Pianist and composer Andrea Vicari was born in Miami (Florida) and grew up in Birmingham (England). Educated at Cardiff University she won a scholarship to study at The Guildhall School of Music in London. Andrea was soon in demand as a 'side-man working with bass guitar legend, Dill Katz in a band that included the then unknown guitarist Phil Robson. Soon after she formed her first important group with Julian Argüelles on saxophone & Stuart Hall, then of Django Bates' Human Chain, on bass. Other employers included GRP recording artist, Phil Bent; jazz warrior David-Jean Baptiste with whom she recorded her first commercially released CD; and the all-women band Birds led by Kathy Stobart. She played a successful season at London's sadly defunct jazz club The Bass Clef with the late great American saxophone innovator, Eddie Harris, broadcasting live on JazzFM radio; and gigged with the US trumpet legend Art Farmer.
In 1994 Andrea was commissioned by The Arts Council and the Peter Whittingham Trust to write music for a new eleven piece jazz orchestra which became the Suburban Gorillas project. A CD and Jazz Services tour followed including a triumphant appearence at Brecon Jazz Festival and a live BBC broadcast from the Newcastle Playhouse.
This is one of the most impressive recording debuts to come from the recent crop of young British jazz musicians. The writing and playing are superlatively assured, and the music covers a vast spectrum, from the elegiac Awakenings, to the African-inspired Maibouye, the brittle satire of Pin Stripe Woman, and the tour de force of L'Orchestre des Fous, a ten minute outing in 5/4 time which swings beautifully