Since the release of his debut album Twilight Dreams in 2002, Colin Steele’s highly original and melodic Scottish folk-influenced jazz has won just about every UK jazz plaudit there is; from BBC Jazz CD of the Year and Jazz Review international CD of the Year (for his album ‘The Journey Home’) to CD of the year accolades in The Guardian, Observer, Independent and The New Statesman. Steele’s compositions are inspired by Scottish and Irish folk music, but are firmly rooted in the jazz tradition.

Colin took up the trumpet in 1980 and joined his first jazz group the John Rae Collective at the age of 19 (which included Brian Kellock and Phil Bancroft). He then went on to work with Tommy Smith, Tom Bancroft Orchestra and pop band Hue and Cry.

Between 1990 and 1996 he travelled Europe extensively, living in France, then London, then Italy. On his return to Scotland in 1997 he established the phenomenally successful live music club Midnight Blue, which ran for three years and attracted over 40,000 people during this time. Around this time he also began composing, forming his first quintet in 2000.

Colin has also toured and collaborated with many international jazz artists, including The Bad Plus, Jon Christenson, Arild Anderson, Geri Allen and Steve Slagle. He is also involved with a variety of different genres, including Scottish folk music with the Unusual Suspects and Aidan O’ Rourke’s band Sirius, and with various dance and drum and bass projects including Aqua Bassino, Jo Malik and Yush 2K, as well as Latin and funk with his own bands Mas Que Nada and Melting Pot.

Colin has also collaborated on a number of theatrical projects including writing the original score for Mike Maran’s highly successful theatre show ‘The Little World Of Don Camillo’, and he wrote and performed the score for ‘Look Back In Anger’ which starred David Tennant.

Current projects

Colin Steele’s Stramash is his newest and most innovative project to date, which along with his quintet includes 3 of Scotland’s top fiddlers (Aidan O’Rourke, Catriona MacDonald and Mairi Campbell), classical cello (Su-a Lee) and bagpipes/whistles (Rory Campbell). Stramash will release their debut CD in 2009.

The Colin Steele Quintet This multi award winning band features the top jazz musicians from the Scottish scene: Phil Bancroft (saxophones), Dave Milligan (piano), Aidan O’Donnell (double bass) and Stu Ritchie (drums).

A Funny Valentine is a theatre show based on the life, music and drug addiction of Chet Baker. Written by Mike Maran, the show is touring throughout the UK in 2009. See for more information.

Colin Steele Quintet Plays Miles Davis has been put together to celebrate the music of the great trumpeter. In August 2009 they will be playing 10 dates during the Edinburgh fringe, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of arguably the greatest jazz recording of all time, Kind of Blue.

Colin Steele/Dave Milligan duet, only 2 rehearsals and 2 gigs old but already receiving a 5 star review in the Scotsman, this very new collaboration looks like an interesting prospect for the future.

Melting Pot/Midnight Blue band features the outstanding Scottish soul singer Subie Coleman. After having a break for the past few years, this 7 piece jazz funk group has recently played a couple of storming gigs and it looks like it’s time to get together again.

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