Tom Barford's Asterope

Sun 23 Sep 7:30 for 8:15 (£14/12)Hen & Chicken Book

Tom Barford (Saxes)
Rupert Cox (Piano)
Billy Marrows (Guitar)
Flo’ Moore (Bass)
Dave Storey (Drums)

Winner of the Kenny Wheeler Prize 2017, Tom was raised in a musical family and grew up surrounded by great music, from Frank Sinatra to Louis Armstrong. He started the saxophone at the age of 9 but it wasn’t until a few years later that Will Osborne’s inspiring lessons led Tom to a specific interest in Jazz.

Tom Barford

Tom joined the Junior Jazz Course at the Royal Academy of Music aged 16, before going on to gain a place on the Undergraduate Jazz Programme at the Academy in 2013 and earning a First Class Hons degree in 2017. During his time at the Academy, Tom has slowly become recognised as one of the most exciting young players emerging on the scene. He has regularly been writing music and performing across Britain with his band Asterope, as well as co-leading and writing for a quartet involving James Maddren, Alex Hitchcock and Ferg Ireland.

Asterope at World Music Studios

Aside from leading his own groups, Tom also takes pride in fulfilling a sideman role in such groups as The Barry Green Sextet, The Billy Marrows Octet, The Olli Martin Quintet and Mark Trounson’s Disquiet as well as playing occasionally in the Gareth Lockrane Big Band and The London Super Sax Project alongside Alex Garnett, Nigel Hitchcock, Graeme Blevins and Sammy Maine.

Evan Parker said: Even by the high standards set by previous winners of the Kenny Wheeler Prize, Tom is something else. He has that precious combination of strong technique and an inexhaustible flow of ideas which mark him out as a very special soloist. His writing is wonderfully intricate and demanding and yet is exuberantly listenable. We are witnessing the birth of a new star in the jazz firmament. Needless to say, our decision was unanimous.

Billy Marrows

Billy Marrows is an award winning guitarist and composer based in London, originally from North Yorkshire. Billy won the 2016 Dankworth Prize for Jazz Composition and the 2012 Watermill Jazz Young Composers competition. Most recently he was awarded the 2016 Lancaster Youth Jazz Commission for which he wrote a suite drawing upon ideas from Gamelan music. This was premiered by his octet at Lancaster Jazz Festival. Billy's writing has been described as 'fresh and unpredictable’ by Jazzwise magazine.

Rupert Cox

Rupert Cox has been playing the piano since the age of 6. He plays in Dave De Rose’s Barefoot Bear, with the Matt Sulzmann Quintet and with young drummer Phelan Burgoyne in a trio often with guest Spanish trumpet player Felix Rossy. Rupert also leads his own trio with Joe Downard and Dave Storey. He has also played in large ensembles including the Human Revolution Orchestra with Robin Eubanks at Ronnie Scott’s as well as NYJO.

Flo’ Moore

Since moving to London in 2011, Flo Moore has played bass with some of the world’s finest jazz musicians, including Peter King, Bobby Watson and Jason Rebello. Flo's musical influences include John Coltrane and Bill Evans, she has also taken inspiration from great songwriters such as Paul Simon, James Taylor and Carole King.

Dave Storey

Dave Storey on drums is a formidable force on the London jazz scene today. He is a part of the Harry Christens Organ Trio, The Olli Martin Quintet, The Tom Smith Septet and Koala as well as leading his own trio project with James Allsopp and Connor Chaplin.

A wonderful young player…..It’s so exciting to hear him grow! ~ Stan Sulzmann

Tonight is an opportunity to hear a bright new talent on the UK scene, if Evan Parker thinks so highly of this young man, that’s good enough for me!


Tom's writing for this group is largely influenced by various bands and musicians such as The Golden Age of Steam, Mark Lockheart, Brad Mehldau, John Scofield, Paul Motion and Iain Ballamy. They have now released ‘Bloomer’; Asterope’s debut album on the renowned record label "Edition Records". The Album was recorded in January at Real World Studios and produced by saxophonist Iain Ballamy.

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