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Cassie Kinoshi

Cassie Kinoshi is a composer, arranger, and alto saxophonist based in London. She leads the SEED Ensemble (now seed.) and is a former member and arranger of Afrobeat band Kokoroko and jazz septet Nerija. Her multidisciplinary creative vision makes her an in-demand composer for film, dance, the National Theatre and the Old Vic, video and art installations, and more. With seed. she released Driftglass, their 2018 debut album, and they were nominated for a Mercury Prize. In 2021, seed. recorded Kinoshi's score for a work by long-standing dance group BalletBoyz titled Bradley 4:18. As artist-in-residence for London Unwrapped festival at King's Place in 2021, she performed the world premiere of Three Suns Suite for Aurora Orchestra, featuring members of seed. In 2023, she was commissioned to compose a work for members the London Contemporary Orchestra, turntablist NikNak, and members of seed. all accompanied by visuals by Birmingham/Belgrade-based artist Guribosh. Kinsohi was born in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, England, about 20 miles outside London. She began musical studies early and attended St. George's School, Harpenden and completed her A level in music. After graduation, she attended London's Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, where she studied with Andrew Poppy and Stephen Montague, and earned a bachelor's degree in music composition. Kinoshi formed the SEED Ensemble in 2016 to celebrate Great Britain's diversity by combining modern jazz with West African and Caribbean music, reflecting what it meant to exist as a young Black British citizen in the 21st century. In addition to seed., Kinoshi joined Afrobeat group Kokoroko and the jazz septet Nérija that also includes saxophonist Nubya Garcia, trumpeter Sheila Maurice-Grey, trombonist Rosie Turton, guitarist Shirley Tette, drummer Lizy Exell, and bassist Rio Kai. Kinoshi's recording debut was on Nérija's eponymous 2016 EP. With Kokoroko, she appeared on the influential Brownswood compilation WeOutHere in 2018. SEED Ensemble recorded Driftglass, their ambitious debut album for Jazz Re:freshed, late in 2018. Released in 2019, it was nominated for the Mercury Prize. Kinoshi also served as Mercury Musical Developments' and Musical Theatre Network's Cameron Mackintosh Resident Composer Scheme recipient at Dundee Rep Theatre and as part of the London Symphony Orchestra's Panufnik Scheme from 2018 to 2019. In 2019, Kinoshi toured with seed.; Kokoroko issued their eponymous Brownswood debut album, and Nérija released the long-playing Blume. She also participated in the recording sessions for former instructor Poppy's Hoarse Songs. In 2020, Kinoshi's score for BalletBoyz: Bradley 4:18 was recorded by seed. and released on her Beatprint label. It was originally commissioned by BalletBoyz as part of the Deluxe production, and was broadcast on BBC 4. She also served in Garcia's band on the album Source. In the fall of 2021, Kinoshi was appointed Artist in Residence at King's Place for the London Unwrapped festival. She delivered and performed the world premiere of Three Suns Suite, a commission for Aurora Orchestra, as well as the world premiere of echo, her film installation in collaboration with visual artist Anne Verehij, and featuring music from Chineke! Orchestra. In 2021, her compostion Solaristic Precepts was commissioned by London Sinfonietta and premiered during the EFG London Jazz Festival as part of the London Third Stream showcase, together with new works by Shabaka Hutchings, Laura Jurd and Elliot Galvin. For Solaristic Precepts, Kinoshi drew inspiration from the musical and life philosophies of Sun Ra. Kinoshi's only recorded appearance that year was with Sons of Kemet on their Black to the Future. In 2022, Kinoshi as part of Kokoroko, appeared on their sophomore long-player, Could We Be More. In March 2023, Kinoshi and seed. premiered her suite-lik composition Gratitude to a sold-out audience in the Purcell Room of the Southbank Centre. It was composed for members of the London Contemporary Orchestra, seed. and award-winning turntablist NikNak. The performance was accompanied by visuals from Birmingham/Belgrade-based artist Gurisbosh and recorded. That event was enhanced later by additional studio recordings made in November. The six-part composition was paired with Kinoshi's "Smoke in the Sun" and issued by International Anthem in conjunction with Kinoshi's Beatprint in March 2024.
© Thom Jurek /TiVo

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