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Trish Clowes

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Biography of Trish Clowes

Saxophonist and composer Trish Clowes is currently a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist. John Fordham (Guardian) has described Clowes as “one of the most agile and original jugglers of improv and adventurous composition to have appeared in the UK in recent times”.

Clowes’ third album Pocket Compass is to be released in November 2014 on Basho Records featuring her quintet and the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by André de Ridder. Jazzwise described it as “very stylish and heartfelt new music from a rising young sax star” awarding it 4 stars. The album will be launched at the EFG London Jazz Festival with her quintet and the BBC Concert Orchestra on November 18th at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London.

Performances this year have included Celtic Connections, as a soloist performing with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, where her orchestral composition ‘Sketch’ was given its World Premiere. Clowes also performed her adaptation of Gershwin’s ‘Lullaby’ described by the Glasgow Herald as “a highlight of the night”.

Clowes moved to London in 2003 to study at the Royal Academy of Music with Iain Ballamy and Pete Churchill. In 2008 she won a Development Award from the Musicians’ Benevolent Fund which was used to form a new ensemble, Tangent. Then in 2010 Clowes recorded and released her debut album for Basho Records, also named ‘Tangent’, featuring her small band, pianist Gwilym Simcock, vocalist Kathleen Willison and two orchestral tracks conducted by Jules Buckley (of the Metropole Orkest). The album was critically acclaimed, receiving praise for its integrity, luminosity and ambition.

Her second album for Basho Records ‘And in the night-time she is there’ was released in September 2012 followed by a UK tour with her band Tangent, with guest appearances from Gwilym Simcock, Mike Walker, Martin France and a string quartet led by violinist Thomas Gould. Venues included Kings Place London and The Sage Gateshead and the tour was supported by Jazz Services. Clowes’ ‘Iris Nonet’, which was premiered on this tour, was shortlisted for the highly prestigious 2013 BASCA British Composer Awards.

Clowes curates her own festival Emulsion with Glyndebourne Young Composer in Residence, Luke Styles. Emulsion compositions and the Emulsion development scheme are supported by the PRS for Music Foundation and Jerwood Charitable Foundation respectively. Emulsion 3 took take place at the end of May 2014 – receiving 5 stars from the Arts Desk – and was supported by Arts Council England and PRS for Music Foundation. The entire festival was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on the programmes Hear and Now and Jazz on 3. Emulsion 3 saw the Emulsion Sinfonietta collaborate with internationally renowned ECM artists ‘Food’ (Iain Ballamy and Thomas Strønen).

Recent performances include studio and live broadcasts for BBC Radio 3 and a recreation of the album ‘Barbara Song’ by saxophonist/composer Barbara Thompson, which is a collection of Kurt Weill tunes specially arranged for Barbara to play with string quartet. The composers/arrangers featured include Mike Westbrook, Richard Rodney Bennett, Mike Gibbs and Barbara Thompson.

Next year Clowes will make her debut performance at Wigmore Hall with the Heath Quartet and Gwilym Simcock.

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