★ Winners: Jazz Ensemble of the Year 2018 Parliamentary Jazz Awards
★ Shortlisted: Best Small Group 2018 British Jazz Awards
★ Alison Rayner Runner-up: Best Double Bass 2018 British Jazz Awards
2018 was a great year for ARQ, bass player Alison Rayner’s London-based contemporary jazz quintet: UK festivals, and club dates, successful tours of Germany and Scotland and Winners of ‘Ensemble of the Year’ in the prestigious 2018 All-Party Parliamentary Jazz Awards. ARQ are now previewing new music from their third album (release Autumn 2019) and have UK festivals and club dates over this summer, with a national tour starting in October to promote the new album, working title ‘Short Stories’.
Described by LondonJazzNews as ‘a celebration of life itself’ their music is ‘inventive, vibrantly colourful and unfailingly melodic, possessed of a strong sense of narrative and cinematic quality, frequently inspired by personal experiences’ (the jazzmann.com).
Their combination of richly nuanced compositions with folk-infused grooves, skilful musicianship and a love of improvisation, creates a compelling and coherent whole. ARQ play ‘songs without words’ and are known for their vibrant, communicative performances.
ARQ’s profile has risen dramatically over the past five years, with extensive touring and critical acclaim for their two albums ‘August’ and ‘A Magic Life’. They have built a substantial and wide-ranging audience, receiving national and international radio play and four and five-star reviews in jazz and national press. Their 40-date ‘A Magic Life’ UK tour in 2017 was supported by Arts Council England.
Individually, the group’s track record includes work with such international artists as Carla Bley, Andy Sheppard, George Russell, John Harle, The Guest Stars, Marjorie Whylie, Sharon Freeman, Jayne Cortez, Tal Farlow and BBC TV’s Rockschool series, broadcasted in both the UK and USA.