In this picture taken on June 27, 2010, Nigerian drummer Tony Allen performs at Glastonbury festival [File: Leon Neal/AFP]

Nigerian drummer and composer Tony Allen, who worked closely with musician Fela Kuti as a pioneer of the Afrobeat genre, has died in Paris.

He was 79.


The Afrobeat sound, which rose to prominence in Nigeria in the 1970s, combined organ riffs with West African drum patterns and brass instruments.

Allen’s drumming was a key part of the rhythmic structure that underpinned the fusion of jazz, funk and West African melodies.

Allen died on Wednesday evening in Paris of a heart attack, National Public Radio (NPR) cited his manager Eric Trosset as saying on Thursday.

He lived in the Paris suburb Courbevoie.

“Farewell Tony! Your eyes saw

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