London group Sons of Kemet are jazz’s latest saviours. Led by saxophone and clarinet player Shabaka Hutchings, this award-winning group have wowed audiences with their fervent politics and fearless contemporary jazz which incorporates genres such as Afrobeat, soca and grime.
Sons of Kemet formed in 2011, consisting of Hutchings, tuba player Oren Marshall (now replaced by Theon Cross), and rotating drummers Tom Skinner, Seb Rochford and Eddie Hick. Given the band’s ever-shifting nature, it’s unsurprising that Sons of Kemet released an album quickly, winning plaudits along the way. In 2013 the band released their debut album Burn, which won them Best Act at the 2013 MOBO Awards.
Since then Sons of Kemet have released two more records: 2015’s Lest We Forget What We Came Here To Do, and 2018’s Your Queen Is A Reptile, which is themed around influential black women throughout history. The band are now signed to Impulse! Records, the classic American jazz label which has previously released records by jazz legends including Jon Coltrane, Charles Mingus and Ray Charles. Don’t bet against Sons of Kemet gaining the same reputation in years to come.