Contact Andy Williamson/Big Buzzard:
tel: 07980 680052 (outside UK: +44 7980 680052)
On this site:
Music available as MP3s for download
Autumn/Winter 2013 concerts
Sunday 20 October 2013 : Marco Marconi Trio
This is the online home of Andy Williamson.
I'm a musician with various pots on the boil. This site will give you a flavour of them but do give me A Buzz if you'd like to know more about anything you see here that tickles your fancy. I'm a saxophonist, a singer, a bandleader and a teacher. I help programme events and festivals, and have been doing all this for the last 20 years — and still love it as much now as I did when I started.
I play in a number of regular bands with some wonderful musicians from all over the country. There's my own small Buzztet, various collaborations from silly jazz and cabaret, to the large and funky Big Buzzard Boogie Band, plus the Brass Volcanoes, The Organ Grinders, Pavlov and The Denbone Walkers. I've also had the chance to play with some of my musical heroes, including Al Casey, Tom Robinson, Suggs and most recently Martha Reeves and the Vandellas.
I have an eclectic musical taste and experience that takes in many genres. You may have heard me playing Duke Ellington's Sacred Concerts on Radio 4 or in one of the UK's Cathedrals. I've also set ecological poetry to Gregorian chant style melodies in Plainsong for the Planet, brought together jazz activists to play New Orleans marching tunes at the Climate Camp and protest marches; I sing bass in the choir at the annual St Endellion festival or can be found reprising hep cat funky rude tunes at weddings. I've brought in tabla players, tap and break dancers, I've abseiled during gigs and from enormous towers while playing sax; I've cooked food on stage while the band raged around me; accompanied soul food diva Momma Cherri and all round diva Corliss Randall.
I teach sax, singing and jazz improvisation. I do this privately, and have run improvisation classes for tap dancers in London and students at Kindston University. I run the Ashburton Community Choir in St Lawrence Chapel, Ashburton, every Tuesday evening at 8pm. Anyone is welcome to come along any week - no need to commit to being there every week.
But do you play at weddings?
I love playing at weddings, especially if you want to use music to create something special, during the service or at the reception. This has involved solo sax, duetting with other musicians, creating a ‘jazz service’, getting family and friends to sing ‘Lean on Me’ during a service with no celebrant, and creating new music or new arrangements for the service or for a first dance. For a Indian-Jewish-English wedding, I created a whole day of music which included a performance by tabla maestro Kuljit Bhamra, adding Bangra-style percussion to the Big Buzzard Boogie Band and singing the traditional Simcha Jewish wedding songs while the bride and groom were carried around the room in a frenzy.
Big Buzzard Boogie Band
Free MP3 downloads of some Big Buzzard music, recorded LIVE in The Famous Spiegeltent.
The band appears regularly in various incarnations. Here are a few highlights over the years...
Denbone Walkers @ Ashburton Blues Festival
Sun 30 May 2010. 5pm – 11.45pm
Sacred Concert in London
Weds 16 June, 8pm, St Giles in the Fields
With Tina May, Steve Waterman featuring tap dancer Junior Laniyan, and opera star Roderick Williams plus the Vox Cordis choir under the baton of Jamie Burton. This should be an extraordinary night. More info...
Sacred Concert in Bristol
A return visit to Westbury on Trym church with the glorious voices of the Exultate Singers.
Denbone Walkers at the Edinburgh Fringe
Tue 10 - Mon 16 August, 11.30pm
We're on at the Pleasance's spectacular new Fringe Venue "Ghillie Dhu", in the heart of the city, dripping with chandeliers, red velvet, intimate booths, and everything you could wish for in a late night Edinburgh Jazz Den. Booking details coming soon.
Bewdley Festival with Scott Stroman
Duke Ellington Sacred Concert, Bristol 24 Feb 2007
The Big Buzzard band joined with the Exultate Singers of Bristol to perform this wonderful music by Duke Ellington, with it's theme of 'Freedom' to commemorate the bicentenary of the abolition of slavery.
"I'm a Believer" - Trafalgar Square
Duke Ellington's Sacred Concert, Radio 4
Thursday 20th May 2004 - Duke Ellington's Sacred Concert live on BBC Radio 4 The Big Buzzard Boogie Band expanded to 18 musicians, and were joined by the Exultate Singers and members of the BBC Daily Service singers for the broadcast, live from St Martin-in-the-Fields in London.
The Buzzards at the Famous Spiegeltent
The Big Buzzard Boogie Band returned to one o the most amazing venues in the world, the 'Famous Spiegeltent' for performances at the Brighton Festival during May, and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe during August. Here's a snatch of one of the performances:
On Saturday 1 June 2002, the Big Buzzard Boogie Band were among the performers at Buckingham Palace for the Queen's Golden Jubilee Celebrations.