Born in September 1984, Ed began his musical studies at the age of seven on the piano and started clarinet lessons hearing Acker Bilk's, Stranger on the Shore, for the first time.
In 2001 and 2003, Ed was awarded Diplomas by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) for his clarinet and piano playing and he went on to perform George Gershwin's Rhapsody In Blue in a series of concerts around the UK with Chris Jeans and the Ransome Brass Band - both the clarinet and piano solos.
Ed graduated from the University of Nottingham in 2006 with a Law Degree and was invited to play alto saxophone with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO). In 2009 Ed took over the lead alto chair in NYJO, touring the UK until January 2010 when he performed with NYJO at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club.
After leaving NYJO, Ed published a book with legendary saxophonist, Nigel Hitchcock, called The Solos of Nigel Hitchcock, and in 2012 he played tenor saxophone and clarinet on tour with George Michael. George himself introduced Ed to tens of thousands of people each night as he played the tenor sax solo on the 1993 hit, Cowboys And Angels.
After this, Ed started to record his own album, Simple Truth, which features his own compositions, arrangements and some co-writes with Richard Niles, an LA based song writer, producer and guitarist who Ed met in London. The album has Ed's favourite musicians from around the world (New York, LA and London) and features the BBC Strictly Come Dancing singer, Lance Ellington.
Whilst he was involved with this project, Ed was invited by Dave Koz to play aboard the Royal Caribbean: Navigator of the Seas for the Dave Koz & Friends At Sea cruise around the Mediterranean Sea (September 2012). Not only did Ed get to see the wonderful sites in Athens, Rome, Naples, Messina and Mykonos, but he got to play with some of the world's biggest names in jazz, smooth jazz and popular music: Dave Koz, of course, Gerald Albright, one of Ed's early inspirations on the saxophone, and the late Ricky Lawson, Michael Jackson's drummer.
In 2012, Ed toured with George Michael as his saxophone soloist. Once the tour came to an end, he started to put together his own material and on 9th January 2014, he released his debut solo sax album, Simple Truth. Performing to a sold out Pizza Express Jazz Club (Dean Street, Soho), the gig and the album went down a storm and Ed is achieving increasing recognition here in London and across the Pond in Los Angeles.
Dave Koz says about Ed: “Ed's got a beautiful sound on both the alto and tenor… a sweetness and earnestness in his approach that makes his music so listenable and refreshing.” And Nigel Hitchcock says: “Ed is a fine saxophonist, pianist and arranger.”
“Young, energetic and unafraid… listen & look out!” says Richard Niles on BBC Radio 2.
Ed is a Selmer Artist and he plays Rico Royal reeds, uses Neotech slings, Rovner ligatures and mouthpieces by Freddie Gregory.
Sources: Last.fm, Wikipedia
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(18/12/2017)||Songs by Ed Barker & Lance Ellington|