Shabaka & the Ancestors is a modern avant-jazz octet led by British/Caribbean tenor saxophonist and composer Shabaka Hutchings. The rest of its membership is comprised entirely of South African members who include Mthunzi Mvubu (alto sax); Mandla Mlangeni (trumpet); Siyabonga Mthembu(vocals); Nduduzo Makhathini (Rhodes, piano); Ariel Zamonsky (bass); Gontse Makhene (percussion), and Tumi Mogorosi (drums). Shabaka Hutchings is a key figure in London’s community of younger jazz musicians, as well as the city’s thriving improvised music scene. For Hutchings, composition is a chronicle of the zeitgeist inhabited by a composer; an exposition of his or her search for meaning and the structuring of experiences in aid of recognising this meaning when it appears. As part of the Caribbean diaspora, he sees his role as that of pushing the boundaries of what musical elements are considered to be Caribbean. Constantly evaluating the nature of his relationship with musical material and tradition, he describes his attempts at composition as wrestling matches with questions of where and how the Caribbean can be encoded, and what happens when it is exposed to the western classical music cannon.