soweto kinch

Soweto Kinch


Soweto Kinch is multi award-winning saxophonist, MC and composer specialising in a trademark style of Jazz, Rap and Spoken Word unlike that of any other performer in the world. Revered among both musicians and rappers alike, Soweto has amassed an unprecedented array of accolades including two MOBO awards, two Urban Music Awards, BBC Rising Star Award, BBC Best Jazz Instrumentalist, BBC Best Jazz Band, Montreux Jazz Festival Award, Peter Whittingham Award for Jazz innovation, Winner of the White Foundation World Sax competition and a nomination for the much coveted Mercury Award. He now hosts his very own weekly BBC radio show ‘Jazz Planet’. Growing up with a playwright for a father and an actress for a mother, performance has always been in Soweto’s blood and has over the years become an ambassador of urban culture as well as a British jazz institution with achievements ranging from the curation of several large international festivals to the production and scoring of various highly acclaimed music-based theatrical works to starring in a reality show series which followed him and other music figureheads like Goldie and Ms Dynamite as they each mentored and coached 12 vulnerable youths ahead of their live performance before HM Prince Harry at Buckingham Palace.
Soweto Kinch is currently touring his new album ‘Nonagram’ in trio/quartet format with saxophone/vocals, drums, bass and piano – Expect scalding hot hard bop jazz/hip-hop grooves spliced with free flowing fiery lyrics of the likes you’ve never heard before!

“Gangsta Rappa or Jazz Supremo? Both” - Jazzwise
“Hyper-talented saxman/rapper” - Evening Standard
“An amazing display of verbal and musical virtuosity” - Telegraph
“Kicks pure Jazz and authentic rap into a brave new world.” - Guardian
“Hip-hop militant and exploratory jazz astronaut” - Rochester City Newspaper
“One of the most eminent saxophonists on the British scene today” - Music OMH
“Combines rap, spoken word, electronics and raw, high-energy jazz” - All About Jazz
“Soweto Kinch adapts hard-bop sax to hip-hop rhythms and is a sharp MC” - Metro
“Jazz and hip-hop are seamlessly blended without Kinch ever compromising either style” -Time Out
“A distinct and commanding way of looking at jazz, at hip-hop, and at the whole performance situation” - New York Times
“Contemporary and classic styles. It's difficult to think of anyone currently able to produce a more convincing and engaging mix than Soweto Kinch” - BBC Music

Meilana Gillard

Meilana Gillard (USA/NI)

Ohio raised saxophonist and composer Meilana Gillard emerged as a rising star on the New York scene whilst studying at the New School in the early 2000s. She has worked with U.S. icons Christian McBride, Charli Persip and Greg Osby, who released her debut album Day One on his Inner Circle Music label in 2009, as well as Debbie Reynolds, Glenn Campbell and the New York all-female big band DIVA. Based near Belfast since 2012, she's now set to release her second album Dream Within a Dream. Choosing a chordless trio format, Meilana features MOBO nominated drummer David Lyttle, who has featured her in his own trio and alongside trumpet star Terell Stafford, and whose own recent studio collaborations include Joe Lovano and Talib Kweli. On bass is Co. Clare born Neil O'Loghlen, who is known for his work with guitar master Louis Stewart and Ensemble Eriu.


Ciaran Wilde (IE)

Ciaran Wilde, a Feis Ceoil winner, studied in the College of Music (now the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama) under Tim Hanafin. He started playing professionally at 16 with punk singer Hazel O Connor and has recently worked with such varied artists as Louis Stewart,  Mary Coughlan, Brian Kennedy, Van Morrison, The Pogues, Paul Brady, Sharon Shannon, Josh Ritter and Curtis Steiger. His alto and clarinet can also be heard featured on Irish movie soundtracks, and he is leader of Dublin City Jazz Orchestra. Ciaran has recently spent more time in the west of Ireland and plays a Thursday night residency with the Eddie Lee3 in Hargadons of Sligo.


Cathal Roche (IE)

Cathal Roche was born in Dublin in 1975 and studied saxophone under Michael Buckley and Kevin Hanafin.  Since leaving Dublin in 2002, Cathal has developed a reputation as an innovative improvisor in Ireland and the UK.  Specialising in extended solo saxophone performance, Cathal has collaborated with improvisors Phil Minton, David Toop, Clive Bell, Elaine Mitchener, Lauren Kinsella, Colm O’Hara, David Lacey and blackmetal vocalist Atilla Csihar among others.  Since 2006, Cathal has worked closely with Irish composer Ian Wilson to develop a number of improvisational works for saxophones and ensemble including ‘re:play’, and The Book of Ways’ with the RTE Vanbrugh String Quartet, ‘Double Trio’ with UK drummer Stu Ritchie and bassist Daniel Bodwell, and ‘Therefore I am’ with the Irish Chamber Orchestra and the forthcoming project ‘The hours’ with legendary Irish bassist Ronan Guilfoyle, drummer Matthew Jacobson and the Contempo String Quartet.  
Other collaborations include original solo performance works, installations, video pieces and inter-disciplinary projects .  His performance work has been featured on BBC’s ‘Here & Now’, RTE’s ‘the Lyric Concert’.  Art’s Council commissions include ‘Encounters’ for solo saxophone and multiple CD players, ‘The Message’ for George Mason University, USA, ‘Guidance’, solo saxophone and DVD for Carrick Cineplex,  and a suite for the RISE Saxophone Sextet featuring Julian Arguelles commissioned by SJP.  Cathal continues to explore new ground in the West of Ireland as a member of the cross-arts improv group ‘Hereinafter’ which he co-directs with his partner, artist Kate Wilson.  
Other current groups include the Dirty Jazz Club @ the CFCP, Dublin, Dublin City Jazz Orchestra and a weekly jazz session which he co-leads with Sligo musicians Eddie Lee, Ken McDonald and Eddie McFarlane.  As an educator and learner Cathal facilitates improv and composition projects for 5 -12 year olds as Artist in Residence for Leitrim County Council.  He teaches woodwind at the Sligo Academy of Music and Roscommon Youth Orchestra.


Matthew Halpin (IE)

Matthew Halpin is a tenor saxophonist from Dublin, Ireland who graduated as an international Presidential Scholar from Berklee College of Music in Boston, one of two international Presidential scholars of 2009. Before beginning at Berklee, Matthew had been playing saxophone for 9 years, 7 of which were spent studying classical music at the Royal Irish Academy of Music.

He has been playing with small ensembles since the age of 14, many of which were under his own name, as well as larger ensembles such as the RTE National Concert Orchestra and the Dublin City Big Band. In 2008 he was the youngest musician to take part in the Banff Centre’s three week workshops in jazz and creative music in Canada directed by Dave Douglas.

In July 2009 Matthew performed with his own group at the Sligo Jazz Project, a festival which he had been a student at only 2 years before. Other performance highlights include the 2010 Panama Jazz Festival, the National Concert Hall Ireland with RIAM Big Band as a featured soloist, performances with Justin Carroll’s Togetherness as well as guesting with Altered States (Mark McKnight, Damien Evans and David Lyttle). 2010 performances include the Blue Note, New York in April and the Newport Jazz Festival in August.

In 2010 Matthew was selected to be one of the 14 inaugural students of the Berklee Global Jazz Institute, with whom he toured throughout the US and internationally. He has studied with George Garzone, Joe Jovano, Ben Street, Terri Lynn Carrington, Hal Crook, Jamie Oehlers, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Branford Marsalis and Danilo Perez.