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John Barber

Solo Trombone

Short Biography

John Barber is widely regarded as one of the most versatile trombonists in Britain today. He is Principal Trombone of the Foden's Brass Band, a position he has held since joining from the Black Dyke Band in 1996. Having worked with the Halle, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Camerata , Raymond Gubbay Orchestra and the Welsh National Orchestra his non-orchestral experience includes performing with Elton John, Rod Stewart, Liza Minelli, The Gypsy Kings, Paul Anka, the Super Big Tramp Band and with Gloria Estefan on the X-factor.

John has been the trombone tutor to both the National Youth Brass Band of Scotland and the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain and is presently Director of the Love Music Trust, the lead partner of the music education hub in Cheshire East. Additionally he is Director of Music at the Sandbach School where he leads the Big Band who have worked with Derek Watkins, Georgie Fame, Gordon Campbell, Simon Willescroft, Elliot Henshaw, Matthew Ford, Colin Skinner, Kevin Holbrough and Andy Scott.

John is proud to be an endorsee of Antoine Courtois Musical Instruments and is a member of the 'Courtois Trombones' along with Mark Templeton (Principal Trombone of the London Philharmonic Orchestra) Davur Magnusson (Principal of the Royal National Scottish Orchestra) and Richard Ashmore (Bass Trombone Ulster Orchestra).

In 2014 John released his first solo CD with Foden’s Band entitled ‘Barber’ performing on both trombone and piano. As an arranger, the album ‘Memories of Christmas’ (2016) is the first complete commercial recording that John has undertaken providing an opportunity to showcase the collaboration between Foden’s band and Matthew Ford.

Full Biography

John Barber is widely regarded as one of the most versatile trombonists in Britain today. He is Principal Trombone of the Foden's Brass Band, a position he has held since joining from the Black Dyke Band in 1996.

Originally from Hampshire, John was Principal Trombone with the Hants Youth Orchestra and studied on the Hampshire Specialist Music Course. In 1993 he was awarded s place on the "joint course", run between the Royal Northern College of Music and the Manchester University. At the RNCM, he studied Trombone with Andrew Berryman, Principal Trombone with the Halle Orchestra and Christopher Houlding (Opera North). John made two European Tours with the RNCM Symphony Orchestra as Principal Trombone and was a featured soloist with the RNCM Brass Band on their highly successful Norwegian Tour. John was also lead Trombone with the RNCM Big Band and was twice a prize winner of the highly regarded Sema Group Jazz Improvisation Competition.

Having worked with the Halle, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Camerata, Raymond Gubbay Orchestra and the Welsh National Orchestra his non-orchestral experience includes performing with Elton John, Rod Stewart, Liza Minelli, The Gypsy Kings, Paul Anka, The Super Big Tramp Band and Gloria Estefan on the X-factor.

In November 1996 John accepted the position of lead trombone with the Tony Evans Orchestra in Monte Carlo where he was resident for a year and on his return to the UK, John undertook an MA at Salford University in Composition and Arranging under the direction of the highly acclaimed Composer, Peter Graham. He has written and arranged for numerous ensembles and choirs including Foden’s Band, National Symphony Orchestra (UAE), Southern Counties Youth Brass Band, the Halle Brass Ensemble, Nemo Brass Quintet.

Since 1997 John has been a member of the New Orleans/Salsa Group, Brasshoppers with whom he has performed across Europe including appearances at the Cork Jazz Festival, Cognac Blues Festival, Paris Jazz Festival and the Slida Festival in Norway. The group also played their part in a unique piece of history when they played at the Millennium Dome on the Millennium New Year’s Eve.

Along with Andy Scott (Saxophone) and Dave Hassle (Drums) John is a founding member of the funk / Jazz group DB5. He is also a member of the Blue Juice Band (with whom he played piano at Steven Gerrard’s wedding and the A Band with Matthew Ford. In 2006 John appeared with Tony Hadley (Spandau Ballet) and Martin Fry (ABC) with the 80's All Star band in Manheim, Germany.  John has been the trombone tutor to both the National Youth Brass Band of Scotland and the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain and is the trombone tutor on for the Wessex Band Summer School.

John is presently Director of the Love Music Trust, the Music Education Hub for Cheshire East and Director of Music at the Sandbach School where he leads the Big Band. Derek Watkins, Georgie Fame, Gordon Campbell, Simon Willescroft, Elliot Henshaw, Matt Ford, Colin Skinner, Andy Scott and Johnny Heyes have all appeared with the group. The band have toured Boston (New Hampshire), Berlin, Istanbul, Singapore and New Zealand. In 2008 the Band made their debut at the Edinburgh Festival, which they revisited in 2010 and 2014.

John is proud to be an endorsee of Antoine Courtois Musical Instruments and is a member of the 'Courtois Trombones' along with Mark Templeton (Principal Trombone of the London Philharmonic Orchestra) Davur Magnusson (Principal of the Royal National Scottish Orchestra) and Richard Ashmore (Bass Trombone Ulster Orchestra).

In 2014 John released his first solo CD with Foden’s Band entitled ‘Barber’ performing on both trombone and piano. As an arranger, the album ‘Memories of Christmas’ (2016) was the first complete commercial recording that John has undertaken providing an opportunity to showcase the collaboration between Foden’s band and Matthew Ford.

For any conductor and every audience, Foden’s Band is a musical Magic Carpet. It continually takes the listener to places that few other ensembles rarely even approach Howard Snell