Shabaka Hutchings

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Wish List | Shabaka Hutchings

Hutchings was born in London. He moved to Barbados at the age of six, began studying classical clarinet aged nine and remained there until sixteen. Over the last half decade, Shabaka Hutchings has established himself as a central figure in the international jazz scene. Hutchings has a restlessly creative and refreshingly open-minded spirit, playing in a variety of groups, most notably, Sons of Kemet, The Comet Is Coming, and Shabaka & the Ancestors, and embracing influences from the sounds of London’s diverse club culture, including house, grime, jungle, and dub.

As part of the Caribbean diaspora, he sees his role as that of pushing the boundaries of what musical elements are considered to be Caribbean. Constantly evaluating the nature of his relationship with musical material and tradition, he describes his attempts at composition as wrestling matches with questions of where and how the Caribbean can be encoded, and what happens when it is exposed to the western classical music cannon.

In 2018 Shabaka released the third studio album with his band Sons of Kemet entitled Your Queen is A Reptile, which is a provocative, anti-establishment critique of the blind idolatry received by the British monarchy and a call to deconstruct old myths and replace them with more relevant ones, in this case one that honours the significant contributions made by women of colour throughout history which are often hidden or overlooked.