Shabaka Hutchings is a saxophonist, band leader and composer, part of London's community of younger jazz musicians as well as the city's thriving improvised music scene. For Hutchings, composition is a chronicle of the zeitgeist inhabited by a composer; an exposition of his or her search for meaning and the structuring of experiences in aid of recognising this meaning when it appears. As part of the Caribbean diaspora, he sees his role as that of pushing the boundaries of what musical elements people consider 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. Hutchings was born in 1984 in London. He moved to Barbados at the age of six, began studying classical clarinet aged nine and remained until sixteen. Shabaka's primary project is the group Sons of Kemet, which last year won the 2013 MOBO Award for Jazz Act of the Year. In June 2014 Shabaka was invited to join the Sun Ra Arkestra, performing with them and recording a session for BBC Radio 3.
Shabaka Hutchings | "I'm absolutely thrilled to be a recipient of this award. It will allow me not to be limited in the ambitiousness of my ideas for a while and have the resources to further develop my work as a composer given the harsh climate of living in London. It would be nice if financial concerns didn't impact on the realities of creation but as they do a respite of this magnitude is a massive aid to my compositional output."