Jazz star Soweto Kinch puts down his saxophone and steps up to the lectern to deliver a lecture as part of Radio 3's Free Thinking festival: Emancipation: A Listener's Guide.
Nominated for the Mercury music prize and twice winner of a MOBO award, Soweto Kinch is a saxophonist, composer, rapper and Oxford history graduate who was inspired to turn to jazz following a meeting with the trumpeter Wynton Marsalis. "He's number one in a field that he's made his own" says one leading jazz critic.
Soweto's work has drawn on the lives of residents of a Birmingham tower block, he has set 1950's novel Absolute Beginners to music, and he's even remixed the voice of newsreader Moira Stewart. Now he shows his intellectual prowess as well.
At Free Thinking Soweto delivers a lecture on the relationship between music and emancipation, arguing that music needs to reclaim its political meaning and power. With examples including Sonny Rollins "Freedom Suite", Charles Mingus "Fables of Faubus", and "Clampdown" by The Clash, he calls for artists to create music that changes society. He also tells presenter Rana Mitter why his parents named Soweto and why he agreed to join the backing band to The X Factor predecessor Pop Idol.
Recorded in November front of an audience at the Sage Gateshead as part of the Free Thinking festival, in an event hosted by Rana Mitter.
Producer: Tim Prosser.