Soweto Kinch (born 10 January 1978) is a British jazz saxophonist and rapper.

Soweto Kinch
Background information
Birth nameSoweto Omar Kinch
Born (1978-01-10) 10 January 1978 (age 46)
London, England, UK
Instrument(s)Alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, vocals
Alma materHertford College, Oxford University
Parent(s)Don Kinch; Yvette Harris
Kinch in Aarhus, Denmark (2023), with Blood Sweat Drum'n'Bass Big Band

Biography edit

Kinch on stage at Band on the Wall in Manchester, 4 October 2012

Born in 1978 in London, England, to a Barbadian father, playwright Don Kinch, and British-Jamaican actress Yvette Harris,[2] Soweto Kinch began playing saxophone at the age of nine after learning clarinet at Allfarthing Primary School, Wandsworth, SW London. He then moved to Birmingham, where he attended West House Primary School in Edgbaston, beginning a long association with Britain's second city.

After meeting Wynton Marsalis four years later, he discovered and became passionate about jazz, first concentrating on piano and later in his teens switching to alto saxophone as his main instrument. He attended Bromsgrove School, Worcestershire, from the age of 13, completing his A-levels when he was 18. Early musical influences include the vocalist and percussionist Frank Holder. Kinch went on to study Modern History at Hertford College, Oxford University.[3] He also benefited from participation in the programmes of Tomorrow's Warriors,[4][5][6] the music education and artist development organisation co-founded in 1991 by Janine Irons and Gary Crosby, and played with Crosby's Jazz Jamaica All Stars collective.[7]

In 2001, Kinch established the Soweto Kinch Trio with bassist Michael Olatuja and drummer Troy Miller and supported Courtney Pine at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club[8] and performed at the Royal Festival Hall and the Cheltenham International Jazz Festival.

In 2006, Kinch released his second album, A Life in the Day of B19: Tales of the Tower Block,[9] the first instalment of a two-part concept album documenting the lives of three Birmingham men. The album includes narration by BBC newsreader Moira Stuart.[10]

Kinch is also a member of the Pop Idol backing band the Big Blue.

Kinch has performed for Don't Flop Entertainment, where he has competed in rap battles and faced opponents Dotz,[11] Shuffle T[12] and Charron.[13]

In an interview at Abbey Road Studios, Amy Winehouse mentioned that she would like to record a "more purist" jazz album, citing Kinch as a notable jazz musician with whom she would like to work.[14]

Stage work edit

In 2013, Kinch presented a staged performance of his concept album The Legend of Mike Smith at Birmingham Repertory Theatre in England. The performance was influenced by Divine Comedy and the seven deadly sins, telling the tale of Mike Smith, a young MC faced with a range of contemporary temptations. Kinch performed the work with Karl Rasheed Abel on bass and Shaney Forbes on drums. The subject allowed Kinch to explore a wide range of emotions in hip-hop and jazz form. He has stated that the trio format "allows [for] more harmonic freedom and space to deliver lyrics".[15] The music was augmented by dance.[citation needed]

Other work edit

In April 2016, Kinch became a presenter of the BBC Radio 3 programme Jazz Now.

Kinch curated the 2019 Koestler Arts exhibition, which showcases artworks created by prisoners and detainees in institutions, and is held at the Southbank Centre in London.[16]

Discography edit

References edit

  1. ^ Nastos, Michael G. "Soweto Kinch". AllMusic. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  2. ^ Massarik, Jack, "Sax, rap and all that jazz", Evening Standard, 31 July 2003.
  3. ^ Hertford College Archived 23 December 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Le Gendre, Kevin, "Soweto Kinch interview: 'I see this real disconnect between the establishment bubble and what's happening in society'", Jazzwise, December 2017/January 2017.
  5. ^ "Everyone's Talking About Us!", Tomorrow's Warriors, 20 March 2018.
  6. ^ "The Jazz Ticket", Tomorrow's Warriors, 2 May 2018.
  7. ^ "Soweto Kinch – Jazz FM Photo of the Month", William Ellis, 5 March 2012.
  8. ^ "Review - Courtney's a Superstar; Courtney Pine Ronnie Scott's, Birmingham". Sunday Mercury. Birmingham. 13 May 2001.
  9. ^ "A Life in the Day of B19: Tales of the Tower Block", AllMusic.
  10. ^ "#011: The Ballad of Soweto Kinch". yo yo pop!. Retrieved 16 July 2011.
  11. ^ Dotz Vs Soweto Kinch FREESTYLE GAUNTLET Archived 27 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine, Don't Flop.
  12. ^ Shuffle-T Vs Soweto Kinch Archived 27 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine, Don't Flop.
  13. ^ Charron Vs Soweto Kinch Freestyle Archived 27 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine, Don't Flop.
  14. ^ McCormick, Neil, "Amy Winehouse: the final interview", The Telegraph, 23 July 2016.
  15. ^ Biography, Soweto Kinch website.
  16. ^ "Another Me: Past exhibition | 19 September – 3 November 2019". Southbank Centre. Retrieved 5 September 2023.

External links edit