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Royal Welsh College announce Andrew Bain as new Head of Jazz

The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama has appointed musician and educator Andrew Bain as its new Head of Jazz, taking over from Paula Gardiner who retires at the end of this academic year.

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Published on 19/06/2023

One of the leading performers and educators in the UK, Andrew is currently Deputy Head and Senior Lecturer in jazz at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. At RWCMD he will lead an inclusive, inspiring and critically acclaimed department which sends its jazz graduates all over the world.

‘RWCMD’s music programmes combine individual instrumental or vocal craft with collaborative artistry and links to the wider society. All of these three elements are fundamental to jazz and Andrew brings a passionate commitment to this holistic approach to training.

His pedigree as a player, a collaborator, a leader of ensembles, a passionate educator, and as an academic, make him the ideal person to take up the baton from Paula, and I’m excited about the future of jazz at RWCMD under his leadership.'
Tim Rhys-EvansDirector of Music, RWCMD

'Jazz at the College has gone from strength to strength and is both highly regarded as a creative hub that produces highly-skilled, curious artists with strong individual identities, and as a firm fixture as a venue for jazz in Cardiff, most notably perhaps for the weekly Friday night AmserJazzTime events.

We wish Paula every happiness in her retirement and thank her enormously for everything she has done through her inspiring leadership.’

‘I am delighted to be taking on the position of Head of Jazz at RWCMD. After the excellent stewardship of Paula Gardiner since 2001,

I look forward to bringing my expertise to the jazz department and wider community to continue and extend the reputation of the jazz course for many more years to come.

I can't wait to get started.’
Andrew BainHead of Jazz, RWCMD

Paula’s final AmserJazzTime takes place on 30th June in the College’s Carne Foyer. This free event is an opportunity to say goodbye and diolch to Paula.

Head of Voice and Music Director of the David Seligman Opera School appointments

After covering the posts over the last year, Mary King will now lead the RWCMD Vocal Studies department and James Southall will become Music Director of the David Seligman Opera School from the start of the next academic year.

Editors notes

Andrew Bain, musician, educator and researcher, is one of the leading performers and educators in Europe having performed with luminaries such as Wynton Marsalis, Natalie Cole, Kenny Wheeler, Randy Brecker, John Taylor, NDR Big Band, Dave Liebman and Bob Mintzer, including a New York residency.

He has performed across the UK, Europe and America, including performing and conducting at the BBC Proms. He has had professional ties with institutions across the world, having been artist-in-residence at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogota, Colombia (2019) and the University of Stavanger, Norway. He was visiting Jazz tutor to both the Conservatorio di Musica Vincenzo Bellini di Palermo, Sicily (2016 & 2017), and the University of Music and Performing Arts, Graz, Austria (2019). Andrew is also director of Summer Jazz Camp Scotland with the first course running this August.

Andrew has a number of his own projects in action at the moment: Player Piano (2015) with Mike Walker, Gwilym Simcock, Iain Dixon, and Steve Watts; Embodied Hope (Whirlwind Recordings 2017) with George Colligan, Jon Irabagon, and Michael Janisch; and his latest project – (no)boundaries (Whirlwind Recordings 2020) – a free improv exploration featuring Peter Evans, Alex Bonney, and John O’Gallagher released in March 2020. His latest project, Mosvatnet, features Angelica Sanchez, John O’Gallagher, Tori Freestone and Per Zanussi. They will release an album in 2024.

He was Deputy Head of Jazz at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and sits on the steering committee for the International Network for Artistic Research in Jazz.

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