Articles by Seton Hawkins

Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

INTERVIEW

Matthew Shipp: Poetic Connection

Read "Matthew Shipp: Poetic Connection" reviewed by Seton Hawkins

It is difficult to describe the impact of pianist and composer Matthew Shipp without descending into hyperbole. A core figure in the now-legendary David S. Ware Quartet, a bandleader with a staggering recording output, a groundbreaking curator for the influential Blues Series of Thirsty Ear Records, Matthew Shipp has also more recently broken new ground at the helm of the extraordinary Matthew Shipp Trio, featuring bassist Michael Bisio and drummer Newman Taylor Baker. Preparing to celebrate his 60th ...

INTERVIEW

Sisonke Xonti: A Leap of Faith

Read "Sisonke Xonti: A Leap of Faith" reviewed by Seton Hawkins

Known for years as an outstanding saxophonist and first-call collaborator in a variety of top South African Jazz ensembles, in recent years Sisonke Xonti has rightly earned acclaimed for his own talents as a bandleader and a composer. Notably, Xonti's 2017 debut release Iyonde not only provided a stellar showcase for his superlative horn work, it also showed his thoroughly compelling voice as a composer and his creativity as an arranger. Recently announced as the Standard ...

INTERVIEW

Claude Cozens: Reimagining Rhythm

Read "Claude Cozens: Reimagining Rhythm" reviewed by Seton Hawkins

The Cape Jazz sound of South Africa is known to international audiences primarily thanks to the music of pianist Abdullah Ibrahim. However, the music and traditions of Cape Town and the Western Cape run much deeper, reflecting an extraordinary, sometimes contradictory, and exceedingly complex set of cultures and traditions reflected in the area. Within this environment the musician and composer Claude Cozens grew up, first gaining acclaim as a top-call drummer in Cape Town, ultimately forming his own extraordinary trio, ...

INTERVIEW

Sam Tshabalala: Returning Home

Read "Sam Tshabalala: Returning Home" reviewed by Seton Hawkins

The late 1970s saw a surge of extraordinary musical creativity in South Africa. Driven in part by a changing political climate reflecting the youth-led Soweto uprising of 1976, a younger generation of South African artists harnessed the arts to give voice to a new chapter in the anti-apartheid struggle. Indeed, rising ensembles like Movement in the City, Sakhile, and The Beaters all embodied this post-1976 ethos, both in their messages and in their cross-genre vision for music. Within ...

INTERVIEW

Carlo Mombelli: Angels and Demons

Read "Carlo Mombelli: Angels and Demons" reviewed by Seton Hawkins

One of music's criminally underrated geniuses, South African electric bassist and composer Carlo Mombelli has carved out a most extraordinary performing and writing career in music. Throughout his four decades as a performer, Mombelli has forged one of the most distinctive electric bass approaches in Jazz, established himself as South Africa's most exceptional composer, and has nurtured and developed an inspiring creative improvising and composing scene in Johannesburg. With last year's release of his latest album Angels and ...

INTERVIEW

Aaron Rimbui: Nairobi to New York City

Read "Aaron Rimbui: Nairobi to New York City" reviewed by Seton Hawkins

Kenya is noted for an extraordinary array of musical offerings yet its jazz scene has historically been quite slim. However, Nairobi-born pianist Aaron Rimbui may change that dynamic. Drawing on the musical traditions of Kenya and East Africa, Rimbui has established a singular and absolutely arresting approach to jazz piano. With several solo records under his belt and a recent move to New York City, Rimbui seems poised to emerge as one of the leading figures ...

INTERVIEW

Ronan Skillen: Telepathic Euphoria

Read "Ronan Skillen: Telepathic Euphoria" reviewed by Seton Hawkins

When one thinks of South African jazz, the didgeridoo and the tabla don't immediately jump to mind. Nevertheless, multi-instrumentalist, composer, and engineer Ronan Skillen has made them vital additions to a range of South African ensembles. While acclaimed for his work in the genre-smashing South African ensemble Babu, Skillen has engaged in a wide range of highly influential projects in South Africa and abroad, from the meditative collaboration with Dave Ledbetter, Deep South, to the electronica-infused ...


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