“So creative I couldn’t believe it. This kid really is a 360-degree beautiful young cat”
Ollie Howell is a multi-award-winning drummer, film/tv composer, instrumentalist, producer and broadcaster.
Based in London, Ollie has established a name for himself internationally as a composer and performer. His live shows and recordings impress fans with a punchy blend of creativity, stunning improvisation and critically acclaimed compositions. Legendary producer Quincy Jones calls Ollie “an unbelievable drummer. So creative I couldn’t believe it. He really is a 360-degree beautiful young cat.”.
Ollie is the first ever jazz recipient of a Sky Academy Arts Scholarship, and his debut album Sutures and Stitches received critical acclaim, with the Guardian hailing it as “a fine debut” and Mojo stating that his music “has delicious dynamic flow and an almost elegiac beauty”. In 2017, the Sky Arts channel filmed a program around the making of Ollie’s acclaimed second album, presented by Melvyn Bragg. For the release of this album, Ollie was invited to be the first artist in residence opening Quincy Jones’ new venue ‘Q’s in Dubai for a 3‑month residence with his group.
As a composer for Film and television, Ollie has written scores for many award winning films and tv series, with his work being screened at International Film Festivals all around the world (including earning several ‘Best Original Score’ nominations). Alongside multiple recent feature film scores and tv series, Ollie also recently worked as a Musical Arranger/Instrumentalist on ‘Dynasties’, the David Attenborough tv series for the BBC, composed by Benji Merrison and Will Slater.
Ollie has collaborated with several other high profile composers including Michael Price (Sherlock, Dracula) and with the London Contemporary Orchestra, with whom he composed a piece for their Erased Tapes concert at the Southbank in 2019. Prior to this, Ollie also premiered a new orchestral commission for the London Chamber Orchestra at Cadogan Hall. This work was written and performed alongside 150 young‘Music Junction’ participants during workshops to explore new idea and to engage students of all abilities as part of his year-long residency with the LCO as their musician in residence.
He has also worked as a radio presenter on both Jazz FM and the BBC, as well as being the first guest on Jess Gillam’s acclaimed weekly radio program ‘This Classical Life’ on BBC Radio 3.
“Quincy had handpicked rising stars: young guns still forging their reputations on the international scene — for the initial 3 month residency he chose Ollie Howell.”
“Featuring punctilious percussion and warm, open compositions that never strain to impress, the music has a delicious dynamic flow and an almost elegiac beauty.”
“One of the brightest young stars in the jazz firmament”
“An impressive debut recording”
The Financial Times
“When a debut album sounds this good (correction: this spectacular), you simply cannot ignore it! … A superbly creative and rounded album” (AP Reviews)“When a debut album sounds this good (correction: this spectacular), you simply cannot ignore it! … A superbly creative and rounded album”
“The energy of the young musicians is impressive… many inspirational moments.”
Sound and Image - Germany
“Howell himself sometimes plays with the approach and poly-rhythms inspired by Elvin Jones, and can act with both vigour or restraint.”
Musik an Sich - Germany
“An excellent drummer.”
Rhein Main Magazine - Germany
“The album boasts an impeccable sound quality and a fine selection of outstanding compositions with the various modern inspirations from the London & New York jazz scenes. A true devotion to melodic themes that remain in the memory also with rousing grooves and virtuosic solos played by some of the emerging stars of the British jazz scene.”
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