Photo by Jerry Storer
Described by the late Humphrey Lyttelton as "formidable," Simon Spillett is a British jazz saxophonist who leads his own quartet featuring John Critchinson (piano), Alec Dankworth (bass) and Clark Tracey (drums). He has won several awards for his music, including the tenor saxophone category of the British Jazz Awards (2011), Jazz Journal magazine's Critic's Choice CD of the Year (2009) and Rising Star in the BBC Jazz Awards (2007). Other celebrated jazz leaders and bands with whom he has worked have included Sir John Dankworth, Stan Tracey, Peter King and The Ronnie Scott's Jazz Orchestra. He has recorded three albums, Introducing Simon Spillett (Woodville Records, 2007), Sienna Red (Woodville Records, 2008) and Square One (Gearbox Records, 2013), all of which have received highly favourable reviews in both the specialist and national press. His festival, concert and club appearances across the UK have included sold-out gigs at Ronnie Scott's and the Brecon Jazz Festival and he has broadcast on BBC Radio 3's Jazz-Line Up with his own band.
He has also worked as a writer, penning the definitive biography of UK jazz legend Tubby Hayes (The Long Shadow Of The Little Giant, Equinox) and articles for magazines including Jazz Journal and Record Collector. Acting as a consultant for a number of jazz record labels, he has written booklet essays for over seventy albums.
In 2016, Simon was appointed to the board of patrons of The Jazz Centre UK.
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