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Saxophonist, clarinettist, composer and band leader, Shabaka Hutchings, is one of the foremost proponents of the current British jazz scene. In this special concert Shabaka Hutchings’ background as a classically trained artist takes 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 concludes 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 were 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.
The digital programme is available here.
Co-produced by the Barbican and Britten Sinfonia
This event was part of EFG London Jazz Festival 2020