Ben Cottrell is a composer, arranger, conductor and producer best known for his work with Beats & Pieces Big Band, which he founded in 2008 and has since received consistent audience and critical recognition domestically and internationally. The band marked their 10th anniversary in 2018 with the release of live album and concert film ‘ten‘ and their debut North American tour. He 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, Anton Hunter, Johnny Hunter, Let Spin and Trio Riot.
Ben was awarded the 2016 Irwin Mitchell mjf originals commission by Manchester Jazz Festival, for which he devised a project entitled New Seeing featuring string ensemble, double rhythm section, trumpet and electronics. New Seeing premiered during the festival in July 2016 to great success, with recording and further performances in the pipeline.
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