BIOGRAPHY /// ROZ HARDING
SHORT WRITE UP
Roz Harding is an "original and imaginative" (Mike Westbrook) alto saxophonist. The alto speaks volumes for Roz; she feels connected to it and audiences enjoy her ability to communicate - "a player who can tell a story that captivates and brings us back for more" (Gary Bayley). Described as "inspirational" and "immense" by Jazzwise Magazine, Roz has an expressive and "distinctive" (Smiths Academy Informer) style, citing her influences as Kate Bush, Bob Dylan, Frederick Alexander and his technique, Art Pepper, Jeff Buckley, Prince, Nick Drake, Manic Street Preachers and Jackie McLean. Roz lives in Devon and likes to play new music. She can be found playing saxophone in Mike Westbrook’s 'The Uncommon Orchestra', Kate Westbrook's GRANITE band, Breath Of Great Life, Dave Holdsworth's New Brew, A Quiet Night In, Billie Bottle & the Multiple and leading her own project ///SUPERMOOD. In addition to her saxophone work, Roz is exploring the visual art techniques of 1960s liquid light shows as a further expression of her music. Visit www.rozharding.com
Roz Harding was born in Bristol but grew up in Devon. After studying in London, Roz returned to the West Country. Here she finds the pace of life and beautiful surroundings supports her approach to music.
As a child Roz messed about with recorders, penny whistles and a Bontempi melodica. She began piano lessons aged 7 and aged about 10 asked to learn the saxophone after seeing a County Youth Band. Roz was given a second hand La Fleur alto which she took to the school orchestra. She played in School and County bands throughout her education.
Roz's time as a music student at Exeter College provided great encouragement and diverse musical experiences. Taught by Iorwerth Pugh, Paul McCLure and Laura Wright Roz discovered the thrill of and possibilities within live music. Watching a Harry Connick Jr. video in class (The New York Big Band Concert Live) and being given a tape of Sinatra The Main Event (Live) plus an Art Pepper CD (Pepper Returns) sparked a further interest in jazz. Playing in the Exeter College Big Band aged 16-18 unearthed a deep need to improvise.
Roz went on to complete a BA Hons Jazz degree specialising in performance at Middlesex University, London. Here she studied the saxophone with internationally recognised saxophonist Mark Lockheart. Under the guidance of the inspiring staff at Middlesex (Stuart Hall, Eddie Parker, Rob Townsend, Nikki Iles, Pete Churchill and Chris Batchelor) Roz explored many aspects of jazz and became particularly taken with the self-expression found in improvisation.
After graduating in 2000 Roz got involved with her local music scene playing gigs, functions, shows, festivals, clubs and jam sessions.
In 2008 Roz began to study Alexander Technique.
In 2010 Roz co-founded Sketch, a quintet featuring George Cooper on keys, John Worth on guitar, Jay Darwish on bass and Saleem Raman on drums. Although Sketch was short lived Roz began to compose for this band, a discipline previously unexplored. In 2010 Roz was also invited to join Mike Westbrook’s Uncommon Orchestra (Here marks the Life Before Westbrook and Life After Westbrook moment!).
In 2012 Roz joined Billie Bottle and The Multiple.
In 2013 Roz began her project SUPERMOOD, featuring Mike Outram on guitar and Jim Bashford on drums.
In 2014 JAZZ TOAST! flung into life.
In 2015 Roz began exploring the handmade visual art techniques of 1960s liquid light shows with an interest to enhance the gig state, a bubble for live improvisation to thrive.
In 2016 SUPERMOOD played their first gig under the glow of the SUPERMOOD LIGHT SHOW.
In 2017 Roz became part of A Quite Night In, a collective of musicians/sound artists exploring the creative possibilities of quiet.
In 2018 Roz and multi-instrumentalist Billie Bottle began their duo Breath Of Great Life and joined Kate Westbrook’s GRANITE band. Roz joined Dave Holdsworth's New Brew and played alto for the debut album "Wodji". 2018 also sees Roz working with Tom Glazebrook and Meta-Harmony plus the release of her debut album SUPERMOOD on Leo Records.
2019 is filled with thoughts about what other sounds live inside this saxophone of mine. Experiments have begun…
Playing live is an essential part of Roz's music and has given her the opportunity to play alongside many interesting musicians including Kate and Mike Westbrook, Matthew Bourne, Lou Gare, Chris Biscoe, Paul Dunmall, Deirdre Cartwright, Dominique Pifarely, Alan Wakeman, Harry Beckett, Emma Welton, Zoe Rahman, Dave Sinclair, Dave Holdsworth, Pete Whyman, Mark Bassey, Phil Minton, Mark Lockheart, Issie Barratt, Dick Pearce and Karen Street.
Roz has been involved with numerous recording projects, had her music played on Jazz FM and BBC Radio 6 Music, played live on air for BBC Radio 3 and at established venues including Ronnie Scotts, The Vortex, London Jazz Festival, Kings Place, Teatro Rossini, Bristol International Jazz and Blues Festival, Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Women in Jazz festival, Halle and Birmingham Jazz.