Gareth Lockrane

BMus, MA, Hon ARAM

Junior Academy - Head of Junior Jazz

Head of Jazz Studies at Junior Academy since 2010

Winner of Best European Jazz Group award with his band Grooveyard

Composes music for fiction, documentary and animation films

Winner of best album with his septet in the 2010 Parliamentary Jazz Awards

Flautist, composer/arranger, teacher (and occasional pianist), Gareth started playing at the age of 10 and after raiding his dad‘s record collection discovered jazz at 14. Early influences included Cannonball Adderley, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker and Stan Getz. On flute, the initial main inspirations were Frank Wess, Joe Farrell, James Clay, Roland Kirk, Paul Horn, Hubert Laws and James Moody. In 1994 he enrolled on the jazz course at the Royal Academy of Music in London where teachers included Stan Sulzmann, Hugh Fraser and Eddie Parker and where he struck up strong musical relationships with fellow students the Fishwick brothers, Tom Cawley, Osian Roberts, Orlando le Fleming and many others. In 1997, his band The Jazz System formed with Osian Roberts was a finalist in the Vienna Jazz Festival Grande Concours de Jazz. In 1998, he studied on the Lake Placid Jazz Course in New York with Joe Lovano, Dick Oatts and Jim McNeely and in 2000 was a finalist in the Young Jazz Musician of the Year competition.

Around this time he also expanded his sonic and expressive range by adding the piccolo, alto and bass flutes to his arsenal.

In 2002, he formed the band Grooveyard with saxophonist Alex Garnett which released a critically acclaimed CD Put The Cat Out which went on to win the Best European Jazz Group award in the 2003 Granada Jazz Festival. Grooveyard completed a successful Jazz Services tour of the UK in 2005. After extensive gigging mostly around the London scene, they released the album The Strut in autumn 2012 which was named Jazz Album of the Year in Mojo magazine.

In 2006, Gareth enrolled on the prestigious MA course in film composition at the National Film & Television School, graduating with a commendation in 2008. He has composed the music for fiction, documentary and animation films that have gone on to appear and win numerous prizes at many international film festivals.

He also leads his own septet, whose debut album No Messin won best album in the 2010 Parliamentary Jazz Awards. This band features Robbie Robson (trumpet), Steve Kaldestad (sax), Trevor Mires (trombone/euphonium), Robin Aspland (piano), Matt Miles (bass) and Matt Home (drums).

He has also recently fulfilled a long time ambition and formed his own 18-piece big band, featuring some of London’s top musicians. Making their debut in the 2008 London Jazz Festival, the Gareth Lockrane Big Band is a natural extension of Gareth’s other projects, Grooveyard and his septet, whilst at the same time being a fiery and unruly animal in it’s own right. Influenced by among others Gil Evans, Jaco Pastorius, Maria Schneider, Kenny Wheeler, Jim McNeely, Thad Jones, Mingus and many more, the band blends heavy grooves and luscious orchestrations to spectacular effect. The band play exclusively Gareth’s compositions and arrangements, and have appeared at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club to sell-out crowds.

As a sideman, Gareth has been involved in many diverse projects, most notably as a key member of the late great Bheki Mseleku’s group from 2005 to 2008, and in Phil Robson’s IMS quintet in 2011 with US tenor star Mark Turner. Gareth has also performed and recorded with Jack DeJohnette, Christine Tobin, Cheryl Bailey, Incognito, Heritage Orchestra, The Bays, Georgia Mancio, Nia Lynn, Kate Williams, Claudio Passavanti, The James Taylor Quartet, Marti Pellow, Hans Koller New Memories Big Band, Laurence Cottle Big Band, Anita Wardell, Natalie Williams, Paul Booth, Gwilym Simcock Nonet/ BigBand, Tom Richards Jazz Orchestra as well as many TV and pop sessions.

He has also appeared as a Rising Star on Flute in the prestigious Downbeat US critics poll.

He is also a notable jazz educator, regularly teaching on the Royal Academy of Music and Trinity College of Music jazz degree courses, Loire summer school, Michael Garrick’s Jazz Academy courses and in 2010, was appointed Head of Jazz Studies in the junior department at the Royal Academy of Music.

‘…the formidable Lockrane...a stunning display of sharp-accented runs, earthy whoops and constantly refreshed melodic ideas.’ John Fordham, The Guardian

‘…next big thing... since leaving the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, in which he was the star soloist, flautist Lockrane has become one of London‘s busiest freelancers. The lean and hungry Lockrane is the most exciting and inventive instrumentalist in the country.’ Jack Massarick, London Evening Standard

‘…Lockrane’s flute work is exceptional, combining a relaxed fluidity on the one hand with an acute adventurousness on the other...’ Peter Quinn, Jazzwise

‘...there‘s no doubt who the main attraction is though: Gareth Lockrane wrote all the tunes and takes the lead on most of them. I have to admit that I’ve never been that convinced of the case for the flute as a jazz solo instrument. Lockrane though is a specialist, and his approach has won me over — he’s a fluid and inventive improviser who avoids clichés and produces genuine excitement.....’ Steve Baxter, Jazz views

‘...Lockrane is an exceptional soloist with an improvisatory confidence that’s quite startling...’ Peter Vacher, Jazzwise

‘...the main feature of this cd is that it strongly features the flute, an instrument which has still not achieved a firm foothold in jazz. If the brilliant playing of Gareth Lockrane is anything to go by, that state of affairs may change...’ Dave Gelly, The Observer

‘..Flute phenomenon!...’ Jack Massarick, London Evening Standard

‘a new star on his instrument’ Jim Mullen

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