Formed in London in 2015, the 5-piece Simon Lasky Group have released two albums of original compositions on ’33Jazz’ Records and regularly perform at many of the leading jazz venues in the U.K. ‘Close to Ecstasy’ (from the 2018 release ‘About the Moment’) won the prestigious 2018 BRITISH COMPOSER AWARDS in the ‘Jazz Composition for Small Ensemble’ category and was broadcast on BBC Radio. Quasi-symphonic compositions, propulsive grooves, rich harmonies, expressive melodies and ecstatic improvisation are at the heart of performances by The Simon Lasky Group. Formed by classically trained British pianist and composer, Simon Lasky, the band features an unconventional line-up of some of the most exciting international performers in the U.K and an ambitious and individual approach to composition and production. Following up their highly acclaimed debut release in 2015 (‘Story Inside’ on 33Jazz Records) the band released their second album (‘About the Moment’ also on 33Jazz Records) in February 2018. The new album has already received substantial airplay on NPR radio in The U.S, and on BBC Radio, JazzFM, Soul&Jazz Radio and Solar Radio in the U.K. For JAZZ IN EUROPE Jan Veldman says “‘About the Moment’ is a wonderful album that will appeal to a large jazz audience. Highly recommended.” And in his LONDON JAZZ NEWS album review Rob Mallows stated “At times this is a thrilling album…there are certainly plenty of moments in ‘About the Moment’ that take your breath away.”
British pianist and composer, Simon Lasky, was a Junior Exhibitioner at Trinity College of Music in London, studying piano, composition and French horn, from the age of 11. He graduated from the University of Bristol with a First Class Honours degree in Music in 1997 and a Masters in Music Composition in 1998. Following his graduation Simon performed as a side-man, and then band leader, on cruise ships including two World Cruises on the famous QE2 ocean liner.
Simon has taught jazz piano, composition and Musicianship at Trinity College of Music Junior Department since 2006 and has been Head of Jazz at Bradfield College in Berkshire since 2005.
Since settling in London in 2005 Simon has established himself as a piano player, composer and arranger on the jazz scene working with some of the U.K’s leading instrumentalists and vocalists and performing at some of London’s top jazz venues. Short-listed by The SPNM, Simon’s compositions for the concert platform received performances in The Queen Elizabeth Hall, The Purcell Room, St John’s Smith Square and The Barbican Hall.
Following the award of a scholarship to participate in a Music Residency at The Banff Centre in Canada in 2014, Simon focused his compositional activities solely on jazz forming the 6-piece Simon Lasky Group. Signed to ‘33Jazz’ Records in 2015 their debut album received excellent reviews and substantial radio airplay on JazzFM in the U.K and National Public Radio in the U.S. London Jazz News described the album as “A paean to well constructed composition and honest-to-goodness musical texture.”
The Simon Lasky Group have performed at many of the leading jazz venues in London including the 606 Club, Jazz Café Posk and The Bull’s Head in Barnes. Their follow up album – ‘About The Moment’ (also on ’33Jazz’ Records) – was released in January 2018 receiving praise on both sides of The Atlantic: Writing in the LA Jazz Scene magazine, leading U.S critic Scott Yanow said “…Lasky’s music constantly evolves, rather than being a set of chord changes, and the emphasis is on ensembles rather than solos…the intriguing music of ‘About the Moment’ is well worth a close listen.” The album received 3-star review in Jazzwise magazine and a 4-star review in Jazz Journal. For London Jazz News critic Rob Mallows said “At times this is a thrilling album…There are certainly plenty of moments in ‘About the Moment’ that take your breath away.”
Simon’s composition ‘Close To Ecstasy’ won the 2018 British Composer Award in the ‘Jazz Composition for Small Ensemble’ category and was broadcast on the BBC. In Autumn 2018 Simon was awarded a Fellowship to teach on the undergraduate jazz programme at The University of South Florida where he is studying for a Masters in Jazz Studies and is Assistant to Grammy nominated jazz composer Chuck Owen.