Award-winning jazz and hip hop artist Soweto Kinch presents a unique staged performance of his upcoming album The Legend of Mike Smith, integrating jazz improvisation and a driving hip hop score with choreography from Jonzi D (Breakin' Convention). Part of the London Jazz Festival 2012.
Inspired by The Seven Deadly Sins and Dante's Inferno, Soweto tells the story of Mike Smith, a young, aspiring MC caught in a world of temptation where the boundaries of reality and fantasy collide. The Legend of Mike Smith promises to be an absorbing live music experience combining animated visuals and dance with long-awaited, brand new material.
Raidene Carter, Head of Creative Programmes at the Albany said: 'This year we are delighted to welcome Soweto Kinch back to the Albany as a new Associate Artist. He's an inspirational performer and we're excited to be working with him to bring The Legend of Mike Smith to the stage for the very first time. It promises to be a visual and aural spectacle and something a little different for the London Jazz Festival.'
An alto-saxophonist and MC, Soweto Kinch is one of the most exciting and versatile young musicians in both the British jazz and hip hop scenes. Undoubtedly, one of the few artists in either genre with a degree in Modern History from Oxford University he has amassed an impressive list of accolades and awards on both sides of the Atlantic - including a Mercury Music Prize nomination, two UMA Awards and a MOBO for best Jazz Act in 2003 and 2007.
Kinch's projects also extend beyond recorded albums, writing the score for Jonzi D's hip hop theatre production Markus the Sadist (2010), and Sampad's In The Further Soil (2010), a dance-theatre piece that toured India.
In the weeks leading up to the show at the Albany, Soweto will be working across South East London as part of a participation project that will see young people collaborating with the artist, and each other, to create their own responses to The Legend of Mike Smith. Audiences are encouraged to arrive early for pre-show musical performances by Albany Uncover Young Musicians and Bromley ArtsTrain Academy.
Jonzi D is the Artistic Director of Breakin' Convention and Jonzi D Projects. Since graduating from the London Contemporary Dance School, Jonzi has been committed to the development of hip hop theatre, creating Lyrikal Fearta in 1995, and Aeroplane Man in 1999. He was an Associate Artist at The Place and has performed and created dance theatre pieces all over the world. Recent works include TAG... Just Writing My Name and Markus The Sadist, featuring Bashy.
The Legend of Mike Smith has been commissioned by the Albany as part of the venue's 30th birthday celebrations taking place from September 2012 to May 2013.