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Orphy Robinson

Orphy Robinson is an award-winning Vibraphonist and multi-instrumentalist, an acclaimed soloist who consistently works across a variety of eclectic musical forms (e.g. jazz, free jazz, free improvisation, jazz fusion, and funk music. Orphy (an in demand and versatile composer) has written music for television, Film, Theatre, Opera and contemporary Classical music. He released two critically acclaimed solo albums on the famous Blue Note label in the 1990s, “When Tomorrow Comes” and “The Vibes Describes”. He has also toured or appeared with many artists including David Murray, Don Cherry, John Tchicai, Lester Bowie, Wynton Marsalis, Hugh Masekela, Louis Moholo, Nana Vasconcelos, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Wadada Leo Smith, Andy Sheppard, Evan Parker, Butch Morris, Springheel Jack, Sunny Murray, Savanna, Neneh Cherry, Hugh Hopper, Robert Wyatt. Beggar & Co, Working Week, Carleen Anderson, Mica Paris, Josh Stone & Carleen Anderson who has shared Producer duties with for her new album “Cage Street Memorial”. Audiences discovered his playing when he first toured with saxophonist Courtney Pine and appeared on his breakthrough album “Journey to the Urge within” he was an original member of the seminal 1980s big band “The Jazz Warriors.” Orphy was also a founder member of the Brit Funk Band Savanna. He is a on the board of Directors for the re – formed organisation of the iconic ‘Jazz Warriors International.’ now called ‘Warriors international’. 2009 saw several albums featuring Orphy as a Guest soloist, these included “No now is so!" by the Alexander Hawkins ensemble, “Out of office” by the “Burn out Mama” band from Finland, he also featured on further albums by Louis Moholo, Leee John and Beggar & Co. Orphy’s continued work in Education, which has included work for Derby Jazz was recognised nationally with a nomination for Jazz Educator of the year at the All party Parliamentary Jazz Awards. He was also invited to become the Musical Director of a newly formed large scale Ensemble based at The Roundhouse working with drummer Nick Mason of Pink Floyd started in the later part of 2009. Robinson is also a founder member of EDGE (The Shape of things to come) along with Straight no Chaser magazine’s Paul Bradshaw and journalist Jason Jules they Promoted events originally pitched as a fringe to the London Jazz Festival, due to the success of their first well received programme titled Edge 08 they have now curated events Internationally and across a wide spectrum of Arts Platforms. In 2012 Bradshaw and Robinson went on to successfully launch the large scale project ‘The Enlightenment Ensemble’ Sacred music, Sacred Spaces brings a radical new reading of the John Coltrane “A Love Supreme “ this was well received by critics and audiences alike. Paul Bradshaw has put the resources of his online magazine “Ancient to Future” firmly behind the project that has now undertaken two more sold out performances at the South bank Centre’s “Meltdown” Festival in 2014 curated by James Lavelle. Orphy its Music Director and Rowland Sutherland its Composer. Orphy had also launched a large scale Ensemble “The Spontaneous Cosmic RawXtra” at the Kings Place concert venue in October 2009. Since 2009 Orphy has been a featured soloist on Marimba/Vibraphone with the Virtuoso violinist Nigel Kennedy. Performing extensive repertoire from Johann Sebastian Bach & Duke Ellington,Vivaldi,Hendrix this has resulted in favourable Press reviews on the 2010 world tour with Kennedy’s newly created Orchestra the “Orchestra of Life”. In 2011 they undertook a world tour to promote the latest album from Kennedy “The Four Elements:” released on SONY CLASSICS while also touring a radical new re- imagining of Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons”. A new album recording of the Vivaldi project should see a release date in 2015. Another project “Bach to the Future” was debuted on the International concert circuit during 2014 and an album recording is expected in late 2014 with further International tours planned during 2015. Orphy also relaunched the Brit funk band Savanna at the 2010 Summer Soulstice festival in London. Followed up by a name change “Nu Savanna” with touring and recordings planned for the near future. 2012 saw Orphy busy guesting with a mixture of high profile Artists these have included performing with Pulitzer prize nominee and Trumpet maestro Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith to critical acclaim as well as a memorable appearance with the Uber hip New York Nublu Cafe musicians led by Ilhan Ersahin’s Istanbul Sessions. Orphy is currently touring with “Black Top” a new collaboration with Pianist Pat Thomas with an ad hoc series of concerts featuring special guest artist Saxophonist Steve Williamson, further concerts have feature award winning musicians Trumpet player Byron Wallen and Vocalist Cleveland Watkiss. Orphy is the Vice chairman of Hackney Community College Alumni. Orphy sits on the board of Directors for the reformed Warriors International, as well as the Board of trustees for the National Youth Jazz Orchestra. He is a member of the advisory board for Participation and Learning at The famous East London venue ‘The Hackney Empire.’ He also sits on the board of Directors for The Vortex Jazz venue. Orphy has spearheaded a successful new Education initiative in the London borough of Newham in conjunction with the Newham Music Hub.’ The Newham Young Peoples Dub Orchestra” was launched into schools in 2013 – 2014 school year. It is hoped that this initiative will be extended in to other areas of the country in the future. The group ‘Black Top’ was formed in 2011 by Orphy and Free Improv Pianist/Electronics stalwart Pat Thomas. An album, Black Top No1, was released in July 2014 on The Babel record label featuring saxophonist Steve Williamson to critical acclaim.2015 will see their 2nd Album release on Babel this one will feature their collaboration with special guest Evan Parker.. A Selected Discography As Main Artist – When Tomorrow Comes, (1993) Album Blue Note Records The Vibes Describes, (1994) Album Blue Note Records The Funky end of things (1993) Ep Blue Note Records Life (1994) Ep Blue Note Records Black Top – Black Top Number Two featuring Evan Parker (2015) Babel Label Black Top Number One featuring Steve Williamson (2014) Babel Label As Sideman – Nigel Kennedy, The New four seasons (2015) Sony Records Josh Stone, Water (2015) Stoned Records Robert Wyatt, Comicopera, (2007) Domino Records Just Not Cricket Three days of British Improvised Music in Berlin (2013) Ni-Vu-Ni-Connu Courtney Pine, Journey to the Urge Within, (1986) Jazz Warriors, Out of Many, One People, (1987) Andy Sheppard, Andy Sheppard (1987), I Andy Sheppard introductions in the Dark (1989), Andy Sheppard Soft on the Inside (1990) Jazz Jamaica, “Massive” (2003), Robert Wyatt, Comicopera (2007) Alex Hawkins, No Now is so (2009) Tony Bevan, We packed are bags (2007) Tony Bevan, Bruise with Derek Bailey (2006) Tony Bevan, Bruised (2005) The London Improvisors Orchestra, The hearing continues (2001) The London Improvisors Orchestra, Proceedings (2000) The London Improvisors Orchestra, Freedom of the city (2002) The London Improvisors Orchestra, “Responses, Reproduction & Reality” (2003-4) The london Improvisors Orchestra, Freedom of the city “large groups” (2001) Lol Coxhill, Spectral Soprano (2001) Savanna, I can’t turn away (1981) Savanna, Never let you go (1982) Imagination, In & out of love, Body Talk lp (1981) Mica Paris, I’d hate to love you (1988) Mica Paris, Like Dreamers do (1988) Working week, Fire in the Mountain (1989) Jessica Lauren, Siren Song (1994) Total contrast, Total Contrast, Takes a little time (1985) Clear Frame, Clear Frame (2008) Springheel Jack, Songs & Themes (2008) Camelle Hinds, Soul Degrees (1996) Shawn Lee, Discomfort (1996) Monday Michiru Jazz Brat (1994) Oxford Improvisors, Cohesion festival (2007) Steven Grew & Grutronic, Essex Foam Party (2009) Beggar & Co featuring the Funk Jazz collective Brass, Strings N Tings (2007) David Jean Baptiste, Neuriba (1999) Freedom Principle, Acid Jazz & other illicit grooves Vol 2 (1990) Jazz Warriors, Chameleon (1993) David Jean Baptiste, Feeling tones (1997) Beggar & Co, The Legacy (2011) Cleveland Watkiss, Victory’s happy songbook (2001) Descendants of a quest, From a song to a story ( 2007) Dub Colossus Addis To Omega, (2014) IRL Kate Shortt, Something to tell you (2006) Simon Fell, Composition No30 BF27 (1998) Nigel Kennedy, Four Elements (2011) Karin Franssen, Private Behaviour (2011) Burn out Mama, Out of Office (2009) Katy Havnevik, Embla (2005) Tony Kofi, Plays Monk, All is now (2004) Rise Kigona & Doug Vetch, Tanzwa Nekutambura (2004) Louis Moholo Moholo unit, An open letter to my wife Mpumi (2008) Recliner-Various, Lick (2001) Meltdown volume1, Various (1999) NEW, Verve, Various (1996) Harry Beckett, The modern sound of Harry Beckett (2008) Bumper to Bumper, Various (1982) Ensemble Bash, Suite D’Lorenzo, Launch (1996) One Love: Tribute to Bob Marley, A tribute to Bob Marley (1996) HKB FiNN, Vitalistics ( HKB Finn, Natural Eloquence (2011) Richard Anthony Davis, When you need my lovin (1997) Shivanova, Polygamy (1993) Light of the World + Beggar & Co feat The Funk Jazz collective, Round Trip + Bonus track (2008) Pat Thomas, 4 Compositions for Orchestra (2010) Noel McKoy, Mind is the Keeper (1998) Cameron Pierre, Return to the source (2007) Sandra Cross, Just A Dream (1996) Byron Wallens, Sound Advice (1996) Film & Television Blood Rights, BBC Drama Episode 1 (1990) Composer Blood Rights, BBC Drama Episode 2 (1990) Composer Blood Rights, BBC Drama Episode 3 (1990) Composer Men of the Month, BBC Films Screen Two(1994) Composer Bollywood Queen, Arclight films (2002) Performer Amos Vogel & Cinema 16, Film as a Subversive Art The Sticking Place (2004) Composer The Republic of Love, Dan Films (2003) Performer Eagle Star, 3 x Commercials (1993) Composer/Performer Taking the Dog for a walk, Documentary Performer/Interviewee 2014

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