Orphy Robinson

Orphy Robinson (born 13 October 1960) is a British vibraphonist and multi-instrumentalist, who also plays the saxophone, trumpet, drums, piano, marimba and steel pans. Robinson has composed music for film, television, theatre, opera, and contemporary classical music. Robinson hails from London, UK and is a composer who works in a range of musical styles including jazz, free jazz and jazz improvisation. Orphy Robinson has released two albums on Blue Note in the 1990s that were critically acclaimed, The Vibes Describes and When Tomorrow Comes. He also recorded many albums as a guest musician. Hugh Hopper, Robert Wyatt and many other artists have also been on his tours. His playing was discovered by the public when he performed with Courtney Pine, a saxophonist in the 1980s big band Jazz Warriors. This was the precursor to Jazz Jamaica all-star orchestra. Robinson was also an original member in the Brit funk group Savanna where he first caught the attention of audiences and critics. His compositions have been commissioned by contemporary dance companies, including Phoenix Dance, where he was asked to compose the Suite “42 Shades in the Black”. Robinson represented Great Britain at Atlanta Olympic Games. He has also written for the English Proms at The Royal Albert Hall as well as for Alexander Balanescu, the Romanian violin virtuoso. Robinson was invited to perform solo marimba excerpts from “Routes through Roots”, a suite he had written for the UK’s celebration of the Abolition of Slave Trade Act’s bicentenary in 2007. Robinson is well-known for his work with schools and large education projects. He has been the Music Education Department leader at Hackney Empire for six years. Don Cherry, Wynton Marsalis and Wynton Marsilis are just a few of the artists he has worked with. Robinson continues to work with Andy Sheppard, an award-winning saxophonist. He regularly conducts 200 saxophonists in Sheppard’s “Saxophone Massive”, at international jazz festivals and other events. Robinson was a guest soloist on several albums in 2009, including No Now Is So! By the Alexander Hawkins group, Out of Office from the Burn Out Mama band, Finland and additional albums by Louis Moholo and Leee John.

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