Ken Stubbs

After a near death experience, Ken Stubbs was reborn and he began to play music. He was 14. He was 14. He decided that this was not the right game for him and instead chose to follow his other passion, the ‘Northern Soul” music scene. He soon began to explore the strangely appealing horn sounds found in that music and this led to a passionate and hot relationship with the saxophone. After a great music education at Salford University, Ken was fired from Pontins holiday camps for doing an unprofessional, loud, and spontaneous Albert Ayler impression during a Lionel Blair-type dance group’s rendition of Barry Manilow songs. This was witnessed by a confused, confused Pontins-Punters who wanted to drink his blood. His second experience was just as bizarre. He played fast improvised lines on top of the Batman riff for Mary Chipperfield’s skating Chimps…this went on for 24 long weeks. He knew that this was also not his path and soon followed the trail to London, where he formed his first jazz group – ‘First House’, with fellow ex music biz sufferers, Tube driver and Demon of the double bass, Mick Hutton, the marvellous, number-crunching drum genius, Martin France and the formidable composer and magician-keyboardist, Django Bates. This volatile group of eccentrics where fortunate to record twice for ECM, with the Perfectionist-German-Sound Wizard, Manfred Eicher. Unfortunately, neither of the albums captured the brilliance and essence of their music making. Ken also played and recorded with many other groups and musicians, including Loose Tubes, Chris Macgregor, Mike Gibbs, Kenny Wheeler, John Taylor, Peter Erskine, Jason Rebello, Gary Husband, Phil Robson and fellow Salford-alumni-guitar-gentleman, Mike Walker. Ken’s poor implementation of the new Thatcherite model of business – which was implemented by many of his peers from the Yuppie Jazz Movement, combined with his ‘Metal Ox (b.1961) trumpets got him into serious trouble for his bad behavior. He continued his pursuit of the Art of the Improviser (thanks to Ornette), and forged a path to Australia, where he lives with his family in a tropical part of New South Wales. He now enjoys tending to his rainforest, hoping to reduce his carbon footprint after his 30+ countries of jet-gigging. He has never been off-track musically. In fact,, which he created over the past 25 years, has become a landmark work in jazz improvisation. It is a tour de force, with recorded material, that can be used by international-minded musicians who are interested in the ever-present quest to be an improviser. He has been a tutor for the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, as well as a big band director and tutor at Northern Rivers Conservatorium Arts Centre (NSW) since his arrival in Australia. He has recorded and played with Australian jazz and improvising artists Simon Barker and Paul Grabowsky. from

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