Biography

Photograph by Chris Kelly

Saxophonist and composer Trish Clowes has been described as “an improviser to be reckoned with” (Downbeat Magazine) and “one of the most agile and original jugglers of improv and adventurous composition to have appeared in the UK in recent times” (The Guardian). Clowes is currently an Associate Artist at Wigmore Hall, and her band MY IRIS has been hailed as “the jazz of the future” (Augsburger Allgemeine).

Notable career performances include the Barbican, Toronto Jazz Festival, Rochester International Jazz Festival (US), Royal Festival Hall, Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, Wigmore Hall, Celtic Connections (with BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra), Women in (e)motion Festival (Germany), National Opera House (Ireland), Galway Jazz Festival, and broadcasts for BBC 2 Proms Extra, BBC Radio 3 and Radio Bremen. In May 2024, Clowes played a short run of UK & Ireland dates with US trumpeter Dave Douglas, presenting compositions for a new quintet EYES UP, appearing at London’s Pizza Express Jazz Club in Soho, Cheltenham Jazz Festival, and Bray Jazz Festival. In November 2024, Clowes will be a guest with the NDR Big Band in Germany, performing a set of new compositions entitled ‘Radiant Resistance’.

Clowes has recorded a number of critically acclaimed albums as leader, including ‘A View with a Room’ (2022) on Greenleaf Music, directed Dave Douglas. She has also released five albums on UK indie label Basho Records, and two independent albums on Bandcamp. Her new duo album with pianist Ross Stanley, ‘Journey to Where’, is out on Stoney Lane Records (released March 2024).

Clowes premiered Joe Cutler’s saxophone concerto ‘Hawaii Hawaii Hawaii’ in 2019 with the BBC Concert Orchestra, the recording of which is released on Cutler’s album of the same name on NMC Recordings. Clowes is also a featured soloist with the London Symphony Orchestra on Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian’s debut album for NMC Recordings, and two albums with Orchestra of the Swan on Signum Classics.

Recent commissions include writing for the NDR Big Band (Germany), London Sinfonietta, National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain (for the BBC Proms 2022), Orchestra of the Swan, BBC Radio 3, and Architecture of Autonomy (producing music for a dance-film). Clowes’s music video ‘Abbott & Costello’, directed by Rose Hendry, was shortlisted for Voice of a Woman Awards 2019, and screened at Cannes Lions Festival and Aesthetica Short Film Festival.

Clowes released a series of albums on Basho Records from 2010-2019, working with artists such as Gwilym Simcock, Jules Buckley (conducting two orchestral tracks on her debut album ‘Tangent’), and the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by André de Ridder (three tracks on her third album ‘Pocket Compass’). From 2012-14 Clowes was a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist, and during that time she was commissioned by BBC Radio 3 to write for the BBC Concert Orchestra, a piece that won her a British Composer Award in 2015. Clowes has also collaborated with Norma Winstone, Heath Quartet, Donald Grant (Elias Quartet), Mike Walker, Food (Iain Ballamy & Thomas Strønen), Louise McMonagle (Riot Ensemble), vocal ensemble Juice, and appeared on the soundtrack for the feature documentary ‘Ronnie’s’ by Oliver Murray, with music composed by Alex Heffes.

Born on May 11th 1984, Clowes was raised in Shrewsbury, Shropshire and moved to London in 2003 to study at the Royal Academy of Music – she was later honoured as an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music (2013). Clowes holds a PhD in Musical Composition, awarded by Birmingham City University (Royal Birmingham Conservatoire) in 2020. Her research project was centred around the activities of her new music festival Emulsion, exploring collective practice and audience interaction through her compositions, and was funded by a STEAM Scholarship (2016). Clowes is an ambassador for the charity forRefugees  (formerly Donate4Refugees), and teaches for Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Royal Academy of Music, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, and has guest tutored at the Royal College of Music.

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Trish Clowes is a Vandoren UK artist, using Vandoren reeds

Trish is an ambassador for the charity forRefugees