Winners of the Burghausen European Young Artists' Award 2011 and 2012 Ensemble of the Year nominees in the UK’s Parliamentary Jazz Awards, the Beats & Pieces Big Band are fast becoming one of the country's most talked about jazz groups. Led by composer and conductor Ben Cottrell, its 14 members are drawn from some of the most exciting and in demand young musicians active in the UK today, all of whom met and began playing together whilst students in Manchester.
Their music draws on a wide range of influences from Loose Tubes to Radiohead to redefine the role of the big band for a new generation. This diversity of musical backgrounds and reference points is reflected in the activities of the musicians themselves - members of the band are busy as full time jazzers, dubstep session musicians, experimental free improv artists and members of classical orchestras, amongst others....
Beats & Pieces dazzled with a glorious, full-bloodied set demonstrating all that’s good about big band jazz. The big band tradition is alive and well and living in Manchester. Selwyn Harris, Jazzwise
“They couple gale-force collective energy and confidence to startlingly original material (most of it by its rising-star leader Ben Cottrell) that acknowledges big-band traditions while radically modernising them.” John Fordham, The Guardian
Their performance would have reassured anyone who wonders whether the big band tradition can connect with a twentysomething audience that knows its Radiohead but thinks that Stan Kenton is probably a window-cleaner in Coronation Street Clive Davis, The Times
Beats & Pieces is to the big band tradition what Polar Bear is to the saxophone led quartet London Jazz Festival
If ever there was a big band that sounded perfect for the 21st century young person, Beats & Pieces is it Peter Bacon, thejazzbreakfast