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Sam Rapley

Originally from Manchester and now based in London, Sam Rapley is one of the UK’s most highly regarded up and coming saxophonist, clarinetist and composers. As a leader, Sam runs his own band Fabled, which features some of London’s finest young talent playing his original compositions. In 2015, Fabled released their debut EP to critical acclaim, with critics heralding Rapley as ‘engaging storyteller’ and ‘a deeply sentimental architect’. In February 2018 they will be releasing their first full length album, ‘Short Stories’ followed by a UK tour in March / April.

Initially studying with Iain Dixon in Manchester, whilst at the Royal Academy of Music, Sam studied with Stan Sulzmann, Iain Ballamy, James Allsopp, Seb Rochford and Chris Richards from LSO, and was lucky enough to perform with Dave Douglas, Dave Holland and John Hollenbeck as well as playing in masterclasses with Jerry Bergonzi and The Impossible Gentlemen. Since leaving the Academy, Sam’s performing highlights have included a tour of NW England with internationally renowned trumpeter, Terence Blanchard, premiering a new commission by jazz legend, John Warren, at the London Jazz Festival and a debut performance at Wigmore Hall with his own band.

Hugely in demand as a sideman, Sam is an active part of the music scene in London, playing regularly with the Misha Mullov-Abbado Group, Troykestra, Maria Chiara Argiro Quintet, Waaju and Ralph Wyld’s Mosaic as well as his own band, Fabled. With these groups, he has performed extensively across the UK including performances at London Jazz Festival, King’s Place, Wigmore Hall, Ronnie Scott’s, Olympic Park, Lovebox Festival and The Vortex, as well as touring to Germany, Italy, France, Switzerland, Poland, Brazil and Mexico.

As a composer, Sam has recently finished scoring his second short film, Prince Harming, after the success of the first film, ‘Duet’, which was screened at Cannes Film Festival’s ‘Short Film Corner’ in 2014. Later that year, as part of his fellowship at the Royal Academy of Music, Sam was commissioned to write a piece of music for 3 children’s choirs from Tower Hamlets, which culminated in a premiere of the piece, ‘Aftermath of a Space Battle’ at the Duke’s Hall, Royal Academy of Music. In 2013, Sam was commissioned to write a piece for the Cheshire Youth Big Band as part of an Arts Council funded project commissioning music from 12 UK jazz composers, including Gwilym Simcock, Stan Sulzmann and Mike Gibbs. The piece has since been recorded and the score has been released for youth bands to buy nationwide.


Album Review

Fabled: Short Stories

Read "Short Stories" reviewed by Gareth Thompson

Anyone who has ever pulled pints for a living probably has some stories to tell. Sam Rapley, the leader of Fabled, used to work behind the bar in Manchester's renowned Band On The Wall club. A favoured site during World War II, its jazz acts often played on during air raids. Legend has it that twenty-four thousand beers were sold there one public holiday. Rapley wouldn't know such excess on his latterday shifts, but he surely found the ...

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“Sam is one of the few young sax players around today that plays for the music every time. Love listening to Sam.” – Mike Walker, UK Jazz Guitarist

“We predict that you will be hearing a lot more about the talented Mr Rapley, so make a note of his name.” – Sandy Brown Jazz


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