"audacious,
in-yer-face
eclecticism"

Songlines Magazine

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NEW ALBUM

F R E E H A N D

Released 29.10.22


UK launch tour Autumn 2022

FreeHand_New3.jpg

freehand; bountiful, giving, openhanded, bighearted, liberal, handsome

freehanded; a sketch done by eye without the use of anything to guide the hand

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"immaculate...a rousing display of fine musicianship"

★★★★

The Guardian

Celebrating the space where different cultures meet

Astonishingly unique. Unorthodox. Progressive. Original. Acoustic. Contemporary. World. Folk.

 

Kabantu is a collective from Manchester, each born in a different country, who unravel new marriages of music in a globalised 21st century. 

 

Kabantu means "of the people" - stemming from the South African philosophy of Ubuntu: "I am who I am because of who we all are". 

Kabantu is a band of virtuosi wielding an expansive sonic arsenal; originally classically trained, they draw on an intricate palette of colours curated from their own wide listening to collaboratively write original music influenced by folk music from around the globe. The sheer musicianship of each member, an exhilarating collective unexpectedness and an infectious joy on stage is mind blowing, cultivated by a shared immediacy of expression forged by total trust.

They released their eponymous debut album "Of the People" in 2018 winning critical acclaim from the Guardian, Songlines Magazine and FRoots and release their second, entirely original album "Freehand" in 2022 with support from the PRS Foundation and Help Musicians UK. 

 

Kabantu have created large-scale works for BBC Singers, Sinfonia Cymru and the Manchester Camerata, won the £10,000 Royal Over-Seas League Competition, performed in the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall, headlined the English Folk Expo and played most of the UK’s major classical arts festivals (BBC Free Thinking Festival, Deal, Lichfield, Swaledale, Kings Place) and folk festivals (Cambridge, Shrewsbury, Orkney, Shetland, Warwick) and toured internationally to the Luxembourg Philharmonie and Lucerne Festival.

 

They have also given TedX talks, made interactive theatre shows for Lancaster Arts, featured on CBeebies, collaborated with Black Ballet, run creativity in music courses for the National Youth Orchestra and Aldeburgh Young Musicians and worked for Live Music Now (playing in pupil referral units, oncology wards and special needs schools).

 
     Violin, whistling, vocals                                                     Katie Foster
     Guitar, vocals                                                                      Ben Sayah
     Double bass, didgeridoo, banjo, vocals                            Ali McMath
     Percussion, vocals                                                             Delia Stevens
 

MUSIC

No Change
Pentewan Sun
Heat Pouring
Nordic Nights - Live at Shrewsbury Festival Main Stage
Debut Album: Of The People (2018)
 
 

LIVE

 

PRESS

"Utterly brilliant"
Georgia Mann, BBC Proms

“first-rate musicians..really exhilarating...a very worthwhile and different approach”
FRoots Magazine

"the playing was exceptional from each member"
Bachtrack
 
"an ambitious global range..all sing as well as they play, switching from scat to powerful harmony"
Robin Denselow, World and Folk Critic, The Guardian

"audacious, in-yer-face eclecticism.. a global experimentalism that is both breathtaking and very refreshing"
Songlines Magazine

"cosmopolitan aural cocktail…further catalysed by magpie-minded invention"
Folk Radio UK

COLLABORATION

ORCHESTRA

Rioghnach Connolly - Irish singer and flute


Will Pound - harmonica, melodeon


Sura Susso - kora, vocals


Jason Rebello - piano

Hannah James - accordion and clog dance

SINFONIA CYMRU
12-piece ensemble "Close to Folk" UK tour

 

THEATRE

LANCASTER ARTS COMMISSION
"Sea Hear"
Early Years Show

MAKING MANCHESTER
2nd Generation Immigrant Heritage Stories of Manchester
Collaboration: Vonnegut Collective/4 Actor-Dancers
Commissioned by Olympias Music Foundation

EDUCATION

CHOIR

BBC SINGERS
Cutty Sark live on BBC Radio 3

ALDEBURGH YOUNG MUSICIANS
Reimagining Folk Music
The Creative Musician-Composer

BRITISH MUSEUM
The History of South Africa

CBeebies
YoLanda's Band Jam with Yolanda Brown 

NATIONAL YOUTH ORCHESTRA GB
Music and Poetry feat. Gabriel Akamo

LIVE MUSIC NOW

Creative music making and performance in special needs, dementia, prison,  pupil referral unit and hospital settings

Kabantu & Sinfonia Cymru Trailer

Kabantu Making Manchester Trailer

Kabantu & BBC Singers Cutty Sark Trailer

Kabantu Sea Hear Trailer

PROJECTS

 

CONTACT

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