Iain Ballamy's IBQT

Loose Tubes and Bill Bruford’s Earthworks saxophonist brings his new quartet featuring rising star Rebecca Nash and world-class drummer Jeremy Stacey

I love musical connections, don’t you? Probably the first time I heard Iain Ballamy was on the Loose Tubes 1988 album ‘Open Letter’. That wonderful big band line up included Django Bates and Mark Lockheart, whose nephew Dan Lockheart opened our Autumn program at The Marrs Bar in September 2023. Iain and Django also played in Bill Bruford’s Earthworks in the mid eighties. Among other accolades, Bruford was drummer with Yes (1968-72 & 1990-92) and King Crimson (1972-24 & 1981-84). Fast forward some 40 years and Iain Ballamy is bringing his new quartet IBQT to Worcester, featuring King Crimson’s most recent drummer (one of three), Jeremy Stacey, who also appeared with FNUK alongside twin brother Paul and pianist Jason Rebello in our 2024 opening show in January.

Listed between Chet Baker and Count Basie in Geoffrey Smith’s BBC publication ‘100 Jazz Greats’, Ballamy has a rare and beautiful sound on the tenor saxophone, both captivating and instantly recognisable.

Since emerging in the early 80’s with Loose Tubes, Django Bates and Bill Bruford’s Earthworks, he has established himself as a player and composer of note on the world’s jazz stages and more recently as a contemporary classical soloist with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and BBC Philharmonic Orchestras.

His remarkable new quartet IBQT features the unique rising star pianist Rebecca Nash, superb bassist Nick Pini and the internationally renowned drummer Jeremy Stacey.

Ballamy’s concert repertoire covers a great range and his program will include past and present original works plus some unexpected re-workings of some classic songs that inspired his musical journey.

Ballamy is a professor of saxophone at the Guildhall school of music and Royal Academy of music and a recording artist for ECM records.

You can check out Ballamy's playing in this YouTube video featuring his 2020 quartet, with Huw Warren on piano. You may recall Warren appeared at The Marr’s Bar with Corrie Dick’s fantastic six-piece Sun Swells band in November 2023.