perspective. Using all the finger-
from such greats as Leo Kottke and Bert Jansch and closer to home, Sipho Mchunu
and Noise Khanyile both great exponents of Zulu Maskandi guitar style, Tony honed
and developed a style all his own. With the rigorous precision of classical technique
juxtaposing the loose, laid-
tumbles out at you, hitting your tapping feet with its solid groove and taking your
heart and mind on harmonic journeys that stretch away to African horizons.
Tony Cox on-
Telling stories and anecdotes and using much wry humour, he draws a person in and
you find yourself listening really closely to a tune you may never have heard before
and then being punched in the solar-
Besides being a solo performer Tony has collaborated and recorded with many other
musicians to produce three award-
‘China’ (UK/SA slang for friend) is just such an album. He recorded it in 2002
featuring many of the cream of SA musicians and is a fine example of Tony’s ability
to work beyond the confines of solo guitar playing. The album won the ‘best
instrumental’ category at the 2003 SAMA awards. He went on to win the same award
another two times for his albums, Matabele Ants in 2003, and Blue Anthem in 2008.
His latest album Padkos, Cox's homage to great SA composers, was nominated
for the 2015 SAMA awards.
Tony is also known for being a superb teacher of the instrument and runs his own
school of the acoustic guitar. When not teaching he travels the world performing.