Renowned in Europe as the ‘Fantastic Englishman’, Iain Ballamy established himself playing alongside notables including Hermeto Pascoal, the late Gil Evans, George Coleman, Dewey Redman, Mike Gibbs and the New York Composers Orchestra.
Touring extensively worldwide he has appeared at most international festivals and venues. Iain can be heard on over 40 CDs. A long-time collaborator with Django Bates, since the days of Loose Tubes and Bill Bruford's Earthworks he is currently a member of Django's Human Chain and Delightful Precipice.
Parallel to his international jazz career, Ballamy has pursued his interest in world music, playing concerts in India and Europe with the Karnataka College of Percussion. He has performed and forged strong working relationships with renowned musicians from Hungary, Norway, Spain, Sudan, Brazil and beyond.
Combined arts projects include tours with contemporary Indian dance group Sankalpam and an acclaimed role as 'Steve the prat' in Simon Black's stage play Out There (UK tour, 1995–6). His distinctive saxophone voice can be heard in his improvisations for the BBC Radio 4 play Signal to Noise by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean, the movie Legend and a documentary Joseph Losey - the Man with Four Names. Ballamy scored the award winning film Mirrormask directed by Dave McKean for the Jim Henson company.
Ballamy's wide ranging musical interests add depth and creativity to his music which can be clearly heard on Veggie and Last Supper release by Rune Gramafon (featuring Norwegians Arve Henriksen, Mats Eilertsen and Thomas Stronen).
Ballamy is an agony uncle for jazz UK magazine with his column ‘In the saxophonist’s chair’. In 2001 he was awarded the BBC Radio 3 special award for innovation at the British Jazz awards.