ubuntu music

Connecting Artists with Audiences through Beautiful Music

2018 & The Year Ahead

2018 Year End Review


A Look At 2019


The world was in political chaos, between Trump and Brexit, while jazz continued to grow and become a thing that everyone’s talking about.

 And the recorded music industry grew, too.

 Over the 12-month period, Ubuntu Music released 12 exceptional albums from a broad cross-section of talented artists: male and female; young, old and deceased; beautifully diverse in terms of race, creed, ethnicity, colour and nationality. And the consistent DNA that runs through the blood of each of these wonderful people is the quality of their music and the strength of their character as dedicated musicians.

As well as these exceptional releases, Ubuntu Talent booked a considerable number of shows for its artists, concentrating on premier London venues and key summer festivals, while attending nearly 100 live performances that year to support their artists and to discover new talent.

 And the Ubuntu brand became increasingly more attractive to recording artists, previewers, reviewers, podcasters, the media and, perhaps most importantly, the audiences who spend their hard-earned money to support these deserving artists.

 For the Ubuntu Family, 2018 was a year of expansion and prosperity for its amazingly talented roster of musicians. The year started with a bang and escalated to a crescendo of magnificent music. Here are some highlights from 2018, followed by a peek at 2019.

 Enjoy the journey with us…




As Leo Richardson’s debut album, The Chase, was taking the world by storm, the year started with the announcement of a new relationship, which quickly added considerable value to the business. From February 2018, The Orchard, the premier worldwide digital and physical music distributor, became Ubuntu Music’s partner. The Orchard is owned by Sony Music Entertainment, with its worldwide headquarters is in New York City.

So, Ubuntu was off to the races, in a very big way.

To listen to the track, please click on the image, above.

To listen to the track, please click on the image, above.

Reuben Fowler Big Band / Steely Dan’s Black Cow Single

The label’s first release of the year was a highly unique and dear to my heart.

 I’ve always been a Steely Dan fan and have greatly admired Reuben Fowler’s multi-talented skills. A while back, we discussed opportunities to work together. Reuben explained he had a recording project with 22 musicians, paying tribute to Steely Dan’s 40th anniversary of Aja, with a cover version of the iconic song, Black Cow. When asked what he was going to do with it, Reuben explained he just wanted to put it out there, allowing people to appreciate the music. He wasn’t interested in making money, particularly since no one was paid for the recording. It was truly a labour of love. Musicians who were on the recording included vocalist Hamish Stewart (ex-Average White Band), Gareth Lockrane, Graeme Blevins, Paul Booth, Leo Richardson, James Copus, Rob Luft, Jason Rebello, Ian Thomas and Sumudu Jayatilaka.

 And Reuben, as arranger, pulled it all together.

 On January 2nd, I got in touch with Reuben with an idea.

 Walter Becker, Steely Dan’s co-founder and writer, had just passed from oesophageal cancer. As a show of respect, I suggested that we release Black Cow as a digital single and donate the proceeds to the Oesophageal Research Unit of Cancer Research UK, in Walter’s name.

 The idea was hatched and embraced. Ubuntu’s publicist, Emma Perry, donated her time to the cause, along with the Label. Jazz FM got behind the single in a big way. The song was played, streamed and downloaded all over the world. And all proceeds go to an appropriate, worthy cause.


Andrew McCormack’s Graviton & Camilla George / Ronnie Scott’s

One of the live highlights of the year for me was to book the first Ubuntu Showcase.

 And it was a very special one, hosted at Ronnie Scott’s.

 The bands were Andrew McCormack’s Graviton and Camilla George. And they delivered exceptional performances to a packed house.

 As The Guardian’s John Fordham wrote, “The evening…heartwarmingly confirmed the vibrant present and future of young British jazz.”

To listen to the album, please click on the image, above.

To listen to the album, please click on the image, above.

Martin Speake / Intention

I’ve always admired Martin Speake’s sax talent, as far back as 2002 when he recorded a lovely album on ECM which featured Bobo Stenson and Paul Motion.

 I was introduced to Martin through Tom Harrison, a good friend and excellent alto player, who informed me that Martin was looking for the right label to release his next quartet recording, featuring the exceptional Ethan Iverson, with Fred Thomas and James Maddren.

 By the end of a 50 minute power lunch at The Barbican, Martin decided that Ubuntu was the label for him.

 And the rest is history.

 Intention was released in April. Rave reviews, a UK tour and appreciative audiences.

 As USA’s Downbeat Magazine wrote, “Intention rewards so much with each repeated listen that one hopes Speake and Iverson will collaborate again, sooner rather than later.”

To listen to the album, please click on the image, above.

To listen to the album, please click on the image, above.

Trio HLK / Standard Time

Ant Law, a seriously talented guitarist, approached me with an attractive opportunity…to release a highly sophisticated album that deconstructs classic tunes and drastically reworks these by employing contemporary classical compositional techniques.

 The Trio—a democracy consisting of Law, with Rich Harold and Rich Kass—are skilled musicians who are backed up by some big names: special guests Steve Lehman on sax and Dame Evelyn Glennie on percussion.

 A highly intricate and wonderfully challenging album, supported by an extensive UK tour, with live and recorded rave reviews to go with it.

 As Gramophone Magazine—which picked Standard Time as one of the best albums of 2018—said in their review, "The ensemble’s willingness to travel far and wide – beyond more obvious and generic accents (and also way beyond traditional concepts of the jazz trio) – marks them out as true innovators and makes Standard Time a truly remarkable album.”

To listen to the album, please click on the image, above.

To listen to the album, please click on the image, above.

Alina Bzhezhinska / Inspiration

Polish/Ukrainian harpist Alina Bzhezhinska was introduced to me by a good friend, Jazz FM’s Chris Philips, as someone to watch.

 I wholeheartedly agreed.

 Alina and I embarked on exciting journey together, as she recorded her album with the exceptional Tony Kofi, Larry Bartley and Joel Prime, while we prepared for the release of Inspiration.

 And what a beautiful and successful release it was.

 Alina’s album was played extensively all over the world, and she happily gave insightful interviews to journalists everywhere as she embarked on an extensive tour.

 As Chris May wrote in All About Jazz, Alina and her album are, “True solace for the soul.”

 And Roger Farbey said, “Bzhezhinska has produced an album of mesmerizing beauty and elegance.”

To listen to the album, please click on the image, above.

To listen to the album, please click on the image, above.

Mark Kavuma / Kavuma

It couldn’t have happened to a nicer, more talented and harder working guy than trumpeter Mark Kavuma.

 With a deceptively laid-back persona, Mark knew what he wanted, and he took the world by storm with his debut album, Kavuma.

 Backed by the wonderful talent of Mussinghi Brian Edwards, Reuben Fox, Artie Zaitz, Reuben James, Conor Chaplin and Kyle Poole, this London/New York collective shook the jazz world with each and every note, while the album was bought, streamed and downloaded with a relentless intensity.

 Bebop Spoken Here gave the album Five Stars.

 And USA’s Downbeat Magazine said, “This is one of the best debuts I’ve heard in a long, long time. It’s full of joy, soul and swagger.”

To listen to the album, please click on the image, above.

To listen to the album, please click on the image, above.

Pete Lee / The Velvet Rage

An introduction through a mutual friend, composer/arranger/trumpeter Matt Roberts, led me to discover the breath-taking talent of pianist Pete Lee.

 Although much of Pete’s time is consumed by his touring the world with pop sensation Tom Walker, Pete managed to deliver a wonderful work of art while collaborating with the likes of Josh Arcoleo, Alex Munk, Huw Foster, Ali Tynne and The Amika Strings.

 The debut album seamlessly integrates the smooth with the rough…intertwining classical, contemporary and jazz elements to create a genuine work of art.

 And Pete’s album launch show had the audience spellbound.

 As All About Jazz’s Roger Farbey wrote, “The Velvet Rage is unequivocally excellent, sporting twists and turns in mood and sensitivity.”

To listen to the album, please click on the image, above.

To listen to the album, please click on the image, above.

Nick Costley-White / Detour Ahead

It was the combination of talent and demeanour that attracted me to guitarist Nick Costley-White.

 Nick is a gifted individual, who has embraced the classic American songbook and added some very special ingredients to the mix. And his debut album, Detour Ahead, is a testament to this.

 His line-up is equally gifted: Matt Robinson, Conor Chaplin and Dave Hamblett.

 Nick is on a journey, winning over audiences wherever he plays, be it his near 30 date tour or his sold-out album launch show.

 As Jazz Views wrote, “This album is a considered, even mannered artefact that dances rather than cooks, maintaining an even emotional temperature throughout; all in all, a very well-conceived and executed, effortlessly classy affair.”

To listen to the album, please click on the image, above.

To listen to the album, please click on the image, above.

Chet Baker / Live in London Volume II

Given the tremendous success of Live in London Volume I along with ample quality material to release a second two CD set, the decision was taken to release the follow-up to the original.

 The same team from the first release—which included bassist Jim Richardson’s meticulous attention to detail, and the near genius engineering of Sunlightsquare’s Claudio Passavanti—ultimately gave birth to a sibling just as magical as the first.

 London Jazz News wrote, “The quality is outstanding, and, in terms of human technical achievement, surely ranks with landing a man on the moon.”

 Sandy Brown Jazz wrote, “There is no question that the man's continued mastery of his instrument is amazing.”

 To launch the second Live in London release, once again Chet’s UK rhythm section was reunited, as well as bringing together special guests, to perform these songs to a +440 capacity crowd Jazz Café in London.

 And the album has been a smashing success. One track in particular, Polka Dots and Moonbeams, is expected to achieve five million plays on Spotify alone by the end of January, making the song one of the all-time favourites of Chet’s entire repertoire.

To listen to the album, please click on the image, above.

To listen to the album, please click on the image, above.

The New York All-Stars (feat. Eric Alexander & Harold Mabern) / Burnin’ in London

This project is the result of a personal dream come true.

 I’ve been a long-time admirer of saxophonist Eric Alexander, and legendary pianist Harold Mabern is as good as it gets. Both reside in New York City, and are the best of friends. I always go out of my way to see them live.

 When they came to play in London back in 2017 I met up with Eric and, as I always do, challenged him concerning when we would ever do a project together. With a wry smile, he retorted, “Why not now?”, and so we did.

 Burnin’ in London is a full-on live quartet recording that takes no prisoners.

 As Bebop Spoken Here’s Lance Liddle wrote, “…it took only a few bars for me to instantly know that this was going to be nigh unbeatable come December 31 and the CD of the Year listings”. He further concluded, “Buy this CD, even if you never buy another one in your life.”

To listen to the album, please click on the image, above.

To listen to the album, please click on the image, above.

Camilla George / The People Could Fly

What do you do for an encore, when your debut album is a runaway success?

 Do an even better one…and Camilla George did just that.

 Camilla returned with The People Could Fly, a hypnotising blend of Afrofuturism, hip-hop and jazz. The album is named after a book of African folktales that portrays the lives and experiences of African slaves who created stories in which animals assumed the personalities of the slaves and slave owners.

 And the album includes Camilla’s regulars—Sarah Tandy, Daniel Casimir and Femi Koleoso—along with a glittering cast of special guests: Winston Clifford, Omar, Cherise Adams-Burnett, Shirley Tetteh and Quentin Collins.

 The Morning Star and The Evening Standard chose The People Could Fly as one of the Best Jazz Albums of 2018.

 And Jazz FM has playlisted tracks from the album for five months.

To listen to the album, please click on the image, above.

To listen to the album, please click on the image, above.

Flying Machines / New Life

Alex Munk is a man on a mission, as Captain of Flying Machines.

 New Life, Alex’s sophomore release, features some of the most innovative young musicians to have emerged from London’s exploding jazz scene, with Alex on guitar & vocals, Matt Robinson on piano/synths/Fender Rhodes, Conor Chaplin on electric bass and Dave Hamblett on drums.

 The band’s trademark fusion of contemporary jazz with progressive rock has been lifted to further heights, from thundering, all out metal assaults, to ambient meditations and plaintive melodies.

 Lance Liddle, from Bebop Spoken Here, wrote, “…thrashing guitar licks from Munk (are) worthy of any ‘70s stadium gig.”  London Jazz News said, “New Life fizzes with light, energy and ambition.”

 While Prog Magazine called the album, “inspired improvisation” and Jazzwise Magazine identified Alex and the band as one to watch in 2019.


This year’s Festival was yet another triumph…for jazz, for the artists and for the audiences in a 10-day non-stop series of 350 events in 60 venues with music from all over the world.

 And Ubuntu Music’s artists were exceptionally well-represented, with 15 major shows featuring its lead artists and another 10 shows with musicians from those bands.

 Key highlights include Rory Ingham’s Jam Experiment, Ethan Iverson, Jessica Radcliffe, Alina Bzhezhinska, Martin Speake, Trio HLK + Evelyn Glennie, Quentin Collins, Leo Richardson, Dave O’Higgins, Mark Kavuma, Artie Zaitz, Fini Bearman, Will Cleasby, Gareth Lockrane, Flying Machines and Camilla George + Sarah Tandy.


To listen to the album, please click on the image, above.

To listen to the album, please click on the image, above.

Jessica Radcliffe / Remembrance

Vocalist and composer Jessica Radcliffe released her debut album, Remembrance, marking the end of the First World War centenary. Based on her in-depth study of the devastating event through music, poetry, reports, letters and other historical documents, Radcliffe’s original compositions and arrangements create a moving tribute.

 The album draws on a range of influences and styles from all aspects of Radcliffe’s musical journey as well as some of the most poignant literature from the conflict. Her first-class line-up features Tom Dennis on trumpet, Sam James on piano, Joe Downard on bass and Will Glaser on drums, with Mark Lockheart as special guest.

 The Scotsman Newspaper said, “the album is infused with pathos, righteous anger and musicality.”

 The Evening Standard gave Remembrance Four Stars and said, “Radcliffe is a talent to watch”, while The Morning Star chose it as one of the Best Jazz Albums of 2018.

To listen to the album, please click on the image, above.

To listen to the album, please click on the image, above.

Helena Kay’s KIM Trio / Moon Palace

Fresh from winning Young Scottish Jazz Musician of the Year in 2015 and the 2017 Peter Whittingham Jazz Award, emerging saxophonist Helena Kay released her debut album, Moon Palace, at the end of 2018.

 The title was inspired by a Paul Auster novel of the same name. It features a selection of Kay’s original compositions which evoke the various places and experiences that inspired them, from the leafy streets of Muswell Hill/North London (Strawberry Terrace) to the jazz Mecca that is Greenwich Village/Manhattan (Perry Street). The album also reflects Kay's love of the jazz tradition.

 Helena leads KIM Trio with David Ingamells on drums and Ferg Ireland on double bass.

 Lance Liddle called the album, “…a refreshing sound, the light, almost alto-ish tone favoured by Getz, Mobley and the other cool players, in her hands, is as relevant today as it ever was.”

 All About Jazz said, “…sheer elegance and fluidity throughout”, while Jazz Views wrote, “This is a highly accomplished debut by a young player with a distinctive personality.”

 And Mike Hobart of The Financial Times gave Helena’s album launch show a Four Star rating.


Yes, 2018 was an exceptional year, for the Ubuntu artists and the Label.

 And the trend continues into 2019 and beyond. Here’s a peak of just some of Ubuntu Music’s releases for this year…

For a preview, please click on the image, above.

For a preview, please click on the image, above.

Wandering Monster / Wandering Monster

With a harmonic sophistication and improvisational approach of jazz, Wandering Monster release their eponymous debut album on Ubuntu Music in early 2019. Well established on the northern music scene, the band features Sam Quintana on double bass, Ben Powling on tenor saxophone, Calvin Travers on guitar, Tom Higham on drums and Aleks Podraza on piano and keyboards.

For a preview, please click on the image, above.

For a preview, please click on the image, above.

Laurence Hobgood /  t e s s e t e r r a

Pianist/composer/arranger extraordinaire Laurence Hobgood was Kurt Elling’s music partner for nearly two decades. Now, as leader,  t e s s e t e r r a  is Laurence's new program of standards re-woven for jazz trio and string quartet — innovative arrangements of iconic selections by Cole Porter, Sting, Jimmy Webb, Hoagy Carmichael, Stevie Wonder and more. The album will be released in March.

For a preview, please click on the image, above.

For a preview, please click on the image, above.

Gwen & Tiana / African Time

Gwen & Tiana is an Afro-jazz and soul duo. Their music is cadenced by the union of their remarkably powerful and soulful voices. A blend of numerous styles, their music is an alchemy of energetic African rhythmic and Afro-European jazz sounds. Special guests include producer Femi Temowo and trumpet ace Keyon Harrold.

For a preview, please click on the image, above.

For a preview, please click on the image, above.

Tom Cawley / Catenaccio

Tom Cawley is one of the UK’s leading jazz pianists. He has performed worldwide with some of the country’s leading artists, most notably Peter Gabriel. As a lead artist in his own right, Tom has performed, recorded and broadcast extensively over the last ten years. Catenaccio is an arresting and beautiful jazz-fusion blend, with an all-star line-up.


Miguel Gorodi / Apophenia

Miguel Gorodi is a London based composer, teacher and trumpet player performing across a broad spectrum of jazz and improvised music. Miguel’s Nonet is an ensemble that explores various compositional techniques with specific focus on texture, non-tonal melodic structures, polyrhythms, and the relationships between them all. A deep, moving debut.


Andrew McCormack / Graviton: The Calling

I’ve had the privilege of working with Andrew for six years as his manager. Having negotiated several record deals with other labels on his behalf, Andrew ultimately decided he wanted to be on Ubuntu Music. I couldn’t be happier.

This year, Andrew will release The Calling, the sequel to his highly acclaimed Graviton album. It includes an exciting cast of musicians, including stunning vocalist Noemi Nuti.


Rob Cope / The Gods of Apollo

You don’t often come across a concept for an album that’s as unique as this. Sax man Rob Cope has amassed a stellar quartet and recorded the first of a three-part trilogy, inspired by space. The debut is a tribute to the race to land the first man on the moon, bringing us with him in this breath-taking journey.


Leo Richardson

2017-2018 were fantastic years for this tenor sax man. A Five Star Review from The Guardian for his debut album (The Chase), a feature interview in USA’s Downbeat Magazine, an appearance at Love Supreme Jazz Festival and rave views wherever Leo’s Quartet played were amongst the highlights. And, for his encore, Leo’s sophomore album will be released later this year.


Quentin Collins Sextet

Ubuntu Music’s initial founding partner is always in demand by others. Trumpet man Quentin Collins has finally carved out the time to record his own album, featuring a New York rhythm section and a to-die-for range of special guests. Along with composer/musician Tom Harrison, the music achieves everything you would expect from this exceptional artist.

Left to right: Rob Luft, Dave O’Higgins.

Left to right: Rob Luft, Dave O’Higgins.

O’Higgins and Luft / Play Monk and Trane

The dream team of veteran Dave O’Higgins on tenor sax and young guitar ace Rob Luft come together for the first time to record a series of tributes to Monk and Coltrane, backed by a first-class rhythm section. The release is scheduled for late this year and will be supported by an extensive tour.


Eric Alexander – Seamus Blake – Mike LeDonne: The New York All-Stars / Live Encounter

It doesn’t get any better than the combination of Eric Alexander and Seamus Blake duelling on tenor saxes, whilst challenged by the swing of pianist/Hammond organist Mike LeDonne, as they battle it out live in London. Expect fireworks when this one drops late this year.

And Ubuntu Music will be releasing even more exceptional music in the year to come. Further signings will be announced shortly.




This business doesn’t get any easier. It is exceedingly demanding, relentless and all-consuming.

 Particularly if you are committed to doing it right, with dignity, respect and professionalism, whilst always putting the artists first.

 Ubuntu Management Group and, within it, Ubuntu Music, started several years ago as an experiment, by devoting our attention to the music we love most. The experiment continues to work.

 This would never have been possible without some extraordinary people who were patient enough and supportive enough to give us a chance. There are many, but the few in particular we’d like to thank include Chris Philips from Jazz FM--along with Ruth Fisher, Tony Minvielle and Jonathan Arendt, publicist/marketer Emma Perry, Simon/Paul/Nick/Sarah/James from Ronnie Scott’s, Sunlightsquare’s Claudio Passavanti, John Fordham and Dave Gelly from The Guardian/Observer, Kevin Le Gendre, Ian Shaw, Mike Flynn/Jon Newey and crew at Jazzwise, Seb Scotney/Peter Bacon and crew at London Jazz News, the US Downbeat and JazzTimes Magazines USA crews, Ron Moss, Marc Myers at JazzWax/Wall Street Journal USA, Fred Gluzman, The Jazz Mann’s Ian Mann, Lance Liddle at Bebop Spoken Here, Sue Edwards, Matt Ruddick at Kind of Jazz, Jane Cornwell at The Evening Standard, UK Vibe’s Michael and Tim, Paul Pace and crew (Jackie and Matt) from The Spice of Life, Roger Farbey and Chris May at All About Jazz, Jazz Journal’s Mark Gilbert, Gary and Janine, Chris Hodgkins, Sandy Brown Jazz’s Ian Maunde, Ross/Joseph/Luc from Pizza Express, Peter Beckmann at TechnologyWorks, photographer Tim Dickeson, The Sunday Times’ Clive Davis, Tom Harrison, Mary James, Monika Jakubowska, Steve Funkyfeet, Carl Hyde,  Steven Cropper, designer Darren Rumney, Peter Freeman & Alan Hayward, the team at Sound Performance and the guys at The Orchard—Scott, Tom and Will. And, of course, Simon ‘Goatious Foot’ Page, who never fails to surprise me.

 Most of all, to the exceptionally talented artists, who make us look much better than we are at what we do and who help keep us feeling younger each year. You are the heart and soul of this venture. We are eternally grateful for placing your faith in us.

 And lastly and most importantly, to my family for allowing me to live the dream. Love you, Leslie, Sabrina and Camila!

2019 will be an exciting year. Can’t wait to get started…

 Martin Hummel

Director, Ubuntu Management Group

Left to Right: Alex Munk, Helena Kay, Alina Bzhezhinska, Martin Hummel, Jessica Radcliffe, Nick Costley-White.

Left to Right: Alex Munk, Helena Kay, Alina Bzhezhinska, Martin Hummel, Jessica Radcliffe, Nick Costley-White.

2017 & The Year Ahead



A LOOK AT 2018

It's been amazing 2017, and 2018 will be even better!

As we attempt to put aside the insanity of the world’s issues from last year, and pray for a New Year that has to be better than the last, I wanted to share UMG’s highlights of 2017 and some of the excitement in store for 2018. Fasten your seat belt…


The year started in a way that went beyond my wildest expectations.


Chet Baker

We released Chet Baker Live in London as a two CD set, having meticulously restored Jim Richardson’s personal audio-cassette recordings from 1983. With the engineering wizardry of Sunlightsquare’s Claudio Passavanti, the music was returned to its original brilliant state and was released at the back end of 2016. Little did we know that the world would go so crazy for the legendary trumpet player’s album—from London to Paris, Italy to Japan, and the USA in there as well—hitting the Top 10 Jazz Charts practically everywhere.

Live in London has sold thousands of copies, earning +4 Star Reviews everywhere, including USA’s Downbeat Magazine. Ultimately, Downbeat’s Annual Readers Poll selected Live in London as one of the 10 best historical releases in the world for 2016.

To celebrate the release, we reunited the original 1983 John Horler Trio, and invited some exceptional guests to join the party in London (Norma Winstone/vocals, Quentin Collins/trumpet and Leo Richardson/saxes) as we hosted two sold-out shows at Ronnie Scott’s, along with headlining the prestigious Jazz in The Round Cockpit Theatre.

Not a bad start. But it got even better…


Camilla George

The wonderfully gifted alto saxophonist Camilla George and her multi-talented rhythm section stormed into January with an exceptional debut album, Isang. On the back of her sold out launch show at Pizza Express Soho, Camilla went from strength to strength, fronting her first UK tour and receiving accolades along the way, with excellent reviews across the spectrum of publications. Camilla appeared in multiple festivals across the country, including Cheltenham, Love Supreme, Manchester and Cambridge. This was augmented by her opening performances for Courtney Pine at The Barbican and Dee Dee Bridgewater at Cadogan Hall.

Camilla was also singled out for a number of awards, including the Urban Music Awards and Best Debut Album. Never one to rest on her laurels, she is already preparing her second release for Ubuntu Music, The People Could Fly, which will be out late this summer.

Quite clearly, as The Evening Standard said it best: Camilla is, “The Girl With the Golden Touch”.


Noemi Nuti

Noemi, the lovely jazz vocalist with the Brazilian flair, kicked off February in perfect fashion with two sold out shows at Pizza Express Soho in celebrating the heart-warming, toe-tapping music of Milton Nascimento. Featured in her band was the legendary Art Blakey Jazz Messengers sax man, Jean Toussaint.

Word began to spread about this ensemble and, before you knew it, Noemi was invited to play at The Ealing Jazz Festival last summer.

Given the warm reception to her music, Noemi was inspired to draw on her composing skills and has been preparing material for a new album, expected in late 2018 on Ubuntu Music.


Andrew McCormack

2017 was a tremendous year for the exceptionally talented pianist, Andrew McCormack. Pushing the boundaries of his musical repertoire, Andrew released his most ambitious project to date, Graviton, which featured the Who’s Who in Jazz: Mercury prize nominee ESKA on vocals, multi-awarding winning Shabaka Hutchings on saxes, Jacob Collier’s bass supremo Rob Mullarkey and Phronesis/Marius Neset drum genius, Anton Eger.

Graviton received universal rave reviews and is listed as one of the best albums of 2017. Andrew performed live on Jazz FM and will be interviewed by his long-time friend, Jamie Cullum, this month on BBC radio. Andrew took the show on the road, with a blistering debut performance at Kings Place/Hall1, ultimately followed by a sold-out show in the London Jazz Festival. Noemi Nuti was a clear winner as vocalist for the limited engagement tour.

Graviton will be on tour in the UK during February-March, with a headline show at Ronnie Scott’s on 7th February, which includes The Camilla George Quartet! It’s our first Ubuntu showcase, and it couldn’t happen at a better venue.

Andrew made further waves with the world premiere of his composition, Reframe, a commissioned work with the Slaithwaite Philharmonic Orchestra which is in its 125th season.

And then, of course, the guys—Andrew, Quentin Collins/trumpet and Brandon Allen/saxes—continued their long-standing partnership with Kyle Eastwood and his excellent band. Andrew worked with Kyle on the compositions in California, and the band then recorded in Paris and are taking the project on tour in Europe, Asia and the US. They’ll be at Ronnie Scott’s for four nights/six shows in March…don’t miss it!

There will be more information about Andrew and Ubuntu very soon.


Quentin Collins

QC is the in-demand trumpet/flugelhorn player on the international jazz scene. Last year, in addition to his work with Kyle Eastwood, Quentin was music director for Omar Kamal—the Frank Sinatra of the Middle East—and they performed a range of shows in a number of countries, including Bahrain, Lebanon, Egypt and the UK.

Quentin has formed a new quartet—featuring Andrew McCormack/piano, Daniel Casimir/bass and Shane Forbes/drums—and has been testing out new music, in preparation for an album on Ubuntu Music in 2018. Watch this space!

And don’t forget, you can frequently catch Q as host of the Late Late Show at Ronnie’s, which is always full of unexpected guests.


Leo Richardson

There are a number of pundits who saw sax man Leo Richardson as someone whose time has come.

Leo plays the most honest, straight-ahead bebop-hard bop in the UK, and other parts of the world have begun to take notice.

In October 2017, The Chase, Leo’s debut album on Ubuntu Music, stormed its way into the heads and hearts of many jazz fans. His line-up consists of some of the best talent of his generation—Rick Simpson/piano, Mark Lewandowski/bass (now studying at Julliard in New York) and Ed ‘Roddy’ Richardson/drums. Although these guys are highly regarded on the London jazz circuit, including Leo’s performing nearly 100 times at Ronnie Scott’s in one format or another, The Chasewas the first time they captured their sound in a recorded format. And they rewarded their audiences even further with guest appearances from Quentin Collins on trumpet and the legendary Alan Skidmore on tenor sax. And what an impression it made…

A sold-out launch show at The Spice of Life, weeks before the date, a packed Royal Festival Hall performance in the public area during the London Jazz Festival, sold out shows across the UK on their first tour, and a sold-out end of tour show at Pizza Express Soho. Not to mention a sold-out Late Late Show at Ronnie Scott’s in late December, to end the year on an even higher note!

Leo has been featured live on Jazz FM with Chris Philips, along with a wonderful interview with Ian Shaw on Jazz FM/Ronnie Scott’s radio.

Leo has received a host of accolades, including 4-5 Star Album Reviews in the UK and the US. The Sunday Observer awarded the album 5 Stars, a first ever for a debut jazz album. The Chase is in the running for Album of The Year. The Sunday Times newspaper selected the album as one of the Best 100 Albums across all music genres and one of the Best 10 Jazz Albums of 2017.

It’s been an extraordinary year for Leo and his Quartet. And there’s a lot more to come in 2018…



We are honoured and delighted to share some of the new artists who have chosen to join the Ubuntu Music Family. Here is a taster of what’s in store for 2018…


Reuben Fowler

Reuben is a 28-year-old trumpeter, composer and arranger based in London. He is the recipient of the 2012 Kenny Wheeler Prize, the 2012 Musicians Benevolent Peter Whittingham Award and the Jazz Services Recording Support Scheme. From touring the world with Boy George to leading his own Big Band, Reuben is never short on projects.

His latest, celebrating the 40th birthday of arguably one of the finest albums of all time--Steely Dan’s Aja—features 22 musicians collaborating to perform Black Cow, a Steely Dan masterpiece. Among those participating are The Average White Band’s Hamish Stuart/vocals, Paul Booth/sax and Jason Rebello/keys. The song will be a digital release only, on Ubuntu Music, and all proceeds will be donated to Cancer Research’s oesophageal cancer group, in memory of the passing of Walter Becker, co-founder and guitarist of Steely Dan.

An album is tentatively planned for later this year.


Trio HLK

Trio HLK is the union of three distinct, forward thinking musical personalities.

At the centre sits drum and percussion virtuoso Richard Kass. Guitarist Ant Law plays a bespoke extended range electric guitar with 8 strings and a variety of effects, creating ambience and sonorities. At the helm sits classical pianist and composition mastermind Richard Harrold. 

A belief in the high art of improvisation and intrigue with the infinite art and science of rhythm is what brings H, L and K together. Their music operates on a number of levels, making it accessible and cerebral. Trio HLK's music sounds genuinely fresh, and genuinely new.

Trio HLK will be releasing their first album, Standard Time, on Ubuntu Music in the spring. Joining them are very special guests Dame Evelyn Glennie on percussion and American sax virtuoso Steve Lehman.


Martin Speake

Citing Lee Konitz, Charlie Parker, Warne Marsh, Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, Ornette Coleman, Steve Coleman, Rabi Abou Khalil, and Paul Motian as major influences, former ECM recording artist Martin Speake has developed a personal musical voice that expresses a deep understanding of the history and language of jazz with individuality as an improviser that is intelligent, melodic, cool, complex, direct, beautiful and profound.

Following a 17-year hiatus, Martin was reunited with his long-time friend—The Bad Plus pianist Ethan Iverson from the US—and, together with Fred Thomas/bass and James Maddren/drums, will be releasing Intention this spring on Ubuntu Music.


Alina Bzhezhinska

Alina, born in Ukraine and from a Polish family, is one of the most exciting and dynamic harpists in jazz today. Her imaginative programmes have established her reputation as a harpist of exceptional accomplishment. She has had the honour of playing at European Parliament, at the Queen’s 80th-birthday celebrations at Balmoral Castle, at the King of Thailand’s birthday celebrations in Bangkok, and opening for Pharoah Sanders.

In a moving tribute to Alice and John Coltrane, Alina has teamed up with Tony Kofi/saxes, Larry Bartley/bass and Joel Prime/drums & percussion for her first UK release, Inspiration, on Ubuntu Music this spring.


Mark Kavuma

Born and raised in Uganda, Mark Kavuma is a key young trumpet player on the British jazz scene and leads his own band, Kavuma & The Banger Factory, as well as playing with Jean Toussaint's Young Lions, Jazz Jamaica and the Nu Civilisation Orchestra. In 2012, Mark was featured as Guest soloist with Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Centre Orchestra. He also played the support slot for Wayne Shorter at the Barbican.

Kavuma & The Banger Factory is a London – New York collective that delivers soulful jazz whose purpose is to get people to dance, by feeling the music’s heart and soul. Mark’s debut album, Kavuma, will be released on the Ubuntu Music in the spring of 2018.


Pete Lee

Pete is a pianist, composer and bandleader based in London. Since graduating from The Royal Academy of Music with distinction, Pete has performed as both a jazz pianist and a pop keys player, performing extensively throughout the world.

This year will see the release of Pete’s debut album, The Velvet Rage, on Ubuntu Music. The album will showcase a collection of his own compositions, which he has arranged for a 10-piece ensemble, including string quintet. His band play piano-led, groove-infused tunes with catchy riffs and melodies, alongside ethereal, romantic pieces, brought to life by the string quintet’s warm textural palette.


Nick Costley-White

Nick is fast becoming one of the most in-demand guitarists on the UK jazz scene and has performed with some of the country’s most renowned jazz musicians such as Martin Speake, Stan Sulzmann, Steve Fishwick, Jeff Williams and composer John Warren (ECM), touring in the UK, Europe, Australia and South America.

The Nick Costley-White Quartet combine their love and deep understanding for the jazz tradition with a truly fresh and modern aesthetic. The band’s repertoire draws on unique interpretations of songs from the jazz cannon as well as their own exciting and harmonically rich compositions. The band is comprised of some of the finest improvising musicians, led by Nick, alongside Matt Robinson on piano, Conor Chaplin on bass and Dave Hamblett on drums.

The Quartet’s debut album, Detour Ahead, will be released on Ubuntu Music in the summer and will consist of performances which draw from the American Songbook tradition, as it travels through to the modern aesthetic inspired by the surroundings of London’s jazz scene.


Brandon Allen

Originally from Perth, Western Australia, sax giant Brandon relocated to London in 2000 and never looked back.

Since arriving, he has worked with many varied artists and groups/ensembles, including Eric Clapton, Jools Holland, Hamish Stuart, Jason Rebello and many, many others. And he’s performed all over the world.

Suite Soho is an exciting new composition by Brandon. This cinematic piece features Brandon's All-Star Sextet, along with the addition of a newly formed string quartet which features the classical world's finest. Suite Soho is written in six parts, each movement pertaining to a different facet of Soho/London life, with its rich history and well-loved institutions. The album will be released on Ubuntu Music in the autumn this year. The Line-up includes Mark Nightingale/trombone, Ross Stanley/keys and Ian Thomas/drums.


Chet Baker

Following on from the worldwide success of Live in London at the end of 2016, Ubuntu Music will release Live in London Vol. II this year. Once again featuring the John Horler Trio, with trumpet legend Chet Baker leading the way, the live recordings were captured at The Canteen in 1983. Songs on the second two CD release will include Broken WingStella by StarlightDolphin DancePolka Dots and MoonbeamsWhen I Fall in Love and Just Friends.

A must-have album, for any Chet Baker fan.


Quentin Collins

Quentin hosts a regular late-night residency at London’s prestigious Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club with his new band, The Quentin Collins Quartet. Given the immediate success of the musical offering, the band will be recording an album on the Ubuntu Music record label this year and for release in 2018.

The Quentin Collins Quartet is where Quentin highlights his formidable, soulful and original compositions alongside his uncanny ability to interpret lesser played classic material from the jazz canon. The Quartet consists of young, dynamic and much respected musicians on the scene, including Andrew McCormack/piano, Daniel Casimir/bass and Shane Forbes/drums.


The New York All-Stars, featuring Eric Alexander and Harold Mabern

New York tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander is one of the most important soloists of current modern, straight-ahead jazz worldwide. More than one jazz critic has claimed that listening to Eric--unfettered and at length--is one of the greatest treats in jazz. He has recorded and toured extensively, with some of the greatest in the business and has massive followings across the globe.

The 82-year-old pianist Harold Mabern has been a part of the top New York jazz scene since the 1950s. He is a genuine jazz legend, having played with them all: Lionel Hampton, Lee Morgan, Benny Golson, Miles Davis, Sarah Vaughan, Sonny Rollins and Freddie Hubbard, to name a few.

Since 2012, Eric Alexander has worked in various projects with the technically proficient Austrian drummer Bernd Reiter, who studied in Graz and New York and lives now in Paris. He’s one of the in-demand drummers in Europe.

Along with Darryl Hall, the exceptional East Coast US bassist who currently resides in Paris, these four men represent the explosive New York All-Stars.

Their live performances were recorded in London during November 2017 and will be released on Ubuntu Music this year.


Returning Artists

Camilla George is recording her next release on Ubuntu Music, which includes a killer line-up of talent and some very special guests. Release date is late summer.

Noemi Nuti is hard at work, composing material for her next release on Ubuntu Music, expected by end of year.

 And there’s even more in the works, with further news to follow soon.



This isn’t a particularly easy business. It is exceedingly demanding and is all-consuming if you want to make your mark.

Ubuntu Management Group and, within it, Ubuntu Music, started several years ago as an experiment, by devoting my attention to the music I love most. The experiment seems to have worked.

This would never have been possible without some extraordinary people who were patient enough and supportive enough to give us a chance. There are many, but the few in particular I’d like to thank include Chris Philips from Jazz FM--along with Ruth Fisher, Tony Minvielle and Jonathan Aerndt, publicist/marketer and friend Emma Perry, Simon/Paul/Nick/Sarah/James from Ronnie Scott’s, Sunlightsquare’s Claudio Passavanti, John Fordham and Dave Gelly from The Guardian/Observer, Kevin LeGendre, The Sunday Times, Mike Flynn /Jon Newey and crew at Jazzwise, Seb Scotney and crew at London Jazz News, the US Downbeat and JazzTimes Magazines crew, Ron Moss, Marc Myers at JazzWax USA, Fred Gluzman, Ian Shaw, Lance Liddle at Bebop Spoken Here, Sue Edwards, Matt Ruddick at Kind of Jazz, Jane Cornwell at The Evening Standard, Paul Pace from The Spice of Life, Jazz Journal’s Mark Gilbert, Ross/Joseph/Luc from Pizza Express, Michele Catri at Master Chord Studio, photographer Tim Dickeson, The Sunday Times’ Clive Davis, Tom Harrison, Mary James, designer Darren Rumney, Peter Freeman, the team at Sound Performance and Jon Griffiths at Proper Music. And, of course, Simon ‘Goatious Foot’ Page, who never fails to surprise me.

And to Q, my Ubuntu Music creative partner, for his sage wisdom and unselfish devotion.

Most of all, to the exceptionally talented artists, who make me look much better than I am at what I do. You are the heart and soul of this venture. I am eternally grateful for placing your faith in me.

 And lastly and most importantly, to my family for allowing me to live the dream. Love you, Leslie and ladies!

2018 will be an exciting year. I’m ready for it…

Martin Hummel

Director, Ubuntu Management Group