Saxophonist ,Clarinettist, Bandleader, Writer - Arranger and occasional arm waver. Best Instrumentalist BBC Jazz Awards 2007 + London Jazz Award 2011
ULIAN SIEGEL is an in-demand saxophonist on the UK and European Jazz scene who has worked with many of the top figures in the music. He was awarded the 2007 BBC Jazz Award for Best Instrumentalist.
His current bands are the Julian Siegel Quartet featuring pianist Liam Noble, bassist Oli Hayhurst and drummer Gene Calderazzo. The Quartet’s first CD ‘Urban Theme Park’ was awarded the 2011 London Jazz Award. In February 2018 the Quartet released their new album ‘Vista’ on Whirlwind Recordings and the album has been warmly received by critics and audiences alike. The band are currently on an major UK tour supported by Arts Council England and also play at INNtöne Jazz Festival, Austria in May and the Rochester International Jazz Festival in June 2018.
Since 1996 Julian has co-led the influential band Partisans with the award-winning guitarist Phil Robson, the band played major Jazz Festivals in USA and Canada in the Summer of 2014, releasing their fifth album ‘Swamp’ on Whirlwind Records.
The Julian Siegel Trio with US Improvising stars, drummer Joey Baron and bassist Greg Cohen was formed as a result of a major commission from Cheltenham Jazz Festival in 2006. The Trio has toured the UK three times and released a double album ‘Live at the Vortex’ (Basho Records) .
In recent years Julian has recently begun writing music for Jazz Orchestra, playing this music in concerts with the Guildhall Jazz Band directed by Scott Stroman and the Voice of the North Jazz Orchestra directed by John Warren. The National Youth Jazz Orchestra regularly features Julian’s composition ‘Mama Badgers’ in their programme, firstly performing it at the 2013 Gateshead International Jazz Festival concert at the Sage, Gateshead and on their tour of Germany in September 2014 in joint concerts with the Federal Youth Jazz Orchestra of Germany (BuJazzO) On the Album ‘NYJO 50’ released in November 2015 (Whirlwind) ‘Mama Badgers’ is first piece on the double album with Julian as featured soloist with NYJO.
In March 2017 Julian toured the newly formed Julian Siegel Jazz Orchestra on a six date UK tour supported by Arts Council England, the tour was produced by Derby Jazz and Right Tempo with the support of EMJazz. J.S.J.O. played Julian’s compositions and arrangements including the new suite commissioned especially for the Tour by Derby Jazz, ‘Tales from the Jacquard’.
In February 2018 Julian was invited to Germany to play two concerts guesting with the NDR BigBand, Hamburg playing some of his new compositions for Jazz Orchestra including ‘Tales from the Jacquard’. The concert recorded in NDR Studio 1 in Hamburg was broadcast on NDR radio on 8/4/18.
Julian has played in large ensembles including Kenny Wheeler’s Big Band on the album ‘The Long Waiting’ (CAM Jazz), Andrew Hill’s Anglo American Big Band, the Hermeto Pascoal UK Big Band, Mike Gibbs 70th Birthday tour (alongside Bill Frisell, Steve Swallow and Adam Nussbaum) (and in 2017 Mike’s 80th birthday tour!) Steve Gray, Django Bates’ ‘Delightful Precipice’, John Taylor Big Band, Jazz Jamaica, Stan Sulzmann’s Big Band, John Dankworth’s Generation Big Band, The NDR Big Band, Colin Towns Mask Orchestra, Allan Ganley, Hans Koller ‘New Memories’ Band with Steve Lacy, BBC Big Band with Maceo Parker, Jason Yarde‘s ‘Acoutastic Bombastic’ and Hal Willner’s ‘Amarcord’ with Carla Bley and Rita Marcotulli.
Julian has played in small band with Django Bates’ ‘Human Chain’, Diane Schuur Quartet (with three major European tours in 2013, 2015 and 2017) Gary Husband’s ‘Drive’, Mulatu Astatke, Simon Purcell’s ‘Red Circle’, NYC performance artist/violinist Laurie Anderson and pianist/singer songwriter Steve Nieve, Kirk Lightsey, Norma Winstone, Robert Mitchell, Byron Wallen’s ‘Indigo’ and Jason Palmer’s Quartet featuring Jeff Ballard and Oren Marshall’s ‘Charming Transport Band’ featuring musicians from Ghana and Nigeria. Julian was a member of the John Taylor Trio, the band led by the sadly departed British Piano legend John Taylor, playing concerts and festivals in Italy and UK from 2013 to 2015 alongside in-demand Italian Vocalist Diana Torto. In January 2016, alongside Bassist Anders Jormin, Diana Torto and one of John’s ex-students, rising piano star Pablo Held, Julian performed in a tribute concert to John in Treviso, Italy
Julian has performed with vocalists Dame Cleo Laine, Beverley Knight, Lauren Kinsella’s ‘Thoughtfox’, Joe Lee Wilson, Stuart Staples/Tindersticks, Liane Carroll, Eddi Reader, Charlene Spiteri, Amy Winehouse, Jacqueline Dankworth, Juliet Roberts, Keziah Jones Band, Terri Walker, Christine Tobin and punk rock legend Steve Ignorant (formerly of Crass).
“A world class saxophonist.” – Jazz UK
”Interfacing between the worlds of straight-ahead, free improv and dance
grooves, Siegel posits his sonic world with a coherence and strength of
character that reflects the lucidity of a man who knows exactly who he is. No matter what he plays.’ Kevin Le Gendre, Echoes
“Fast becoming a national treasure of the reeds” Jez Nelson Jazz on 3, QEH, London Jazz Festival
“Approaches the depth and sensitivity of a Wayne Shorter or Stan Getz.”
Straight No Chaser 1997
“Spontaneous sparkle, Siegel’s wailing, swerving lines burst with character” John Fordham, The Guardian
“The frequently lyrical and reflective saxophonist Julian Siegel ripped into a series of up-tempo harangues reminiscent of Kenny Garrett with the later Miles Davis bands” John Fordham, The Guardian
”Exciting, dynamic music with improvisation at its center.”
London Jazz News on ‘Vista’ April 2018
“Above all there’s Siegel’s own drive, warm sound and endless flow of ideas, his lines seeming somehow three dimensional, even at breakneck tempos.” Hi-Fi News and Record Review ( ‘Vista’ Album Choice – March 2018)
“In the spacious acoustic of Birmingham Town Hall, with this calibre of players the experience is decorously rich and vibrant.”
A J Dehany, Kind of Jazz on J.S.J.O. March 2017
“The release of a new recording by Siegel is always a major event in the British jazz calendar and ‘ Vista ‘ is no exception. ” The Jazz Mann
“An all-too-rare combination of angularity with warmth… This album perfectly demonstrates how a quartet of seasoned musicians can successfully and seemingly effortlessly, produce an album of fresh ideas and catchy themes.” ★★★★ All About Jazz
“Plenty of pushing at the barriers of tonality as you’d expect from such adventurous and accomplished players, but it’s tempered with a refreshing melodicism and groove… An exhilarating experience.” Jazz Views
“Clear-cut moods and meaty discourses… As tracks ebb, flow and draw to a peak, Siegel’s assured fluency is underscored by the understated, equal partner support of Oli Hayhurst and Gene Calderazzo.” ★★★★ Financial Times
“Tightly wound postbop, pensive improv and more, along with Siegel’s sweeping authority on bass clarinet.” ★★★★ The Guardian
“Eleven absolutely thrilling pieces in which Siegel gets down to business… It’s his attention to detail and the outstanding soloing that makes this work exciting.” ★★★★ Concerto Magazine
“Showcasing both communal and individual musicality, this is a gripping set.” Digitale Jazz Zeitung
” Historical, but not antiquated, courageous, but not overly experimental, Julian Siegel‘s jazz is a mature testimony of a grounded musical personality .” Jazz ‘n’ More
“An absorbing set… European music of the highest quality.” Musik an sich
“A great quartet with an enthralling agility.” ★★★★ In Music
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