Flautist, composer/arranger, teacher (and occasional pianist), Gareth started playing at the age of 10 and discovered jazz at 14
In 1994 he enrolled on the jazz course at the Royal Academy of Music, where his 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. He also leads his own septet, whose debut album No Messin won best album in the 2010 Parliamentary Jazz Awards.
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 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. 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. 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 and Michael Garrick’s Jazz Academy courses.