Simon Spillett

Born 4 November 1974.


Simon Richard Spillett (born Chesham, Buckinghamshire, November 4, 1974) is an English jazz tenor saxophonist.

Spillett's father Richard worked as a semi-professional musician who studied trombone with Eddie Harvey and played gigs with saxophonists Tony Coe, Jimmy Skidmore and Lol Coxhill.

A love of jazz grew through exposure to his father's record collection and by his teens he was listening to Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Stan Getz, Sonny Rollins, Stan Kenton, Frank Sinatra and others. His musical life began at school, singing in school choirs, whilst at home he learned first cornet, then trombone and valve trombone. Spillett took up the alto saxophone aged 16 and tried to teach himself initially by playing along with records. Aged 17, he switched to tenor saxophone inspired by hearing albums by John Coltrane, Stan Getz and Sonny Rollins. At this time he also played piano, clarinet and soprano saxophone.

In his late teens, Spillett began to sit in at local jazz venues, appearing with saxophonists Dick Morrissey, Art Themen, Spike Robinson and Duncan Lamont among others. At the same time he began two and a half years of private saxophone tuition with saxophonist Vic Ash, then a member of the BBC Big Band.

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Links & Information

BBC Reviews

  1. Review of Sienna Red

    Sienna Red 2008

    Reviewed by Martin Longley
    ...winning the 2007 Rising Star category in the BBC Jazz Awards...
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