Jazz saxophonist and composer Iain Ballamy is recognised internationally as an outstanding and original musician. Renowned in Europe as the "Fantastic Englishman", Ballamy established himself playing alongside notables including Hermeto Pascoal, the late Gil Evans, George Coleman, Dewey Redman, Mike Gibbs and the New York Composers Orchestra.
Ballamy leads his own jazz quartet ‘Anorak’ featuring Gareth Williams on piano and continues to tour and record with the virtuoso button accordionist Stian Carstensen as a duo known as ‘The little radio” and a trio named ‘Quercus’ with pianist Huw Warren and the legendary folk singer June Tabor.
For more than a decade Iain Ballamy has forged strong and ongoing musical relationships with jazz musicians around the globe, especially in the Scandinavian countries, where he continues to work with many of the cutting-edge figures of today’s contemporary Jazz scene. The group named ‘Food’ which he co-formed with drummer, composer and electronics wizard Thomas Stronen has recently signed to ECM records for it’s sixth release and received a double 5 star review in BBC Music Magazine in July 2010.
Ian Ballamy has toured extensively throughout the world appearing at the majority of the major international festivals and venues. Ballamy can be heard on over 40 CDs. He is a long time collaborator with Django Bates, since their days together with Loose Tubes and with Bill Bruford's Earthworks. Since becoming a professional musician in 1982, Iain Ballamy has performed and recorded worldwide with notables including Loose Tubes, Hermeto Pascoal, Kenny Werner, Gil Evans, George Coleman, The Karnataka College of Percussion, John Taylor, Ian Shaw, Claire Martin, Britten Sinfonia, Gay Dad, Everything But The Girl, Guy Chambers, Mike Gibbs, Carla Bley, and John Dankworth just to name a few.
Ballamy’s work is considered eclectic, contemporary and un-encumbered by formality and tradition. His writing credits include notable work for the London Sinfonietta, The Henri Oguike Dance Company and his soundtrack for ‘Mirrormask’ the highly acclaimed movie directed by Dave McKean for the Jim Henson Company. Iain’s current writing projects include a film score ‘Luna’ and arrangements of the music of Billy Jenkins for the BBC Radio big band to be premiered at the London Jazz festival in November.
In 2001 he was awarded the BBC Radio 3 special award for innovation at the British Jazz awards.
Iain Ballamy is a specialist tutor at The Royal Academy of Music and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff. He also counsels the nation through his shrink column ‘in the saxophonists chair’ for Jazz UK Magazine.