Al MacSween began playing the piano at the age of 5 and formed his first group by the age of 11. At 18 he went to Leeds College of Music to study a Bachelors in jazz piano, where he also began studies in Indian classical improvisation leading to yearly study trips to Kolkatta, India.
He has been involved with the UK Latin scene, performing at the Havana Jazz Festival and La Palacia De La Rumba in Cuba, and studied under legendary Cuban pianist Rodolfo Argudín ‘Perochin’.
Al’s experiences playing with a staggering number of artists including Omar Puente, Nubya Garcia, Yelfris Valdes, Soumik Datta and Sarathy Korwar, have shaped his rich palette of influences, ranging from jazz, Afro-Cuban and West-African music to Indian classical, Middle Eastern and electronic music.
Al is leader and founder of award-winning collective Kefaya, who recently collaborated on a new album with Afghan folk singer Elaha Soroor.
He has also worked with artists including Ruby Turner MBE, London Community Gospel Choir, Debashish Bhattacharya, Dennis Rollins, Abram Wilson and Pee Wee Ellis: with Palestinian jazz singer Reem Kelani, Kurdish vocalist Olcay Bayir and kora player Kadialy Kouyate. He also writes and performs with London-based Spiritual-Afro-Jazz band, Maisha, who recently released an LP with legendary jazz saxophonist, Gary Bartz.