Harry Whalley

Harry’s music has been performed nationally and internationally, including performance on BBC Radio 3. In addition, he has composed the scores for film and computer games that have been featured at film festivals around the world, including Palm Spring, LA, Berlin, and London. Harry received an AHRC funded PhD in Composition from the University of Edinburgh in 2014, previously receiving an MMus from the same institution and a BA Music (Jazz) from Middlesex University. Harry has taught at the University of Edinburgh and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and lectured and presented at conferences around the country. In 2016 Harry was the recipient of a Banff Fellowship, he is the composer in residence of St. Vincent’s Chapel in Edinburgh and Course Leader for BA/BSc Music Composition and Technology at the University for the Creative Arts. 

Will Finch

Will is a doctoral student at the University of Bristol under the supervision of Dr Guido Heldt and Dr Angela Piccini. His PhD thesis explores music’s place in the BBC arts documentary series Arena. It considers the means by which Arena constructs ideas about music, and on the uses the series itself makes of music. He previously studied at Royal Holloway, University of London and the University of Cambridge where he completed a dissertation on jazz in the French New Wave (specifically, Et Dieu… créa la femme (1956), Sait-on Jamais… (1957), Les liaisons dangereuses (1959), À bout de souffle (1960), and Eva (1962)). Sometimes Will blows warm air down a trumpet in jazz and non-jazz settings. 

Alfredo Lopes

Alfredo Lopes has been performing and writing jazz repertoire since his studies at Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 1993. He has studied with jazz saxophonist/composer, Joe Henderson; Vincent Herring, Wes Anderson, and piano player/educator, Dr Barry Harris. In 2012 he completed an Honours exegesis at Southern Cross University: The harmonic explorations of Joe Henderson: A study by a professional jazz musician on his contribution to the modern jazz tenor saxophone sound. Recently he presented a paper at the Australasian Jazz and Improvisation Research Network conference: Jazzing: Intuition and Intellect. He is at Queensland Conservatorium of Music, studying with jazz composers/educators, Dr Stephen Newcomb and Dr Louise Denson; developing a Doctorate of Musical Arts exegesis: Perspectives on creative design as a composer/player/leader in a small jazz ensemble. He has worked with and co-led music ensembles with some of Australia’s best jazz musicians including: George Golla, Judy Bailey, Craig Scott, Alan Turnball, Mark Isaacs, Paul Mac Namara, Bernie McGann, John Morrison, Jeff Usher, Matt McMahon, Sean Wayland, Jan Rutherford, Cathy Harley and Sharny Russell.


Vincenzo Martorella

Vincenzo Martorella is an Italian music historian and jazz critic. Currently he teaches History of Jazz at Conservatorio “Benedetto Marcello” of Venice, at Conservatorio “Luigi Canepa” of Sassari and at Conservatorio “Girolamo Frescobaldi” of Ferrara. He taught classes at University of Bari (History of Alternative Music), at the Florence campus of the New York University (Twentieth-Century Music History) and Perugia (History of Popular Music).

He edited Italian bimonthly jazz magazine JAZZIT, wrote seven books and hundreds of articles and essays. At this moment, he is the editorial director at Arcana, a publisher specialized in books about music.

Petter Frost Fadnes

Dr Frost Fadnes is a Norwegian improviser and saxophone player with a background – both as student and lecturer – from Leeds College of Music and University of Leeds. With a parallel career in performance and academia, Frost Fadnes’ research interest is focused on improvisational thinking within a practical context, specifically looking at improvisational processes through musical performance. He has published on a wide range of performance related topics, such as jazz collectives, cultural factories, jazz for young people and improvisational pedagogy.

Frost Fadnes is Associate Professor at The Department of Music and Dance, University of Stavanger, and former principal investigator for the HERA-funded research project Rhythm Changes: Jazz Cultures and European Identities.  He performs with players from mainly Norway and the UK, and continues to seek “the perfect melody” through eclectic musical approaches within the settings of improvised music. Frost Fadnes performs regularly with The Geordie Approach, Mole, Brink and Kitchen Orchestra.


David Milne

David Milne, Professor of Music at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, teaches saxophone/woodwinds, jazz studies, and directs and produces the university’s jazz series. Based in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota, David performs in diverse settings as a saxophonist and multi-woodwind instrumentalist, ranging from creative jazz, modern big band, and progressive popular genres to chamber, orchestral, and contemporary classical genres. David leads One World Consort, a multi-genre chamber ensemble featuring traditional music from a broad range of world cultures and traditions. Originally from Rochester, New York, David received the diplomas D.M.A. Saxophone from the Eastman School of Music, M.M. Woodwinds from Indiana University, and B.A. Music from Indiana University. Active internationally as a soloist, guest artist, and educator/clinician, David is an artist-clinician for Selmer Paris Saxophones and Vandoren Woodwind Products.



Brendan Williams

Brendan Williams is a practicing engineer / producer and academic. He is the programme leader for BA Music: Creative Music Technology at the University of Salford, from where he received his PhD (by publication) focussing on a series of album releases drawn from a diverse discography. Equally at home collaborating with art poppers Dutch Uncles or the cutting edge contemporary work of Psappha, a good deal of his output has seen him at the centre of Manchester’s jazz scene over the last ten years.

Williams has engineered and produced nine albums for Gondwana records to date, including releases from Matthew Halsall, Nat Birchall and GoGo Penguin, he continues to co-produce GGP following their move to Blue Note Records. In 2016 Williams co-founded Low Four Studios (www.lowfour.tv) which operates as a commercial recording facility, a ‘TV style’ live performance environment and educational resource in collaboration with UoS.


Adam Fairhall

Raised in Cornwall, Adam began, like many pianists, by practising boogie and blues with friends during school lunchtimes. He received piano lessons covering jazz harmony and repertoire in his teens, before moving north to study Contemporary Arts at MMU Cheshire, where he received a first class honours degree and an MA with distinction. Having decided towards the end of his undergraduate studies to devote his time to the study of jazz, Adam followed his studies at MMU with Master’s study at Leeds College of Music, receiving a MMus in Jazz Studies (Performance) in 2005. While at Leeds he studied with pianist Mark Donlon and also took lessons with pianist Matthew Bourne. In 2005 he received the college’s Sam Hood Rosebowl for Outstanding Jazz Performance. Returning to MMU to teach and continue his practice and research, Adam received a PhD in 2008 and continues to hold a part-time post as Senior Lecturer in Popular Music in the Cheshire faculty’s Department of Contemporary Arts.

Adam’s distinctive piano playing has been noted for the diversity of its stylistic reference points; idioms drawn from any period of jazz history may be blended, collided, subverted, hinted at or played completely ‘straight’ in his performances. Despite this playful and often witty approach, Adam’s playing is committed rather than ironic and detached, and reveals a love of piano jazz from ragtime to free.

Adam’s most ambitious project as a leader is The Imaginary Delta, which involves a seven-piece ensemble. The Imaginary Delta was commissioned by Manchester Jazz Festival, and premiered at Band on the Wall, Manchester, in July 2011 to considerable acclaim; the premiere was named the no. 1 gig of 2011 by journalist Chris Ackerley. The project includes a 3-horn front line and also features Paul J Rogers on laptop, turntable and diddley-bow. The music revisits early jazz forms in a surprising, passionate and at times highly deconstructive way. A live recording was released on SLAM in spring 2012 to 4 and 5 star reviews, and the band appeared as part of the Vortex’s programme for the London Jazz Festival 2012, and at the Forge, Camden in February 2013. In 2014 Adam was commissioned by Manchester Jazz Festival and Manchester Literature Festival to re-work The Imaginary Delta in collaboration with acclaimed poet Jackie Kay, using her poems about Bessie Smith in addition to new poetry. The resulting work was performed at the Royal Northern College of Music and as part of the Manchester Literature Festival in 2014. Adam and Jackie performed new material from the collaboration on Radio 3’s Women’s Hour in July 2014.

In addition to this, Adam performs solo and in a variety of other formats, from an organ trio (The Revival Room) to a piano trio format (Fragments trio and The Markov Chain) and a seven-piece improvising ensemble (The Spirit Farm, whose eponymous album placed at no. 5 on Daniel Spicer’s critic’s list of the top albums of 2015 in Jazzwise). His work frequently involves him playing keyboard instruments other than the piano, including prepared electric piano, Indian harmonium, toy piano and drawbar organ, and he is becoming increasingly active as an accordionist in several projects. On all these instruments Adam enjoys exploiting and subverting conventional techniques while investigating the idiosyncratic, individual qualities of the instrument and it’s potential for free playing. In developing a free vocabulary for instruments relatively rare in that field, Adam is becoming increasingly sought after as a free player, both in the northern scene and the London scene.

In addition to five albums as leader or co-leader, Adam has recorded ten albums and numerous BBC sessions as a sideman, most notably with acclaimed sax player Nat Birchall.

Adam has been interviewed for Jazzwise and the Wire, and was selected for the Northern Line scheme as a solo artist in 2014. In 2009 Adam was selected for Take Five Five Edition VI, a prestigious professional development scheme designed to ”give some of the UK’s most talented young jazz musicians the unique opportunity to take time out to develop their craft”. Take Five is a Jerwood charitable Foundation/PRS Foundation initiative with additional support from Arts Council England and Musicians Benevolent Fund.