About Jim Blomfield Trio

 

Jim Blomfield (piano/keyboards), Roshan ‘Tosh’ Wijetunge (bass) and Mark Whitlam (drums) are three individual voices whose past collaborations read like a who’s-who of the UK jazz scene. The dynamic level of organic interplay evident in realising Jim's original and intricate contemporary compositions is testament to an experienced trio who know each other’s playing intimately - a quality that has also been so compelling and captivating both on record and for audiences during their live performances.

 

The music, at times delicate and atmospheric, at others intricate and intense, will engage the listener in a fascinating musical journey with evocative melodies, driving rhythms, rich harmonies, adventurous solo and group improvisations and tight, complex ensemble writing. 

The latest trio album ‘Strange Beauty (Every Way OK)’  introduces electronic and synthesiser elements into the piano trio format, drawing upon influences arising from electronica, rock and prog-rock as much as it does from the jazz legacy. 

The Musicians 

Jim Blomfield (Piano/Keyboards)

 

A much in demand player and recognised as a reliable and inspiring supportive musician in any creative situation, Jim is also regarded as an exciting, engaging soloist and innovative composer in his own right. He has performed at numerous venues and festivals throughout the UK and has accompanied a firmament of national and international names – Andy Sheppard, Pete King, Alan Barnes, Simon Spillett, Ed Jones and US saxophonists Benn Clatworthy and Greg Abate to name but a few. 

 

As a sideman, bands include long standing engagements with the Andy Hague Quintet and Kevin Figes Quartet with whom he has toured and recorded extensively. Somewhat of a specialist in Latin and Salsa piano styles, Jim can frequently been seen performing this genre of music with the likes of Bristol Dockside Orchestra or in various groups with Cuban trumpet maestro Michel Padron. Jim also plays in a band performing the music of Santana from their earlier period with virtuoso guitarist Denny Illett.

As a composer and bandleader Jim has written eclectic music for a variety of ensembles – from quartet and septet to contemporary big band. Currently Jim’s main personal project is the Jim Blomfield Trio, a group who have to date released two albums on contemporary music label Pig Records. The trio’s second album, the 2019 ‘Strange Beauty (Every Way OK)’, recorded at Real World Studios, followed up their critically acclaimed debut ‘Wave Forms and Sea Changes’.

 

“Heard in full flow, pianist Blomfield sounds as fully formed as any of his better-known UK peers..."                   

(Phil Johnson – The Independent) 

 

Roshan ‘Tosh’ Wijetunge (Bass)

 

Roshan ‘Tosh’ Wijetunge is a session bassist, recording engineer and producer. 

With a love of bass kindled by the vibrant music scene of 80’s / 90’s London where he grew up, his playing style clearly reflects his early exposure to soul, house, hip-hop, dub, funk, acid jazz as well as indie and classic rock. 

He studied upright bass at Taller De Musics in Barcelona, before returning to the UK to become part of the thriving Bristol music scene. His versatility as a session musician has seen him play everything from salsa, jazz and soul through to folk-pop and country and he's worked with legends of the Latin music scene and performed live at major festivals including Glastonbury and Bestival.  

 

In 2012 Tosh stepped over to the other side of the recording console to follow his passion for music production, starting with the trio's critically acclaimed debut 'Wave Forms and Sea Changes' on which he performed, recorded, mixed and produced. He now runs Wij Productions, recording, mixing, mastering and producing music for the well-established as well as up and coming artists in the region and beyond.

 

 

Mark Whitlam (Drums)

 

Versatility, creative flair and great feel have established Mark as one of the first-call players in the South West. Mark is a passionate, authoritative and authentic performer and putting the needs of the music first is at the centre of his approach. 

Mark has performed live and/or recorded with some of the UK’s finest jazz musicians, including ECM artists Andy Sheppard and Iain Ballamy, Jason Rebello (Sting, Jeff Beck), Claire Martin, Pee Wee Ellis (James Brown), Jim Mullen (Average White Band), Mike Outram, Tina May, and cross-genre artists such as Goldfrapp's Will Gregory, Portishead's Adrian Utley, BBC Proms conductor Charles Hazlewood and award winning folk artist, Eliza Carthy.

 

Live performances have taken him from Glastonbury Festival to The Royal Albert Hall, and across to Europe. His recorded work has received airplay on BBC Radio 3 (Jazz on 3, Late Junction and Jazz Requests), BBC Radio 2 (Jamie Cullum), BBC 6 Music  (Introducing...) and Jazz FM, having also recorded live broadcasts for Jez Nelson's Jazz on 3 show from Manchester Jazz Festival and The Vortex in London.  A committed music educator, Mark enjoys teaching on the undergraduate degree programme at BIMM Bristol, where he is deputy head of the drum faculty. 

 

“Whitlam’s neatly energetic drumming … is consistently bright, inventive and responsive”

(Ian Mann, www.thejazzmann.com)

"For fans of current post-EST piano trio jazz who might be looking for that little bit extra from a now heavily subscribed format, Jim Blomfield could well be the answer” 

(Selwyn Harris – Jazzwise magazine)

“(Jim’s) music is clever, dynamic, surprising, and quite dazzling.” 

(Peter Vacher - London Jazz News)

 

“With its blend of acoustic and electronic sounds the music on “Strange Beauty” invites comparisons with the work of such forward looking contemporary piano trios as e.s.t., the Neil Cowley Trio, The Bad Plus and GoGo Penguin. Fans of any of these bands is likely to find much to enjoy here”. (Ian Mann - www.thejazzmann.com)

“A thoroughly enjoyable gig, put aside any pre or misconceptions about what you think a piano trio can do or sound like. Here is the new real deal and they need to be seen live to be fully experienced” 

(www.bristoljazzcrew.blogspot.com)