This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about our use of cookies click here OK
This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more about our use of cookies click here. OK

Home > Ben Cottrell: Take Five

Ben Cottrell: Take Five

Find out more by visiting:

Ben Cottrell is a composer and saxophonist currently based in Manchester. He is best known as the musical director of the Beats & Pieces Big Band, which he founded in 2008 as a vehicle for his own compositions and arrangements. Since then, the band has established a reputation as one of the UK’s most exciting emerging jazz groups, a reputation that is also rapidly spreading into Europe – in March 2011, Beats & Pieces were named as the winners of the European Young Artists’ Jazz Award, one of the continent’s major jazz prizes for emerging musicians, held as part of the Burghausen International Jazz Festival in Germany.

Alongside Anton Hunter and Sam Andreae, Ben co-founded Efpi Records in 2009. Efpi is both an independent record label and an important umbrella organisation for the activities of an emerging generation of musicians working in jazz or improvised music. He continues to co-manage the label, which has expanded from its Manchester roots to include music from artists based across the UK and Europe. Ben is also involved in many other projects, including free improvisation groups cottrell/findlay/hunter and Token Otter (both with strong links to the Manchester based experimental label Concrete Moniker who released an album by c/f/h in 2009), and a brand new chamber jazz ensemble, the 265 Quartet, in which he plays clarinet.

In December 2010, Ben was commissioned by the indie rock band Everything Everything to work with producer David Coyle to re-imagine and re-arrange their debut album Man Alive for the band to perform with a 15 piece orchestral ensemble at two special Christmas shows, at the RNCM in Manchester and the Union Chapel in London. As well as co-writing the arrangements, Ben also acted as Musical Director, rehearsing the whole project, playing saxophones and clarinet and directing the ensemble onstage.

Alongside his musical activities, Ben is also an experienced and in-demand freelance sound engineer, having worked at the RNCM on their busy concert programme since he was a student. He has been FOH engineer for many visiting renowned musicians, including The Impossible Gentlemen, Ralph Towner, Tim Garland and Led Bib, and recorded everything from soloists and chamber ensembles to big bands and symphony orchestras. He recorded strings and brass for Corinne Bailey Rae’s latest album The Sea, which was nominated for the 2010 Mercury Prize, and is the in-house producer and sound engineer for Efpi Records – producing, recording, mixing and mastering releases for the Beats & Pieces Big Band and HAQ. Ben is also a saxophone tutor at the University of Manchester and Hope University in Liverpool.

Search Grantees

If you’re looking to see if we’ve supported someone like you, working in your genre or region, or if you want to find out who we’ve supported through our different funding opportunities and partnership programmes, then please use the drop-down menu search tool.

If you have a specific artist, group, performer, promoter or organisation that you’re looking for, please use the ‘Search’ tool in the top right hand corner of this page. If we have supported them, this is the best way to find out about the support they’ve received from us.