SOLD OUT - SOWETO KINCH "NONAGRAM" QUARTET - JAZZWISE 20th Anniversary Special + support: Yazz Ahmed HAFLA Quintet

Wednesday 15th March 2017
Date: Wednesday 15th March Ticket Prices: £25.00 - £42.50
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Wednesday 15th March 2017

Doors open time

First House

Ticket Prices:

£25.00 - £42.50


SOWETO KINCH "NONAGRAM" QUARTET - JAZZWISE 20th Anniversary Special + support: Yazz Ahmed HAFLA Quintet

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SOWETO KINCH QUARTET featuring REUBEN JAMES piano, NICK JURD bass & ED RICHARDSON drums presents 'Nonagram’


The album concept revolves around a nine-sided wheel or nonagon. Each musical point along the wheel explores a feature of different numbers or shapes. For instance the track exploring ‘3’ uses frequencies such as 60Hz and relates it to 180Hz (the internal and total angles of an equilateral triangle). Through shifting time signatures, harmony and tonality the music explores how sound can describe incorporeal ideas of mathematics, traveling through each point along a digital system: how music gives form to ideas that can’t be seen in the natural world; or how these fundamentals are expressed in nature or sacred geometry. Taking broad inspiration from bird song and cymatic patterns, to the Egyptian Ennead and Platonic shapes this album will feel like a journey through a hidden world of abstraction.


“In an age where words, science or religion are often used to divide people, I’m largely inspired by these numerical and sonic aspects of music that transcend cultural differences. Whilst writing the Legend of Mike Smith, I had innumerable conversations about ‘dark forces’ controlling the music industry and keeping the populace as sheeple. Part of the inspiration is in injecting a musical antidote that instead inspires us to see new visions of the surrounding world”



Soweto Kinch is multi award-winning saxophonist, MC and composer specialising in a trademark style of Jazz, Rap and Spoken Word unlike that of any other performer in the world. Revered among both musicians and rappers alike, Soweto has amassed an unprecedented array of accolades including two MOBO awards, two Urban Music Awards, BBC Rising Star Award, BBC Best Jazz Instrumentalist, BBC Best Jazz Band, Montreux Jazz Festival Award, Peter Whittingham Award for Jazz innovation, Winner of the White Foundation World Sax competition and a nomination for the much coveted Mercury Award. He now hosts his very own weekly BBC radio show ‘Jazz Planet’.

 Growing up with a playwright for a father and an actress for a mother, performance has always been in Soweto’s blood and has over the years become an ambassador of urban culture as well as a British jazz institution with achievements ranging from the curation of several large international festivals to the production and scoring of various highly acclaimed music-based theatrical works to starring in a reality show series which followed him and other music figureheads like Goldie and Ms Dynamite as they each mentored and coached 12 vulnerable youths ahead of their live performance before HM Prince Harry at Buckingham Palace.

 Soweto Kinch is currently touring his new album ‘Nonagram’ in trio/quartet format with saxophone/vocals, drums, bass and piano – Expect scalding hot hard bop jazz/hip-hop grooves spliced with free flowing fiery lyrics of the likes you’ve never heard before!



 “Gangsta Rappa or Jazz Supremo? Both” Jazzwise

 “Hyper-talented saxman/rapper” Evening Standard

 “An amazing display of verbal and musical virtuosity” Telegraph

 “Kicks pure Jazz and authentic rap into a brave new world.” Guardian

 “Hip-hop militant and exploratory jazz astronaut” Rochester City Newspaper

 “One of the most eminent saxophonists on the British scene today” Music OMH

 “Combines rap, spoken word, electronics and raw, high-energy jazz” All About Jazz

 “Soweto Kinch adapts hard-bop sax to hip-hop rhythms and is a sharp MC” Metro

 “Jazz and hip-hop are seamlessly blended without Kinch ever compromising either style” Time Out

 “A distinct and commanding way of looking at jazz, at hip-hop, and at the whole performance situation” New York Times

 “Contemporary and classic styles. It's difficult to think of anyone currently able to produce a more convincing and engaging mix than Soweto Kinch” BBC Music

Supporting Artist/Band

+ support: Yazz Ahmed HAFLA Quintet


Since releasing Finding My Way Home in 2011, British-Bahraini trumpet player, Yazz Ahmed, has emerged as a distinctive voice on the UK Jazz scene, as a soloist, band leader and composer. 

In recent years she has lead her quartet and her seven-piece, Ahmed Family Hafla, in concerts around the UK and abroad, including Kuwait, Ukraine, Algeria and at the 2016 Berlin Jazz festival. She has also played with Jazz Jamaica, The Human Revolution Orchestra, Arun Ghosh, Courtney Pine, and Troyk-estra.


In the field of commercial music Yazz has performed with Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Joan as Police Woman, ABC, Swing Out Sister, Transglobal Underground and has toured the world with art-rock band, These New Puritans. She plays flugelhorn on Radiohead’s album The King of Limbs and features on the DVD The King Of Limbs Live From The Basement. Her own music has been described as ‘psychedelic Arabic jazz, intoxicating and compelling’, and seeks to blur the lines between jazz, electronic sound design and the music of her Arabic heritage.

In 2015 she was commissioned by Tomorrow’s Warriors to write a suite inspired by courageous and influential female role models. Polyhymnia was premiered at the Purcell Room at the WOW! Festival. Yazz has recently been awarded funding from PRS For Music Foundation towards recording this suite, which is due for release in 2018. In 2014 she was awarded a fellowship from Birmingham Jazzlines, who supported her during the course of a year in writing a major new suite, Alhaan al Siduri, premiered in October 2015 at the CBSO Centre. One year later the second performance marked Yazz’s debut in her paternal homeland at the Bahrain International Music Festival.

During her recent year as an LSO Soundhub composer, she explored writing music for her newly developed quarter-tone flugelhorn to enable her to get closer to the spiritual nature of the blue notes in Arabic music.

The quintet specially assembled for tonight’s show combines members of her Hafla band, Ralph Wyld, Dave Manington and Martin France, with her frequent collaborator, the sensational ‘vocal sculptor’, Jason Singh.

Tonight’s music will include a selection of compositions from her second album, La Saboteuse, soon to be released on Naim Records. Uniquely the album is being rolled out in four streaming-only ‘chapters’, culminating in a full physical release on gatefold vinyl, CD and digital download in May.


You can hear a preview of The Space Between the Fish and The Moon (La Saboteuse, Chapter One) here:



Ambitious, extended, multi-textured pieces, in which she skilfully deploys larger forces, showcase a considerable and – most important – highly individual instrumental and compositional talent’  - Chris Parker, London Jazz News.

Her opalescent flugelhorn carried strong echoes of Kenny Wheeler’  -  Fred Grand, Jazz Journal

‘Her set was an ethereal experience’ - PlayFewerNotes

‘Ahmed’s playing seemed flawless and her tone mellifluous.’ Patrick Hadfield, London Jazz News

‘Ahmed has a true tone and spins long lines over complex, self-penned structures’

Mike Hobart, Financial Times

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Date: Wednesday 15th March Ticket Prices: £25.00 - £42.50
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