Paul Nieman - music director
Born in 1950 in North London I was fortunate to be born into a musical environment. As a youth I benefitted from being in Bill Ashton's London Youth Jazz Orchestra which subsequently turned into The National Youth Jazz Orchestra.
Growing older, as one does, I found myself involved in projects which were actively supported by a Greater London Arts Association (part of the Greater London Council which was demolished by Margaret Thatcher), free musical education and an Arts Council which energetically supported musical experiment.
In the eighties, together with Steve Lodder, Marc Parnell and Josefina Cupido, I formed the first incarnation of the band ‘Elephant’, which became a vehicle for my compositions, as well as those of Steve, Josefina and John Warren and Robin Clayton. That first version of Elephant and a duo with Steve Lodder opened the way for Paul to experiment with the use of various electronics and trombone.
Brazilian and Columbian music
Paul has arranged and played, for Mônica Vasconcelos’ Brazilian band Nois, and played Salsa with London bands La Clave and Roberto Pla’s Latin Jazz, as well as backing visiting stars such as Alfredo Rodriguez. He played with Bosco de Oliviera’s ‘Folia’, as well as numerous jazz groups.
Early and Classical
He was a founder member of His Majestys Sagbutts and Cornetts and played with The New London Consort, The Gabrieli Consort. He has also worked with specialist period symphony orchestras such as The Hanover Band, and various chamber orchestras, including those directed by John Eliot Gardiner and Roger Norrington.
Paul has performed, recorded and broadcast with artists from a wide variety of musical worlds including:- Anthony More, Barr Philips, Brian Eno, Cayenne, Diana Ross, Don Rendell, Gallagher & Lyle, George Fenton, George Harrison, Georgie Fame, Ian Shaw, John Dankworth, John Harle, John Surman, John Warren Band, London Jazz Composers’ Orchestra (Dir: Barry Guy), London Jazz Orchestra, Mike Gibbs, Gil Evans, Mike Westbrook, National Health, National Theatre, Neil Innes, Paul Young, Soft Machine, Stan Tracey, The Stranglers and The Albion Dance Band etc.
Currently Paul lives in Brighton where he teaches and works and which has a musical spark that reminds me of the energy and musical good will that existed in my early days.