Zoe Rahman

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Zoe Rahman
Zoe Rahman photo.jpg
Zoe Rahman performing live in 2008
Background information
Born (1971-01-20) 20 January 1971 (age 44)
Chichester, England
Origin London, England
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Pianist, composer
Instruments Piano
Years active 1998–present
Labels Manushi Records
Associated acts Idris Rahman
Website www.zoerahman.com

Zoe Rahman (born 20 January 1971) is an English jazz composer and pianist.


Rahman was born and raised in Chichester, England. She studied classical piano at the Royal Academy of Music, a music degree at St Hugh’s College, University of Oxford, and won a scholarship to study jazz performance at Berklee College of Music, Boston, where she had lessons with the inspirational pianist JoAnne Brackeen.[1] While in America she formed her own trio, which featured bassist Joshua Davis and the renowned drummer Bob Moses.


Rahman is of mixed Bangladeshi and English descent, but describes her childhood in Chichester as being ‘completely English.’ Recently however she has explored her father’s Bengali cultural roots, learning from musicians in London and Bangladesh. Some have inspired her later music.[2]


Radio and television appearances[edit]

Rahman has been the featured artist on radio and television programmes such as Courtney Pine’s ‘Jazz Crusade’ on BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 4’s 'Woman's Hour', BBC London’s ‘Now’s the Time’, Andrea Oliver’s ‘The Selector’, Northern Broadcasting Internet Radio, Resonance FM and Julian Joseph’s Jazz series for Meridian Television. She has performed live on the BBC World Service and on Radio 3’s In Tune.

Recording and performances[edit]

Aside from working with her own groups, Rahman continues to perform, record (both in the UK and internationally) with a diverse range of other artists, most recently: Courtney Pine; Clark Tracey’s New Quintet; Soothsayers; Tony Bianco; JazzXchange Dance Company; Nyika Goremsandu; Netsayi Chigwendere; Gary Boyle; Keziah Jones (2003/4 European tours); David Walcott (2003 Festival, Barbados); Mekaal Hasan (2001 tour, Pakistan). She has co-written a jazz-based theatre show ‘I'm a Fool to Want You’, about the French writer/musician Boris Vian, with ‘Told by an Idiot’ Theatre Company (UK / South American tours 2003-2005).

Other recent albums/DVDs include: Reem Kelani ‘Sprinting Gazelle’; Clark Tracey Quintet ‘The Calling’ and ‘The Mighty Sas’; Tony Bianco ‘In A Western Sense’; Gary Boyle ‘Games’; Soothsayers ‘Tangled Roots’; Brigitte Escobar ‘Brigitte’; Terry Hall/Mushtaq's ‘The Hour of Two Lights’; Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian 'Big Ears', Keziah Jones ‘Live at the Élysée Montmartre’ DVD.


Rahman has toured extensively throughout the UK and internationally, including, most recently: North Sea Jazz Festival; Molde Jazz Festival; Palermo Jazz Festival; Algeria’s European Cultural Festival; Cork Jazz Festival; Estonia’s Nargen Festival; Barbados Jazz Festival.


Described in The Observer newspaper as “one of the finest young pianists in Europe” and “a remarkable pianist by any standard”, Rahman has firmly established herself as one of the brightest stars on the contemporary jazz scene. “Melting Pot” has been hailed as “one of the most distinctive piano trio albums” (Jazzwise magazine), a “fantastic new album” (Courtney Pine, BBC Radio 2), and "in every way, an impressive sequel to her debut" (Jazz Review).

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Work Award Category Result
1999 Perrier Young Jazz Musician of the Year[1] Won
2001 Debut album “The Cynic” BBC Radio 3 ‘Jazz Album of the Year Review’ Shortlisted
BBC Jazz Awards ‘Rising Star’ Nominated
2006 Second album “Melting Pot” Mercury Music Prize Nominated
Parliamentary Jazz Awards ‘Jazz Album of the Year’ Won
2012 MOBO Awards Best Jazz Act Won


Year Title Featuring
2001 The Cynic Winston Clifford - drums; Jeremy Brown - bass.
2006 Melting Pot Gene Calderazzo - drums; Oli Hayhurst - bass; Pat Illingworth - Drums; Jeremy Brown - bass; Idris Rahman - clarinet; Adriano Itauna - percussion.
2008 Where Rivers Meet Idris Rahman - clarinet; Arnob - vocals; Gaurob - vocals; Kuljit Bhamra - percussion; Gene Calderazzo - drums; Oli Hayhurst - bass; Samy Bishai - violin.
2009 Zoe Rahman Trio (Live) Gene Calderazzo - drums; Oli Hayhurst - bass; Idris Rahman - clarinet.
2013 Unison George Mraz - bass

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Fordham, John (18 November 2005). "Review: Zoe Rahman, Melting Pot". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 15 February 2010. 
  2. ^ "Press". Zoe Rahman. Retrieved 26 November 2008. 

External links[edit]