Shabaka Hutchings - Syos

Shabaka Hutchings

My Syos gives me incredible consistency throughout the registers of my bass clarinet. It allows me to maintain a rich sonority while playing quietly which doesn’t loose its character and become shrill when playing loudly or in the upper register. It is free blowing yet has a thick core which means when playing loudly there is a lot of depth to work with.


Shabaka Hutchings was born in 1984 in London. He moved to Barbados at the age of six, began studying classical clarinet aged nine, graduating to tenor saxophone which has been a regular sight across London and the UK since his return aged sixteen.

As part of the Caribbean diaspora, he sees his role as that of pushing the boundaries of what musical elements are considered to be Caribbean. Constantly evaluating the nature of his relationship with musical material and tradition.

Hutchings has three primary projects – Shabaka and the Ancestors, Sons of Kemet and Comet is Coming. Between them, Hutchings has gathered a substantial number of awards and nominations, including winning the 2013 MOBO ‘Jazz Act of the Year’, winner of the 2014 Paul Hamlyn Composer Award, 2015 Jazz FM Awards ‘Instrumentalist of the Year’, 2016 Mercury Music Prize nomination, 2017 Jazz FM Awards ‘UK Jazz Act of the Year’, 2018 Jazz FM Awards ‘Jazz Innovation of the Year’ and a 2018 Mercury Music Prize nomination.

Shabaka continues to sit outside the box, interested in the undefinable gaps and going beyond jazz. To date, Hutchings has released to critical aclaim 7 studio albums and 2 EPs, alongside featuring on several other albums with highly respected artists. Currently signed to the iconic Impulse! record label.

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