Ben Cottrell is a composer, arranger, conductor and producer best known for his work with Beats & Pieces Big Band, which he founded in 2008. Since then the band has released 2 studio albums and a 10th anniversary live album/film while touring extensively across UK, Europe and North America to consistent audience and critical recognition. Beats & Pieces recorded their third studio album in January 2020 with support from Help Musicians UK and MOBO Trust. Ben also runs Efpi Records, an independent label releasing music primarily by artists working in and/or connected with the flourishing Manchester scene. Efpi artists include Adam Fairhall, Johnny Hunter, Let Spin and Trio Riot.
Ben was commissioned by Manchester Jazz Festival to create a new project entitled New Seeing featuring string ensemble, double rhythm section, trumpet and electronics in 2016. He has also written for Psappha’s Composing for Bassoon scheme and saxophonist Anthony Brown amongst others.
As an orchestral arranger, Ben has worked with and for a diverse range of artists including Laura Mvula, Esperanza Spalding, Everything Everything and Goldie, and his arrangements have been performed and recorded worldwide by ensembles including London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Metropole Orkest (Netherlands) and The Heritage Orchestra. He is a Principal Postgraduate Lecturer at Leeds College of Music, and has previously held teaching positions at Royal Northern College of Music and University of Manchester.
photo by Alex Bonney