Cassie Kinoshi Brings in a New Season of Hope

Photo credit: Adama Jalloh


The super talented composer and saxophonist, Cassie Kinoshi will be leading a trio at our next Hospital Club event on Wednesday 28th March as part of our late night series. To mark the beginning of Spring and Cassie’s upcoming gig we thought we’d catch up with her and find out what’s going awwwwwwwnnnnnn….

We’re delighted that you’re our newest creative workshop leader working for the Abram Wilson Foundation on our Achieve Your Greatness arts education programme. What’s been your highlight so far?

Working with and encouraging young people to express themselves creatively has always been a passion of mine since becoming more involved in leading educational sessions. During the Abram Wilson Foundation’s Achieve Your Greatness workshops at Plumstead Manor School in Greenwich, I really enjoyed seeing the girls slowly come out of their shells as we introduced them to blues music, dance and theatre.

What would you say to your 11-year-old self to inspire her?

Be yourself and unapologetically embrace who you are.

What inspired you to get into music & what was your experience of it at school?

Music is one of the best ways I am able to express my thoughts and feelings. My family always encouraged me to be creative and my home was full of records. Creating and taking part in musical activities was a huge part of my upbringing and at school I always took part in performances. I was often encouraged to perform in front of an audience and given opportunities to develop musically.

What’s your top tune at the moment?

At the moment I’m checking out a lot of orchestral and choral music, jazz and hip hop amongst other things. But a tune that is on repeat is:

Needy Bees – Nick Hakim.

You lead the ensemble SEED and also play with Nérija and Kokoroko.  Which other musicians would you include in your dream line up ensemble?

I’m not quite sure how an alto-saxophone quintet would sound, however, I’d love to learn from and perform with alto-saxophonists Steve Lehman, Jason Yarde, Miguel Zenon and Steve Coleman just because although all very different, I love and admire how they approach just about everything.

You’re a composer as well as a saxophonist.  Tell us a secret about how you start the creative process of writing a new piece of music?

I think it really depends as there isn’t one way I approach a composition. I draw inspiration from most things: art; other music; stories; random sounds; a word or an emotion.

You were recently chosen to take part in the London Symphony Orchestra’s renowned Panufnik Scheme 2018-19 (congratulations!).  Tell us a bit about that? 

Thank you!

At the moment, the programme is still in its very early stages. However, it has been exciting to meet the five other composers on the scheme – I’ve already learnt a lot and it’s a privilege to be able to work so closely with such a renowned orchestra and its team. I think that the opportunity will really push me as a composer and I look forward to growing and learning throughout the year.

What’s buzzing on the London music scene right now?

There is a lot going on! Currently in jazz, I’m looking forward to the release of trumpeter Miguel Gorodi’s nonet album as I’ve been following his ensemble for a while. Other fantastic work that will be released later this year includes Joe Armon-Jones’ Brownswood record Starting Today amongst a multitude of other things.

There is always an incredible performance to see in London almost every day – we are very lucky to be surrounded by so much art!

It was the Spring equinox yesterday, so it feels like an optimistic turn of season.  What’s your biggest hope for this year?

My biggest hope is that I can smile and look back on 2018 knowing that I applied myself whilst working as hard as I could. This applies to both my craft as a musician/composer and also as an individual. Being a musician is a constant journey of self-improvement and growth and I look forward to seeing what I’ve achieved come 2019.

Want to see Cassie play on 28th March at the Hospital Club? Then become an Abram Wilson Foundation Trailblazer and get invited to special gigs and access to exclusive offers. Your support will ensure that the next generation has the opportunity to discover the greatness version of themselves through music. Sign up to become a regular donor HERE. Or find out more about Trailblazing with us HERE