ENRG @ ED JAZZ FEST: Soweto Kinch Quartet

Soweto Kinch (Credit: Press)

On the last day of the festival the Soweto Kinch Quartet performed at the George Square Spiegeltent and delivered a subtler performance of modern jazz.


Mercury Prize nominated composer and alto-saxophonist, Soweto Kinch was a highly anticipated act at this year’s festival. His unique fusion of hard-hitting traditional jazz and hip-hop made him stand out among other acts. His 2016 album Nonogram is his most recent and most acclaimed work to date. The album features the track Nostalgia, a perfect example of how his relaxed jazz style juxtaposes the hard hitting lyrical flow which embodies his raps.

Yet, despite the opportunity to showcase the exciting inclusion of rap within more classic jazz, Kinch’s Quartet seemed to cater towards the more traditional portion of the audience. Instead of performing more of his rap inspired tracks, the Soweto Kinch Quartet decided to perform tracks that would be considered a more ‘traditional’ style of jazz.

However, in keeping with his connections to rap and hip-hop, Kinch peppered in a couple free-style raps where he involved the audience by getting them to shout out words to be used in the free-style which made for a more audience participation orientated performance.

The most impressive part of the set was Eric Lewis, AKA ELEW, on the piano. His obvious talent and passion for both the instrument and music complimented Kinch’s saxophone and created a more energised atmosphere.

Despite the more relaxed and catered performance, Soweto Kinch’s Quartet delivered an expert display of modern jazz that demonstrated why they were one of the most anticipated acts of the festival.

By Abbie Aitken