Saxophonist, clarinettist, composer and band leader, Shabaka Hutchings, is one of the foremost proponents of the current British jazz scene. In this special concert as part of the Barbican’s newly devised autumn concert series, Shabaka Hutchings’ background as a classically trained artist will take centre stage. Blurring the lines between jazz and classical music and exploring the jazz idiom, he performs Copland’s Clarinet Concerto, written for the legendary ‘King of Swing’ Benny Goodman, alongside Britten Sinfonia, followed by Stravinsky’s Three Pieces for Solo Clarinet, and a solo improvisation on clarinet.
Britten Sinfonia will conclude the programme with a performance of Copland’s musical portrait of 19th century pioneers, Appalachian Spring, which brings together traditional Shaker melodies with his quintessentially American sound.
The musicians will be directed by Geoffrey Paterson, a British conductor admired for his impressive grasp of detail, responsiveness to musicians, and his ability to shape and make music from the most complex scores with natural authority.
London-born and Barbados-bred, Shabaka studied classical clarinet at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and has established himself as a central figure in the London jazz scene, which is enjoying its greatest creative renaissance since the breakthroughs of Joe Harriott and Evan Parker in the 1960s. 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, which he distinguishes less by the music they make than by the different combination of personalities. Hutchings embraces influences from the sounds of London’s diverse club culture, including house, grime, jungle, and dub.
Shabaka Hutchings was set to curate Propaganda – a Barbican weekend of music, art, spoken word and some very special collaborations – in May 2020, which couldn’t happen due to Covid-19 restrictions. Following his autumn appearance with Britten Sinfonia, he is scheduled to return to the Barbican Hall in January 2021 with Shabaka & the Ancestors, presenting material from their second studio album We Are Sent Here By History, which explores African and Afro-Caribbean traditions and can be described as a modern-day griot.
A limited number of tickets for attendance at the socially distanced concert will go on sale on Friday 11 September 2020. The concert will be livestreamed on the Barbican’s website. Tickets for the concert and livestream can be purchased here.
Co-produced by the Barbican and Britten Sinfonia
Part of EFG London Jazz Festival 2020