Projects

The Aviators’ Ball
Aviator's Ball

The Aviators’ Ball is the debut album from bassist Matt Owens, incorporating elements of jazz, world, classical and folk music.

The album features a host of Manchester’s finest musicians including trumpeters Neil Yates (Kate Rusby) and Steve Chadwick (Sam Lee), pianists John Ellis (Cinematic Orchestra) and Edward Barnwell, drummers Rick Weedon and Danny Ward alongside The Souza Winds and Vintage Strings. As well as writing his own material Matt arranged several guest singers’ songs: Tom Davies‘ tender Mouse Song, Zoe Kyoti’s ethereal Monsoon and Ríoghnach Connolly’s haunting interpretation of the traditional folk song Black Is The Colour. 

The album was co-produced by Kirsty Almeida (who adds a vocalise to Going Back to the Village) and was mixed by John Ellis at Limefield Studio, Manchester.

Much of the material was taken from his suite of pieces Ten, commissioned by The Manchester Jazz Festival and written for  jazz quartet combined with wind quintet and tuned percussion.

Matt has been a creative component of Manchester’s vibrant music scene writing, arranging and playing bass with acts such as Kirsty Almeida, La Gran Descarga, Baked A La Ska, The Wagon Train, Ríoghnach Connolly and The Magic Beans. His music has been used in the films Pategonia and Albatross and on the American TV show Arrow.

Title track from The Aviators' Ball

 

 

 

Keys
Keybird

Keys is Matt’s latest project. A set of new compositions written with for keyboards instruments, double bass and vocals.

It will premier at St. Annes Church on Friday 25th July as part of the Manchester Jazz Festival and several of Matt’s long-time collaborators:

John Ellis – piano, keyboards

David Muñoz – piano, keyboards

Kirsty Almeida – vocals

Matt Owens – double bass

The music has been written to reflect  the church’s meditative setting and will also feature at least one piece with the fantastic church organ.

Kirsty Almeida
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Matt has been a long time collaborator with singer songwriter Kirsty Almeida. As well as playing bass with her they have co-written and arranged much music together.

Almeida draws you into her enchanting, uplifting and at times devilishly dark world. Classic songwriting with a wondrous mix of murder lullabies, blues-folk beauty, New Orleans soul, voodoo-tinged-pop and a healthy does of Tim Burton-style brooding. Kirsty was signed to Decca Records in 2009 and Youth produced her debut album DejaVoodu (originally released as Pure Blue Green). Kirsty has since releaed her album Winter Songs.

www.kirstyalmeida.co.uk

“An artist who has to be seen live to be appreciated…it’s on stage, with her band in full bawdy flow that she flourishes.” Caroline Sullivan, The Guardian

“A gorgeous collection of brilliantly written and performed songs…add to that a voice that is by turns delicate and storming, personality that seeps out of every seam and you have an artist to treasure. Delicious.” Simon Gage, Daily Express

“Class and a rather delicious sultriness ooze from Kirsty’s warm tones. She shows such a light touch with her melodies and intelligent lyrics that you almost don’t realise how freakin’ brilliant she is. Like Norah Jones with a naughty twinkle, this is blissful stuff.” Stefan Kyriazis, Star Magazine

“Kirsty Almeida is a strikingly original singer-songwriter.” Gavin Martin, Daily Mirror

“Singing live, she is mesmerizing, a powerhouse! Free spirited and alive, at times she is an enigmatic chanteuse, and other times she is a ringleader to a raucous vaudeville troupe”. Amelia Magazine

“…Almeida’s live shows where a cabaret-meets-soul-revue atmosphere of energy, colour and good vibes is summoned by a taut seven piece band swinging big and forceful one minute, sweet and tender the next. Highly recommended.” Direct Current

Baked A La Ska
Just-Desserts-PAK

Baked A La Ska are the “heavy, heavy sound” of Manchester, a super charged 11-headed ska monster on a rampage through the dance floors of the UK leaving a trail of skanked outbodies in their wake.

It’s a band of assembled oddballs and pranksters brought together by keyboardist and wizard Mr John Ellis, fronted by an un-holy trio of singers: Frank “The Skank”, Tommy Robot and Kuntri Ranks, who combine with the soft lilt and harmonica magic of Robin Sunflower. Baked A La Ska also feature one of the tightest rhythm sections in Manchester with the “chops to make you drop”.

Their second album, Just Desserts, sees the band playing their trademark mix of spaced out and spooky originalsplusquirky covers that have been put through their ska machine.

Baked A La Ska are the house band for the Shake ‘n’ Bake clubnights at Manchester’s Band On The Wall, and have performed riotous sets at The Kendal Calling, Matthew Street Festival (Liverpool), Hungry Pigeon Festival (Manchester), Mintfest (Cumbria) and Gaz’s Rockin’ Blues (London) amongst many others.

www.bakedalaska.biz

 

The Magic Beans
the-magic-beans-2-reduced

The Magic beans are: Zoe Kyoti (vocals), Uli Elbracht (guitar) & Matt Owens (bass). Their self titled debut album gained some fabulous reviews and their second album is released September 2015. Visit the bands new website www.beansmusic.co.uk

 * * * * * “Uli Elbracht & Matt Owens are self-effacing accompanists: they provide minimal velvet for the jewel of Zoe’s voice, which is magical (the right word) in it’s smoothness, nuance and tenderness. This exquisite vocal instrument is deployed on an eclectic song selection. She charms on It Must Be Love, sparkles on The Beat Goes On, and removes the sting of For All We Know with a breathy, light sweetness. Most surprising of all, Kyoti transforms a desert into a paradise on a wonderfully lilting Horse With No Name.” Al Brownlee, Manchester Evening News

* * * * “ The Beat Goes On is an amazing song, with singer Zoe Kyoti twinkling on a Sonny Bono lyric that evokes a time (the swinging sixties) discusses it, and is supremely confident that it can’t get any better. Matt Owens, an authoritative string bassist and Ulrich Elbracht, resolutely unflashy and quietly adventurous on guitar, are purely at the service of the music. True Colours offers an object lesson in how restraint actively enhances the emotional punch. The pain of Every Little Bit Hurts is more tingling than traumatic. Everything Kyoti touches is beautiful, with a singing styles as intimate as speech.” Citylife Online

Ten
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In 2009 Matt Owens was commisioned by the Manchester Jazz Festival to produce a new suite, Ten. He had previously produced works featuring string and brass ensembles  and after attending an experimental concert by The Souza Winds decided to turn his attention to writing and arranging for wind quintet. Ten intergrated The Souza Winds with a jazz quartet: Neil Yates (trumpet/tin whistle), John Ellis (piano), Matt Owens (double bass) and Rick Weedon (drums). To add further colour Matt also invite Sophie Hastings to play tuned percussion (marimba/vibraphone/glockenspiel). Matt ended up producing over 1.5 hours worth of material which carefully balanced highly arranged passages with space for improvisation. The work premiered at The Green Room during The Manchester Jazz Festival 2009. A review of the evening by Chris Ackerley for The Sound of Now is below.

“Have you ever seen a bassoon in a jazz orchestra? Well you have now and to be completely honest, it was wonderful.

This Sunday saw the premier performance of bassist Matt Owens’ new suite of music commissioned by the Manchester Jazz Festival. Quite unlike anything you may have heard before the general premise of the Owens’ concert was to compose and arrange music for both a jazz quintet, and perhaps more unconventionally, a wind quintet featuring; flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and French horn. With one side more comfortable as improvisers and the other used to sticking to the charts it could have been a risk for everyone involved, but it was an inspired choice to team up with the Souza Winds (a group who usually work in the contemporary classical field), and by all accounts the two camps seemed to work together perfectly.

Owens’ music is mischievous and full of far reaching influences that swept the audience along on a carpet ride, taking in samba beats and Middle Eastern rhythms along the way. But undercutting the exotic nature of many of the compositions there was a true sense that the real magic happens right here at home. This is a truly English composer who, whether conscious or otherwise, has written songs that are as quaint and whimsical as a picnic in the Cotswolds.

After his opening ode to the strangely comforting nature of Manchester’s wet weather days, complete with glockenspiel raindrops and penny whistle solo, we were transported to a bygone era of cream tea and crumpets with ‘Violet’ a picture post card of a song, in which Lucy Rugman delighting everyone with her uplifting lines on the clarinet .

There is no avoiding the playful nature of this commission if you take into account ‘Children’s Theme’, a kitch and breezy number that grooved along with Owens’ walking blues infused bass line, or ‘The Mouse Song’ featuring Odbod Collective counterpart Tom Davies; but that being said, there was absolutely nothing dated or pastiche about Owens’ work, and in fact this was a complex and accomplished work akin to the likes of Loose Tubes’ madcap pianist Django Bates’ work, or even the joyful pace of much of Joe Zawinul’s later Syndicate output. In all this was a brave and enjoyable start to the MJF Originals programme that should remind all jazz composers that music can be fun as well as serious.”

3779071801_a40cf0bee0_o

ten

3779922240_79b3a2d120_o

La Gran Descarga
La Gran Descarga

La Gran Descarga evolved from Descarga – a group who gained a reputation as one of the most exciting and dynamic bands on the UK Latin scene. Descarga was formed by Matt way back in 1999 when he was at Salford University. Kirsty Almeida joined in 2000 and the band went on to tour the UK with their hugely succesful theatre show Cubanite. Matt and Kirsty wrote the majority of the music for the show, combing Afro-Cuban music with inspired songwriting, utilising both English and Spanish lyrics. The band released their studio album Llanita in 2004.

In 2007 Matt took up the challenge of expanding the 9-piece band to and epic 22-piece Latin big band La Gan Descarga. 3 singers, 4 percussionists, 5 saxes, 4 trumpets,4 trombones, piano and bassThe band played concerts at The Lowry Theatre, Salford and The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester.

“Latin music with the freshness of a new century” – La Banda Elastica,

 

 

 

 

 


All Made Up Records
Kirsty-Almieda-Cool-Down-Rewind-PAK

All Made Up Records is an independant record label run by Kirsty Almeida & Matt Owens.

Releases have been played on national television and radio and used in The American TV series Arrow.

The BBC filmed a documentary on Kirsty and her unique approach to music making and business.

 

The Aviators’ Ball
Keys
Kirsty Almeida
Baked A La Ska
The Magic Beans
Ten
La Gran Descarga
All Made Up Records

The Aviators’ Ball

The Aviators’ Ball is the debut album from bassist Matt Owens, incorporating elements of jazz, world, classical and folk music.

The album features a host of Manchester’s finest musicians including trumpeters Neil Yates (Kate Rusby) and Steve Chadwick (Sam Lee), pianists John Ellis (Cinematic Orchestra) and Edward Barnwell, drummers Rick Weedon and Danny Ward alongside The Souza Winds and Vintage Strings. As well as writing his own material Matt arranged several guest singers’ songs: Tom Davies‘ tender Mouse Song, Zoe Kyoti’s ethereal Monsoon and Ríoghnach Connolly’s haunting interpretation of the traditional folk song Black Is The Colour. 

The album was co-produced by Kirsty Almeida (who adds a vocalise to Going Back to the Village) and was mixed by John Ellis at Limefield Studio, Manchester.

Much of the material was taken from his suite of pieces Ten, commissioned by The Manchester Jazz Festival and written for  jazz quartet combined with wind quintet and tuned percussion.

Matt has been a creative component of Manchester’s vibrant music scene writing, arranging and playing bass with acts such as Kirsty Almeida, La Gran Descarga, Baked A La Ska, The Wagon Train, Ríoghnach Connolly and The Magic Beans. His music has been used in the films Pategonia and Albatross and on the American TV show Arrow.

Title track from The Aviators' Ball

 

 

 

Aviator's Ball Click to buy
The Aviator's Ball
Listen to a sample

Keys

Keys is Matt’s latest project. A set of new compositions written with for keyboards instruments, double bass and vocals.

It will premier at St. Annes Church on Friday 25th July as part of the Manchester Jazz Festival and several of Matt’s long-time collaborators:

John Ellis – piano, keyboards

David Muñoz – piano, keyboards

Kirsty Almeida – vocals

Matt Owens – double bass

The music has been written to reflect  the church’s meditative setting and will also feature at least one piece with the fantastic church organ.

Kirsty Almeida

Matt has been a long time collaborator with singer songwriter Kirsty Almeida. As well as playing bass with her they have co-written and arranged much music together.

Almeida draws you into her enchanting, uplifting and at times devilishly dark world. Classic songwriting with a wondrous mix of murder lullabies, blues-folk beauty, New Orleans soul, voodoo-tinged-pop and a healthy does of Tim Burton-style brooding. Kirsty was signed to Decca Records in 2009 and Youth produced her debut album DejaVoodu (originally released as Pure Blue Green). Kirsty has since releaed her album Winter Songs.

www.kirstyalmeida.co.uk

“An artist who has to be seen live to be appreciated…it’s on stage, with her band in full bawdy flow that she flourishes.” Caroline Sullivan, The Guardian

“A gorgeous collection of brilliantly written and performed songs…add to that a voice that is by turns delicate and storming, personality that seeps out of every seam and you have an artist to treasure. Delicious.” Simon Gage, Daily Express

“Class and a rather delicious sultriness ooze from Kirsty’s warm tones. She shows such a light touch with her melodies and intelligent lyrics that you almost don’t realise how freakin’ brilliant she is. Like Norah Jones with a naughty twinkle, this is blissful stuff.” Stefan Kyriazis, Star Magazine

“Kirsty Almeida is a strikingly original singer-songwriter.” Gavin Martin, Daily Mirror

“Singing live, she is mesmerizing, a powerhouse! Free spirited and alive, at times she is an enigmatic chanteuse, and other times she is a ringleader to a raucous vaudeville troupe”. Amelia Magazine

“…Almeida’s live shows where a cabaret-meets-soul-revue atmosphere of energy, colour and good vibes is summoned by a taut seven piece band swinging big and forceful one minute, sweet and tender the next. Highly recommended.” Direct Current

Baked A La Ska

Baked A La Ska are the “heavy, heavy sound” of Manchester, a super charged 11-headed ska monster on a rampage through the dance floors of the UK leaving a trail of skanked outbodies in their wake.

It’s a band of assembled oddballs and pranksters brought together by keyboardist and wizard Mr John Ellis, fronted by an un-holy trio of singers: Frank “The Skank”, Tommy Robot and Kuntri Ranks, who combine with the soft lilt and harmonica magic of Robin Sunflower. Baked A La Ska also feature one of the tightest rhythm sections in Manchester with the “chops to make you drop”.

Their second album, Just Desserts, sees the band playing their trademark mix of spaced out and spooky originalsplusquirky covers that have been put through their ska machine.

Baked A La Ska are the house band for the Shake ‘n’ Bake clubnights at Manchester’s Band On The Wall, and have performed riotous sets at The Kendal Calling, Matthew Street Festival (Liverpool), Hungry Pigeon Festival (Manchester), Mintfest (Cumbria) and Gaz’s Rockin’ Blues (London) amongst many others.

www.bakedalaska.biz

 

The Magic Beans

The Magic beans are: Zoe Kyoti (vocals), Uli Elbracht (guitar) & Matt Owens (bass). Their self titled debut album gained some fabulous reviews and their second album is released September 2015. Visit the bands new website www.beansmusic.co.uk

 * * * * * “Uli Elbracht & Matt Owens are self-effacing accompanists: they provide minimal velvet for the jewel of Zoe’s voice, which is magical (the right word) in it’s smoothness, nuance and tenderness. This exquisite vocal instrument is deployed on an eclectic song selection. She charms on It Must Be Love, sparkles on The Beat Goes On, and removes the sting of For All We Know with a breathy, light sweetness. Most surprising of all, Kyoti transforms a desert into a paradise on a wonderfully lilting Horse With No Name.” Al Brownlee, Manchester Evening News

* * * * “ The Beat Goes On is an amazing song, with singer Zoe Kyoti twinkling on a Sonny Bono lyric that evokes a time (the swinging sixties) discusses it, and is supremely confident that it can’t get any better. Matt Owens, an authoritative string bassist and Ulrich Elbracht, resolutely unflashy and quietly adventurous on guitar, are purely at the service of the music. True Colours offers an object lesson in how restraint actively enhances the emotional punch. The pain of Every Little Bit Hurts is more tingling than traumatic. Everything Kyoti touches is beautiful, with a singing styles as intimate as speech.” Citylife Online

Ten

In 2009 Matt Owens was commisioned by the Manchester Jazz Festival to produce a new suite, Ten. He had previously produced works featuring string and brass ensembles  and after attending an experimental concert by The Souza Winds decided to turn his attention to writing and arranging for wind quintet. Ten intergrated The Souza Winds with a jazz quartet: Neil Yates (trumpet/tin whistle), John Ellis (piano), Matt Owens (double bass) and Rick Weedon (drums). To add further colour Matt also invite Sophie Hastings to play tuned percussion (marimba/vibraphone/glockenspiel). Matt ended up producing over 1.5 hours worth of material which carefully balanced highly arranged passages with space for improvisation. The work premiered at The Green Room during The Manchester Jazz Festival 2009. A review of the evening by Chris Ackerley for The Sound of Now is below.

“Have you ever seen a bassoon in a jazz orchestra? Well you have now and to be completely honest, it was wonderful.

This Sunday saw the premier performance of bassist Matt Owens’ new suite of music commissioned by the Manchester Jazz Festival. Quite unlike anything you may have heard before the general premise of the Owens’ concert was to compose and arrange music for both a jazz quintet, and perhaps more unconventionally, a wind quintet featuring; flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and French horn. With one side more comfortable as improvisers and the other used to sticking to the charts it could have been a risk for everyone involved, but it was an inspired choice to team up with the Souza Winds (a group who usually work in the contemporary classical field), and by all accounts the two camps seemed to work together perfectly.

Owens’ music is mischievous and full of far reaching influences that swept the audience along on a carpet ride, taking in samba beats and Middle Eastern rhythms along the way. But undercutting the exotic nature of many of the compositions there was a true sense that the real magic happens right here at home. This is a truly English composer who, whether conscious or otherwise, has written songs that are as quaint and whimsical as a picnic in the Cotswolds.

After his opening ode to the strangely comforting nature of Manchester’s wet weather days, complete with glockenspiel raindrops and penny whistle solo, we were transported to a bygone era of cream tea and crumpets with ‘Violet’ a picture post card of a song, in which Lucy Rugman delighting everyone with her uplifting lines on the clarinet .

There is no avoiding the playful nature of this commission if you take into account ‘Children’s Theme’, a kitch and breezy number that grooved along with Owens’ walking blues infused bass line, or ‘The Mouse Song’ featuring Odbod Collective counterpart Tom Davies; but that being said, there was absolutely nothing dated or pastiche about Owens’ work, and in fact this was a complex and accomplished work akin to the likes of Loose Tubes’ madcap pianist Django Bates’ work, or even the joyful pace of much of Joe Zawinul’s later Syndicate output. In all this was a brave and enjoyable start to the MJF Originals programme that should remind all jazz composers that music can be fun as well as serious.”

3779071801_a40cf0bee0_o

ten

3779922240_79b3a2d120_o

La Gran Descarga

La Gran Descarga evolved from Descarga – a group who gained a reputation as one of the most exciting and dynamic bands on the UK Latin scene. Descarga was formed by Matt way back in 1999 when he was at Salford University. Kirsty Almeida joined in 2000 and the band went on to tour the UK with their hugely succesful theatre show Cubanite. Matt and Kirsty wrote the majority of the music for the show, combing Afro-Cuban music with inspired songwriting, utilising both English and Spanish lyrics. The band released their studio album Llanita in 2004.

In 2007 Matt took up the challenge of expanding the 9-piece band to and epic 22-piece Latin big band La Gan Descarga. 3 singers, 4 percussionists, 5 saxes, 4 trumpets,4 trombones, piano and bassThe band played concerts at The Lowry Theatre, Salford and The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester.

“Latin music with the freshness of a new century” – La Banda Elastica,

 

 

 

 

 


All Made Up Records

All Made Up Records is an independant record label run by Kirsty Almeida & Matt Owens.

Releases have been played on national television and radio and used in The American TV series Arrow.

The BBC filmed a documentary on Kirsty and her unique approach to music making and business.