Graham Collier with the Upstream Jazz Orchestra
UK Jazz Composer
The 14-piece Upstream Jazz Orchestra
performing the Music of Graham Collier
incl. the Blue Suite based on
the classic Miles Davis album Kind of Blue
‘Far more radical than most of his generation’Graham Collier's career spans four decades of innovation at the forefront of British jazz. He was born in Tynemouth, England, in 1937 and on leaving school he joined the British Army as a musician. He was the first British graduate of the Berklee School of Jazz, Boston, where he studied with Herb Pomeroy. He was the first jazz composer to receive a commission from the Arts Council of Great Britain, and in 1987 he was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth II.
His ensembles are known as Graham Collier Music and are dedicated to performing his own compositions. He has also recorded with the Australian contemporary music group The Collective, the Danish Radio Jazz Orchestra and the NDR Big Band, and for ensembles ranging from saxophone quartet to symphony orchestra. He has released 19 albums and CDs.
He is equally well-known as an author and educator, having written seven books on jazz, jazz history, compositional techniques and education. In the early 1980s, he developed the six-year jazz degree course at the Sibelius Institute in Helsinki, Finland, and in 1986 he launched the Royal Academy of Music’s jazz course where he remained as artistic director until 1999. He has travelled extensively to present seminars, lectures, workshops and concerts throughout Europe, North America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the Far East. In 1989, he was among the group of international jazz educators who formed the International Association of Schools of Jazz and he was Secretary of the Daily Board for nine years, and co-editor of its magazine Jazz Changes.
In late 1999 he left England, and after eight years living in southern Spain, moved with his long-time partner, author John Gill, to a small Aegean island, where he continues to compose, travelling from there to present concerts and workshops around the world.
Upstream Jazz Orchestra
Chris Mitchell - alto sax/flute/alto flute
Paul Cram - tenor sax/clariinet
Jeff Reilly - bass clarinet/contrbass clairinet/clarinet
Dawn Hatfield - baritone sax/flute
Rick Waychesko - trumpet
Tim Elson - trumpet
Danny Martin - trombone
Tim Keels - bass trombone/tuba
Tim Crofts - piano/synthesizer
Jeff Torbert - guitar/electronics
Geordie Haley - guitar/electronics
Danny Parker - contrabass
Lukas Pearse - bass/electronics
Tom Roach - Drums