Sunday October 21, 2018

denys baptiste

jazz saxophonist and composer


Denys Baptiste was born in Hounslow, West London of St Lucian parents in 1969 and is a gifted tenor saxophonist, award-winning jazz artist, composer and educator. Denys is also a radio presenter, and has hosted a number of BBC Radio 3's highly popular Jazz Lineup shows. He also appeared in the Golden Globe-nominated movie, Love Actually.

Denys was prompted towards jazz after hearing his father's record collection, he took his first lessons in music at the age of 13 and at the age of 14 he began to play tenor sax. His introduction to jazz came from videos of Morrisey-Mullen and from listening to recordings by Charles Mingus and Count Basie. Denys studied music for two years at the West London Institue and then went on to take part in a jazz course at London’s Guildhall School of Music.

Denys Baptiste is an outstanding saxophonist of international acclaim, he is also a talented composer and although his roots are steeped in the jazz tradition, he incorporates ideas from other musical forms and popular culture. Denys is renowned for his ability to make complex music accessible, creating mature, melodic, and highly memorable compositions that lodge in the memory on first hearing.

Be Where You Are, his 1999 debut album earned him a Mercury Music Prize for Album Of The Year and a MOBO award for Best Jazz Act. Denys also won the British Jazz Awards for Rising Star 2000. He followed this in 2001 with his second album, Alternating Currents, which also received great critical acclaim and consolidated his position as one of the top saxophonists in Europe.

2003 saw the release of his third, and most ambitious, recording/touring project to date: Let Freedom Ring! - an inspirational, uplifting suite combining contemporary jazz, gospel, blues, and Afro-Cuban music with extracts of the epic poem, Mental Fight by Booker Prize-winning author, Ben Okri who narrates the piece. Commissioned by the Cheltenham Jazz Festival and the Jerwood Foundation, Let Freedom Ring! commemorated the 40th anniversary of the historic oration 
I Have A Dream by American black civil rights activist, Dr Martin Luther King and was nominated for Best Album and Best New Work in the BBC Jazz Awards, for Best Jazz Act in the MOBO (Music Of Black Origin) Awards, and Best Album in the UK Parliamentary Jazz Awards.

Denys Baptiste's website
Denys Baptiste's MySpace page
Denys Baptiste's press pack