Enter the mind of saxophonist, rapper, and composer Soweto Kinch, who traces his path to jazz mastery, comparing it to learning a foreign language, and his formative experiences as a young artist who used the influence of the greats to form his own musical identity. The London-born Kinch is seamlessly aligned with jazz and hip-hop. A progenitor and leading figure of the burgeoning British jazz scene, Kinch has “a commanding way of looking at jazz, at hip-hop, and at the whole performance situation” (The New York Times).
The son of a playwright father and a stage-actor mother, he is an inquisitive soul — wide-open, finding inspiration in the spoken word, theater, and dance. Within a year of establishing the Soweto Kinch Trio in 2001, a then 24-year-old Kinch won the Rising Star award from the BBC Jazz Awards as well as the White Foundation World Saxophone Competition prize at the Montreux Jazz Festival. Since the release of his 2003 Mercury Prize-nominated debut Conversations with the Unseen, his projects have invariably found the sweet spot between art, history, and contemporary life. As an SFJAZZ Resident Artistic Director, Kinch brought the extended multimedia works Black Peril, White Juju, and Digital Timbuktu to the Miner Auditorium stage.