Dave Stapleton


Dave Stapleton is a singular young artist and has been recently described by the Guardian as having “produced one of the success stories of UK jazz over the past year’. Since graduating in 2002 from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama with a degree in classical piano Dave has recorded six albums as a leader and has won critical acclaim for each album from the Guardian, Observer, Jazzwise, and Independent on Sunday. Dave’s industriousness and imagination has seen him write for and record with a variety of ensembles over the past few years.

In 2004 he formed his quintet (Dave Stapleton Quintet – DSQ), which provides the main outlet for his music. Since its formation they have released two highly acclaimed albums ‘When Life Was In Black and White’ and ‘The House Always Wins’ and seen them perform throughout Europe and the UK including the Budapest, Cork, Zagreb, Belgrade, London, Brecon and Cheltenham Jazz Festivals, the latter as part of the Jerwood Jazz Generation.

In 2005, Dave teamed up with Deri Roberts and recorded ‘The Conway Suite’. Devised as a project for church organ and saxophone, it includes music that crosses the boundaries between classical, jazz and contemporary minimalism. BBC Radio 3’s ‘Mixing It’ compared it to the Jan Garbarek and Hilliard Ensemble recordings and the Independent on Sunday awarded it a four star review. In 2008 Dave collaborated with award-winning composer and pianist Matthew Bourne which saw them release a highly acclaimed album called ‘Dismantling the Waterfall’. Featuring seventeen episodic tracks all linked by a seventeen line poem by Julie Tippetts, it was described by Jazzwise as “a fine collaboration between two of the UK’s most exciting young pianists”.

As a musician there’s a strength and virility to his playing, matched by an innate capacity for tenderness and reflection. As a composer, he draws upon a formidable grasp of Jazz, Classical and World styles, yet transforms these raw materials into something richly personal. His music touches on the language of contemporary classical music and jazz and has powerful riffs, melodic hooks and intriguing and surprising turns of phrase.

Dave’s beautifully evocative music and his multi-functional approach to the business of music led to him being accepted onto the second edition of the prestigious Jerwood/PRS Foundation ‘Take Five’ Initiative produced by the international music producers Serious. ‘Take Five’ is designed to give some of the UK’s most talented young jazz musicians the unique opportunity to take ‘time out’ to develop their craft.

In Oct 2006 Dave signed an exclusive worldwide creative admin publishing deal with Westbury Music Ltd and in June 2008 was nominated for a 2008 Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Composers recognising his abilities and acknowledging his potential as a composer.

In 2004 he co-formed his own label called Red Eye Music which saw him release four of his own albums as well as producing the legendary live recording of the Keith Tippett Tapestry Orchestra ‘Live at Le Mans’. In Feb 2008 Dave founded a new jazz and contemporary music record label, called Edition Records to provide a platform for emerging and established artists and has since seen him produce records for Bourne Davis Kane, Paula Gardiner and Kevin Figes.

Since 2004 Dave has also written a number of scores for animations and short films including Pellegrina for the S4C short animation and The Outsider, which won ‘The Best Welsh Film Award’ at the Cardiff Film Festival.

In Nov 2008 Dave will be releasing a new project called ‘Catching Sunlight’, a major new work commissioned by the Lunar Saxophone Quartet, written for trumpet, piano, bass, drums and saxophone quartet.


The House Always Wins

Label: Edition Records
Distribution in France: Codaex
Release date: September 17, 2009

The House Always Wins is Stapleton’s fourth album as leader. With rave reviews for his previous releases in the Guardian, Observer and Jazzwise, The House Always Wins confirms his reputation and promise.
With the exceptional talents of Paula Gardiner on bass and Elliot Bennett on drums, this is an album of powerful, driving rhythms and lingering melodic hooks. With the highly individualistic sound of Jonny Bruce on trumpet and impressive multi-instrumentalist Ben Waghorn on reeds, Stapleton has put together a band of high-rollers and high stakes winners.
Featuring, the marvellous Tabla of Aref Durvesh on the Middle Eastern sounding Cascade and the ever-wonderful Julie Tippetts on the bluesy lyricism of Aquamarine, The House Always Wins offers its gifts generously. On Snitch, Out Of Focus and the excellent suite-like Zonk the band finds the force majeure of a Rock ensemble. Imagine, music as approachable and sophisticated as Jarrett or EST or the Bad Plus. Add that to the energy of the Messengers or Cannonball Adderley. That’s the Dave Stapleton Quintet.

Who says great Jazz can’t be accessible? The House Always Wins is great Jazz!

Dave Stapleton - The House Always Wins