Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Young Musician with Sax Appeal

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Young Musician with Sax Appeal

Article excerpt

Byline: By Alan Nichol

Jazz musicians, like the great American Bluesmen, often have interesting backgrounds which make them perfect subjects for biographical films and radio programmes (Paul Jones's recent profile of T-Bone Walker, for example).

A young, London-born Oxford graduate, whose Barbadian father and British/Jamaican mother named him after a Johannesburg township (formerly called Klipspruit, incidentally) is, no doubt, a suitable candidate for the future!

Twenty-five-year-old Soweto Kinch is the man and he arrives at Gateshead's Caedmon Hall tonight with his five-piece group. With a playwright and actress for parents, Kinch was surely destined to perform at some point in his life and his love of most music led him to the piano and ultimately to his favoured alto-sax.

He is self-taught and decided to ditch his post-graduate history studies for a fruitful full-time career in music, not only as a player but also as an arranger, composer and lyricist.

He still has a deep interest in classical and baroque music, as well as reggae, hip-hop and rap and he featured in the band that supported the recent Pop Idol phenomenon on TV.

His rapid development in jazz has been richly rewarded as he picked-up the prestigious International Young Saxophone Award from the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2002, Best Jazz Act at MOBO 2003 and also earned a Mercury Music Prize last year.

And he is a strong front-runner for one of the upcoming British Jazz Awards.

His style has been most closely compared to Joe Harriott but Benny Carter, Charlie Parker and Ornette Coleman were also named as strong influences.

His latest CD, Conversations With The Unseen (Dune Records), was released last year to significant praise and the reviewer for British Jazz was so impressed he said it was "the best and most original British jazz album ever made."

At 73 minutes it certainly takes some beating for value, too. Soweto Kinch will also be a member of the terrific Jazz Jamaica All Stars line-up when they perform with South Africa's Hugh Masekela next month at the City Hall, Newcastle (more on that one later).

Ticket information for the Caedmon show from the central library box office on Prince Consort Road on (0191) 477 3478. …

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