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Lyndon Owen

Musical Biography

Lyndon started playing full time in 1993 and simultaneously studied Performing Arts (Jazz) at Manchester City College with Mike Hall and Dennis Freedman.

During that time he played with several blues and jazz bands in the North of England and was part of Enigma Music with Geoff Amos and Pete Martin, promoting new high quality music in West Yorkshire, through which he discovered the freedom of European experimental music.

In 1995 he formed a seminal septet, “The Big Clutch”, which played a combination of his compositions which allowed areas of free experimentation alongside more formally structured music. The band attracted major players including Paul Hession, John Thorne, Alan Wilkinson, Alan Tomlinson, Mick Beck, Didrik Ingvaldsen, Rod Mason, Stuart McDonald, Simon Pugsley, Jenni Myhill-Molloy, Gavin Barras. He also received Arts Council of England support for the compositions for this project.

In 2000 he moved to Monmouth, South Wales, and started ‘Music in Monmouth’ a community arts group which aims to bring new original music to a population, at no cost, so they can become engaged with a wider musical and artistic palette. Monmouth now attracts international and national bands and is firmly on the touring circuit. Lyndon also served on the Jazz Services Touring Panel for over 7 years.

During this time he worked as a freelance player, including touring Germany and the United States, teaching, and being involved with various projects as diverse as the Lord Mayor’s parade in Belfast, free improvising at the opening of the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle, featuring on a Joe Stead folk album, teaching at various summer schools, making dance and show music with Rothwell ‘shack’ Shackleton and Diz Willis, flamenco with Augustino de Jerez in Andalucia,

In 2005 Lyndon was part of the notorious ‘Big Fight’ with Billy Jenkins, Simon Pugsley, Dave Stapleton, Rod ‘Roomdarkener’ Mason, Paul Hession. The formality of a boxing match, England versus Wales, where the musicians undergo three 3-minute rounds and improvise at each other.

He has played with cult US maverick guitarist, Dr Eugene Chadbourne. Also playing with Chris Mayfield and the Rhythm Rats

Work with Dave Begley and Tore Dimmestol has produced various dance tracks for www.eyereel.com records. In a similar genre he performs live with DJs Max Reinhardt and Rita Ray and various world artists such as Yazid Fentazi, Sheema Mukherjee, Batch Gueye, and many others.

Lyndon has also worked on various contemporary classical pieces such as ‘The Third Paragraph’, Cornelius Cardew, and ‘Silah, the breath of the world’, John Luther Adams (UK premier). Working with the ‘Instant Orchestra’ and many other artistic happenings and alongside various artists such as Pat Thomas, Jason Yarde, Chris Cundy, Dom Lash, Bruno Guastalla, Paul Scott, Kuljit Bhamra, amongst others.

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" ... clearly recognise the emotional and spiritual power of Coltrane’s work and use it as a basis for improvisation, sometimes taking these tunes even further out than Coltrane did himself" Ian Mann, The Jazzmann, August 2020

"... features Owen on soprano and introduces some of the Middle Eastern and Moorish elements that distinguish his work" Ian Mann, The Jazzmann, August 2020

"... They (Owen/Downes) are pushing new boundaries musically and the opportunity to experience the enthusiasm and mastery of these two talented and skilled musicians is not to be missed. Their empathy for each other and their instruments is palpable; their skill and their creative horizons infinite" Rhys Phillips, Radio Cardiff, December 2016

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