His work is eclectic, contemporary and un-encumbered by formality and tradition.
Transcending musical genres and forging strong and ongoing relationships with musicians around the globe, notably Scandinavia, Iain has worked with many of the cutting-edge figures of today’s contemporary Jazz scene.
The group Food which he co-formed with drummer, composer and electronics wizard Thomas Stronen is now signed to ECM records. They celebrated their seventh release in November 2012, featuring Christian Fennesz, Nils Petter Molvaer, Eivind Aarset and Prakash Sontakke.
Ballamy leads the Anorak quartet featuring Gareth Williams on piano and continues to tour and record with the virtuoso Norwegian button accordionist Stian Carstensen as a duo known as The Little Radio.
Highlights of a career spanning nearly 30 years include working with Loose Tubes, Bill Bruford’s Earthworks, Hermeto Pascoal, Django Bates, Kenny Werner, Gil Evans, George Coleman, The Karnataka college of percussion, John Taylor, Ian Shaw, Claire Martin, The Britten Sinfonia, Gay Dad, Everything but the Girl, Guy Chambers, Mike Gibbs, Carla Bley, John Dankworth, and many more.
Ballamy is a consultant tutor at The Royal Academy of Music and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff.
"Ballamy's is a melodic thoughtful style, born out in beautiful original tunes."
Linton Chiswick, Time Out
"Intensly melodic, eventful and full of surprises... The beauty of tone that Iain Ballamy gets is certainly one of the joys of the current scene, and his concern with creating it echoes Stan Getz's."
Andy Hamilton, Jazz on CD
"Technically flawless performances."
Barry Withendon, The Wire
"A major international voice."
Chris Parker, The Times
"Ballamy does indeed have a unique sound that owes little to the usual sax masters."
Simon Adams, Jazz Journal
"Ballamy's melodies may one day be seen as legendary, as they are inspired and searching, with an amazing care for detail... A disc by which others will be judged."
Philippe Renaud, Improjazz
"Ballamy evokes mental images of rural scenes."
Ron Atkins, The Guardian
"Iain Ballamy emerged from the Loose Tubes stable with an entirely unfashionable saxophone sound (he didn't sound like John Coltrane) based on scurrying, low-register, clarinet-like figures, a delicate tone and an urgent, but sparingly used upper register wail. He doesn't sound like anyone else on the British scene."
John Fordham, The Guardian