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Luke Bainbridge’s Surface Tension

Doors 7:45 PM, Music 8:30 PM – 2 set(s) of music



Luke Bainbridge – Drums

Kieran McLeod – Trombone

Ralph Wyld – Vibraphone

Huw V Williams – Double bass



Surface Tension is a quartet project from drummer and composer Luke Bainbridge. Inspired by the dynamic relationship between composition and improvisation, Surface Tension explores different forms of musical storytelling – from large-scale journeys, to angular ritualistic loops, to multi-layered song forms. In an eclectic mix of styles, this project is influenced as much by Béla Bartók as it is by James Brown. Following their debut release, and with plans to record a second album in July 2024, this exciting new quartet is set to make an impression within the UK music scene.

Luke is a drummer and composer whose distinct voice can be heard in diverse contexts as a sideman and bandleader. His compositions have garnered critical acclaim in both jazz and contemporary classical arenas – 2018 Dankworth Prize for Jazz Composition and 2017 Compass Composition Prize in association with BCMG – and he explores both of these influences in quartet project Surface Tension. Its self-titled debut album was released in October 2021 and was well-received by audiences, critics and radio presenters alike.

“what characterises all the tracks is the complex and shifting approach to rhythm that comes from Bainbridge’s intricate compositions.” Peter Slavid – London Jazz News

“the standard of the playing is exceptional throughout and the level of interaction impressive, with Bainbridge subtly directing procedures from the drums.” Ian Mann – The Jazz Mann

“a mature debut…and a CD vying for album cover of the year” Pete Butchers – Jazz Today Cambridge 105 Radio

The quality of the performance from each of the musicians is quite outstanding, due in part to the high levels of their intercommunication and collaboration… Bainbridge’s arrangements have also played a large part in managing a fluctuating, multifaceted slant to the rhythmic framework. The album, short as it is, carries an individual, distinct and identifiable voice and it has to be that of Luke Bainbridge. Ken Cheetham – Jazz Views

“Bainbridge, a winner of the John Dankworth prize for composition in 2017, favours angular yet snappy contemporary grooves and plays great alongside the fine Chaos Collective bassist Huw V Williams…a promising debut.” Selwyn Harris – Jazzwise Magazine

“a young jazzer who is definitely going places…[Surface Tension] is stunning” Martin Powell – Jazz Scene BCB 106.5 Radio

Coming on the heels of their first release, the band has worked on a new set of compositions by Luke Bainbridge, which they will present live to audiences before heading into the studio in Summer 2024.

Aside from his own quartet project, Luke has performed as part of Hootini Brass Band, Rhythms of the City, Seven Steps Big Band, Duncan Fraser Septet and Sister Sally, as well as gigs with the James Taylor Quartet and the London Mozart Players.


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