Xhosa Cole - saxophone
James Owston - bass
Jim Bashford - drums
Winner of the 2018 BBC Young Jazz Musician of the year, Xhosa Cole is an embodiment of the success of numerous community arts programmes in Birmingham including the Midland Youth Jazz Orchestra, Jazzlines Ensemble and Birmingham Music Service. Having grown up in Handsworth and first played the Tenor at Andy Hamilton's Ladywood Community Music School, he's now among a long legacy of Birmingham Saxophonists including Soweto Kinch and Shabaka Hutchings. Xhosa has performed twice at the BBC Proms, Composed music for the Ripieno Players, a Birmingham Based String Orchestra, recorded saxophone for Mahalia’s debut album Love and Compromise, completed a 22 date UK tour, all along side his studies as a scholar at Trinity Laban Conservatoire. Xhosa Also received the Parliamentary Jazz Award for ‘Best Newcomer’ in 2019 and Jazz FM 'Breakthrough act of the year'.
Xhosa's earliest memories of the arts are with ACE Youth Dance group. However, since playing in Holyhead School's Jazz band with Ray Prince and Sid Peacock he decided to pursue music and joined the Jazzlines Ensemble, Birmingham Schools Symphony Orchestra, Midland youth Jazz Orchestra among others. Xhosa attended courses with the National Youth Jazz Collective and National Youth Wind Orchestra. He is now finishing his degree in Trinity Laban Conservatoire in London alongside a wide spectrum of work writing and performing across the UK. in 2019 Xhosa received the Parliamentary Jazz award for 'Best Newcomer”
James Owston is a Birmingham based double bassist, composer, educator and a highly active member of the UK jazz scene. As a graduate of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire he received personal tutoring from esteemed bassists, Mark Hodgeson and Arnie Somogyi. Over the past few years, James has been playing extensively and recording with artists including Clark Tracey, Paul Dunmall, Neil Yates, Jay Phelps, Xhosa Cole and many more.
Jim Bashford is a drummer and composer who resides in Birmingham UK. He is a faculty member at the Birmingham Conservatoire Jazz Course, a course in which he studied back in 2004, and has been a great mentor to many young musicians coming out of the Birmingham scene for many years. Jim has developed and evolved his style alongside many legends including Drew Gress, Jean Toussaint and Hilmar Jensen.