Jamie O'Donnell

Jamie O'Donnell

Instrument: Saxophone, alto | Location: London

Jamie O’Donnell’s mercurial (Phil Woods-influenced) bop-edged alto solo is a delight.
—London Jazz News

Updated: June 5, 2019

Born: 1968

Jamie O'Donnell is a London based alto saxophonist. He began playing alto saxophone aged 17 after falling in love with the music of Charlie Parker, growing to love the playing of the great alto players Phil Woods, Jackie McLean, Cannonball Adderley, Art Pepper and Sonny Stitt. Jamie studied saxophone with Aubrey Frank before attending the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London where he studied with Jean Toussaint and Simon Purcell. Jamie has also studied with the Bebop legend, pianist Barry Harris.

A prolific composer, Jamie writes tunes for his own quartet “S.A.O.L.E.” which has been together since 1998. This band features the great guitarist Mike Outram, Matt Home on drums and Dominic Howles on Bass. The quartet perform at many London venues, including London's 606 Club. In 2000, Jamie performed unaccompanied for the premier of the film 'The talented Mr. Ripley' at the Odeon, Leicester Sq, London. In 2002, he was featured with the Cyprus Chamber Orchestra.

For 23 years Jamie performed at La Brocca, a jazz venue in North London. Many musicians would play there, including Gwilym Simcock, Jim Hart, Sam Crockatt, Simon Whiteside, Bob Martin, Pete Whitaker, Anita Wardell, Nia Lynn and many others. In 1999, the venue’s owner, David Locke, decided to take a quintet featuring Anita Wardell and Jamie to Pomos, Cyprus for a Jazz Festival. The festival took place each September with many musicians from all over the world and continues today.

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”..Incisive tone reminiscent of Phil Woods.” —The Jazz Mann

“Jamie O’Donnell’s mercurial (Phil Woods-influenced) bop-edged alto solo is a delight.” —londonjazznews.com

“Excellent, Mclean'ish saxophone player” —Jazz at Ronnie Scott's magazine

“Classic, inspired musician” —'Hello' magazine

“Plays with a maturity that belies his years.” —Steve Rubie, 606 Club