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 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


From 2014 this group performed every fortnight for 6 years at The Outhouse Bar in Edinburgh featuring the core group of musicians: Martin Kershaw (sax), Graeme Stephen (guitar), Mario Caribé (bass), and Tom Bancroft (drums). In 2018 Martin & Playtime were awarded the Ginkhana Award for Innovation in New Jazz Music from New Music Scotland. Since COVID hit they have moved to either remote improv livestreams from their houses - with international guests - or livestream gigs from Pathhead's Village Hall - featuring the cream of Scottish musicians.
It had 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 were 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. Then COVID hit and everything changed - Playtime changed into an online live-streaming dynamo leading the way with what is possible with remote improvisations and live-streaming.
Tom also does an Interval Interview every week with the guest musicians - see them in the blog on this site and here.
Follow @ohplaytime on twitter for updates on the latest gigs or visit the website here .
"The melodic and rhythmic progression in these excursions makes them very approachable and enjoyable. They way they twist and turn, moving from one form to another as the emphasis shifts from one musician to the next...The three musicians have a knowledge and experience of each other’s playing going back years. They take turns to lead, the music morphing from one form to another; almost as if different sections or tracks were evolving as one listens." London Jazz News

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 on bass and is part of the Playtime Collective that plays fortnightly in Edinburgh.


  • 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.

African Groove Machine

"the performers gave it their all, mixing Ghanaian rhythms, Scottish jazz, Afrobeat and brass in an explosion of music and dance...They even got us up dancing – an Embra audience, traditionally inclined to keep bums superglued to seats – ‘audience participation, eh no, that’s for the tourists ken’ – there they were, waving their arms and jumping about like no-one was watching.... a little bit of paradise" The Scotsman.

"A stunning performance commemorating the life and works of Ghanaian drum master Okoe Ardyfio ... a joyful celebration of human life, body and spirit" *****

This raised the (tented) roof on the final night of this year’s Edinburgh Jazz and Blues festival...  djembe – whizz Ghanaian Thomas Annang brought a welcome rawness and at times, a mind-expanding complexity to the overall sound and dancer Adie Baako Elias had most of the audience on its feet,..... Judging by the expanding grins all around, the concert was a resounding success, let’s hope this band can continue to successfully negotiate the distance between their homelands, to keep producing together this wonderfully hybridised, joyous and sophisticated music." Scottish Jazz Space


This group was inspired by  Okoe Ardyfio - the Ghanaian master drummer and dancer who died in 2021. Okoe met Thomas Annang and Adie Baako -Elias on the beach  in Kokrobite , Ghana when they were young teenagers selling coconuts to tourists, and trained Thomas to be a master drummer and Adie to be the lead dancer of his group Akrowa.

Many years later Okoe also met Scottish jazz drummer and composer Tom Bancroft when he visited Kokrobite to study Ghanaian drumming. The very first thing Okoe said to him, when he discovered Tom was from Scotland, was 'Do you know Shooglenifty?' - a band Tom had played with and knew well, because Okoe had performed with them for Prince Charles during the Commonwealth Games in 1986. This meeting resulted in Tom going back to Kokrobite with his family for 6 weeks to study with Okoe in 2012, and then Okoe and Akrowa coming to Scotland and teaching thousands of Scottish children Ghanaian drumming and dance, and spreading a lot of joy!

Some of this music was composed for Okoe to play with Tom, Thomas, Adie, and the Edinburgh School Jazz Orchestra in the Edinburgh Jazz Festival in 2019, and Okoe came over to Scotland but was sadly too ill to perform. And then he passed away in 2021. This group was created to celebrate his life and music and international collaboration, music, dance, and song.

The line-up:
Thomas Annang: Kpanlogo/Djembe/Voice
Adie Baako-Elias: Dance/Voice/Drums
Tom Bancroft: Drums/Composition
Jon Green: Trumpet
Phil Bancroft/Martin Kershaw: Sax
Michael Owers: Trombone
Kevin MacKenzie: Guitar
Emma Smith: Bass
Gina Rae: Vocals/Keys
Heather Macleod: Vocals
Jennifer Ba/Raquel Ribos Miro: Dance

Plus occasional guests;

Claude Deppa (trumpet)

Subie Coleman (vocals)

In Common

In Common

Strip away the surface features and jazz, electronica,  Scottish traditional music and Indian classical music all share:

  • drone,
  • groove & rhythm,
  • collective and individual improvisation,
  • melodies and scales/raags,
  • vocal rhythmic patterns.
This project by Tom Bancroft started with the bodhran and the tabla and a drone,
added Indian Classical Violin and improvising jazz guitar, folk song and jazz singers,
and continues adding layers and voices from different traditions,

 in a creative evolving project that focuses on the common ground

between Scottish music, jazz, Indian music and electronica.
Sharat Chandra Srivastava (violin), Gyan Singh (tabla), Tom Bancroft (bodhran & drums), Graeme Stephen (guitar & loops), Sophie Bancroft (voice),Gina Rae (voice).

NB You can skip to different tracks in the album by using the >> button.

Press for In Common 'Love & Stillness":

This fusion of jazz, Indian and occasional Scots traditional music… is vividly colourful music, the opening…somewhere between Indian chant and nursery rhyme...while the 9/8 pipe tune … is scarcely recognisable, subsumed into rich, Shakti-like guitar and violin deliberations over bodhran flurries…. a highlight is Flower Child, with its guitar and violin prelude shifting into Bancroft-beaty mode and powerful guitar work from Stephen.**** The Scotsman - Jim Gilchrist
“Fascinating cross-cultural project…is a very appealing listen – full of action and yet beautifully calm and reflective.....Master musicians...This is a CD to really listen to all the way through – the whole collection is a journey into somewhere else.Love & Stillness is well-titled. For all the speed and energy of the musicians, the whole thing has a beautifully restrained quality which presents us with a delightful opportunity to breathe in, feel the world in harmony and enjoy the moment.” London Jazz News
"Its a rich mix with violin, tabla, guitar, voice and bodhran....It's also a trance piece, very yoga, 
something for the whirling dervish in you. At times it trips out, spaces out and expands all the way into the depths of the universe. Flavours of psychedelic soul and funk are sprinkled in."  Vanguard Online

"Bancroft …. has created something extraordinary here….a truly intriguing
seventy minutes of mellifluous music."  All About Jazz

“exquisite harmonies - tabla and bodhran take over with chanting in the background creating a feeling of
mysticism and meditation….full of interest and innovation.....very interesting and enjoyable…...wonderful.”
Sandy Brown Jazz

“Sometimes they smoulder….but at their most animated ...the group reach out across radically different traditions.
Echoes of Miles Davis and strands of Celtic folk are interwoven with Srivastava’s violin
and Singh’s tabla …and scat flavoured vocals add subtle shadings.” Sunday Times


Bancroft makes joining the dots between diverse musical aspects seem effortless… he draws from the Indian classical tradition …discovers 
overlaps with his own Scottish folk heritage, jazz and contemporary electronica without falling into the trap of treating it as a fusion of parts… if you can imagine the Roches and Stereolab getting together to sing Sun Ra vocal mantras you’re on the right track.**** JazzWise



PIE performance


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

Grit Orchestra

The Grit Orchestra is an 80 string orchestra founded by Greg Lawson featuring Scotland's leading classical, jazz, and folk musicians which was formed to play the music of the late Scottish musical genius Martyn Bennett.

Tom played with Martyn extensively in the mid 1990's - with Martyn playing in Tom's projects (including the Multi Story Karma Park where Martyn met Michael Marra) and vice versa.

Tom also played Martyn's compositions for many years in a wonderful project with Mr McFalls Chamber that also featured Greg Lawson and James MacKintosh.
This resulted in a CD recorded for Delphian Records.

Tom is a member of the 3 man drum and percussion section of the Grit Orchestra with James MacKintosh and Iain Sandilands.