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Heavy Quartet

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Biography of Heavy Quartet

The Heavy Quartet has been a staple of the vibrant South Wales Jazz scene since their formation in 1983. A group that shuns the common labels, the HQ represent vibrant musical irreverence and unpredictable eclecticism. Although their roots are in jazz and the focus is on original compositions, the eight piece “Quartet” plays jazz with a twist, taking the jazz tradition and mixing it up with rock, funk, reggae, blues, ska and any other musical style they can lay their hands on. The resulting genre busting mutant jazz is unpredictable, experimental, witty, rhythmically charged but remains accessible. Their stated intention is to constantly change whilst continuing to entertain with their own idiosyncratic take on jazz.
The Quartet has endeared themselves to audiences within the Cardiff community and far beyond. During their 26 year history they have played numerous venues and festivals throughout Britain and Europe, crowd pleasing favourites at their local Brecon Jazz, they have the distinction of being the only band to perform there every year during the first 25 years of the festival.

Heavy Musicians.

Rob Smith – Saxes & Bass Clarinet
Rob is a composer and improviser. He has played with such luminaries as Derek Bailey, Evan Parker, John Stevens, Lol Coxhill, Keith Tippett and many more. He has written music for film, television, radio, live theatre and dance. As well as playing in a number of bands he leads his own Rob Smith ONSOMBL and South Wales biggest jazz band, Wonderbrass.

Gareth Roberts – Trombone & Euphonium
In addition to playing in several different bands, both locally and further afield, Gareth also runs and composes for the Gareth Roberts Quintet. In 2008 they received the Jazz Services UK Promoters Choice Award and have since played in many of the country's largest jazz festivals and completed a full UK tour.

Brian Yule – Trumpet.
As well as playing in numerous “local” bands, Brian was a soloist in the Welsh Jazz Orchestra and toured with the Stan Tracey Octet.

Nils Andersson – Trumpet.
Having led a big band in his native Sweden, Nils decided to emigrate and become an astrophysicist, which now allows him to tour the world. For the last 17 years the Heavy Quartet has been his main sonic outlet.

Neil “Keyo” Langford – Guitar.
Keyo toured the UK and Europe with Eddie & the Hot Rods for two years, was a founder member of Cardiff’s seminal punk band Pointless Exercise and played with free improvisers The Diggers.

Ashley Long – Double Bass
Ash has performed as principal double bass with major UK and European orchestras and as a soloist throughout Europe. His work as a jazz musician has taken in everything from trad. to free improvisation.

Neil Pedder – Synthesizers.
Sonic artist. He performs his own sound compositions and creates audio based installations, also played with free improvisation ensemble The Diggers.

Steve Roberts – Drums
Steve also plays for the UK's foremost Emerson, Lake & Palmer tribute act Noddys Puncture, progressive band Godsticks and the Billy Thompson Quartet. Steve has toured throughout Europe and the USA.

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