Above: Tony Allen (center) prepares for liftoff at the 2018 Newport Jazz Festival as Herlin Riley (left) and others watch the onstage action. Photo: Alan Nahigian.
“I’m a half-caste,” Tony Allen says in his trailer dressing room at the Newport Jazz Festival. “Do you know that word, ‘half-caste?’ My father was Nigerian, and my mother was Ghanaian; they spoke different languages and came from different cultures. So I had a mixture of influences from the start.”