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Teachers at the Old Town School

Gros Ngolle Pokossi


Born in Cameroon, Emmanuel (Gros) Ngolle Pokossi, was raised by parents who exemplified and emphasized for their children the virtues of hard-work, punctuality, dedication, and respect. Gros is known by those who have worked with him for applying these attributes to his craft. At the age of 14, Gros quickly learned how to play after being inspired to pick up a bass by close neighbors. Two short weeks after first holding a bass Gros entered a school band competition where he won second place. Inspired by success, Gros was encouraged to continue playing by fellow Cameroonian musicians: Vicky Edimo, Aladji Toure, Roger Sabbal Lecco, Moustik Ambassa, and Jean Dikoto Mandengue. After playing in Cameroon with the USA Army band, the Yaounde Jazz band, and Prince Ndedi Eyango, Gros departed for Europe where he had been advised that he would have more opportunities.

Gros left Cameroon for France in 1986, and then later spent twenty-five years in Germany playing music. Gros now lives in Chicago, USA. He also attended and graduated from the Los Angeles College of Music in 1999. Gros thrives off of excelling at what he does. When asked to give words of advice to young musicians Gros always replies with, "Be humble, never give up, stay positive, be competitive, be better than yourself everyday, work, work, work, and never stop learning." Some of Gros's most influential experiences include having recorded and toured with the Decording Society; not only did he have the opportunity to work with great musicians such as Roland Shannon Jackson, James Carter, and Jef Lee Johnson, but from the experience Gros learned the freedom of improvisation. For two years Gros toured with Trilok Gurtu who taught him the diversity of complex rhythms. Additionally, he worked with Claude Chalhoub who's classic, melodic sense of music influenced Gros. His experience, maturity and patience has allowed Gros to work with and mentor younger artists such as: Nneka, Ayo, and Y'akoto.

Started at the Old Town School in October of 2016


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