Active Projects

Photo of Trio Red performing

Trio Red

“Complex, twisting, percussion-powered episodes are played like a rougher, brawling Brad Mehldau band... It's a shot-in-the-dark venture that turned into a world-class trio in a week.” CD Review in The Guardian ****

Trio Red features 3 innovators from 3 of the most vital jazz scenes in Europe. Between them they have played a key role in some of the most groundbreaking signature groupings in their home scenes over the last 15 years, as well as playing with a wide range of global music greats including Sun Ra, Peter Gabriel, Bugge Wesseltoft, Hamid Drake, Martyn Bennett, Geri Allen, Satoko Fuji...

Live performances feature the musical approach presented on the new CD, material like a mash up of Joan Armatrading and Ornette Coleman, a Jeff Buckley cover and some of Tom Bancroft’s original compositions mixed up with very accessible melodic and rhythmic improvised pieces where the focus is on interaction, empathy and compelling collective musical storytelling. Trio Red have played at the London Jazz Festival, Islay Jazz Festival,

Aberdeen Jazz Festival, Shetland Jazz Festival, toured supporting the Yellowjackets perfomed at many venues across the UK and will be featuring in the Made in UK Program at the Rochester Jazz Festival in the US in June 2015.

For more information contact Tom Bancroft on tom@interrupto.com or +44 7974 983701.

CD Reviews

riveting set... complex, twisting, percussion-powered episodes are played like a rougher, brawling Brad Mehldau band. Cawley is inspired.... Zanussi's majestic..It's a shot-in-the-dark venture that turned into a world-class trio.The Guardian ****

this great new trio... bursts with creativity... Cawley’s soloing is a delight throughout... slow deliberation... through to pyrotechnics... brings this beautiful album to a fitting conclusion... BBC Music Website

 

Live Reviews

"Trio Red, a simply stunning ensemble…..They are, in turns, challenging and accessible - master musicians and improvisers in true jazz style…….Astounding is the only word that applies however." Shetland News 16/2/13

“Trio Red were one of the outstanding acts booked for the Haddo Arts Festival 2014. Their playing was crisp and imaginative; stealing the show completely. They had our audience enthralled; both those experienced in the world of jazz and those comparatively new to the genre.  The audience reaction stood testament to this - an overwhelmingly positive response in all our feedback. Trio Red were a delight to host; they responded quickly to emails and were helpful, polite and friendly at all times. I would recommend them unhesitatingly to other promoters - a great night will be had by all!” Alice Dennis, Haddo Arts Festival 13/10/2014

Photo of Playtime Collective

Playtime

This group performs every fortnight at The Outhouse Bar in Edinburgh featuring the core group of musicians: Martin Kershaw, Graeme Stephen, Mario Caribé, and Tom Bancroft.
It has grown since beginning in 2014 into essential listening on Edinburgh's live scene with a constant range of well attended creative gigs from entirely improvised concerts through to tribute nights to great composers like Charles Mingus and Kenny Wheeler. Most weeks there are guest musicians featuring established and up and coming musicians from the Scottish music scene and beyond which have included Steve Hamilton, Phil Bancroft, Laura MacDonald, Kevin MacKenzie, Pete Johnstone, Julian Arguëlles, Rachael Cohen, Chris Greive,  George Burt, Phil O’Malley, Brian Kellock and more. Follow Playtime on twitter for updates on the latest gigs.
 
The Playtime Trio (Martin Kershaw, Graeme Stephen, and Tom Bancroft) - has released a limited edition live CD of an entirely improvised concert called Tangential Excursions available here.
Photo of Go Get It

The Go Get It Trio

"a beacon of original, ambitious and brilliantly realised music” - The Herald
This new project is co-led by Tom Bancroft and Graeme Stephen and represents a joining of forces of two of Scottish jazz’s  most individual bandleaders.
 
Look out for new recordings and concerts. The Go Get It Trio features Mario Caribé in bass and is part of the Playtime Collective that plays fortnightly in Edinburgh.

Vincent

  • Photo: Louis De Carlo
Vincent is an experimental/improv/noise project featuring Satoko Fuji (piano) Una McGlone (bass) and Tom Bancroft (drums, loops). Vincent + adds in Graeme Stephen on guitar.

An CD is in production.

Photo of Bancroft Di Castri

Bancroft Di Castri Group

  • Photo: Marc Marnie

This project emerged from an informal meeting at Edinburgh Jazz festival when legendary Italian bass player Furio Di Castri (ex Chet Baker, Paul Bley, Tony Oxley…) depped with Trio Red.

This evolved into this group which has performed at Turin and Edinburgh Jazz festIvals and has a CD in production Featuring Tom Bancroft (drums), Furio DiCastri ( bass) Jacopo Albini (sax & bass clarinet) and Graeme Stephen (guitar). CD in production.
PIE performance

PIE

PIE: Pathhead Improvised Experimental

PIE stands for Pathhead Improvised Experimental and is a series of concerts held in Pathhead village hall and curated by Tom Bancroft and Martin Green (Lau).
Guests have included: Satoko Fuji, Natsuki Tamura, Usurper Trio, Adrian Utley (Portishead), Raymond MacDonald, Brian Irvine, Yazz Seznec, Rhian Thompson (CKDH), Kate Young, Inge Thompson, amongst others…

To be informed of the next PIE, join the PMC mailing list

UNST

UNST is an improvising group featuring Neil Davidson (guitar) Una McGlone ( bass) Sue McKenzie (sax) and Tom Bancroft (drums).

CD in production.

Archive Projects

Photo of Trio AAB

Trio AAB

"the most complete mix of invention and originality" - The Times

Trio AAB were formed sometime back in the late 1980’s when a bass player didn’t show up for a gig and twin brothers Tom and Phil Bancroft and guitarist Kevin MacKenzie decided to go ahead with no bass and enjoyed it.

The band has since gone on to make 3 critically acclaimed Cds and to develop a reputation as being a seriously fun band exploring a whole range of influences – post Ornette bop, ECM jazz, Celtic folk, drum n bass, house, the Sound of Music, and indie rock – as well as becoming a powerhouse live act.

The band have played in festivals across Europe including France, Holland, Morocco, Hungary, Bulgaria, and Germany.

After a hiatus pursuing solo projects and having babies Trio AAB are back with a vengeance with a great new set of music .

Trio AAB recently played at Alchemy Festival 2014 and Celtic Connections 2015 with Indian Violin stars Ganesh Kumaresh.

Discography

Cold Fusion

"Languidly beautiful" - The Herald

Wherever I Lay My Hat That's My Home

"If this is the best Scottish modern jazz has to offer, then let's have lots more please" - Yorkshire Post

Stranger Things Happen at C

"audacious and spikily engaging" - The Guardian Jazz CD of the week

Members

Tom Bancroft (drums, bodhran) has played with Geri Allen, Martyn Bennett, Tommy Smith, Sun Ra, Marilyn Crispell , Satoko Fuji and many more. He has studied with Jo Morello, Joey Barron and Andrew Cyrille, He is a composer who writes for TV, radio and dance and leads his own big band Orchestro Interrupto. He is an active educator and artist-entrepreneur – forming the label Caber Music and the creative music education company. ABC Creative Music He won the Creative Scotland Award in 2005 and the BBC Jazz Award for Innovation in 2007.

Phil Bancroft (saxophones) is one of the UKs top saxophonists. He has played and recorded with with Hue and Cry, the SNJO, John Rae’s Celtic Feet, Karen Mathieson, and Carol Kidd, He has recently toured and recorded with his own international quartet featuring Reid Anderson of the Bad Plus, Thomas Strønen, and Mike Walker. Phil is an active teacher and co founder of ABC Creative Music.

Kevin MacKenzie (guitar) is in demand in both jazz and folk worlds in Scotland. He plays and tour with many folk groups including Fiddler’s Bid, Jenna Reid, & Keep it Up, and well as performing with his own jazz-folk 9 piece group Vital Signs and the Scottish Guitar Quartet. Kevin’s website is here.

kids playing with beaters

Kidsamonium

“Kidsamonium was one of the highlights of the Cheltenham Jazz Festival. Children of all ages had an extraordinary time, learnt about how music works but most importantly had fun. Children who thought they didn't understand music and perhaps didn't event want to try to understand it changed their minds in about an hour and a half! For both parents and teachers it was truly inspirational. “ - Alice Cooper, Development Director, Cheltenham Festivals
"A perfectly paced, beautifully structured and highly entertaining introduction to jazz improvisation" - Clare Williams, Llangollen Jazz Festival, 2007

Kidsamonium is a fun, magical musical event aimed at 6 to 14 year olds with a view to letting kids see the exciting power and freedom of jazz & improvised music up close in a format they can digest. Short contributions by a range of artists (including a join-in mass 'Percussion Discussion') combine with performances and interactive musical games by a crack(pot) troupe of musical characters  including the mysterious trombone playing 'Chicken Gang', the madcap 'Aviator' Billy Jenkins, the ‘Big Tuba Kid’ Oren Marshall, the Princess Laura MacDonald, the Dutch Tourist Joost Buis or Monsieur Parp Patrick Charbonnier, and Judge Claude Deppa. It is all led by Tom Bancroft ‘the King’. The show has also featured at different times - Phil Bancroft as Prince ‘Prince’, Buyron Wallen as the ‘Magistrate’, Brian Finnegan as ‘Cowboy Brian the BodyGuard’, and Chirs Greive as ‘the Surfer’.

Children listen to amazing feats of musicianship, as well as participate in a massed kazoo call and response session, improvise on a giant human piano, and create harmonies with the Three Circle Harmony Generator.

The show ends with the hilarious ‘Mum and Dad’s dancing” section.....

At Festivals Kidsamonium features special cameo appearances from other musicians at the festival (who generally have a ball) to date we have had cameos by:

Branford Marsalis, Ernst Rejsiger, Harry Becket, Byron Wallen, Paul Towndrow, Alyn Cosker, Karine Polwart, Inge Thomson, Pete Wareham, Huw Warren, Andy Sheppard, Brian Finnegan of Flook, Gilad Atzmon, Jason Yarde, Karen Casey, Siobhan Miller & Jeana Leslie, Eamonn Murphy of Beogas, Eric Boeren, to name a few.

As the Chicken Gang we have had students from the Birmingham Jazz Conservatoire,  National Youth Theatre of Scotland, Jambone, Kirkwall Grammar School, Brechin, and Kilmarnock High School Big Bands, and local primary and secondary pupils in various places.

Kidsamonium was originally commissioned by The Sage, Gateshead and Cheltenham Jazz Festival.

Kidsamonium uses ideas that link with the ABC Creative Music range of music resources. For more information see www.applebananacarrot.com

Big Sticks

"The teaching skills of the Bigstix team were inspiring; to take a group of children and adults with little experience of making music and to create such a wonderful sound was impressive.” - Clare Sheridan,  Cochlear UK

4 drummers from different styles.
4 great communicators and educators.

available for:

  • exciting all music all age drum & percussion performances with fun audience participation
  • drum workshops
  • community & schools music events

Big Sticks are:

  • Brendan Murphy
  • Tom Bancroft
  • Mehdi Ganjevar
  • Rob Kitchen
Photo of people playing drums and dancing in the street

Clandemonium

  • photo by Ken Windsor

Clandemonium was a unique, pure of heart, and slightly deranged attempt to get 1000 people doing a flashmob street drum/dance/body/percussion/jazzhorns/bagpipes and kazoo performance

A set of professional and volunteer leaders including Tom Bancroft, Allan Irvine, and Laura MacDonald welcomed members of the public to don a coloured clandejimmy hat and join in the fray.

For 20 minutes each group learned their parts while a groovy beat was pumped out of a large PA and then the whole mad, funky combination was performed together with jazz horns and bagpipes playing over the top.

Clandemonium took place in West Parliament Square, Edinburgh, in 2010.

Multi Story Karma Park

Under construction

Multimedia, Dance & Theatre

On this page I will be adding some stuff from my career where I worked with collaborators in Dance, Theatre, Film etc. Through these experiences I made music I would never have made in other ways....

A Case for a Picnic Part 2


This performance was from the Dunoon sea front during the Jazz Festival in, I think, 1993.

We all made the piece together led by the amazing choreographer/deviser Ruby Worth, and the wonderful residents from Dunoon Key Housing Project.

I did the music and kind of danced.... had a ball!

ACES dance

Again with Ruby Worth, this was a project with a wonderful organisation called ACES whose work
is creating a network and projects connecting schools from a load of Central & Eastern European Countries,
including some who had recently been at war with each other.

The project brief was to make a dance, that one teacher and a student from each school could learn,
then take back and teach to the kids in their school and make a video, all of which could be
edited into a Youtube video compilation.

Ruby Worth was the choreographer again,  and I wrote the music and the words -  
under my electronica peudonym Tommy Banana! Gina Rae is on vocals.

Pop Up Duets

I played drums on this. Music composed by Pippa Murphy. Choreography Janis Claxton. Vocals Kathryn Joseph.

Orchestro Interrupto

"Exuberant, witty and inventive... considerable verve... a wry commentary on contemporary life... sidesteps the two main obstacles that trip up many a jazz composer by ensuring that his pieces retain both a sense of humour and plenty of space for improvisation" - The Times

"an oddball risk that has paid off... real richness... an unexpectedly rewarding evening." - Evening Standard

Tom Bancroft Orchestro Interrupto with Geri Allen - Review by James Griffiths, Friday October 8, 2004, The Guardian *****

If the Scottish jazz scene is increasingly attracting international attention, drummer Tom Bancroft must be considered one of its leading lights. Listening to one of his compositions is like being lost in a vast magic box where hidden doorways, trap doors and optical illusions are all waiting to disorientate you.

His current British tour unites him with his own 12-piece Orchestro lnterrupto (so called because their career is always being interrupted by solo endeavours), and the brilliant Detroit pianist Geri Allen. The first half - minus Allen - focused on old Bancroft favourites such as Pieology and China Heart. The former featured some parping chaos from the front-line trombones, while the latter evolved slowly into a tangle of visceral textures supported by a dark swelling bruise of a melody.

A segue into a comical cutting contest between the two trombonists had the audience in an uproar, particularly when the two musicians began dismantling their instruments and playing them backwards. Wth the arrival of Allen, things got madder. The band provided an overture of chattering hi-hats over a hairy beast of a bass line, but when the piano entered, it sounded like a completely different instrument. There were preoccupied scrambles, ecstatic janglings and mind-bending tangential leaps, yet somehow Bancroft’s crew refused to be upstaged.

At one point they created an eerie backdrop of squawks, rattles and squeaks into which Allen poured a great puddle of piano textures. Set in the context of Bancroft’s tensely coiled orchestration, it was an inspired moment of abstract impressionism. As a contrast to the fireworks, the leader unveiled a new three-part suite which evoked languorous childhood summers. Featuring a folk-derived melody from guitarist Kevin Mackenzie, it reached rapturous heights when Allen’s single high piano notes entered into a dialogue with the fugal horn. With a back projection screen flickering with dreamy images, this was less a jazz gig than a blissful hallucinogenic experience.

Jazz gig of the Year 2004 City Limits Magazine, Manchester
Gigs of the Year Critics Choice 2004 Time Out Magazine, London
Top 100 Cultural Events of 2004 in The List magazine, Scotland