Jazz East - at The Alex


8 - 10.15 p.m.


Between 1977 and 1980 Barnes attended Leeds College of Music, where he studied saxophone, woodwinds and arranging before moving to London. In 1980 he played with the Midnight Follies Orchestra and the following year was with the Pasadena Roof Orchestra, touring Europe until 1983. In that year he left to join the hard-bop band of Tommy Chase, where he attracted attention on the UK jazz scene for the first time. He left Chase in 1986 to co-lead The Jazz Renegades with rock drummer Steve White, with whom he recorded four albums.

In 1985, Alan recorded his first record date as co-leader with Tommy Whittle – Straight Eight and as leader of his own quartet in 1987–Affiliation with pianist David Newton, an association that goes back to their days at Leeds College of Music. In 1988 Barnes was asked to fill the chair recently vacated by Bruce Turner in the Humphrey Lyttleton band where he stayed until 1992. Between 1987 and 1997 he also led the Pizza Express Modern Jazz Sextet with Gerard Presencerr and Dave O’Higgins. After leaving the Humphrey Lyttleton band, he concentrated on a freelance career. In 1993 he recorded again with Newton, resulting in the duo album Like Minds and the quartet, quintet and sextet album Thirsty Work, which featured fellow reedmen Andy Panayi and Iain Dixon. Throughout the 1990s he co-led a quintet with be-bop trumpeter Bruce Adams, recording two CDs, Side- Stepping and Lets Face the Music.

During 1997–99, Barnes began to record a large number of sessions with pianist Brian Lemon on the Zephyr label, including albums with Warren VAche, Ken Peplowski, Tony Coe, Roy Williams and his own octet and nonet. He performed as a member of Clark Tracey's Tribute to Art Blakey and was featured on the David Newton/Clark Tracey recordingBootleg Eric.

In 1999 he toured America and Europe with Bryan Ferry’s band, returning to the United States in early 2000 to record and tour for ten weeks with Warren Vache’s eleven-piece band - a project for which Barnes had written most of the arrangements. A band with Don Weller, celebrating the music of Cannonball Adderley, recorded a live album Cannonball which was awarded album of the year in the 2001 British Jazz Awards. In the same year he received the BBC Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year award. That November Barnes featured on baritone at the Blue Note Clubs in New York and Tokyo with the Charlie Watts Tentet and followed this with a stay in South Africa as a solo artist.

A regular broadcaster over a ten-year period with the BBC Big Band and Radio Orchestra, e has toured and recorded with big band leaders, Dick Walter, Kenny Baker, Bob Wilber, Don Wller, Stan Tracey and Mike Westbrook. Other bands he has toured and recorded with include the Gary Potter quartet, playing the music of Django Reinhardt,  the Tina May Trio with Nikki Iles, Bill ElSagee’s Genetically Modified Quintet, and Spike Robinson’s Tenor Madness. Barnes has also appeared as a session musician on albums by Selina Jones, Bjork, Van Morrison, Bryan Ferry and can also be found on film and television soundtracks and jingles such as the Tetly Bitter series of adverts featuring his solo baritone.


BBC Jazz Awards - Best Instrumentalist 2001 and 2006
British Jazz Awards - Clarinet Category (2015 and2016)

Barnes has enjoyed considerable success in The Marston's Pedigree British Jazz Awards, having won both the alto and clarinet sections five times and the baritone section three times. To celebrate this achievement a recording, Below Zero, featuring him on baritone saxophone accompanied by the David Newton Trio, was released by Concord Jazz.

Alan will be joined by pianist Simon Brown, double bassist Rob Palmer and drummer Josh Law.

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