Ed Barker

“Ed’s got a beautiful sound on both alto and tenor… a sweetness and earnestness in his approach that makes his music so listenable and refreshing.” – Dave Koz

KJAZZ Radio UK welcomes Ed Barker whose music captured our attention when we first listened. The music reminded us of David Sanborn.   It’s exciting to see such a young talent working and building his career in the area of ‘Smooth Jazz’.  The quality and delivery of his work reflects someone with an exceptional talent beyond his years.

Born in September 1984, Ed began his musical studies at the age of seven on the piano. Whilst learning the piano, Ed started learning the clarinet after hearing Acker Bilk’s Stranger on the Shore for the first time. It wasn’t until 2000, when Ed was 15, that he picked the saxophone. Within 6 months, Ed was given a place in the National Youth Orchestra as its principal alto saxophonist.

Ed was awarded a Diploma for Clarinet Performance by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) in 2001 and he got his Diploma for Piano Performance in 2003, before leaving school and performing George Gershwin’s Rhapsody In Blue in a series of concerts around the UK with Chris Jeans and the Ransome Brass Band.

Ed graduated from the University of Nottingham in 2006 with a Law Degree and soon after was then invited to play alto saxophone with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO). Ed organised for Tomorrow’s Face (a smaller version of NYJO) to play at the leaving party of outgoing Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, who introduced the band to the then Prime Minister, Gordon Brown.

In 2009, Ed took over the lead alto chair in NYJO – a prestigious position which was held in the 1980s by Ed’s favourite saxophonist, Nigel Hitchcock. Ed toured the UK, leading the band, until January 2010 when he performed for the last time with NYJO at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, one of London’s most famous jazz clubs. The band also played one of Ed’s big band arrangements.

After leaving NYJO, Ed published a book with legendary saxophonist, Nigel Hitchcock. Through Nigel he met Dr Richard Niles, producer, arranger, composer, BBC presenter and guitarist. Richard has worked with the finest artists in the pop and jazz industry and he has overseen Ed’s compositional and arranging development over the last two to three years. Ed plays saxophone in the Richard Niles Septet which has recently performed at the 606 Jazz Club and Pizza Express.

Another of Ed’s favourite saxophonists is David Sanborn. In the spirit of David Sanborn, Ed has written a lot of material over the last year and has formed his own band: Richard Niles on guitar, Jasper Morrissey on drums, Chris Eldred on keyboards, Richard Norris on bass and the vocals of Kwabena Adjepong. He has just released a CD with his first ever recordings, recorded at Nucool Studios, and will be launching himself, the CD and the band in August 2012. Soon after that, he will be playing his charts in LA with the smooth jazz legend, Michael Parlett.

Comments and what others are saying about Ed Barker

“Young, optimistic, energetic and unafraid…Listen and look out!” – Dr Richard Niles BBC Radio 2

Ed Barker Sampler

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To find out more


For bookings and media enquiries, please get in touch with Ed’s Manager, Anthony Steinberg (Artist Liason Services) on:

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CD’s Available

Recorded at Nucool Studios, with Richard Niles & Richard Norris helping him produce the tracks (and Ben Fenner sound engineering and mixing), the CD contains 5 tracks (plus 2 radio edits).  All of the songs were written by Ed (and one was co-written with Richard Niles).  The album will shortly be for sale on his website.