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Nigel Waddington

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Biography of Nigel Waddington

Nigel began writing when working as a trumpet player, initially with big bands. During the 1990s he produced numerous horn-section arrangements for jazz and pop projects, before becoming more interested in symphonic writing. His work now combines the artistry of the finest UK jazz musicians with the expertise of orchestral session players to obtain unique, compelling performances for the recording studio and concert platform. His charts have been broadcast by the BBC Big Band, are popular with several big bands in New York and Los Angeles and are published by Really Good Music LLC. Nigel has produced two albums under his own name,After a Journey (2002) and Bigger Pictures (2010), the latter featuring pieces for a large studio orchestra with world-class soloists Derek Watkins and Claire Martin. He is by no means limited to the commercial idioms and his brass quintet "Four Miniatures" was premiered at London's South Bank following a commission from the eclectic ensemble Mardi Brass. As an educator Nigel is visiting tutor in composition and arranging at Goldsmith's College.


After a Journey gathers five original pieces and three arrangements, demonstrating the broad range of styles available to writers for the expanded big band.

"An excellent album, a pleasure to play on the radio"
- Mike Chadwick (Jazz FM)

"Imaginatively orchestrated...vibrantly performed by some of the best session players around. Waddington's scoring exudes confidence and panache, reshaping tried and tested big band traditions in a more contemporary idiom."
- John Chadwick (Jazz Journal International)

"The influences are of the best, but I was especially reminded at times of Bob Brookmeyer and Kenny Wheeler. If you want to hear some good contemporary big-band writing then I suggest you get Nigel Waddington's After a Journey."
- Dick Walter,composer,arranger
in Musician Magazine

"After a Journey is clearly tomorrow's news."
- Frank Griffith, saxophonist, arranger, composer.

"Bigger Pictures", features Claire Martin, Jacqui Hicks, Sammy Mayne, Steve Waterman, Derek Watkins and Martin Shaw with a 40-piece ensemble of fine London session players.

Review of Bigger Pictures by Mike Gibbs:
Here's some captivating new bigband / orchestral music, arranged and crafted - and mostly composed - by the exquisite and finely-honed pen 'n ear of Nigel Waddington --- Where Has He Been? If in the woodshed as I surmise, then its surely time he was out and about...at last! With a line up of luminaries from the British music scene - jazz and otherwise - the ensemble playing and soloing are expectedly exemplary. And as hoped for, there's that magical blend, natural and seemingly effortless, that comes with music and players being in compatible territory, and having a ball - the music playing itself. This is a kaleidoscopic collection of contemporary jazz - hard swing, earthy and soulful vocal and instrumental ballads, funky rhythms, excursions into the classical, that'll beguile, cajole and engage you. Several times, it caught me saying "Hey! come again - what was that?" Too late though, its moving on to more ear-catching goodies - you gotta keep up!

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