Sons of Kemet


London, , England


Led by hornsman Shabaka Hutchings, experimental jazz group Sons of Kemet make a clattering, messy carnival of sound that explores the spread of music from Africa into contemporary musical styles across the world.

Hutchings was born in London but moved to his parents' homeland of Barbados at the age of six and after picking up the clarinet, returned to England at 16 and studied at the Guildhall School of Music cutting his teeth on the UK jazz scene working with greats like Courtney Pine and Herbie Hancock and groups Melt Yourself Down and Zed-U. He recruited Polar Bear drummer Seb Rochford, tuba player Oren Marshall and percussionist Tom Skinner to form the band in 2011 and took the moniker Sons of Kemet (an ancient name for Egypt) as a reference to the birth place of many musical ideas. Their energetic, free-form grooves and relentless, infectious rhythms made debut 'Burn' one of the most acclaimed albums of 2013 and Hutchings' colourful, sprawling sax lines helped cross the genres of jazz, experimental and world music.

They won the MOBO Award for Best Jazz Act in 2013 and producers such as Micachu and Vince Vella remixed their work, before follow-up 'Lest We Forget What We Came Here to Do' paid tribute to the Caribbean community which had emigrated to Britain in the 1950s and the music that they brought with them. Theon Cross replaced Marshall in the band but they continued to meld the sounds of West African drummers with New Orleans Mardi Gras celebrations, Trinidadian soca melodies and Sun Ra's psychy, spacey sprawl on new album 'Your Queen Is a Reptile' in 2018.

Artist biography compiled by BDS/West 10. All rights reserved