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Royal College of Music Big Band with special guest Guy Barker

The Royal College of Music Big Band returns to  the Vortex again under the expert leadership of renowned trumpeter, composer and bandleader Guy Barker. The programme features a range of classic tunes by jazz legends, as well as compositions by RCM students.

The RCM Big Band performs regularly throughout the year at the RCM and external venues such as the Bull’s Head, Barnes; Jazz Café POSK, Hammersmith; and the Royal Festival Hall. Notable concerts include annual performances at the RCM Festival of Percussion with guests such as Jojo Mayer, Gavin Harrison and Dave Weckl.

Guy Jeffrey Barker MBE is an English jazz trumpeter and composer. Barker was born in Chiswick, London, the son of an actress and a stuntman. He started playing the trumpet at the age of twelve, and within a year had joined the National Youth Jazz Orchestra. After lessons from Clark Terry in 1975, Barker went on in the 1980s to play with John Dankworth, Gil Evans (with whose orchestra he toured and recorded in 1983), Lena Horne and Bobby Watson.

Barker was a member of Clark Tracey’s quintet from 1984 to 1992, and continues to play with Tracey. As a sideman he has played with many major musicians and groups, including Ornette Coleman, Carla Bley, Georgie Fame, James Carter, Mike Westbrook, Frank Sinatra, Colin Towns, Natalie Merchant, ABC, The The, Haircut One Hundred, Erasure, Chris Botti, Wham!, Kajagoogoo, The Housemartins, Matt Bianco, Alphaville, The Style Council, The Moody Blues, Sting, Bucks Fizz, Mike Oldfield, Cleo Laine, Acoustic Alchemy, XTC and Stan Tracey.

Founded in 1882, the RCM moved to its present site on Prince Consort Road in 1894. Illustrious alumni include Benjamin Britten, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Gustav Holst, Dame Joan Sutherland, Sir Thomas Allen, Sir Colin Davis, John Wilson, Alina Ibragimova, Sarah Connolly and Gerald Finley. In addition to its 750 full-time students, the College engages dynamically with a wider and more diverse community of children and adults through a dedicated range of creative activities delivered by RCM Sparks’ education and participation projects, the RCM Junior Department programme, and the Creative Careers Centre. A further development is the growing schedule of live-streamed concerts and masterclasses which can be viewed on

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