The blazing young alto player" (NY Times) and rapper Soweto Kinch, hailed in Downbeat, JazzTimes, Time Out New York, Billboard and other publications as the bridge" and missing link" between the worlds of jazz and rap music, will conduct his first North American tour as a leader with appearances at the 13th Annual Charlie Parker Jazz Festival (8/27) and The Jazz Gallery (8/28) in New York City, the Clef Club for Jazz in Philadelphia (8/31), the Montreux Jazz Festival in Atlanta (9/2) and the Chrysler Financial African Festival of the Arts in Chicago (9/3). The concerts are Mr. Kinch's first in the US since his North American debut and only US appearance to date in December 2004 at The Jazz Gallery that was a highlight of the city's jazz season that year.
Mr. Kinch will perform selections from Conversations With The Unseen (DuneCD08), his critically acclaimed recording debut as a leader for the British jazz label Dune Music that was named one of the Top-10 Jazz Recordings of 2004 by The New York Times, The New Yorker and Amazon.com. He will also premiere new music from his forthcoming second CD scheduled for worldwide release in March 2006. As on Conversations... Mr. Kinch will be accompanied by guitarist Femi Temowo, bassist Michael Olatuja and drummer Troy Miller. Appearing as a special guest at all five US concerts will be the American trumpeter and vocalist Abram Wilson, Dune's first non-British signing whose own first CD as leader, Jazz Warrior (DuneCD011), was released to critical acclaim in October 2004 in the UK and Europe and in the US in January 2005.
Mr. Kinch's appearance at the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, at 3 pm Saturday, August 27th at Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem, is free and open to the public. General Admission tickets to his sets at 9 and 10:30 pm on Sunday, August 28th at The Jazz Gallery, 290 Hudson Street (below Spring Street) in Lower Manhattan, are $15 per set and $10 for members. Call 212.242.1063 for reservations.
Information about Mr. Kinch's concerts in Philadelphia, Atlanta and Chicago can be found at www.clefclubofjazz.com, www.woodruffcenter.org and www.africainternationalhouse.org.
An exceptionally gifted, self-taught musician, the eloquent British saxophonist-rapper Soweto Kinch was born in London in 1978 and began playing the alto when he was nine. Like many of his country’s rising jazz stars, he is a graduate of the Tomorrow’s Warriors youth jazz development program and is undoubtedly one of the few jazz artists or rappers with a degree in Modern History from Oxford University. Mr. Kinch cites saxophonists Courtney Pine and Denys Baptiste and bassist Gary Crosby as his main mentors and he made his recording debut in 2001 with Crosby's Jazz Jamaica All Stars. Though his music is firmly rooted in jazz and he has a strong respect for the mainstream, Mr. Kinch constantly explores and examines his relationship with that tradition by integrating other styles. Mr. Kinch launched his solo career with the entirely self-penned Conversations... that was released in April 2003 in the UK and Europe and in September 2004 in the US. Critically acclaimed on both sides of the Atlantic, the CD seamlessly fuses Charlie Parker with Q-tip in an original synthesis of straight ahead jazz with funky hip-hop and rap. In the UK Conversations… was a finalist for the prestigious Mercury Music Prize for Album of the Year in 2003. Mr. Kinch and the CD both received glowing coverage in reviews and features in The Times, The Guardian, The Independent, The Observer and other leading British newspapers and in The New York Times, JazzTimes, TimeOut NY, Billboard, DownBeat and other major American publications. Kinch continued to refine his jazz-rap fusion with the August 2004 release in the UK and Europe of his first single, Jazz Planet (DuneSD001-DuneVY001), on which he wonders what the world would be like were it ruled by jazz. Mr. Kinch is the winner of the 2004 Urban Music Award for Best Jazz Act, the 2004 Peter Whittingham Award for Jazz Innovation, BBC Jazz Awards for Best Band (2004), Best Instrumentalist (2004) and Rising Star (2002), MOBO (Music Of Black Origin) Award for Best Jazz Act 2004 and the 2002 White Foundation / Montreux Jazz Festival International Young Saxophonist of the Year Award.