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Beats & Pieces Big Band

Beats & Pieces Big Band from Manchester

This is not your average ‘big band’. It is a band that happens to be big. Coming from the legendary musical city of Manchester, these 14 musicians have set out to capture you with their very own sound embracing raw rock energy, refined jazz concepts, pop melodies to sing along and grooves to shake your body to. One of the most exciting touring ensembles of its kind and currently recording their third album, Beats & Pieces are the most intriguing bunch of gentlemen you’ve encountered in a long time.


Big Ideas (2012)

Big Ideas (2012)

All In (2015)

All In (2015)

Performance highlights

North Sea Jazz Festival (NL), Jazzahead Bremen (DE), Oslo Jazz Festival (NO), 12 Points! Dublin (IE), Burghausen International Jazz Festival (DE), Porgy & Bess Vienna (AT), Olympia Hall Paris (FR), B-flat Berlin (DE), Jazz Tibet (CZ), Meskalina (PL), Jazztage Görlitz (DE), Unterföhring Jazz Weekend, Munich (DE), Taufkirchen Jazzfrühling (DE)

United Kingdom
London Jazz Festival, Love Supreme Festival, Ronnie Scott’s London, Manchester Jazz Festival, Canary Wharf Jazz Festival, Wilderness Festival, Gateshead International Jazz Festival, Kings Place London, Bath International Music Festival, Royal Northern College of Music Manchester, Colston Hall Bristol, Brecon Jazz Festival, Turner Sims Southampton, Hay Festival, Lancaster Jazz Festival, Scarborough Jazz Festival, Soup Kitchen Manchester.

“…a welcome slap in the face. Their punchy grooves and anthemic melodies are just what you need after a night on a camping mat…” Thomas Rees, The Arts Desk (July 2016)

“…thrilling big band Beats & Pieces … opened with [a] floorshaking fanfare of free-sax wails and huffing trombones … The whole set was typical of [Ben Cottrell’s] erudition and vision, and the band’s unfailing verve – 4 stars” John Fordham, The Guardian (June 2016)

“Fast becoming one of the foundations of the current UK jazz scene, Beats & Pieces make fun, grooving, high-impact music Mancunian style… continuing the great tradition of UK big bands”
Jez Nelson, BBC Jazz on 3 (September 2015)

“A big band for modern times” Jamie Cullum

Sold-out “All In” album launch at Ronnie Scott’s; London in July 2015, filmed with 15 head-mounted GoPro cameras

How big is it?

14 musicians who met as students in Manchester. 9 years on from their first gig they are 1 tightknit bunch that knows each other inside out musically and socially. Performing original music that reflects the huge diversity of music that people of their millennial generation have grown up surrounded by – expect to hear the influence of Michael Jackson, Björk and Radiohead or The Beatles, Beach Boys and Bowie as much as you’ll hear Gil Evans, Kenny Wheeler or Loose Tubes. Released 2 albums on bandleader Ben Cottrell’s own label Efpi Records: Big Ideas in 2012 and All In in 2015. Their 3rd album will be released in January 2018. Winners of numerous awards at home and abroad. A long list of radio play, press coverage and major festival appearances. Multiple successful tours across the UK and Europe.

Not your average big band, but a band that is big – the most original and vibrant ensemble of its type.

Beats & Pieces Big Band live in Berlin


Ensemble of the Year – UK Parliamentary Jazz Awards 2014

Best UK Newcomer – Jazz FM Awards 2013

Young European Artists’ Jazz Award – Burghausen International Jazz Festival 2011

Beats & Pieces director Ben Cottrell is the recipient of the Irwin Mitchell mjf originals commission 2016.