Kit Downes

Primary Instrument: Piano

Born: May 26, 1986    

Kit Downes

After studying at both the Purcell School of Music and the Royal Academy of Music - Kit now plays regularly with his own trio, Stan Sulzman, Troyka, The Golden Age of Steam, Sam Crockatt and Clark Tracey - and has played with Joe Locke, Gilad Atzmon, Empirical, Gerard Presencer, Seb Rochford, Ian Ballamy, Peter Ind, Gwyneth Herbert, John Warren and Eugene Skeef. He has also performed with leading British bands Fraud, Asaf Sirkis’ Inner Noise, Gilad Atzmon’s Orient House Ensemble, Acoustic Ladyland, Nostalgia 77, 2000 Black, Silhouette Brown and Dennis Rollins’ Badbone and Co. He has also worked with up and coming Composer / Songwriter Micachu, with whome he recorded in Abbey Road for Matthew Herbert, recorded for BBC Radio 6 and played at the Sonar Music Festival ’07 in Barcelona. Kit’s work with Empirical has taken him to The North Sea Jazz Festival, The JVC Festivals in New York, Montreal and Newport, and Vancouver Jazz Festival. Empirical won ‘Best Album of the Year 2007’ in Jazzwise and the EBU Award at the North Sea Festival. Kit won the BBC ‘Rising Star’ Award in 2008 and was nominated for a British Jazz Award in both 2008 and 2009, he also won one of 'Yamaha Jazz Scolarship' Awards in 2009....
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Jazzwise Album of the Year 2008 - Empirical Mojo Jazz Album of the Year 2008 - Empirical EBU Jazz Award 2008 - Empirical Peter Whittingham Award 2008 - Empirical BBC Jazz Award 2008 - Rising Star Award British Jazz Awards Nominee 2008/09 - Rising Star Yamaha Jazz Award 2009 Top Ten Jazz Albums of 2009 (Jazzwise Magazine)
British pianist Kit Downes, formerly of Empirical, is beginning to get the kind of enthusiastic attention Gwilym Simcock did on his emergence a few years before. Downes is more of a choosy, patient storyteller, and if one of his distinctive original themes only requires a handful of notes and a lot of spaces, he leaves it like that.” - John Fordham, The Gaurdian ****

“Downes seems to have become everyone's favourite young pianist. These eight, slightly impressionistic originals are unpretentiously brilliant and full of subtle touches. Downes, bassist Calum Gourlay and drummer James Maddren are all players to watch.” - Dave Gelly, Observer

“Golden is striking not only for his playing, but also for his compositions.. a brilliantly interactive trio. He’s a remarkably distinctive player. Inside or outside, his lines are full of the original and unexpected, with a logic of their own; and his stunning technique is matched by a rhythmic flexibility given full scope by his rapport with Gourlay and, especially, Maddren.” - Ray Comiskey, Irish Times ****

“Pianist Kit Downes's slender frame and shy demeanor hide a lightening musical intelligence and an engagingly slow-burn energy. “ - Ivan Hewitt, Sunday Telegraph

“Downes offers a cultivated musical intelligence allied to a determination to find bracing things to say” - Peter Vacher, Jazz UK

'A very skilled and fluid pianist, Downes is not only bursting with fresh ideas but has that rare ability to carry them off.” - Selwyn Harris, Jazzwise

  • Kit Downes: Light From Old Stars

    Basho Records
  • Light From Old Stars

    Basho Records
  • Wedding Music

    Loop Records
  • Quiet Tiger

    Basho Records
  • Golden

    Basho Records

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Extended Analysis

Kit Downes: Light From Old Stars

CD/LP/Track Review

Wedding Music by Bruce Lindsay

Wedding Music by Karl Ackermann

Light From Old Stars by Bruce Lindsay

Catching Up With

Kit Downes: Old Stars, New Blues

CD/LP/Track Review

Quiet Tiger by Bruce Lindsay

Quiet Tiger by Chris May

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