(12:00, Thursday 12 July, Byre Theatre)
Ben Cottrell — Baritone Saxophone
Ben Cottrell is a composer and saxophonist currently based in Manchester. He studied on the prestigious Joint Course between the University of Manchester and the Royal Northern College of Music, where his principal study was contemporary classical saxophone.
Ben is the musical director of the Beats & Pieces Big Band, which he founded in 2008 as a vehicle for his own compositions and arrangements — since then the band has established a reputation as one of the UK’s most exciting emerging jazz groups. In March 2011 they were named as the winners of the European Young Artists’ Jazz Award, one of the continent’s major jazz prizes for emerging musicians, held as part of the Burghausen International Jazz Festival in Germany. Their debut full length album Big Ideas will be released in February 2012 — the album release will be supported by an extensive UK tour produced by Serious.
Ben was selected as one of the participants for the seventh edition of the ‘Take Five’ professional development scheme in 2010/11, aimed at ‘the UK’s most talented emerging creative jazz musicians’. He currently holds saxophone teaching positions at the University of Manchester and Hope University in Liverpool.