Orphy Robinson Bio

Orphy Robinson

orphy-robinson

Orphy Robinson is an award-winning Vibraphonist and multi-instrumentalist,an acclaimed soloist

who consistently works across a variety of eclectic musical forms (e.g. jazz, free jazz, free improvisation, jazz fusion, and funk music. Orphy (an in demand and versatile composer) has

written music for television, Film, Theatre,  Opera and contemporary Classical music.

He released two critically acclaimed solo albums on the famous Blue Note label in the 1990s,

“When Tomorrow Comes” and “The Vibes Describes”. He has also toured  or appeared with

many artists including David Murray, Don Cherry, John Tchicai, Lester Bowie, Wynton Marsalis,

Hugh Masekela, Louis Moholo, Nana Vasconcelos, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Wadada Leo Smith,

Andy Sheppard, Evan Parker, Butch Morris, Springheel Jack, Sunny Murray, Savanna,

Neneh Cherry, Hugh Hopper, Robert Wyatt. Beggar & Co, Working Week, Carleen Anderson,

Mica Paris, Josh Stone & Carleen Anderson who has shared Producer duties with for her new

album “Cage Street Memorial”.

 Audiences discovered his playing when he first toured with saxophonist Courtney Pine and

appeared on  his breakthrough album “Journey to the Urge within”  he was an original member

of the seminal 1980s big band “The Jazz Warriors.”  Orphy was also a founder member of the

Brit Funk Band Savanna. He is a on the board of  Directors for the re – formed organisation of

the iconic ‘Jazz Warriors International.’ now called ‘Warriors international’.

2009 saw several albums featuring Orphy as a Guest soloist, these included “No now is so! by

the Alexander Hawkins ensemble, “Out of office” by the “Burn out Mama” band from Finland,

he also featured on further albums by  Louis Moholo, Leee John and Beggar & Co.

Orphy’s continued work in Education was recognised nationally with a nomination for Jazz

Educator of the year at the All party Parliamentary Jazz Awards. He was also invited to become

the Musical Director of a newly formed large scale Ensemble based at The Roundhouse working

with drummer Nick Mason of Pink Floyd started in the later part of 2009.

Robinson is also a founder member of EDGE (The Shape of things to come) along with Straight no Chaser magazine’s Paul Bradshaw and journalist Jason Jules they Promoted events originally

pitched as a fringe to the London Jazz Festival, due to the success of their first well received programme titled Edge 08 they have now curated events Internationally and across a wide

spectrum of Arts Platforms. In 2012 Bradshaw and Robinson went on to successfully launch the

large scale project ‘The Enlightenment Ensemble’  Sacred music, Sacred Spaces brings a radical

new reading of the John Coltrane “A Love Supreme “ this was well received by critics and audiences alike. Paul Bradshaw has put the resources of his online magazine “Ancient to Future” firmly behind the project that has now undertaken two more sold out performances at the South bank Centre’s “Meltdown” Festival in 2014 curated by James Lavelle. Orphy its Music Director and Rowland Sutherland its Composer.  Orphy had also launched a large scale Ensemble “The Spontaneous Cosmic RawXtra” at the Kings Place concert venue in October 2009.

Since 2009 Orphy has been a featured soloist on Marimba/Vibraphone with the Virtuoso violinist

Nigel Kennedy. Performing extensive repertoire from Johann Sebastian Bach & Duke Ellington,Vivaldi,Hendrix this has resulted in favourable Press reviews on the 2010 world tour with Kennedy’s newly created Orchestra the “Orchestra of Life”. In 2011 they undertook a world tour to promote the latest album from Kennedy “The Four Elements:” released on SONY CLASSICS while also touring a radical new re- imagining of Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons”. A new album recording

of the Vivaldi project should see a release date in 2015. Another project  “Bach to the Future” was debuted on the International concert circuit during 2014 and an album recording is expected in late 2014 with further International tours planned during 2015.

Orphy also relaunched the Brit funk band Savanna at the 2010 Summer Soulstice festival in London. Followed up by a name change “Nu Savanna” with touring and recordings planned for the near future.

2012 saw Orphy busy guesting with a mixture of high profile Artists these have included performing with Pulitzer prize nominee and Trumpet maestro Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith to critical acclaim as well as a memorable appearance with the Uber hip New York Nublu Cafe musicians led by Ilhan Ersahin’s Istanbul Sessions. Orphy is currently touring with “Black Top” a new collaboration with Pianist Pat Thomas with an ad hoc series of concerts featuring special guest artist Saxophonist

Steve Williamson, further concerts have feature award winning musicians Trumpet player Byron Wallen and Vocalist Cleveland Watkiss.

Orphy is the Vice chairman of Hackney Community College Alumni.
Orphy sits on the board of Directors for the reformed Warriors International, as well as the Board

of trustees for the National Youth Jazz Orchestra. He is a member of the advisory board for Participation and Learning at The famous East London venue ‘The Hackney Empire.’ He also sits on the board of Directors for The Vortex Jazz venue.

Orphy has spearheaded a successful new Education initiative in the London borough of Newham

in conjunction with the Newham Music Hub.’ The Newham Young Peoples Dub Orchestra” was launched into schools in 2013 – 2014 school year. It is hoped that this initiative will be extended

in to other areas of the country in the future.

The group ‘Black Top’ was formed in 2011 by Orphy and Free Improv Pianist/Electronics stalwart

Pat Thomas. An album, Black Top No1, was released in July 2014 on The Babel record label featuring saxophonist Steve Williamson to critical acclaim.2015 will see their 2nd Album release on Babel this one will feature their collaboration with special guest Evan Parker..

A Selected Discography

As Main Artist –

  • When Tomorrow Comes, (1993) Album Blue Note Records
  • The Vibes Describes, (1994) Album   Blue Note Records
  • The Funky end of things (1993) Ep  Blue Note Records
  • Life (1994) Ep  Blue Note Records

 

Black Top –

 

As Sideman –

Nigel Kennedy, The New four seasons (2015) Sony Records

Josh Stone, Water (2015) Stoned Records

Film & Television

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