Trumpet, flugelhorn. Composer and arranger, band leader, teacher
Contact - / 07981 806191
Loz Speyer's music combines a playful and subversive spirit with a melodic and rhythmic sense deeply rooted enough to draw people in, with or without their having jazz ears.
Taking in a broad sweep of the vast musical culture available, and with a central focus on jazz throughout, Loz Speyer's career includes performance work with: Yann Tiersen (la Route du Rock festival 2010), Test Department (ICA 1991), Brian Abrahams, Tony Bianco (touring and debut CD with Loz Speyer Quartet), Clifford Jarvis, Amancio daSilva, Alex Maguire Big Band, the John Bennett Band, Steve Buckley, Trevor Warren's Disassembler with Mark Lockheart, Hugh Metcalf and Birdyak, Lol Coxhill, Tony Marsh (improv trio), the London Improvisers Orchestra, the Bollywood Brass Band, the Happy End (Canadian and European Jazz festivals, two LPs), poet and author Michael Rosen (with local world-jazzers the Dulce Tones), Sarah Jane Morris (with Happy End 1980s, with her band 2012 at Purcell Room),... and in Cuba with veteran trumpeter Inaudis Paisán, Orquesta Chepín-Chovén, and Trio Acorde with Marcos Fernandez (pianist now with Eliades Ochoa).
Perhaps best known for his own bands Time Zone (with Martin Hathaway, Stuart Hall etc) and Inner Space (with Chris Biscoe, Rachel Musson, Olie Brice, Gary Willcox), Speyer has been leading and composing for both groups since 2003, developing and honing the distinct sound of each. Both bands have toured the UK extensively and released two albums each to date. Time Zone played a week at Ronnie Scotts opposite Airto Moreira, and Lancaster, Manchester, Scarborough and Lichfield Jazz Festivals.
Speyer spent some extended periods in Santiago de Cuba (totalling over a year between 2000 and 2009) - studying percussion, recording and transcribing, and working with local Son bands. In 2005 he recorded three Time Zone pieces with a Cuban band, one of which was later released on the Babel label compilation Now’s the Time II. And his collaboration Proyecto Evocación, with master percussionist Rafael Cisneros (of Ballet Folklorico Cutumba) featured live on various stages in Santiago's week-long Festival del Caribe, resulting in the CD Roots en Route – Raices en Viaje (2010 Spherical Records).
Returning to his small group jazz roots, Speyer recently re-formed his own Loz Speyer Quartet, playing a mix of Thelonious Monk's music and his own jazz compositions.
As a composer for larger ensembles, Loz was a founder member of the innovative 12-piece Rare Mix (1995-2000) which brought together the unusual combination of Jason Yarde, Brian Abrahams, Pete Saberton, Ben Davis, Martin Hathaway, Simon Picard, Julian Seigel, Jim Dvorak etc... and featured collective compositions by this star studded team of bandleaders. In 2000 Rare Mix recorded an album Everything is Possible, yet to be released...
Loz Speyer's big band arrangements have been performed and recorded by jazz orchestras at the Guildhall School of Music and Morley College, as well as by Rare Mix... and his extended arrangement for Octet of the Bastille Concerto, composed by Clifford Jarvis' father, formed a centrepiece in the memorial concert at the Spitz in honour of this great jazz drummer.
His teaching work, which he fulfills with a passion, ranges from small group trumpet lessons and whole class band workshops with school children in Haringey, to leading workshops and rehearsing his own compositions with diploma students at the Guildhall School of Music.
top photo by Steve Cropper
lower one by Sara Haq