Featured in Jazzwise Magazine’s ‘Who to Look out for in 2014’
Composer, arranger and performer, playing pedal, electric and Latin harps. Tori Handsley is renowned for her unique take on the harp. Her contemporary electric-harp led trio draws upon many influences, creating a tapestry of beats and strings with resounding riffs, driven by heavy grooves, layered with ethereal free flowing passages.
Particular influences include: EST, Neil Cowley Trio, Bad Plus, Keith Jarrett, Dorothy Ashby, McCoy Tyner & Mahavishnu Orchestra. One of the highlights of her career was touring with her childhood hero Nigel Kennedy in 2010, after being invited to be a part of his band for his Duke Ellington tour. Tori has since performed with other artists including: Orphy Robinson, Cleveland Watkiss, Pat Thomas, Claude Deppa, Shabaka Hutchings, Doug Boyle & Adam Waldmann, playing on the Kairos 4tet release ‘Everything we Hold’. After performing at ‘Freedom’, a free improv night hosted by Orphy Robinson, Tori was invited to become a member of the Jazz Warriors International. Tori has played at venues including: Queen Elizabeth Hall, Vortex, Purcell Room, Royal Albert Hall and for Jazz in the Round.
Tori Handsley – electric harp
Misha Mullov-Abbado – double bass
Harry Pope – drums
“Tori Handsley took the harp into unexplored territory with her open-minded, mesmerizing post-EST compositions and freely improvising young trio at Soho’s Spice of Life.” Selwyn Harris, Jazzwise
“Keep an eye out for harpist Tori Handsley whose uncluttered approach delivers a fresh angle to the scene.” Paul Pace, Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club, Spice of Life
Barely into his mid-twenties, Ollie Howell is a multi-award winning drummer, composer, bandleader and international recording artist. Now signed to Whirlwind Recordings, Ollie’s debut album, ‘Sutures and Stitches’, was released in September 2013. Recorded in London, and mixed and mastered by New York based, 4-time Grammy nominee Tyler McDiarmid, ‘Sutures and Stitches’ contains a collection of Ollie’s original compositions, and features some of the brightest emerging stars on the British jazz scene.
“A fine debut” John Fordham, The Guardian
“A delicious dynmaic flow and an almost elegiac beauty” Mojo
Since 2009, Ollie has also become the mentee of musical legend Quincy Jones. Quincy and Ollie first met in 2009, whilst Ollie was studying a bachelor degree in Music at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Quincy recalls their first meeting:
“When I arrived at the school, the jazz department had arranged a musical performance from its best students. Obviously, this happens to me a lot when I travel. But what doesn’t normally happen is for me to be floored by the performance of one of the musicians.”
After first watching Ollie perform, Quincy quickly became Ollie’s mentor, and in the years since then, is still continually helping to propel his career and introducing him to stalwarts of the international jazz scene.
In 2012, The Ollie Howell Quintet were awarded the prestigious Peter Whittingham Development Award, administered by the Musicians Benevolent Fund, which has become one of the most sought-after jazz awards in the UK.
OLLIE HOWELL – Drums/Compositions
MAX LUTHERT – Double Bass
MATT ROBINSON – Piano
DUNCAN EAGLES – Tenor Saxophone
MARK PERRY – Trumpet