I love musical connections, don’t you? Probably the first time I heard Iain Ballamy was on the Loose Tubes 1988 album ‘Open Letter’. That wonderful big band line up included Django Bates and Mark Lockheart, whose nephew Dan Lockheart opened our Autumn program at The Marr’s Bar in September 2023. Ballamy and Bates also played in Bill Bruford’s Earthworks in the mid eighties. Among other accolades, Bruford was drummer with Yes (1968-72 & 1990-92) and King Crimson (1972-24 & 1981-84). Fast forward some 40 years and Iain Ballamy is touring his new quartet IBQT, featuring King Crimson’s most recent drummer (one of three), Jeremy Stacey, who we had on the Music Spoken Here stage in January with FNUK, alongside twin brother Paul Stacey and pianist Jason Rebello!
Listed between Chet Baker and Count Basie in Geoffrey Smith’s BBC publication ‘100 Jazz Greats’, Ballamy has a rare and beautiful sound on the tenor saxophone, both captivating and instantly recognisable.
Since emerging in the early 80’s with Loose Tubes, Django Bates and Bill Bruford’s Earthworks, he has established himself as a player and composer of note on the world’s jazz stages and more recently as a contemporary classical soloist with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and BBC Philharmonic Orchestras.
His remarkable new quartet IBQT features the unique rising star pianist Rebecca Nash, superb bassist Nick Pini and the internationally renowned drummer Jeremy Stacey.
Ballamy’s concert repertoire covers a great range and his program will include past and present original works plus some unexpected re-workings of some classic songs that inspired his musical journey.
Ballamy is a professor of saxophone at the Guildhall school of music and Royal Academy of music and a recording artist for ECM records.
Doors 8pm / show starts 8:30pm
Music Spoken Here prides itself in offering exceptional live music experiences in Worcester at a price affordable to you. Our fortnightly events at The Marr’s Bar are ticketless, just show up on the night and pay what you can afford on the door.
The suggested contribution for this event is £10-15.
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You can check out his playing in this YouTube video with his 2020 quartet, with Huw Warren on piano. You may recall Warren appeared at The Marr’s Bar with Corrie Dick’s fantastic six-piece Sun Swells band in November 2023.