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Byron Wallen


Byron was raised in a musical environment and started learning his first instrument, the piano, at an early age. He then went on to study the trumpet with Jimmy Owens, Donald Byrd and Jon Faddis in New York. His early music career was forged while he was studying for a degree in Psychology, Philosophy and Maths at Sussex University (he graduated in 1992). During this period he recorded for Loose Ends and Cleveland Watkiss, and played trumpet with the likes of Mervyn Africa, The Style Council, Charles Earland, Courtney Pine and Jean Toussaint.

By the late 90s his work was receiving world wide attention and his fluent trumpet, firmly rooted in the jazz tradition, could be heard performing with a myriad of artists such as David Murray, Andrew Hill, Butch Morris, Ralph Moore, Billy Higgins, Eddie Henderson, Wynton Marsalis, Herlin Riley, Freddie Hubbard, George Benson, William Orbit, Toumani Diabate, Brice Wassy, Lonnie Liston Smith, Ronnie Laws and Chaka Khan. His trumpet has also appeared alongside African pioneers such as Hugh Masekela, Manu Dibango and Amampondo. One of the most versatile and dynamic voices on the British jazz scene, he has performed with rap outfits such as The Roots, Digable Planets and Us3.The Windrush Gala Concert in 2001 saw Byron work with Mica Paris, Caron Wheeler, Shola Ama, Roland Gift, Desmond Dekker, Janet Kay and Grace Jones. The concert was staged as a culmination of a remarkable season of programs by the BBC.


Article: Take Five With...

Take Five with Tap Dancer Petra Haller

Read "Take Five with Tap Dancer Petra Haller" reviewed by AAJ Staff

Meet Petra Haller Petra Haller, based in jny: London, UK, is a respected figure in the fields of tap dance and music. Honored as a Rising Jazz Artist by Jazzwise Magazine and mentioned as one  of Reader's Digest's “10 Female Jazz Musicians You need to Know" Haller has swiftly risen in prominence in the UK and ...


Article: Album Review

Mike De Souza: Chrysalis

Read "Chrysalis" reviewed by Neil Duggan

For many musicians, the silver-lining of enforced isolation during the pandemic was the time to write and refine new compositions. The event enabled guitarist Mike De Souza to explore concepts for the six tracks that make up his second album, Chrysalis. This follows on from his debut, Slow Burn (Self-produced, 2019). Added impetus came from forming ...


Colour of Sound

Label: Manushi Records
Released: 2023
Track listing: Dance of Time; For Love; Little Ones; Sweet Jasmine; Go with the Flow; Roots; Unity; Peace Garden.


Article: Album Review

Rob Luft: Dahab Days

Read "Dahab Days" reviewed by Chris May

In an interview with AAJ in 2020, Rob Luft was asked to name six all-time favourite albums. Number one on his list was Norwegian guitarist Eivind Aarset's Dream Logic (ECM, 2012), a duo project with electronicist Jan Bang. Said Luft: “It's an album that really sounds like dreams, it's wonderful how it floats for forty-five, fifty ...


Article: Album Review

Zoe Rahman: Colour of Sound

Read "Colour of Sound" reviewed by Neil Duggan

If you have shown your virtuosity on the piano in a variety of live and studio recordings, been recognized as one of the leading lights in contemporary British jazz and won multiple awards, what do you do next? In Zoe Rahman's case, more of the same but expanded and magnified. Most often heard in a trio ...


Port Of Saints

Label: Discus Music
Released: 2022


Article: Album Review

Grand Union Orchestra: Made By Human Hands

Read "Made By Human Hands" reviewed by Chris May

Grand Union Orchestra, which has mentored many young London jazz musicians over four decades, is approximately aligned with the grassroots organisations Tomorrow's Warriors and Kinetika Bloco. The longest established of the trio, Grand Union took wing in 1982, Tomorrow's Warriors in 1991, Kinetika Bloco in 2000. Made By Human Hands is a greatest hits compilation celebrating ...


Article: Live Review

Brilliant Corners 2022

Read "Brilliant Corners 2022" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Brilliant Corners 2022 The Black Box jny:Belfast, N. Ireland March 4-12, 2022 Brilliant Corners is ten. Belfast's onliest jazz festival celebrated the milestone by welcoming audiences back to The Black Box after 2021's virtual edition. When Brilliant Corners was last held here before a live audience, in March 2020, Covid ...


Article: In Pictures

The "African Flowers" Quintet At FolkClub

Read "The "African Flowers" Quintet At FolkClub" reviewed by Antonio Baiano


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