SAXES / WOODWIND
Liam Dunachie is a pianist and arranger. He studied music at Trinity College, Cambridge and subsequently jazz piano at the Guildhall School of Music. As a jazz musician he has performed at many of London’s premier jazz venues including a recent performance with his own trio at Ronnie Scott’s, and works regularly as a sideman in a diverse range of other groups and projects. As an arranger he has been commissioned by a wide range of organisations and ensembles including BBC Proms, City of London Sinfonia and was recently the pianist and co-arranger of a track by the NHS Choir which became UK Christmas No. 1 2015. He is currently Musical Director of the UK Tour of “Hairspray” the musical.
Rob Luft is an award-winning 22-year-old musician from London, and has often been described as one of the UK’s most promising young jazz guitarists. Having joined NYJO aged 15; Rob went on to study at The Royal Academy of Music. Subsequently, he co-founded the acclaimed tango quintet The Deco Ensemble, which has released one album, ‘Encuentro’. With this group, Rob has performed at The Wigmore Hall, The Purcell Room, and The Warsaw Philharmonic Hall, not to mention a whole host of other European cities. He is also a member of Martin Speake’s “Mafarowi”, Enzo Zirilli’s “Zirobop”, Byron Wallen’s “Four Corners”, and Adam Glasser’s quartet. Concert highlights include performances with Django Bates & Loose Tubes, Gregory Porter, Hamish Stuart, Eddie Parker’s “Mr. Vertigo”, Liane Carroll and Mark Lockheart.
Winner of the 2014 Kenny Wheeler Jazz Prize, Misha Mullov-Abbado is an in-demand bass player, composer and arranger based in London. He is a 2014 City Music Foundation Artist and recently released his debut album New Ansonia on Edition Records, which was selected in The Telegraph’s “Best Jazz Albums 2015”. Misha has performed at many top London venues as both a band leader and sideman, including Ronnie Scott’s, the Vortex, 606 Club, Pizza Express and the Elgar Room (as part of the BBC Proms Late series). An experienced composer, he won the 2014 Dankworth Prize for jazz composition and writes for a variety of jazz groups as well as classical soloists and ensembles.
From North West London, Scott became involved in big bands at a young age, and was NYJO's first call drummer at the age of sixteen. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music, during which time he won the 2013 Humphrey Lyttelton award and also a Yamaha Jazz Scholar prize the following year, upon graduating with a First-Class Honours degree. Working as a sideman with a selection of London-based contemporary jazz groups, he also has experience in West End theatre both as a pit musician and on stage as an actor-musician. Scott is also a keen composer, writing for the Patchwork Jazz Orchestra among other groups.
James Davison studied Classical Trumpet at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and is currently studying for a Masters in Jazz Performance at The Royal Academy of Music, kindly supported by the Countess of Munster Musical Trust. Alongside his studies, James regularly performs with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Concert Orchestra, the Syd Lawrence Orchestra and Pete Long's 'Jazz at the Philharmonic' band. He is currently lead trumpet in the National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO) and is a member of the Misha Mullov-Abbado Group, the Tom Green Septet and the Sam Watts Band, as well as running his own dixieland jazz band - The Dixie Strollers
Growing up in Manchester, Adam played with a variety of local bands whilst at Chetham's School. He moved to London aged 18 to study Jazz trumpet at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, graduating in 2014. In London, Adam joined NYJO and began freelancing with small groups, big bands and orchestras. His influences come from a breadth of styles, from folk to hip-hop and classical music. Currently, Adam plays in several original projects and continues to freelance across the UK. He has also played for several UK theatre productions, both on tour and West End. As an Indian food enthusiast, Adam can also recommend a good curry house in most cities in the UK, and doesn't take much convincing!
James grew up in a musical household and started playing the trumpet at a young age. He attended the junior jazz course at the Royal Academy of Music before going on to study there full time for a degree in music. During his time at the Academy, he became a proud recipient of the Derek Watkins Award. Over the past few years, James has travelled the world playing with people like the Syd Lawrence Orchestra, The ‘Riverdance’ company and Basement Jaxx. He has also performed with established bands like the BBC Big Band and the London Concert Orchestra in some of the top venues around the U.K
Tom Dennis is a trumpet player who graduated from Trinity Laban in 2014. He recently departed from the renowned 'National Youth Jazz Orchestra', of which he was a member for four years. Having studied with many of London's finest Jazz musicians and teachers, including Chris Batchelor and Julian Seigel, Tom has gone on to play both nationwide and internationally with many different musical outfits. In 2014 he was the recipient of a 'Yamaha Jazz Scholarship', which helped to launch his career as a performer in a diverse and ever-growing music scene.
Kieran McLeod is an award winning jazz trombonist and composer. He is a current member of the Jullian Argüelles Septet, Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, Iain Ballamy’s Anorak XL and the Keith Tippett Octet. Since moving from Aberdeen to London, Kieran has graduated from the Royal Academy of Music and has performed with artists of international fame such as Snarky Puppy, BBC Big Band, Branford Marsalis, Ken Peplowski, Dave Liebman and Benny Golson. He regularly performs with his own 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”. Most recently, Kieran has been touring festivals in Cuba with Nomad Collective and across Europe with Riot Jazz and Young Pilgrims.
Winner of the 2013 Dankworth Prize for Jazz Composition, Tom Green is a trombonist, composer and arranger who has been described as "a new rising star in the British jazz scene" (Nigel Williams, Jazz FM), and "a poised and nuanced improviser" (John Fordham, The Guardian). A graduate of the Royal Academy of Music jazz course, he has performed at venues including Ronnie Scott's, the Vortex and 606 Club, as well as the Montreux, Toronto and Montreal Jazz Festivals. His main project, the Tom Green Septet, released their debut album "Skyline" in February 2015 to critical acclaim, receiving 4* reviews in Jazzwise, the Telegraph and the Observer.
Jamie started playing the trombone at the age of 9 in London. Following his two years as the principal trombonist of the London Schools Symphony Orchestra, Jamie joined the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Since leaving the Guildhall in 2014, Jamie has enjoyed performing a wide range of musical styles with various ensembles including orchestras, pop bands, big bands, musical theatre productions and chamber groups at some of the UK’s top venues.
Yusuf started out on the trombone and euphonium at when he was 9, and the bass trombone from the age of 13 at the Junior Royal College of Music with Peter Harvey. He developed a keen interest in a diverse range of musical styles, and went to study classical bass trombone a The Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Dave Stewart, Simon Wills, Chris Houlding. Since leaving Guildhall in 2014 Yusuf has enjoyed playing with a varied array of bands, contemporary ensembles, big bands and Orchestras. He takes inspiration from Klezmer, the songs of Neil Hannon and the boombastic sound of George Roberts.
Saxes / Woodwind
Alto, Soprano, Flute
Matthew Herd is a London based saxophonist and composer. A keen writer and improviser Matthew leads his own band, 'Seafarers' as well as appearing in a number of other projects led by his contemporaries, and has written for small and large ensembles as well as for a selection of short films. Recently Matthew has recorded with Declan Forde's 'Sproggits', the Misha Mullov-Abbado Quintet and in a duo with percussionist Will Glaser. Originally from Glasgow he graduated in 2011 with a BA in Applied Music from the University of Strathclyde before moving to London to study at the Royal Academy of Music for an MMus in Jazz performance, graduating in 2014. Matthew is currently continuing his studies at the Royal Academy of Music, working towards a PhD.
Alex Hitchcock is a London-born saxophonist and composer, active on the UK scene with projects such as Resolution 88 and the Tom Smith Septet, as well as with his own quartet. He has performed with artists such as Soweto Kinch, Dennis Rollins, Laurence Cottle, and Stan Sulzmann, and programs regular jazz at the Green Note in Camden. He has been described as a 'fantastic young talent' (Helen Mayhew, Jazz FM) and an 'incredible young lion of the tenor sax' (Gareth Lockrane).
Sam graduated from the Royal Academy of Music Jazz course where he studied withmusicians such as Julian Siegel, Stan Sulzmann and Gareth Lockrane. He is also a keen pianist and has been taught by Nikki Iles and Pete Churchill. Hereceived the Yamaha Jazz Scholar Price 2013. Sam plays with numerous bands such as Trokesytra, The James Taylor Bigband and the Miles/Xenopoulos Quintet. He also has a quintet that plays his original compositions featuring such players as Mark Bassey and Matthew Herd.
Sam Rapley is a saxophonist, clarinetist and composer based in London. Sam writes and plays a diverse range of music, drawing influences from jazz, classical, contemporary and cinematic. An active member of the UK music scene, his recent endeavours include playing with Troykestra at London Jazz Festival, being featured on Teotima’s debut album, ‘Counting the Ways’ and writing the score for the independent film, ‘Duet’. As well as sideman work, Sam leads his own band, Fabled, who released their debut EP in March 2015.
Sam studied jazz saxophone at the royal academy of music from 2012 to 2016 and during this time had the opportunity to study with some of the best jazz musicians in the UK. He has also been a member of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra for two years.