Denys Baptiste Quartet

Denys Baptiste (tenor/soprano saxes), Peter Edwards  (piano), Gary Crosby (double bass), Rod Youngs (drums)

Born in Hounslow, West London of St Lucian parents in 1969, Denys Baptiste is an award-winning jazz artist, composer and educator. An outstanding saxophonist of international acclaim, Denys is renowned for his ability to make complex music accessible, creating mature, melodic, and highly memorable compositions that lodge in the memory on first hearing.

Be Where You Are – his 1999 debut album on independent jazz label, Dune Records – earned him a Mercury Music Prize for An Album Of The Year and a MOBO award for Best Jazz Act. He followed this in 2001 with his second album, Alternating Currents (Dune Records DUNECD05) also receiving great critical acclaim.

2003 saw the release of his third recording/touring project to date: Let Freedom Ring! (Dune Records DUNECD010), an inspirational, uplifting suite combining contemporary jazz, gospel, blues, and Afro-Cuban music with extracts of the epic poem, Mental Fight by Booker Prize-winning author, Ben Okri who narrates on this piece. Commissioned by the Cheltenham Jazz Festival/Jerwood Foundation, Let Freedom Ring! commemorated the 40th anniversary of the historic ‘I Have A Dream’ oration by American black civil rights activist, Dr Martin Luther King and was nominated for Best Album and Best New Work in the BBC Jazz Awards, for Best Jazz Act in the MOBO (Music Of Black Origin) Awards, and Best Album in the UK Parliamentary Jazz Awards.

For the Seven Jazz concert Baptiste returns to a classic quartet format giving audiences an opportunity to engage more intimately with the artist and experience the full might of this saxophone colossus. And although it’s his most progressive set to date, the music still remains entirely accessible with melodic free-flowing, contemporary compositions. Also very evident is the significant growth in his artistic maturity and stature.

Identity By Subtraction is Baptiste’s new CD release featuring his long-time collaborators: pianist Peter Edwards , double bassist Gary Crosby and drummer Rod Youngs, offering him the perfect setting for his fiery solo improvisations among the tight ensemble playing of this formidable and highly intuitive band. oth the album and live set conjugate the many cultural impressions and expressions of Europe, North America and the Caribbean that have come to define the artist, Denys Baptiste.

Hear his music here

Denys Baptiste's Quartet are at Seven on Thursday 17 May. Doors open 8pm, Music 8.30-11.15pm. Tickets £15/12 concessions, from Seven Arts bar or phone 0113 26 26 777 to reserve or purchase.  Full time student standby available on the door only £5