Little Radio Community Tour

Thu 12 Nov @ North Bradley
Fri 13 Nov @ Calstock
Sat 14 Nov Fremington
Fri 27 Nov @ Bishops Castle

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Iain uses Rico Select Jazz 2H filed tenor reeds

Iain plays Selmer saxopones


FOOD 'This Is Not A Miracle' - New Release


Thomas Strønen: drums, electronics, percussion, moog, fender rhodes
Iain Ballamy: saxophones, electronics
Christian Fennesz: guitar, electronics

ECM 2417 CD 

Open in ECM Player

Tour Dates

28-Nov  Triskel Arts ECM Weekend Cork Ireland
30-Nov Jazz in the Round, Camden London England
01-Dec OCM Oxford England
02-Dec The MAC Birmingham England



5 things you need to know about ‘The Little Radio’ 

The Little Radio is on the second leg of its community tour of the southwest and Shropshire.

If you are a lucky enough to live around North Bradley, Calstock, Fremington or Bishops Castle then this month you can catch up with Iain & Stian, but first there are five things you need to know about The Little Radio... 
  1. Stian's favourite English relish is Banston Pickle
  2. ‘The Little Radio' play Teddy Bears' Picnic every gig, without exception
  3. Iain is a keen metal detectorist and sometimes uses his Fisher 1265X to play Jobim’s ‘One Note Samba’
  4. Stian comes from 3 generations of accordionists but also plays banjo, violins, guitars including pedal steel and the Bulgarian Kaval
  5. Iain & Stian have been working with primary schools and care homes in Wiltshire, Devon, Cornwall and Shropshire this autumn and will be performing the following concerts:

Tour Dates

12-Nov  North Bradley Wiltshire  
13-Nov Calstock Cornwall  
14-Nov Fremington Devon  


Bishops Castle



The Pepper Street Orchestra presents ‘An Ape’s Progress’

Matthew Sweeney poetry | Dave McKean film/visuals | Iain Ballamy music - 22nd October, Whitworth Gallery

The Pepper Street Orchestra - Iain Ballamy saxophones / Emilia Mårtensson voice / Kit Downes piano / Stian Carstensen accordion, banjo, pedal steel / Matthew Sharpe cello

Commissioned to celebrate the 20th Manchester Jazz Festival and the 10th Manchester Literature Festival, the festivals have joined forces to commission a unique, multi-media performance. Combining words, music and visual art/film to mesmerising effect, created by three established and critically acclaimed artists: musician Iain Ballamy, poet Matthew Sweeney and artist and film maker Dave McKean

Irish poet and storyteller, Sweeney’s poems for this piece are inspired by time spent in Manchester absorbing and reflecting on its people and places. McKean is an illustrator, photographer, comic book artist and filmmaker. Past collaborators have included Richard Dawkins, Alice Cooper, Neil Gaiman, Tori Amos and Michael Nyman. 

Words and music are brought to life by an exceptional international group of musicians, including the dazzling Norwegian virtuoso Stian Carstensen, the pure-toned Swedish vocalist Emilia Mårtensson and the British Mercury contender and keyboard maestro Kit Downes playing against a stunning visual backdrop created by McKean.

Supported by The Foyle Foundation, The Granada Foundation and Arts Council England. Presented in association with Manchester Jazz Festival, Manchester Literature Festival and RNCM

Manchester Jazz Festival - 6th August, Royal Northern College of Music
Manchester Literature Festival - 22nd October, Whitworth Gallery


Concerto for Stan Getz

Richard Rodney Bennett's Concerto for Stan Getz, published by NovelloIain will be the soloist for Richard Rodney Bennett's 'Concerto for Stan Getz' with the BBC Concert Orchestra, conducted by Keith Lockhart, on Sunday 22nd March at the Queen Elizabeth Hall.

Broadcast live from London's Southbank Centre, the 'Conflict and Healing' concert is part of the ongoing Changing Britain series. Listen live on BBC R3 at 19:30.

Bennett's 1990 Concerto was never performed by Stan Getz who sadly died shortly after it was completed.

Read Sebastian Scotney's interview with Iain, in London Jazz News, about the piece and when, as a lad, he met Stan Getz at Ronnie Scott's.


Loose Tubes reunion - "a triumph"

Photo © Tim Dickeson

The first reunion gig of Loose Tubes 24 years after their last gig together was The talking point of the Cheltenham 2014 weekend followed by a sellout week at Ronnie Scott's Club. 

BBC Radio 3 commissioned new pieces from the band's composers Chris Batchelor, Steve Berry, Eddie Parker and Django Bates. These new commissions were recorded at Ronnie Scott's alongside a selection of old favourites. If you missed the broadcast for Jazz on 3 along with an interview by Jez Nelson you can listen again here.

Catch Loose Tubes on 8th August for a final get together at Brecon Jazz Festival

The Guardian

Loose tubes....sprayed sparks straight through to a standing ovation.


...a triumph, with the multi-coloured maverick monstrosity back in force.

LondonJazz News strong, and as challenging, as ever... It was a tremendous gig.  


Ballamy celebrates 50th @ Kings Place & BBC R3

Photo: Dave McKean

Iain celebrated his 50th birthday at Kings Place, London, with his acclaimed quartet 'Anorak' and the premiere performance of his new supersized septet 'Anorak XL'. Presented by Julian Joseph the event was recorded for BBC Radio 3's Jazz Line-Up and broadcast on 17th May listen here

The repertoire included Iain's latest original works and some recent arrangements of his past classics. Kings Place advised:

"Expect to hear imaginative re-workings of classic jazz standards, occasional folk and classical themes plus original compositions with a strongly English pastoral feel."

'Anorak XL' features three of the very brightest graduates of the Royal Academy of Music where Iain acts as a tutor and mentor - Nathanial Facey alto saxophone, Freddie Gavita trumpet and Kieran Mcleod trombone. For more info on Anorak click here.


Quercus spring mini tour!

Photo: Tim Dickeson

Quercus, the unique trio featuring the award winning folk singer June Tabor, pianist Huw Warren and Iain Ballamy released their debut recording on ECM records last year. Visit the Quercus ECM Player for more information and to listen to track sample.

Quercus finished the spring mini tour in Germany and England - go to Live Dates for more info on next gigs.



Food with Fennesz was on the road at the end of last year playing Berlin Jazz Festival, Rotterdam Rewire Festival. Iain and Thomas finished the year touring Japan with Koichi Makigami and finished the year at the Sontakke Festival in Bangalore, India. More info here >


Food's seventh album 'Mercurial Balm' was released in 2012 on ECM Records

The album features the core group of Iain Ballamy and Thomas Strønen with guitarists Christian Fennesz and Eivind Aarset, trumpeter Nils Petter Molvaer and the unique singer and slide guitarist from South India, Prakash Sontakke.

Visit the Mercurial Balm ECM Player to hear track 1 'Nebular' and for more info about the artists (ECM 2269).


Iain listed in BBC's '100 Jazz Legends'

Listed between Chet Baker and Count Basie!

Compiled by Geoffrey Smith presenter of BBC 2 program 'Jazz record requests', Iain is described as an 'ingenious innovator'.

Iain is one of the few living and non-American musicians included in this prestigious publication. The listing confirms his standing in the true tradition.

Read more about who is in the 100 Jazz Legends area on the  BBC's website