Julian Siegel

Julian Siegel

"Spontaneous sparkle, Siegel's wailing, swerving lines burst with character"
John Fordham, The Guardian

With drive, a warm sound and an endless flow of ideas, Siegel's lines seem somehow three dimensional, even at breakneck tempos.” 
Hi-Fi News and Record Review ( Vista Album Choice - March 2018)

Julian Siegel is an in-demand saxophonist on the UK and European Jazz scene who has worked with many of the top figures in the music. He was awarded the 2007 BBC Jazz Award for Best Instrumentalist. He is currently touring with the Julian Siegel Quartet featuring pianist Liam Noble, bassist Oli Hayhurst and drummer Gene Calderazzo. The Quartet's first CD Urban Theme Park was awarded the 2011 London Jazz Award and in February 2018 the Quartet released their new album VISTA on Whirlwind Recordings.
Since the release of VISTA, the band has performed internationally at Jazz Festivals including Inntöne Jazz Festival in Austria, Made in The UK at the Rochester International Jazz Festival, NY, Jazz Standard NYC, JazzFestival Göttingen, Germany, Limerick Jazz Festival, Ireland, UK’s Love Supreme Festival, Bristol and Manchester International Jazz Festivals and an extensive 2018-2019 Arts Council England UK Tour. The Quartet was featured on the cover of UK’s Jazzwise Magazine in February 2018 and VISTA was included in Jazzwise’s Top 20 Jazz Albums of the year.

From 1996 Julian co-led the influential band Partisans with the award-winning NYC based guitarist Phil Robson, featuring Thaddeus Kelly on Bass and Gene Calderazzo on Drums. The band has played at major Jazz Festivals in Europe, USA and Canada. In May 2019 the band released their sixth (and first live) album Nit de Nit on Whirlwind Recordings. The band’s fifth album Swamp (Whirlwind) was awarded Best Album in the 2015 Parliamentary Jazz Awards.

The Julian Siegel Trio with US Improvising stars, drummer Joey Baron and bassist Greg Cohen was formed as a result of a major commission from Cheltenham Jazz Festival in 2006. The Trio has toured the UK three times and released a double album Live at the Vortex (Basho Records).

In recent years Julian has begun writing music for Jazz Orchestra and in March 2017 Julian toured the newly formed Julian Siegel Jazz Orchestra on a six date UK tour supported by Arts Council England, the tour was produced by Derby Jazz and Right Tempo with the support of EMJazz. J.S.J.O. played Julian's compositions and arrangements including the new suite commissioned especially for the tour by Derby Jazz, Tales from the Jacquard. In June 2021 the band’s debut album Tales from the Jacquard was released on Whirlwind Recordings. The album was recorded live on tour by BBC Radio 3 ‘Jazz Now’ and remixed and mastered for CD release by Chris Lewis and mastered in NYC by Tyler McDiarmid for release on limited edition Double Vinyl.

In February 2018 Julian was invited to Germany to play two concerts with the NDR BigBand, Hamburg directed by US Trumpeter / composer Tim Hagans playing some of Julian's new compositions for Jazz Orchestra including 'Tales from the Jacquard'. The concert from NDR Studio 1 in Hamburg was broadcast on NDR radio.

Julian has played with many large ensembles including Kenny Wheeler's Big Band on the album 'The Long Waiting' (CAM Jazz), Andrew Hill's Anglo American Big Band, Hermeto Pascoal UK Big Band, Mike Gibbs 70th Birthday tour (alongside Bill Frisell, Steve Swallow and Adam Nussbaum), John Taylor Big Band, Steve Gray, Django Bates’ ‘Delightful Precipice’, Jazz Jamaica, Stan Sulzmann's Big Band, John Dankworth's Generation Big Band, Colin Towns Mask Orchestra, Allan Ganley, Hans Koller 'New Memories' Band with Steve Lacy, BBC Big Band, Jason Yarde's 'Acoutastic Bombastic', Nikki Iles Big Band and Hal Willner's 'Amarcord' with Carla Bley and Rita Marcotulli. 

Julian has been a member of Diane Schuur's European Quartet since 2013 touring Europe with many festival appearances.

In small band settings Julian has played with Django Bates’ 'Human Chain', Gary Husband’s ‘Drive’, Mulatu Astatke, Simon Purcell’s ‘Red Circle’, Laurie Anderson, Steve Nieve, Kirk Lightsey, Norma Winstone, Nigel Kennedy, Robert Mitchell, Byron Wallen, Jason Palmer, Jeff Ballard and Oren Marshall's 'Charming Transport Band' featuring musicians from Ghana and Nigeria.

Julian was a member of a trio led by the sadly departed British Piano legend John Taylor alongside the Italian Vocalist Diana Torto playing concerts in Italy and UK from 2013 to 2015. In January 2016 Diana and Julian, alongside Bassist Anders Jormin and one of John's ex-students. pianist Pablo Held, performed a tribute concert to John in Treviso, Italy

Julian has played with vocalists including Dame Cleo Laine, Beverley Knight, Liane Carroll, Cleveland Watkiss, Lauren Kinsella, Joe Lee Wilson, Stuart Staples/Tindersticks (the Julian Siegel Quartet was featured on Stuart Staples film soundtrack for Claire Denis' Un Beau Soleil Intérieur ), Amy Winehouse, Jacqueline Dankworth, Juliet Roberts, Keziah Jones,Terri Walker, Christine Tobin and punk rock legend Steve Ignorant (formerly of Crass).

In January 2021 during lockdown Julian was honoured to have been invited to play on one track on the new album by Sir John McLaughlin. The album Liberation Time was released in June 2021 (Abstract Logix). Recorded remotely in Monaco, Paris, London and Cairo the track Right Here, Right Now, Right On features John McLaughlin with Nicolas Viccaro (drums), Jérôme Regard (bass), Julian Siegel (tenor saxophone) and Oz Ezzeldin (piano).


Photo credit: Carl Hyde