The Callum Au Big Band
Callum’s primary ensemble is his eponymous big band. Founded in 2009, the band has performed at clubs and festivals around the country, and recorded with many top UK jazz artists including Emma Smith, Anthony Strong and Nigel Hitchcock. The band’s members are hand-picked from the very best of the London jazz and commercial music scene.
The band released its first album, ‘Something’s Coming’ in January 2013. Recorded at Angel Studios in London by Grammy-winning engineer Steve Price, the album features a selection of Callum’s compositions and arrangements, including the West Side Story Suite, a six-movement extended piece for contemporary jazz orchestra based on some of the most famous melodies from Leonard Bernstein’s musical.
More recently, the band has been focussing on a new project inspired by the music of George Gershwin. This concert features both classic and modern arrangements of some of Gershwin’s best loved songs. The show’s centrepiece is Callum’s new arrangement of ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ which was premiered at Ronnie Scott’s with virtuoso pianist James Pearson in 2015.
In 2019, the band launched a new collaboration with jazz vocalist Iain Mackenzie inspired by the music of Marty Paich and the Dek-tette. Members of the big band, complete with additional French horn and tuba, accompany Iain in a selection of songs originally recorded by Mel Tormé in 1960 on the seminal album “Swings Shubert Alley”. The band also performs some of the most popular jazz instrumental music of the era – from Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie and Art Pepper; and a couple of originals too.
Trumpets: Louis Dowdeswell, Tom Walsh, George Hogg, Freddie Gavita, James Copus, James Davison — Trombones: Andy Wood, Jon Stokes, Chris Traves, Ross Anderson, Robbie Harvey, Barry Clements — Horn: Dan Beer — Tuba: Mike Poyser — Woodwinds: Simon Marsh, Jim Gold, Peter Long, Nadim Teimoori, Martin Williams, Jon Shenoy, Richard Shepherd, Jess Holder — Rhythm: Rob Barron, Chris Eldred, Ed Richardson, Matt Skelton, Laurence Ungless, Tommy Emmerton, Jon Russell
Songs & Stories
Callum’s upcoming album with jazz superstar Claire Martin OBE, ‘Songs and Stories’, features a 70-piece orchestra. He is looking forward to taking a slimmed-down version of this project on the road later in 2020, condensing the orchestra to present the essence of the music to audiences across the country. The renowned Tippett Quartet join forces with jazz quintet, flute, and harp, to create a uniquely intimate chamber ensemble comprised of eleven of the country’s finest instrumentalists.
Tour personnel includes…
Vocals: Claire Martin — The Tippett Quartet: John Mills, Jeremy Isaac, Lydia Lowndes Northcott, Bozidar Vukotic — Flutes: Karen Jones — Saxes & Clarinets: Jon Shenoy — Low Brass: Callum Au — Piano: Rob Barron — Bass: Jeremy Brown — Drums: Matt Skelton (Drums) — Harp: Hugh Webb
Callum co-leads the Quintet-à-tête with award-winning jazz trumpeter James Davison. Heavily influenced by the classic 1960s Clark Terry / Bob Brookmeyer Quintet, the group’s mission statement is to “play lively, fun and exciting jazz with an emphasis on melody and groove”.
The group has performed in top jazz clubs around the country to critical acclaim, and have recently recorded their first album at Stadium Studios, Wembley, to be released in late 2020.
Trumpet & Flugel: James Davison — Valve Trombone: Callum Au — Bass: Misha Mullov Abbado — Drums: Matt Skelton — Piano: Sam Watts
Where we are
14-15 Main Drive
Wembley HA9 7NA