Julian Siegel – Music for Big Band​

Julian Siegel is an in-demand saxophonist on the European Jazz scene who has worked with many of the top figures in the music. He was awarded the 2007 BBC Jazz Award for Best Instrumentalist. His current bands are the Julian Siegel Quartet featuring pianist Liam Noble, bassist Oli Hayhurst and drummer Gene Calderazzo, the band’s CD ‘Urban Theme Park’ received widespread critical acclaim winning the 2011 London Jazz Award. Since 1996 Julian has co-led the influential band Partisans with the award-winning guitarist Phil Robson, the band played major Jazz Festivals in USA and Canada in the Summer of 2014, releasing their fifth album ‘Swamp’ on Whirlwind Records. The Julian Siegel Trio with US Improvising stars, drummer Joey Baron and bassist Greg Cohen was formed as a result of a major commission from Cheltenham Jazz Festival in 2006. The Trio has toured the UK three times and released a double album ‘Live at the Vortex’ on Basho Records.

Julian has played in large ensembles including Kenny Wheeler’s Big Band on the album ‘The Long Waiting’, Andrew Hill’s Anglo American Big Band, the Hermeto Pascoal UK Big Band, Mike Gibbs 70th Birthday tour (alongside Bill Frisell, Steve Swallow and Adam Nussbaum), Steve Gray, Django Bates’ ‘Delightful Precipice’, John Taylor Big Band, Jazz Jamaica, Stan Sulzmann, John Dankworth, Colin Towns with the NDR Big Band, Allan Ganley, Hans Koller New Memories Band with Steve Lacy, BBC Big Band with Maceo Parker, Jason Yarde’s ‘Acoutastic Bombastic’ and Hal Willner’s ‘Amarcord’ with Carla Bley and Rita Marcotulli (concert review here)

In recent years Julian has featured as guest soloist with big bands including Matt Roberts Big Band at the London Jazz Festival 2012 (featuring arrangements of the music of Wayne Shorter) with The Pendulum Jazz Orchestra featuring the music of Kenny Wheeler, the Royal Academy of Music Junior Jazz Big Band at Ronnie Scotts Club and as artist in residence and guest soloist with big bands at the Darlington Jazz Festival 2013 and Limerick Jazz Festival 2014.

He has played with Django Bates’ ‘Human Chain’, Diane Schuur Quartet, Gary Husband’s ‘Drive’, Tindersticks, Mulatu Astatke, Simon Purcell’s ‘Red Circle’, NYC performance artist/violinist Laurie Anderson and pianist/singer-songwriter Steve Nieve, Kirk Lightsey, Norma Winstone, Robert Mitchell, Byron Wallen’s ‘Indigo’ and Jason Palmer’s Quartet featuring Jeff Ballard. He is a member of Oren Marshall’s ‘Charming Transport Band’ featuring musicians from Ghana and Nigeria. 

Julian can be heard playing in Trio with Diana Torto and John Taylor, most recently performing at the Bologna Jazz festival 2014. He has also performed with vocalists Cleo Laine, Beverley Knight, Lauren Kinsella’s ‘Thoughtfox’, Joe Lee Wilson, Liane Carroll, Eddi Reader, Charlene Spiteri, Jacqueline Dankworth, Juliet Roberts, Keziah Jones Band, Terri Walker, Christine Tobin and punk rock legend Steve Ignorant (formerly of Crass).

Julian has recently begun writing music for Big Band, playing this music in the opening concert of the Guildhall Jazz festival 2014 as featured soloist with the Guildhall Jazz Band directed by Scott Stroman. Julian was commissioned to write a set of music for a concert with the Voice of the North Jazz Orchestra directed by John Warren in September 2012.  The National Youth Jazz Orchestra has regularly featured one of Julian’s new pieces in their programme, including the bands 2013 Gateshead International Jazz Festival concert at the Sage, Gateshead and their tour of Germany in September 2014 in joint concerts with the Federal Youth Jazz Orchestra of Germany (BuJazzO).

“A world class saxophonist.”
– Jazz UK

”Interfacing between the worlds of straight-ahead, free improv and dance grooves, Siegel posits his sonic world with a coherence and strength of character that reflects the lucidity of a man who knows exactly who he is. No matter what he plays.”
– Echoes Magazine

“Great imagination.”
– Billy Hart

“Fast becoming a national treasure of the reeds.”
– BBC Radio, ‘Jazz on 3’

“Kept an awestruck audience on tenterhooks.”
– Jazz UK Magazine (live review of Julian Siegel Trio)

“Approaches the depth and sensitivity of a Wayne Shorter or Stan Getz.”
– Straight No Chaser

“That lissom, free-wheeling saxophonist.”
– The Guardian

“Siegel’s wailing, swerving lines burst with character.”
– The Guardian

“The frequently lyrical and reflective saxophonist Julian Siegel ripped into a series of up-tempo harangues reminiscent of Kenny Garrett with the later Miles Davis bands.”
– The Guardian

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1 – “Mama Badgers” played by the National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO) Gateshead International Jazz Festival at the Sage, Gateshead April 2013

2 – “Heart Song” played by the Guildhall Jazz Band directed by Scott Stroman, Guildhall Jazz festival, March 2014

3 – “Interlude” played by the Guildhall Jazz Band directed by Scott Stroman, Guildhall Jazz festival, March 2014

All tunes composed and arranged by Julian Siegel (PRS/MCPS) Clips used with kind permission of Scott Stroman / GSMD Big Band and Mark Armstrong / NYJO


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