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Dominic Alldis is a jazz musician, orchestral conductor and arranger. He is the founder of Music & Management Ltd.
Alldis was born into a family of classical musicians; his mother a violinist and his father the choral conductor John Alldis. He was exposed early to the full range of classical repertoire, studying classical cello, piano and organ, later adding conducting and composition studies.
As a teenager Alldis began his musical career in 1982 in Paris, studying jazz piano with Aaron Bridgers and Bernard Maury, while accompanying singers of French chanson. In 1984, he returned to the UK to become resident-pianist at the London jazz and cabaret venue, Pizza on the Park. During a two-year residency he played opposite jazz and cabaret artists including Blossom Dearie, Steve Ross, Dave Frishberg, Bob Dorough, Teddy Wilson, Dave McKenna and Roger Kellaway.
In 1987–89, Alldis studied composition with Konrad Boehmer and Frederic Rzewski at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague, and in 1988 he was invited by the Studio for Electro-Instrumental Music in Amsterdam (STEIM) to develop a performance using live electronics and the Yamaha MIDI Grand Piano. He then toured Europe during 1989–91 giving concerts using the new instrument, culminating in the album Night Music for Lumina Records.
In 1996 he launched the record label Canzona Music, to record a series of vocal-jazz albums: Turn Out The Stars – the songs of Bill Evans, If Love Were All – the songs of Noël Coward and Watch What Happens – the songs of Michel Legrand. These albums feature the UK jazz musicians Claire Martin (vocals), Geoff Gascoyne (bass), Adam Glasser (harmonica), Tim Garland (saxophone), Alec Dankworth (bass), Clark Tracey (drums), Colin Oxley (guitar), Iain Ballamy (saxophone) and Martin France (drums). All albums on Canzona Music are distributed by Proper Note.
In 2002 he formed an octet comprising four jazz soloists and a classical string quartet: Iain Ballamy (saxophone), Malcolm Creese (bass), Martin France (drums) and the Pavao Quartet. Together they undertook a UK tour sponsored by the Arts Council of England in a programme of Alldis's contemporary arrangements of themes from classic French films, such as A Man and a Woman, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and Monsieur Hulot's Holiday, as well as songs by film composer Michel Legrand. Concert venues included the Wigmore Hall (London), the Adrian Boult Hall (Birmingham) and the Queen's Hall, Edinburgh. This led to a fourth album on the Canzona Music label: Themes From French Cinema. This was followed in 2008 by the release of Scenes We Once Knew collection of works by jazz-singer pianists, and in 2009 Songs We Heard featuring contemporary arrangements of familiar nursery rhymes for jazz piano trio.
Music and management
In 1998, he founded Music & Management Ltd, which offers corporate training and client appreciation events exploring the parallels between musical and business leadership. His events often involve a live symphony orchestra or jazz band, or a solo piano performance.
Alldis has taught at music institutions in London, Dartington and Paris, and is currently on the staff at the Royal Academy of Music (RAM) in London, where he teaches improvisation to classical pianists and opera singers. In 2006, he led a jazz singing masterclass at the RAM. He has also written two books, "A Classical Approach to Jazz Piano Harmony" and "A Classical Approach to Jazz Piano Improvisation", both published by the Hal Leonard Corporation.
Dominic Alldis Trio
Alldis formed The Dominic Alldis Trio in 2009 along with former Ronnie Scott's Quintet bassist Andrew Cleyndert and ECM drummer Martin France. The trio brings a jazz approach to their repertoire, including classical themes from chamber music and opera, folk songs and nursery rhymes, as well as original compositions. Key influences include Bill Evans, Jacques Loussier, Jan Johansson, John Lewis and the Modern Jazz Quartet. The Trio's most recent album, A Childhood Suite, features improvisations on familiar nursery rhymes scored for piano trio and string orchestra, and has what Stephen Graham called "a simplicity and sincerity rare these days in the hustle and bustle of the record industry demanding a certain crash, bang, wallop approach". The Trio performed at the London Jazz Festival in November 2013.
Canzona Chamber Orchestra
In 2010 Alldis founded the Canzona Chamber Orchestra to perform classical repertoire and crossover projects with jazz musicians. Their inaugural concert was at St James's Church, Piccadilly, London on 22 April 2010, and featured Tchaikovsky's Serenade for Strings, Britten's Simple Symphony and the premiere of Alldis's Childhood Suite, scored for jazz piano trio and orchestra.
- Night Music—Lumina Music, 1989
- Turn Out The Stars – The Songs of Bill Evans – Canzona Music, 1996
- IF Love Were All – The Songs of Noel Coward – Canzona Music 2000
- Watch What Happens – The Songs of Michel Legrand – Canzona Music 2002
- Themes From French Cinema—Canzona Music 2004
- Scenes We Once Knew—Canzona Music 2008
- Songs We Heard—Canzona Music 2009
- A Childhood Suite—Canzona Music 2012
- A Classical Approach to Jazz Piano – Book One: Exploring Harmony—published by Hal Leonard Corporation
- A Classical Approach to Jazz Piano – Book Two: Improvisation" – published by Hal Leonard
- Nursery Rhymes Jazz Play-Along Vol.134—published by Hal Leonard
- Alldis, Dominic. "Biography". Dominic Alldis official web site. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
- "Dominic Alldis". Royal Academy of Music Staff Profiles. Royal Academy of Music (RAM). Retrieved 22 November 2013.
- "A Classical Approach to Jazz Piano Improvisation". publisher's sales page. Hal Leonard Corporation. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
- "A Classical Approach to Jazz Piano". publisher's sales page. Hal Leonard Corporation. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
- Graham, Stephen (20 January 2013). "Trio reveries". marlbank. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
- Dominic Alldis website
- Music & Management website
- Canzona Music website
- Dominic Alldis Trio
- American School of Modern Music, Paris