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30 under 30

To mark the 30th anniversary of Glasgow Jazz Festival, in 2016 we launched the 30 Under 30 strand to celebrate some of the up-and-coming musicians within the Scottish Jazz scene.  This list of 30 individuals is updated each year to ensure the members are under 30 years old, and reflect those that are making waves in the global music scene.

 

Adam Jackson

Adam Jackson

Adam Jackson is a composer and saxophonist based in and around the Glasgow area. Adam began studying music at the age of 5, learning basic tunes on the piano. In high school he was selected to play trombone. In an effort to avoid carrying a trombone to school every day he managed to convince his teacher to let him try the Alto Saxophone instead. This led him to playing in various bands in the school, where he first discovered his love for jazz and improvisation.

At the age of 17, Adam moved to Birmingham, England to study at the Birmingham Conservatoire. It was here where Adam was lucky enough to study with some of the worlds most incredible musicians, including but not limited to, Julian Siegel, Jean Toussaint, Mike Williams, Hans Koller and Liam Noble. He also studied with visiting artists, such as Dave Holland, Dave Binney, Dan Weiss and John Hollenbeck. Upon graduating, Adam has performed with his own band at numerous venues including the renowned Cheltenham Jazz Festival. Since then he prefers more of a side man role, playing with the likes of Hansu-Tori, Euan Burton, Ben Macdonald, The Elusive Tree, Pete Johnstone and John Lowrie.

Alan Benzie
Piano

Alan Benzie

Piano 29

From Glasgow Based in Glasgow

Alan Benzie

Winner of the BBC Scotland Young Jazz Musician at only 17, pianist/composer Alan Benzie is one of the UK’s most exciting young talents. He has won a string of high profile awards in the last few years, including the prestigious Billboard Award at Berklee College of Music. Previous winners include Japanese pianist Uehara Hiromi, and saxophonists Jaleel Shaw and Walter Smith III – Alan is the first musician from the UK to win the award. His mixture of flowing lyricism, spontaneous creativity and explosive energy has earned him consistent critical praise, with performances over the last few years in the UK, US, across Europe and Japan.

Alan started his musical education on violin at the age of 8, with little interest in piano until he discovered jazz in his teens. Inspired by encounters with Swedish trio, EST, he switched to piano and has never looked back. Within a year he was a regular on both the Scottish youth and professional jazz scenes, appearing alongside established Scottish and visiting international artists. In 2007, the BBC award was followed by a major scholarship to Boston-based Berklee College of Music, where he studied with the famed JoAnne Brackeen and Laszlo Gardony.

2015 saw the release of Alan’s debut album “Traveller’s Tales”, recorded with his working trio of friends and long-time collaborators Andrew Robb on bass, and Marton Juhasz on drums. Inspired by his recent travels, the landscape of his native Scotland and his love of Japanese animation, the music has its roots in European and American jazz, with influences from impressionist piano music, Scottish and Japanese folk musics, and film music. The trio released their second album “Little Mysteries” this year, with an extensive European and UK tour, and subsequently won Best Album in the 2018 Scottish Jazz Awards.

A versatile pianist and keyboard player, Alan is involved with numerous other bands, including fusion juggernaut Fat-Suit, groovy world music/jazz group Mezcla, an atmospheric duo with young vocalist Luca Manning and heavy prog-jazz with Joe Williamson’s Animal Society.

“Benzie’s playing has a hushed yet yearning quality to it; an exquisite touch and elegant virtuosity make for a thoroughly engaging listen.” Jazzwise

“Benzie has an orchestrator’s ear for detail in his compositions… His spontaneous creativity impressed even more as improvisations were developed with a clear sense of direction and sustained with inspired phrases” Rob Adams, The Herald

“Most impressive was piano prodigy Alan Benzie… Possessing impeccable technique, and musical imagination, Benzie confirmed his position as a prominent figure in Scotland’s contemporary scene.” The Scotsman

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Trumpet

Alex Sharples

Trumpet 27

From Aberdeen Based in Glasgow

Alex Sharples

Alex plays trumpet in long-standing Scottish contemporary jazz collective Fat-Suit, a landmark on the scene since their conception. The group are releasing their 4th album this Autumn, recorded at the Drygate Brewery. As a result of his musical endeavours, Alex has had the pleasure of performing all over Europe. Highlights include the Love Supreme Jazz Festival, Jazz Dock (CZ), Art Jazz Cooperation (UA), Budapest Jazz Club (HU), London Jazz Festival, and T in the Park. Alex also enjoys participating in other musical genres. He has performed with indie rock group Pronto Mama supporting acts such as Jamie Cullum, Frightened Rabbit, and Fatherson.

In 2018 & 2019 Alex travelled to Bremen for the conference event “jazzahead!” to support “Jazz from Scotland” in their mission to present Scottish Jazz on an international platform. In Autumn 2018 he took on the role of Programmer for the The Blue Arrow Jazz Club, as part of “432 presents” – formerly “Synergy Concerts” (Hug & Pint, Doune the Rabbit Hole, National Whisky Festival).

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andrew robb
Bass

Andrew Robb

Bass 29

From Edinburgh Based in London

Andrew Robb

Since winning 1st Prize at the European Society of Bassists Jazz Competition in 2018, Andrew Robb is beginning to establish himself as one of the most versatile and talented young double bassists in Europe. Growing up in Edinburgh, Scotland, he started learning double bass at the age of seven and became immersed in classical and jazz music. Equally versatile in both styles, Andrew left George Heriot’s School in 2007 and finished a 7th year at St Mary’s Specialist Music School in 2008.

He graduated with BMus Jazz at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama 2012. During his time there he led the double bass section of the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland and won the BBC Radio Scotland Young Jazz Musician of the Year in 2009. This led to his music being featured on BBC Scotland and BBC Radio 3 as well as performing at the Edinburgh, Glasgow and London Jazz festivals.

As a sideman he plays with the award-winning Alan Benzie Trio, Henry Spencer’s Juncture, Renato D’Aiello’s Quartet resident on Monday nights at Ronnie Scott’s and jazz folk group Twelfth Day. Andrew completed a Masters in Jazz Performance at the Grieg Academy of Music in Bergen in 2018. His co-founded trio AMS, with Mathias Marstrander and Sigurd Steinkopf, is releasing their debut album in December 2019 on the Øra Fonogram label with a tour planned across the UK and Norway.

Andrew has had the pleasure of playing with the legendary US singer Salena Jones, Norwegian Jazz legends Dag Arnesen and Knut Kristainsen, the Art Blakey alumnus Valery Ponomarev, saxophone stars Tim Garland and Tommy Smith, organist Tony Monaco, UK pianists Julian Joseph and Kit Downes, singer Cleveland Watkis and trumpeter Byron Wallen. He has toured extensively in the UK and across Europe.

Andrew is a sought-after educator of Jazz, Improvisation, and Double Bass. He has worked with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, The National Youth Jazz Collective, The National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Scotland and The National Children’s Orchestra of Scotland. His workshop series Freeing The Music has given improvisation workshops across the UK and recently completed a successful composition collaboration with the National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain.

He was appointed Head of Jazz at St Mary’s Specialist Music School, Edinburgh in 2018. He is a guest instrumental tutor at Edinburgh University.

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Bass

Brodie Jarvie

Bass 28

From East Kilbride Based in Glasgow

Brodie Jarvie

As one of the freshest and most driving forces on the Scottish Jazz scene today, Brodie has shown his strengths as a bass player, bandleader and a composer on multiple occasions.

Through the years he has worked and recorded with many esteemed musicians including Tommy Smith, The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, Texas and his own projects (Quintet, Trio, Septet).

Although known for his big, yet intimate sound, versatility and creative curiosity, Brodie’s fine sensitivity to the fibres of music makes him as much a grounding force on the bass as an independent voice in any ensemble. His music conjures a feeling of concentric shapes, designed for melodic and harmonic explorations, for both the audience and the band members. The well-contoured play between tension and release puts the music in a constant momentum, drawing the listener closer to the music.

Brodie’s compositions can be as an anthem of a Celtic fairyland, two-feet-on-the-ground ideas combined with an equal portion of mystique and intrigue.

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Drums

Corrie Dick

Drums 28

From Glasgow Based in London

Corrie Dick

At the rhythmic epicentre of a new era of innovative British jazz is Corrie Dick, a musician and composer lauded for his fluency, touch and euphoric abandon at the drum kit as well as his prolific body of work. He is an essential component of any project lead by Laura Jurd including Mercury Prize Shortlisted Dinosaur; provides the intricate and fluent sick work in the Elliot Galvin Trio; brings intense, free colours to Danish powerhouse bassist Jasper Høiby’s exciting Fellow Creatures; writes deep and spiritual music for Blue-Eyed Hawk; and provides the full spectrum of rhythmic elements for guitar wunderkind Rob Luft’s ensemble. He also leads his own joy-inducing supergroup, releasing his debut album with the ensemble in November 2015, selling out concerts across the UK ever since. The album displays Corrie’s striking abilities as composer/lyricist by skilfully fusing Celtic folk and contemporary jazz with new takes on African rhythms.

Since his graduation as a gold medal student from Trinity Laban’s prestigious jazz course, Corrie has honed his playing and composing from his base in South East London’s hub of creativity. The young master of contemporary grooves has studied traditional music in Ghana and Morocco where the rhythm is rich and layered, and also in his home land of Scotland where rhythm and melody have melded for centuries.

His investigations in rhythm have lead to a series of solo drum and percussion concerts at venues like Vortex and King’s Place. Here he demonstrates untapped perspectives on an instrument that bathes in potential, as Corrie puts it, “here’s an instrument that holds in it a bold combination of cultures – marching bass and snare drum, West-African toms and Turkish cymbals, it’s genius, and it’s healthy to celebrate where these elements came from.”

A winner of no shortage of accolades – Corrie picked up BBC’s ‘Young Scottish Jazz Musician of the Year 2013’ prize, Scottish Jazz Awards ‘Up and Coming Artist’ in 2012, countless others during his time at college and has attended countless other award ceremonies as a nominee for the likes of Jazz FM’s ‘Jazz Act of the Year’, and the UK Parliament’s ‘Best Newcomer’ and ‘Album of the Year’ – Corrie owes his talents to the myriad supportive communities he has himself been crucial to. He is an alumni of both Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland and has been mentored by the likes of Mark Guiliana and Kendrick Scott as well as Ghanaian kpanlogo master Saddiq Addy, nephew of the legendary Mustapha Tettey Addy. He has also studied the traditional and modern music of Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Benin and DR Congo alongside his prodigious creative companion, guitarist Rob Luft.

Corrie is an original, open-minded, questing talent who is destined to extend the parameters of what it means to be a drummer.

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david bowden
Bass

David Bowden

Bass 27

From England Based in Glasgow

David Bowden

David Bowden is an award-winning bass player and composer based in Glasgow, working primarily in the field of jazz and contemporary improvised music.

Originally from London, David moved to Glasgow in 2011 to study on the Jazz course at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, graduating with first class honours and the 2015 Yamaha Jazz Scholarship award. He has also spent time studying abroad in Amsterdam and Ghana. In February, David became BBC Young Scottish Jazz Musician of the Year 2017 and has led ensembles at the Glasgow Jazz Festival, Edinburgh Jazz festival and London Jazz Festival.

David specialises in writing genre-spanning instrumental music for bespoke ensembles. His main musical focus currently is leading the acclaimed world/jazz fusion ensemble ‘Mezcla’. David composes all of the music for Mezcla, much of which is influenced by his time studying music in Ghana, and the band have performed at London Jazz Festival, BBC Music’s Biggest Weekend and various other festivals.

David is a co-leader of the contemporary jazz quartet ‘Square One’ described as a ‘powerhouse of Scottish Jazz talent’ by BBC Radio Scotland. The band won the Peter Whittingham award 2015 and released their debut album to critical acclaim followed by a tour of the UK and Poland. David is also a founding member of the Fergus McCreadie Trio and is an in-demand sideman, having performed with the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, Fat-Suit, Dosca and the Enrico Zanisi Trio, to name a few. Recent performance highlights have included festivals across the UK as well as performances in Norway, Australia, Czech Republic, Poland, France, Belgium, Holland and Zambia.

David is also active as an educator, working regularly for Glasgow Council’s Instrumental Service teaching Lower Strings in a variety of projects. He has also worked with RCS Musicworks, SYJO, Fife Council and Sistema Scotland and as a 2016 National Youth Jazz Collective Ambassador.

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Piano

Declan Forde

Piano

From Glasgow Based in Berlin

Declan Forde

Declan Forde was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1992. In 2014, after completing his Bachelor studies at Leeds College of Music he relocated to Berlin and has since established himself as one of the most in demand pianists on the Jazz and Improvised Music scenes there.

He is currently the recipient of the Yorkshire Live Music Project Bursary (2014-2016) and was a finalist in the Young Scottish Jazz Musician of the Year 2015. In Berlin Forde plays regularly with The Far East Trio and James Banner’s Eleven as well as Declan Forde’s SPROGGITS who will release their debut album later this year on U.K. label New Jazz Records.

‘Impudent, benign hooliganism’ Rob Adams, The Herald

‘Prodigiously talented’ – Bebop Spoken Here

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Piano

Fergus McCreadie

Piano

From Dollar Based in Glasgow

Fergus McCreadie

Labeled as “the most exciting new talent to emerge from Scotland in a decade” (Jazz Scotland), the Fergus McCreadie Trio are poised to take a place as one of Jazz’s most compelling outfits. Comprising of McCreadie on Piano, David Bowden on Bass, and Stephen Henderson on drums, the music in an innovative blend of Jazz and Scottish Traditional Music. The compositions are new, fresh and exciting – but they also strike that point of familiarity for a listener that can make them seem like songs they have known since childhood. Improvisational freedom clashes with the rugged beauty of Scottish landscape to create a space where an audience can languish in the vivid imagery of Scotland’s scenery while also being challenged by the unpredictable nature of improvised music. Particularly notable about the trio is their deep empathy and connection with one another – the band have a group dynamic that can only be achieved through years of playing, performing and recording together.

In 2018, the trio released their debut album, ‘Turas’ (Scottish Gaelic for Journey) to rave reviews. The album features 8 original compositions, designed to take the listener on an auditory journey of the band’s native land. From the West Hebrides to the East Neuk of Fife, the music paints an evocative picture of the landscapes it has taken inspiration from. The Scotsman described the album as “Erik Satie on Islay Malt rather than Absinthe” while famous magazine JazzWise labeled the trio as “simply outstanding”. The strength of the album was affirmed at the 2019 Scottish Jazz Awards, where nominations were recieved for Best Band and Best Album. McCreadie, Bowden and Henderson are also awards winners in their own right – McCreadie is a winner of the Best Instrumentalist at the Scottish Jazz Awards, while Bowden is a former Young Scottish Jazz Musician and Henderson named “one to watch” by JazzWise.

in 2019, the trio embarked upon their first international tour – their 18 concerts took them to Norway, Sweden, Lithuania, Estonia, and Ronnie Scott’s in London, as well as across Scotland. Future plans include more dates in Autumn (including a performance at Stockholm Jazz Festival), and another album in 2020.

“Precocious talent may abound in circles but it is rare that they elicit such a warm and positive feeling…compositions that are impeccably played, memorable and thought provoking by turns.”– Jazz Views

“Simply outstanding” – Jazzwise

“A virtuosic technique…high in emotional depth” – Tommy Smith

“Think Erik Satie running on Islay Malt rather than Absinthe” – The Scotsman

“Prodigious, cascading technique while communicating warmth of personality” – The Herald

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Piano

Fraser Urquhart

Piano 25

From Edinburgh Based in Edinburgh

Fraser Urquhart

Fraser Urquhart is a jazz pianist from Edinburgh. Since breaking onto the scene eight years ago he has established himself as one of the go-to straight-ahead piano players in Scotland, celebrated for his taste, vast repertoire and for winning ‘Rising Star’ at the 2017 Scottish jazz awards. He performs his distinctive swinging music regularly at jazz festivals across the country and leads his own Quintet with his father, guitarist Dougie Urquhart, and Tenor Sax star John Burgess. Fraser performs most frequently with his bassist and mentor Ed Kelly in duo and trio settings. More recently, Fraser co-led a project with London Sax player Fraser Smith called ‘Fraser and Fraser’. The group’s first recording, featuring some of London’s best jazz musicians, is due for release next year.

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Drums

Graham Costello

Drums 27

From Strathaven Based in Glasgow

Graham Costello

“Graham Costello is set to join the ranks as one of the genre’s most compelling innovators in the UK.” – The List

Graham Costello is a Scottish drummer, composer and visual artist based in Glasgow.

He started playing drums at age six, being self-taught until he began studying Jazz at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland – where he graduated with a First Class Honours degree. He started his music career by being involved in Glasgow’s vibrant underground/ independent scene, first with his noise rock duo Young Philadelphia then with the electro-psych krautrock band Outblinker. With these bands he toured all over Europe, and experienced the amazing warmth and breadth of the continental independent music scene.

Graham Costello’s STRATA
He then formed his band STRATA to bridge the gap between the independent scene and the jazz scene, spearheading a new approach and sound in the growing Scottish improvised music landscape. STRATA were named “One’s to Watch in 2019” by Jazzwise, and this year in February released their debut album “OBELISK”. It has received critical acclaim all across the UK, including a 5-star review in The Scotsman, with Clash Magazine stating the album as “startling, groundbreaking…it explodes definitions to seize fresh space”. After their sold-out album launch at the CCA in Glasgow, The Fountain wrote “There is a new golden generation in Scottish jazz and this band are at its cutting edge.”

Since February 2017, STRATA have held a continuous monthly residency at one of Glasgow’s most popular independent venues Bloc+ – a venue very much in keeping with the band’s ethos of bringing improvised music to new audiences, and fusing scenes together.

Graham is also involved in some of the other leading bands in the scene including AKU, Animal Society, and frequently collaborates with Manchester based DJ/producer Werkha.

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Sax

Heather Macintosh

Sax 29

From Largs Based in Glasgow

Heather Macintosh

Heather Macintosh graduated with a BA in Applied Music from Strathclyde University in 2011. She was born in Glasgow in 1989 the first of three sisters and started playing piano at the age of 9, moving on to saxophone at 13. Whilst studying at University, Heather began working with the Glasgow International Jazz Festival, an association which continues today. She has also worked as a freelance booking agent for several of Scotland’s leading Jazz musicians including Graeme Stephen, Nigel Clark & Tommy Smith, and has previously held the baritone sax chair of the Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra and the National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Scotland. Based in Glasgow, she currently works as a freelance musician, teaches woodwind & piano privately, as well as holding the post of woodwind instructor at Belmont House School and Youth Music Initiative practitioner with North Ayrshire Council. She is also the Manager of busy function band Funk Nation. Heather has been a Board Member of the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra for the last four years and has recently joined the board of the Scottish Jazz Federation.

helena kay
Sax

Helena Kay

Sax 25

From Perth Based in London

Helena Kay

Helena grew up in Perth, Scotland and moved to London in 2012 to begin studying at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, graduating in 2016 with a First Class in BMus Jazz (Hons) and receiving the Anjool Malde Jazz Prize for the highest jazz final recital mark that year. In 2015 she won the Young Scottish Jazz Musician of the Year, and in 2017 she won the Peter Whittingham Jazz Award which she used to record and release her debut album Moon Palace. She recorded the album with her band Helena Kay’s KIM trio, featuring David Ingamells on drums and Ferg Ireland on double bass, which was released on Ubuntu Music in December 2018.

Helena also plays with various groups such as Calum Gourlay Quartet, Issie Barratt’s Interchange Dectet, Paul Towndrow’s Keywork Orchestra, EuroRadio Jazz Orchestra 2017, Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, Barry Green/Helena Kay Quartet, Helena Kay/Peter Johnstone duo. She has performed at various festivals such as London Jazz Festival, Glasgow Jazz Festival, D’Jazz Nevers Festival, Manchester Jazz Festival, Aberdeen Jazz Festival, Scarborough Jazz Festival, Cheltenham Jazz Festival, and venues such as Ronnie Scott’s, The Royal Albert Hall, The Vortex, Cadogan Hall, Pizza Express Dean St.

Moon Palace leaves the listener wanting more of Kay’s rich playing… it’s remarkably self-assured and forecasts an imaginative career to come.’ Ammar Kalia, Downbeat 

Kay and her trio confirmed both their understated group virtuosity and command of narrative drive.’ Mike Hobart, Financial Times

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Guitar

Joe Williamson

Guitar 25

From Newcastle Based in Glasgow

Joe Williamson

Having been awarded the title of Young Scottish Jazz Musician Of The Year in June 2018, Joe has been hailed as ”a crucial contributor to the bands that define the Scottish jazz scene’s current strength” (The Herald).

Hailing from the North East of England, and is now resident in Glasgow, where he graduated from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland with first-class honours. A versatile musician, Joe is well-versed in the jazz tradition, but in his own music draws from a much wider pool of influences – folk music, the great blues and rock guitarists, and progressive rock.

In 2019, Joe will be releasing some of his most innovative new music, with his new group ‘Animal Society’. Described as ‘the heavier side of fusion‘, the group was born of a desire to bring together the creative spirit and rhythmic explorations of modern jazz with powerful prog-rock riffs and anthemic melodies. Animal Society will be releasing their debut material in the spring of this year.

Joe is the leader of award-winning quartet Square One, known for their free-spirited original music and energised live performances, winners of the Peter Whittingham Jazz Award in 2015. In 2018, Square One released their second album ‘Double Bind’ in collaboration with US saxophone veteran Andy Middleton.

Joe also performs in Graham Costello’s STRATA, named as ‘One To Watch in 2019’ by Jazzwise magazine.  blend stylistic elements of jazz, minimalism, and celebrated progressive/noise bands together with a strong DIY ethic, winning over audiences with towering dynamics and a raw and genuine enthusiasm. The music explores polyrhythm, collective groove and, at it’s true core, improvisation. February 2019 will see the release of their full length debut album “OBELISK”.

Other highlights of Joe’s career so far include performances with the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra alongside Kurt Elling and Tommy Smith, performing with upcoming jazz singer-songwriter Georgia Cecile, performing and recording with vocalist & arranger Seonaid Aitken and the Clockwork String Orchestra, and being commissioned by the Glasgow Jazz Festival in 2016 to write a new piece celebrating the festival’s 30th anniversary.

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Sax

Joe Wright

Sax 29

From Aberdeen Based in London

Joe Wright

Joe Wright is an award winning saxophonist and electronic musician working around the UK as an improviser, sound designer, composer and musical director. He is currently a full time PhD student at Birmingham Conservatoire, a member of the electro-instrumental improvising trio duck-rabbit, performs improvised solo saxophone sets, and works as the musical director of the children’s music & movement company aboutNOWish. All of his musical activities centre around presenting improvisation and textural sound to different audiences in various settings.

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Drums

John Lowrie

Drums

From Dumfries Based in Glasgow

John Lowrie

John Lowrie plays drums/piano with Adam Holmes and The Embers and Blue Rose Code.

Guitar

John Patton

Guitar

From Greenock Based in Glasgow

John Patton

Born in Greenock, Scotland, 12/12/1992 John Patton took up the guitar at age 7 and was self taught until late in high school when he joined Strathclyde Youth Jazz Orchestra and began to have an interest in Jazz. He has now performed along side some of the countries most exciting acts and musicians such as Fat-Suit and Tommy Smith as well as having performed throughout Europe and also at the prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival. John has also performed some of his own compositions live on the BBC Jazz House as well as receiving regular radio play of his recorded tracks on other stations. Patton is always creating new music and released his debut album Green 14 in 2015 which features some of the best talent on the Scottish Jazz scene Green 14 is available to buy from CD baby as a digital download. John has recently finished his 3rd year of his Jazz degree at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland under the tutelage of Jazz giant Tommy Smith. He is set to move to Malaysia in August to begin teaching guitar, bass and drums at the international school in Kuala Lumpur. John was also featured in this years Young Scottish Jazz Musician of the Year which had only 5 places to offer and featured some of the best upcoming jazz talent in Britain.

Drums

Jonathan Silk

Drums 28

From Dollar Based in Birmingham

Jonathan Silk

Jonathan is a Scottish drummer, composer and band leader living and working in Birmingham and the surrounding area. Since graduating from the city’s Conservatoire in 2011 with a First Class Honours degree, he has been developing his projects with a focus on composition study and performance. He performs regularly across the UK with his own projects with recent performances at many of the top festivals including, Cheltenham, Glasgow and London Jazz Festivals.

As a sideman in many other projects, he also performs regularly with Young Pilgrims, Tom Syson, Meraki, Mike Fletcher and many more.

FORJ :

Forj is an exciting quartet led by drummer Jonathan Silk, featuring the critically acclaimed and long time friend and collaborator, Nick Jurd on double bass alongside the incredible musicianship of two of London’s finest improvisers, Joe Wright and Josh Arcoleo on tenor saxophones. This band promises high octane grooves and expansive improvisation across a whole series of original compositions.

Forj attempt to bridge the gap between chaos and purpose. With original compositions as a framework, the band move to reshape what the music is at every outing. With improvisation at the heart of the ensemble, every performance is a new experience.

Performing a rocky, but subtle, set of intricate grooves and diverse melodies, inspired by the exploratory improvisations of Jim Black, Ornette Coleman and Chris Lightcap, Forj blur the lines between composition and improvisation in a highly interactive manner in this exciting chordless ensemble.

“a wild, muscular delight.” – London Jazz News
“it was a joy to hear the interaction between Wright and Arcoleo” – Tony Dudley-Evans

Jonathan Silk Big band :The Jonathan Silk Big Band is an 18-piece ensemble dedicated to performing original compositions written for the band by the leader himself. Exploring high-octane grooves in contrast with delicately orchestrated ballads, the band consists of a highly versatile selection of some of Birmingham and London’s finest improvisers on the current UK Jazz scene.

With the release of their second album, Fragment on Stoney Lane Records, the ensemble is augmented with a graceful 13-piece string orchestra, expanding the palette of this already dynamic ensemble, echoing the inspirational sounds of the Metropole Orchestra whilst maintaining a high integrity with the fundamental root of the big band groove.

“An exciting collection of melodious, joyful and youthful new music created by a fine young musician Jonathan Silk. I’m sure we will hear plenty more from him in the coming years. Very reassuring hearing ‘the music’ in such good hands.” – Stan Sulzmann

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Trombone

Kevin Garrity

Trombone 28

From Glasgow Based in Glasgow

Kevin Garrity

Kevin Garrity is a jazz trombonist based in Glasgow. Having learned to play trombone at his school in North Lanarkshire, he quickly went on to become involved in some of Scotland’s premier youth jazz orchestras including SYJO, NYJOS and the Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra and twice reached the final of BBC Young Scottish Jazz Musician of the year. At the age of 18 he earned his first performance with the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra and has since recorded on their album, Torah and played on projects with artists such as Bill Evans and Grammy Winners Randy Brecker and Kurt Elling. He has also performed with artists as diverse as Ken Mathieson’s Classic Jazz Orchestra, Martha Reeves and the Vandella’s and folk artists such as Blue Rose Code

Trombone

Kieran McLeod

Trombone 29

From Aberdeen Based in London

Kieran McLeod

Kieran McLeod is an award winning jazz trombonist and composer from Aberdeen. He is a current member of the Julian Argelles Septet, Iain Ballamy’s Anorak XL, Scottish National Jazz Orchestra and the Keith Tippett Octet. Since moving to London, Kieran has graduated from the Royal Academy of Music’s Jazz course and has performed with artists of international fame such as Snarky Puppy, BBC Big Band, Ken Peplowski and Stan Sulzmann. As a bandleader, Kieran is regularly touring the UK with his sextet New World and his 30 piece Big Band, Human Resource System who have been described as ‘possibly THE top band of rising talent on the London scene’. Kieran has recently been touring festivals in Cuba with Nomad Collective and across Europe with both Riot Jazz and Young Pilgrims

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Trombone & Guitar

Liam Shortall

Trombone & Guitar 27

From Dumfries Based in Glasgow

Liam Shortall

Liam Shortall grew up in Dumfries playing trombone & guitar in the Dumfries Youth jazz Group. After moving to Glasgow at the age of 16 to study at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Liam joined various notable jazz groups and projects in Scotland, including Graham Costello’s STRATA, Fat-Suit, AKU! & Tom Mcguire & The Brassholes. He then joined the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra at the age of 20 and continues to tour and work with this highly celebrated orchestra, having had the opportunity to play with world renowned jazz artists such as Bill Dobbins, Tommy Smith, Martin Taylor, Makoto Ozone & many more.

Recently Liam has started his nu-jazz collective ‘corto.alto’, which strives to bring the genre of Jazz together with Modern Soul, Afrobeat & Hip-Hop. And showcases many other talented musicians from Scotland’s growing young jazz scene.
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Vocals

Luca Manning

Vocals 20

From Glasgow Based in London

Luca Manning

Luca Manning is an award winning Jazz vocalist and composer from Glasgow, Scotland. He is inspired by a wide range of artists and musical styles, as well as being firmly rooted in the tradition of jazz. Luca has had the opportunity to perform at various festivals across the UK – opening for the likes of Georgie Fame and Becca Stevens. His ability as not just a consummate vocalist but a gifted improviser, continues to enthral audiences and shows maturity well beyond his years. In 2018, Luca was voted ‘Rising Star’ at the Scottish Jazz Awards and was also nominated in the ‘Best Vocalist’ category.

Now resident in London, Luca is fast making a name for himself. He is in his second year at the Guildhall School of Music on the Bmus Jazz degree and already has played major London venues such as Pizza Express Jazz Club and Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in Soho leading his own ensembles. He has also become a vocal chair holder with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra since January 2018, a member of the London Vocal Project(2018), and in December 2017, was invited by Liane Carroll to guest on her sold-out Christmas show at Ronnie Scott’s.

Luca has successfully completed an advanced diploma in Jazz Studies under the tuition of saxophonist, Richard Ingham and is now studying on the Bmus(hons) Jazz degree course at the renowned Guildhall School of Music, London under the direction of Malcolm Edmonstone. Luca’s studies are currently supported by the Guildhall School scholarship fund, The Cross Trust and The Dewar Arts Awards.

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Drums

Mark Scobbie

Drums 28

From Dundee Based in Glasgow

Mark Scobbie

Originally from Dundee, Mark began playing drums at the age of 13, playing in various school ensembles and bands such as orchestras, funk bands, big bands and a steel pans band. Mark progressed rapidly and won various awards at Dundee Schools Music Festivals while also performing outside of school in various other bands and projects. Accepted onto the BA Applied Music course at the University of Strathclyde in 2009, Mark really began to push himself and further his playing. Exposed to various styles of music on a daily basis Mark’s musical pallet grew immensely as he began performing in various bands and ensembles in Glasgow. Mark graduated with a 1st classhonours degree from the BA Applied Music course while also receiving an Alexander Stone Award for excellence in his final recital. Shortly after graduating Mark found himself performing live on BBC Radio Scotland as a competitor in the BBC Young Scottish Jazz Musician of the Year 2013. Since then Mark has been performing professionally with various bands including The Scott Wood Band, Fat-Suit and most recently Mànran. Between these bands Mark has been involved in a lot of recording and gigging, including extensive tours of Europe and more recently Australia.

Piano

Peter Johnstone

Piano 29

From Glasgow Based in Glasgow

Peter Johnstone

Pianist Peter Johnstone is a native of Glasgow whose prodigious talents have already brought him prominence in UK jazz circles. An intelligent and virtuosic improviser, Peter is in demand in the Scottish scene, known for playing with his own trio featuring bassist Brodie Jarvie and drummer John Lowrie, The Peter Johnstone Organ Quartet, collaborative quartet “Square One”, Ben McDonald’s “Animus Quartet”, The Brodie Jarvie Septet, The Paul Towndrow Organ Trio and The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra.

Peter is also an accomplished classical pianist, having completed a Masters Degree at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2016, and is currently working towards a doctorate in piano performance.

Peter’s talents have been nationally recognised, having won the BBC Young Scottish Jazz Musician of the Year in 2012, and in 2013 was chosen to be a Yamaha scholar.

Rachel Lightbody
Vocals

Rachel Lightbody

Vocals 29

From Largs Based in Glasgow

Rachel Lightbody

Vocalist, Rachel Lightbody is a young talent based in Glasgow. Growing up in Chicago she was immersed from a very young age in the sounds of American song. From Billie Holliday to James Taylor, the family home was always filled with music and sparked her early interest in performance. Fast-forward to today and you’ll find her constantly singing with peers and mentors live and in the studio across Scotland, as well as teaching and working creatively in the community.

 Upon attending Strathclyde University’s BA Applied Music course, Rachel became involved in many different styles as well as the thriving and ever changing live music scene in Glasgow. She graduated with a first class honours in 2011 focusing on contemporary and jazz vocal as well as composition. It was at university were she would meet musicians and be exposed to different genres which would inspire her musical movements and enable her voice to grow into a versatile and mature instrument. As well as performing solo Rachel has a busy session-schedule working with artists such as Fat-Suit, Flembot, Alyn Cosker, Siobhan Miller, The Elusive Tree Ensemble and Angus Munro.

As well as a singer, Rachel has also worked extensively as a teacher, focusing mostly in the areas of singing, songwriting and group work. Working with students ranging from all walks of life. “The energy that is created from a room full of people singing together is second to none. I strive to create that energy in my students everyday, in order to release the profound effects music has on us.”

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Trombone

Richard Foote

Trombone

From East Kilbride Based in Birmingham

Richard Foote

Richard Foote is a Jazz trombonist and promoter currently residing in Birmingham. As well as being a busy sideman in many projects across the UK, his main project is Young Pilgrims, a nine-piece brass band that play music rooted in the New Orleans Marching Band tradition but also heavily incorporates influences from rock and Indie. From Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games celebrations to the Paris Jazz Festival, they have entertained crowds across Europe with their rock influenced brass band sound. Originating in Birmingham this 9 piece band, began as a commission from the Jazzlines department of Town Hall Symphony Hall, Birmingham. Led by charismatic Scottish trombonist Richard Foote with members gathered from all over the UK, their music is about anything from imaginary French detective cartoons to all the Little Things that get in the way. Their brass heavy sound takes influence from the great New Orleans Second Line tradition and fuses it with contemporary rock grooves, simple yet complex melodies and plenty of improvisation to keep things unexpected. They have performed at a range of festivals and venues including LoveSupreme Festival, a three day residency at the London Jazz Festival, Birmingham’s Symphony Hall and Lunar Festival, winning fans for their energetic and engaging performances. In their hometown they’ve made a name for themselves with their monthly Pilgrimage shows which began as a monthly residency for the band to develop their music. Now a busy and important night for the scene, each event begins with a lively set from the Pilgrims after which they present guest acts from across the country in the cities legendary Hare & Hounds venue.

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Sax

Ruaridh Pattison

Sax 27

From Kinross Based in New York

Ruaridh Pattison

Twenty four year old jazz saxophonist Ruaridh Pattison was born in Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland. Aged eleven, he became inspired to learn the saxophone after hearing it played on the BBC television show Blue Peter. He soon discovered jazz and was instantly drawn to the freedom and expression. In 2010 he enrolled at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London from which he has now graduated with a first class honours degree in jazz saxophone. In 2011 he became the fifth Young Scottish Jazz Musician of the Year. Following this success he was endorsed by D’addario Woodwinds (formerly Rico Reeds) and performed at multiple festivals in the UK under his own name. This included performances at Edinburgh, Glasgow and London jazz festivals and being a featured soloist at the 16th World Saxophone Congress in St Andrews, Scotland. In late 2012, Pattison was asked by Tommy Smith to join the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, where he would lead the saxophone section for one and half years. He was the youngest member of the band at the time. Pattison had to leave his chair when he moved to New York City in August 2014. He is soon to graduate from the highly prestigious Juilliard School where he studies under Joe Temperely and Joe Magnarelli.

Sax

Scott Murphy

Sax 27

From Dumfries Based in Hong Kong

Scott Murphy

Hong Kong based Saxophonist Scott Murphy has been at the forefront of Scotland’s recent Jazz revival since graduating from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2014. During his extensive education at the RCS, Scott was lucky enough to share the stage with musicians of the highest quality such as Randy Brecker, Arild Andersen, Tommy Smith and Peter Erskine. This foundation led to him building a reputation as a unique and much sought after voice in British Jazz.
While living in Glasgow he was a driving force behind Scottish group Fat-Suit (including as Bandleader and composer/arranger)as well as a plethora of other projects. Since moving to Asia in 2016 he has played with Kuala Lumpur based “NewSound” all over South East Asia including appearances at the Singapore Jazz Festival, Kuala Lumpur International Jazz Festival and the Borneo Jazz Festival.
He has recorded two albums of original music in Asia with the groups “NewSound” and “NTBM”. Future collaborations with Stefan Karlsson, Kendrick Scott and Dayna Stephens in Hong Kong/China are also on the horizon.
Over the past few years Scott has performed with a wide variety of acts from different styles of music including pop music legend Billy Ocean, Jasmine Chen (of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ fame), saxophonist Will Vinson, Cantopop idol George Lam and guitar legend John Stowell.
Scott is a passionate educator of all ages and skill levels having been teaching since the age of 15. His focuses include saxophone, clarinet, composition, arranging and music theory. He has taught workshops and masterclasses all over the world including on behalf of Strathclyde University, for the Federation of British Schools in South East Asia and for Universiti Pendidkan Sultan Idris.
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Trumpet

Sean Gibbs

Trumpet 25

From Edinburgh Based in London

Sean Gibbs

Sean Gibbs is a trumpet player and composer/arranger born in Edinburgh on 12th July, 1993. After growing up playing with ensembles such as The Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra and The National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Scotland, he enrolled on the BMus (hons) jazz course at Birmingham Conservatoire aged 18. He graduated from the course with first class honours in June 2015, winning the BMus Jazz prize for ‘overall success on the programme and contribution to the life of the department and fellow students’. During his time at the conservatoire, he studied with esteemed trumpet players Percy Pursglove and Richard Iles, alongside many international guest artists, including Mark Turner, Kenny Garrett, Joe Lovano, Dave Holland and John Taylor.

Sean is now resident in London, and in demand as a performer across the UK and abroad. He leads his own band Fervour, who were awarded funding from Arts Council England to record their critically acclaimed debut album Taking Flight at the renowned Real World Studios and launch it with a UK tour in April 2018. Sean is also a member of the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra (with whom he has performed with guest soloists such as Kurt Elling, Joe Locke, Kenny Washington, Martin Taylor, Mike Mainieri, Brian Kellock, Laura Jurd and Eddi Reader), rock induced brass band Young Pilgrims, the Calum Gourlay Big Band, the Mike Fletcher Jazz Orchestra, the Martin Kershaw Octet and the Stella Roberts Sextet. As a freelance musician, Sean has performed with Jim Rattigan’s Pavillon, Eliza Carthy’s Wayward Band and Chris Dean’s Syd Lawrence Orchestra to name but a few.

Sean is also a prolific composer/arranger, having written many works for big band, including commissions for the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra and Greater Manchester Jazz Orchestra. His critically acclaimed debut big band album Burns, featuring original compositions inspired by the poetry of Robert Burns, was recorded by the Birmingham Jazz Orchestra (which Sean founded whilst living in Birmingham) and released in the summer of 2015. Material from this album has since been recorded by the Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra, and performed as far afield as the USA, by the University of Miami’s Frost Studio Jazz Band.

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Drums

Stephen Henderson

Drums 26

From Ayrshire Based in Glasgow

Stephen Henderson

“…sensitive, very aware drumming…” The Herald

“Stephen is a remarkable player: awe-inspiring, intelligent, cool, professional, committed and extremely meticulous in every musical environment he finds himself in.” Tommy Smith

Since Graduating from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2015 with first class honours, Stephen Henderson has been playing and touring in festivals across the UK and Europe. He plays in several award winning bands in the current Scottish music scene including; Square One, Mezcla, the Fergus McCreadie Trio, Spark Trio and folk/rock band Dosca. Stephen also composes his own music which as been performed and recorded by these bands, his compositions can be heard on Square One’s previous and upcoming album and also on Dosca’s debut album ‘Meridian.’

Stephen frequently plays the roll of sideman and has performed with various artists including James Tormè (LA) Leroy Jones, (New Orleans) Rob Luft, Alan Benzie, and Enrico Zanisi.
This year Stephen has been chosen by Jazzwise Magazine as one of the talents to look out for in 2018 and can be seen performing in London, Oslo, Glasgow and Edinburgh Jazz festivals with various artists.

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