Cassie Kinoshi Announces New Philharmonic Jazz Album ‘gratitude’ With Her Flagship Ensemble seed.

Photo by Keziah Quarcoo
February 6 2024

interlude i
iii sun through my window
interlude ii
Smoke in the Sun

“gratitude: movements i & ii” is out now, buy/stream it here.

gratitude is out March 22nd, preorder it here.

Mercury Prize-nominated (2019) and Ivors Academy Award-winning composer, arranger & alto saxophonist Cassie Kinoshi announces a new album gratitude with her flagship ensemble seed. The album eatures Kinoshi & her band alongside turntablist NikNak and the London Contemporary Orchestra. It’s Kinoshi’s debut release for Chicago-based label International Anthem, her first with seed. since 2019’s Mercury Prize nominated Driftglass, and will be available in stores worldwide on March 22nd.

Along with the album announcement, she releases Movements “i” & “ii,” which cover the exposition and initial peaks of the suite, vividly encapsulating the spectrum of Kinoshi’s composition. Movement “ii” is also highlighted by an electric guitar solo from Shirley Tetteh. Listen to Movement “i” & “ii” here, and preorder gratitude here.

Cassie Kinoshi’s seed. (photos by Keziah Quarcoo and Daragh, collage by GURIBOSH)
Berlin and London-based Kinoshi is also known as a former member of Kokoroko; and even beyond her work as leader of seed., her compositional résumé extends deeply into orchestral work for concert hall, contemporary dance, film, visual art, and theater, with high profile collaborators including London Sinfonietta, Philharmonia Orchestra, and the London Symphony Orchestra. That depth of experience is on full display on gratitude, with the textural and dynamic flexibility of her large ensemble covering musical ground from groove-focused modal melancholia to anthemic brass and string themes. Striking upon first listen and even richer on repeat visits, gratitude scores the soul of contemporary Black London with philharmonic craftwork in the tradition of legendary jazz arrangers like Mary Lou Williams, Oliver Nelson, and Carla Bley.

Kinoshi says: “gratitude was written as a means of guiding my own healing. My mother told me that she keeps a gratitude book where she writes one thing, no matter how big or small, every day that helps to re-focus her mind on practicing gratitude. The examples that she gave were seeing the flowers that she’d recently planted in her garden bloom and a kaleidoscope of butterflies that she saw flitting about a tree in her garden. I find this way of looking for the small moments of beauty in everyday life a beautiful way of reframing one’s experience of life and making sure to celebrate the communities, people, natural world and experiences that bring me joy. At this point in my artistic career, highlighting the often overlooked subject of mental health and what it means to move towards creating healthy, positive and introspective practices in regards to both understanding and regulating one’s own mental health is of the utmost importance to me.”

Her 2023 commission gratitude, accompanied by visuals by Birmingham & Belgrade-based artist GURIBOSH, was written for members of the London Contemporary Orchestra in combination with seed. and award-winning turntablist NikNak, and premiered to a sold-out Purcell Room at the Southbank Centre.

Kinoshi will return to the Barbican on March 7th for her biggest headlining show to date, in celebration of International Women’s Day. Kinoshi will revisit and perform the full gratitude suite, again with visual art accompaniment from GURIBOSH; and she will also premiere a brand new composition, commissioned by Serious. Her new piece, which also features seed., NikNak and the London Contemporary Orchestra, takes inspiration from women’s role in British music history in the Between the Wars Era. Tickets for March 7th @ Barbican here.

Cassie Kinoshi is a composition graduate of the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, where she studied with Andrew Poppy and Stephen Montague. An in-demand composer for concert hall, contemporary dance, film, visual art, and theater, her production credits including the Park Avenue Armory NYC (Euphoria), National Theatre (Top Girls), the Globe Theatre (The Tempest), BalletBoyz (England on Fire and Bradley 4:18) and the Southbank Centre (Drew McConie’s The Nutcracker). She has been commissioned by orchestras and ensembles such as London Symphony Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, London Contemporary Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, and initiatives such as Renaud Capuçon’s Festival Nouveaux Horizons in Aix-en-Provence, France.

With a keen interest in audio-visual, installation and combined-genre ensemble performance, in 2021, Cassie was Artist-in-Resident for London Unwrapped festival at King’s Place.

Kinsoshi first entered the International Anthem sphere, publicly, in November 2022 on stage at London’s Barbican Centre, alongside Angel Bat Dawid, Theon Cross and Asher Gamedze, as part of the label’s CHICAGOxLONDON co-presentation with London Jazz Festival.