Andrew Bain
Drummer - Educator - Composer

Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, Andrew Bain is one of the leading performers and educators in the UK. He has performed with Wynton Marsalis, Natalie Cole, Kenny Wheeler, Randy Brecker, Dave Liebman, Bob Mintzer, John Taylor, Mike Gibbs, NDR Big Band, Elliott Sharp, Gavin Bryars, Jason Rebello, Paul Booth, Phil Robson, Iain Ballamy, Andre Canniere, Ivo Neame, Jim Hart, Mark Lockheart, Chris Batchelor, Houston Pearson, John Parricelli, Stan Sulzmann, and was a member of vocalist Jacqui Dankworth’s band between 2007-8, recording with the late Sir John Dankworth in 2008. He has performed at many prestigious venues in the UK, Europe and the US, including performing and conducting at the BBC Proms, and at the Montreux Jazz Festival.

Andrew began studying percussion and drumset at the age of twelve. Equally talented in both disciplines, he showed early progress in many classical and jazz ensembles including The National Youth Orchestra of Scotland and The National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Scotland. With these, and other ensembles, Andrew performed alongside Evelyn Glennie (1995), made several recordings, toured Europe and performed at the Royal Albert Hall in London for the BBC Proms.

Living in London from 1997-2001, Andrew studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, enrolling on a unique classical and jazz percussion Bachelor of Music programme. Here he studied with percussionists David Corkhill, Mike Skinner, and Richard Benjafield, receiving jazz tuition from Trevor Tomkins, Martin France, Pete Churchill, and Scott Stroman. Whilst at college Andrew performed Gil Evans' Porgy and Bess with Randy Brecker at the Barbican Hall, London; Gil Evans' Sketches of Spain with Dave Liebman, and alongside Billy Cobham. In 2000, the Andrew Bain Quartet performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland and, at the same time, recorded his debut album – Absent Folk (2000) – with Pete Wareham, Simon Colam, and Rob Mullarkey. Still active as a classical percussionist, Andrew got to the semi-finals of the BBC Young Musician of the Year 1998, the percussion finals of the Shell/London Symphony Orchestra Percussion Scholarship 2000 and the final of the Yamaha Foundation of Europe Percussion Scholarship 2000. Andrew also performed at the BBC Proms 2000 with the Guildhall School of Music Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Colin Davis and toured Portugal with the European Union Wind Ensemble in April 2000. During this period, he also performed in a number of musicals, pit bands, and recording sessions in and around London, including sessions for The London Film and Television School. Andrew was awarded the BBC Big Band Drummer of the Year 2001 and received his BMus(Hons) from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama that same year.

In August 2001 Andrew moved to New York to study for his Master of Music Degree at the Manhattan School of Music with the help of the Scottish International Education Trust (2001, 2002), the Musicians Benevolent Fund (2002) and the Countess of Munster Trust (2002). During his time at the Manhattan School of Music, Andrew performed alongside tenor saxophonist Bob Mintzer with the Manhattan School of Music Concert Jazz Band (April 2002) and studied with drummer/author John Riley, saxophonist/author Dave Liebman, composer/arranger Mike Abene, and pianist/theorist Garry Dial. Coached in small bands led by Cecil Bridgewater, Mark Soskin, and Dave Lalama, Andrew also participated in masterclasses with Ron Carter, Elvin Jones, Jason Moran, Joey Barron, Michael Carvin, Greg Osby, Roy Haynes, Lewis Nash, Steve Nelson, Andrew Hill, Gary Bartz, and Jamey Haddad. From August 2002 until December 2003, Andrew was a jazz history, drumset, theory and combo teacher for the Manhattan School of Music Precollege Division. Andrew graduated from the Manhattan School of Music in May 2003 with a Master of Music Degree and received the William H. Borden Award for 2003. It was given in the memory of Mr. Borden, who was a trustee of Manhattan School of Music for thirty years, ten of which he served as Chairman of the Board. His greatest affinity was for jazz, and this award is given for outstanding achievement in this discipline. During his residency in New York from 2001-07, Andrew performed extensively with Thelonious Monk Competition winner Jon Irabagon as well as with singer/songwriter Jason Liebman, Mostly Other People Do The Killing, Dave Lalama, and Matt Brewer. He performed at many of New York’s famous clubs including Sin-E, CBGBs, Tonic and the Mercury Lounge, and recorded at, the now non-existent, Sony Studios, and co-led the NY-based group Confluence alongside Jon Irabagon, Mark Anderson, and Alex Smith, whose eponymous debut showcased original and highly inventive compositions.

Since relocating to the UK in 2007, Andrew has played in regular projects directed by Michael Janisch (Paradigm Shift and Worlds Collide), Paul Booth (Travel Sketches, Ubuntu 2019), and appears on Andre Canniere’s latest recording Ghost Days (Whirlwind Recordings 2020), as well as appearing with touring artists such as Walter Smith III, Jure Pukl, Tim Armacost, and Patrick Cornelius.

Andrew has a trio of his own projects in action at the moment. Player Piano (2015) with Mike Walker, Gwilym Simcock, Iain Dixon, and Steve Watts; Embodied Hope (Whirlwind Recordings 2017) with George Colligan, Jon Irabagon, and Michael Janisch; and his latest project – (no)boundaries (Whirlwind Recordings 2020) – a free improv exploration featuring Peter Evans, Alex Bonney, and John O’Gallagher out March 2020.

Andrew is Deputy Head of Jazz and Senior Lecturer at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. He is Artistic Director of Jazz for the National Youth Orchestras of Scotland and sits on the steering committee for the International Artistic Jazz Research Symposium. He will complete his Ph.D. – entitled Empathic Creativity: A Self-Reflexive Approach to Contemporary Jazz Improvisation – in summer 2020.

'A true standout and, I believe, one of tomorrow's music stars.'

Peter Erskine