Photo: Yvonne Schmedemann

Shabaka Hutchings


Shabaka Hutchings (born 1984 in London) is a saxophonist, clarinetist and bandleader whose sound encompasses the cultural diversity captured by his sense of place as a South-East Londoner of Barbadian heritage. An alum of London’s renowned Tomorrow’s Warriors music education program, Hutchings’ sound was first influenced by the golden era hip-hop, Caribbean music and classical compositions of his youth.

Shabaka Hutchings went on to become a fixture of Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood Recordings label. His sound has been hailed as a modern, experimental counter to the blues-driven sound undergirding the American jazz tradition; both of these sounds share roots in the inequities faced by peoples of the African diaspora.

A former member of Melt Yourself Down, Hutchings leads Sons of Kemet and Shabaka Hutchings and the Ancestors. He is also a member of the trio The Comet Is Coming with keyboardist Dan Leavers and drummer Max Hallett. In each iteration, his music is a sustained conversation with London’s club culture.

In the past Hutchings has played with the Sun-Ra Arkestra, Floating Points, Mulatu Astatke, the Heliocentrics and Zed-U. In 2018 Shabaka Hutchings has curated programming for The Netherlands’ Le Guess Who? festival including performances by Sibusile Xaba, Ill Considered and Kojey Radical among others.

With his outfit The Comet Is Coming Hutchings received a Mercury Prize nomination for their 2016 debut album “Channel The Spirits“. Other accolades include a 2013 MOBO Award for Best Jazz Act with the Sons of Kemet, the Paul Hamlyn Composer Award and Jazz FM’s Jazz Innovation Award. 

Read more