Kabantu 'Freehand'

Album Launch

Event Has Passed

Last Show: Sunday 19 th June 2022

The Pheasantry (Chelsea)

Join Kabantu for the London launch of their second album: Freehand. Following Kabantu’s critically acclaimed 2018 release Of the People,  Kabantu's second album Freehand uses a progressively liberal and diverse approach to reimagining world-folk music. Kabantu collectively cultivates the individualism of each musician magnetised into a gravitational collaborative output. Freehand musical sketching evolves to craft refined, original compositions, handmade by the musicians using voices and acoustic instruments as canvases to translate their artistic intuitions by ear. This music is about diversity and crossover, exploring the spaces without genre, name or convention. It is about uprooting, letting go and trusting the outcome of expression untampered by expectation; self-acceptance of a splintered creative identity within a globalised set of influences and musical heritage; rediscovery, reinvention.

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"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

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

Highlights include performing at the BBC Proms (Royal Albert Hall), live sessions for BBC Free Thinking Festival, BBC Radio 3 In Tune, World on 3 and an array of renowned venues including King’s Place, Richmix, The Bridgewater Hall, TedX Manchester, The Sage Gateshead and Cadogan Hall.

Classical festival highlights include Aldeburgh, Deal, Lichfield, Petworth, Fishguard, Swaledale and Spitalfields International Music Festivals and folk festivals include Cambridge, Warwick, Celtic Connections, Musicport, Warwick, Orkney, Shetland, Fire in the Mountain and Broadstairs.

Kabantu are the winners of the coveted £10,000 Royal Over-Seas League Competition 2017. Upcoming projects for Kabantu include recording and releasing their second album Freehand in 2022. They also collaborate with current BBC Folk Singer of the Year Rioghnach Connolly, working with academics at Leeds University to explore the concept of Multiscale Modelling. This project launches Co-Lab, Kabantu’s new experimental jam night hosted in their hometown of Manchester. In 2021 they headlined the Manchester Folk Festival (showcasing at the English Folk Expo) and opened the main stage of Shrewsbury Folk Festival.

2019 saw Kabantu collaborate creatively with the BBC Singers at the Cutty Sark and undertake a tour of England and Wales with Welsh orchestra Sinfonia Cymru, as well as touring Switzerland and Luxembourg including the Lucerne Festival and Luxembourg Philharmonie.

In 2018, Kabantu released their debut album "Of the People" to critical acclaim, produced by the Mercury-nominated Gerry Diver.

Band Line Up

Katie Foster (violin, vox, whistling)

Ben Sayah (guitar, vox)

Delia Stevens (percussion, vox)

Ali McMath (double bass, didgeridoo, banjo, vox)