“O’Higgins plays with quite exceptional fluency and his fund of ideas never runs out.”
Dave O'Higgins is a saxophonist, composer, arranger, educator and latterly recording engineer and producer. He has been a popular figure on the UK and international jazz scene for 30 years now, with 19 albums as leader under his belt: DISCOGRAPHY
Dave’s tenor and soprano sax sounds are highly personal and recognisable, with a clear sense of melodic development and adventure. A popular performer with the public, with an excellent sense of pacing and presentation, he has a wide palette from Charlie Parker, Dexter Gordon, John Coltrane, Joe Henderson through to Stanley Turrentine and Michael Brecker. He has relentlessly pursued artistic and sonic exploration, and enjoys the learning process which is a constant advancing flow. The Dave O’Higgins Quartet has been together for 5 years now with Sebastiaan de Krom (drums), Geoff Gascoyne (bass) and Graham Harvey (piano) - a band that is unashamed to swing and draw on blues and functional harmonies and the great tome of jazz vocabulary, eschewing fads and fusions.
In 2017, The Dave O’Higgins Quartet completed a 33-date tour of the UK promoting his release, It’s Always 9:30 in Zog with the help of awards from the Arts Council of England and PRS Foundation.
Dave has made a new CD, Tenors of Our Time, with the great Italian tenor saxophonist, Max Ionata, UK organ virtuoso, Ross Stanley, and New York based Italian drummer, Luca Santaniello. This will be released in November 2019 on the Japanese label, Albore Jazz. Watch this space……
Other current projects are:
Dave is a highly regarded educator at the LCCM, where he is the Jazz Pathway Leader.
He also runs a small specialist jazz recording studio (JVG), in search of the optimum way of recording jazz musicians through a combination of old techniques (á la Rudy Van Gelder) and newer innovations.
A couple of years ago, Mark Reilly (Matt Bianco) called Dave (who used to play in the band) to suggest co-writing some songs. These have become the backbone of the new Matt Bianco CD, Gravity, due for release in Japan in August. Dave’s quartet form the heart of the new band, and the instrumental parts for the new album were all recorded at JVG. This new lineup will be touring Japan in August and Italy in September.
Dave has toured and recorded with hundreds of artists all over the world. He feels his main apprenticeships were served with John Dankworth and Cleo Laine, Jim Mullen and Martin Taylor. He spent years working with all these fabulous musicians.
Big impressions have also been left by multiple visits to South Africa since 1993. There’s another list of tours and recordings made there! And collaborations with Brazilian accordion virtuoso, Chico Chagas (2008-2010).
Most impressive names on the CV are surely Frank Sinatra (the last London appearance - a week at the Royal Albert Hall in 1992) and a tour and album with Ray Charles (Strong Love Affair).
Other regular bands over the years include:
BBC Big Band
Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Orchestra