Denys Baptiste

Denys Baptiste
Denys Baptiste


Opening track from album 'Let Freedom Ring!" (Dune Records)
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  • country:United Kingdom
  • style(s):Jazz
  • label:Dune Records
  • type:Band, Solo, Composer/Songwriter
  • gender:male
  • instrumentation:instrumental
  • artist submitted by:The Dune Music Company Ltd

Line up

  • Denys Baptiste + various line-ups (Tenor/Soprano saxophones)


Award-winning tenor/soprano saxophonist and
critically acclaimed composer whose latest project, ANANSI : REUNION is a captivating new work embodying the spirit of Africa, the Caribbean and the Americas in a beautifully crafted suite of music, narration and specially commissioned illustration.

This new suite is inspired by common recurring themes that populate childhood fables in different parts of the world which, in turn, have been inspired by the Anansi Tales of West Africa whose central characters - quick-witted tricksters in the form of a spider, rabbit or tortoise - provide an abiding metaphor for man's ability to survive in the most challenging of circumstances. That so many nations share this metaphor gives rise to the message of the piece that, essentially, Out Of Many, we are One People.

One of our most established artists and a graduate
of Tomorrow's Warriors, Denys Baptiste has carved
out a successful career as a major artist and
composer on the UK jazz scene. As well as being a
brilliant saxophonist, Denys is known as a hugely
talented composer whose music is highly
accessible. Be Where You Are (DUNECD03), his
wonderful 1999 debut album, earned him a clutch
of major music awards including An Album Of The
Year in the Mercury Music Prize and the MOBO
Award for Best Jazz Act. He followed this in 2001
with his second album, Alternating Currents
(DUNECD05), also receiving great critical acclaim.

2003 saw the release of his third and most
ambitious recording/touring project to date: Let
Freedom Ring (DUNECD010). In 2004, Denys
became an official endorsee of Selmer Paris

Continuing to tour internationally in 2005 is Let
Freedom Ring, a suite commissioned by the
Cheltenham International Jazz Festival in 2003 and
written in four movements to commemorate the
40th anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King's
momentous 'I Have A Dream' oration. Denys
combines contemporary jazz with rousing gospel,
blues, Afro-Cuban music and the poetry of Booker
Prize winner, Ben Okri to deliver a joyously
uplifting, celebratory and totally accessible piece
inspired by, and paying homage to, King's speech
and its themes of freedom, justice and equality. Let
Freedom Ring features a 12-piece international,
multicultural lineup and is available with optional
multimedia projections by VJs, Yeast adding an
extra dimension to the overall concert experience.
This exceptionalwork, nominated in 2004 for
several awards, has received endless acclaim from
critics and audiences alike. All shows, including
those at the North Sea Jazz Festival in The Hague
and at The Berlin Jazz Festival in Germany have
received standing ovations with many people
acclaiming Let Freedom Ring as the best and most
moving concert they have ever attended. Judge for
yourself... but we think you'll agree

An imposing figure. Mr Baptiste is a jazz
weathervane for 2005. The New York Times (USA)

Baptiste's skill as a writer and bandleader bears
comparison with Charles Mingus. Through the
vision celebrated in Baptiste's hugely enjoyable
music, the world could become a better place. The
Times (UK)

Incandescent. A big leap forward in Baptiste's short
but already illustrious career. The Guardian (UK)

A profound yet totally accessible musical response
to Dr Martin Luther King's timeless declaration.
Echoes (UK)

Beautiful singing tenor sound, great swing and
drive, plus the most subtle artistry and emotional
nuance. BBC Music Magazine (UK)

Vibrant tone, rhythmic subtlety, melodic invention
and resilient technique. The Observer (UK)