The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama (RWCMD) has announced that musician and educator Andrew Bain will be taking the reins as the new Head of Jazz. He succeeds bassist Paula Gardiner, who has held the role since 2001 and is set to retire at the end of this academic year.
About Andrew Bain
Born in Edinburgh, Andrew Bain is a renowned performer and educator in the UK. He presently serves as Deputy Head and Senior Lecturer in jazz at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. As the new Head of Jazz at RWCMD, he will be leading an inclusive, inspiring, and critically acclaimed department that sends its jazz graduates all over the world.
RWCMD Director of Music Tim Rhys-Evans praised Bain’s appointment, stating that his “pedigree as a player, a collaborator, a leader of ensembles, a passionate educator, and as an academic make him the ideal person to take up the baton from Paula.” Rhys-Evans also expressed excitement about the future of jazz at RWCMD under Bain’s leadership.
Jazz at RWCMD
Under Paula Gardiner’s tenure, jazz at RWCMD has grown from strength to strength, earning a reputation as a creative hub that produces highly skilled, curious artists with strong individual identities. The college has also become a prominent venue for jazz in Cardiff, particularly for their weekly Friday night AmserJazzTime events.
Paula’s final AmserJazzTime will take place on 30th June in the College’s Carne Foyer. This free event offers a chance to bid farewell and extend thanks to Paula for her inspiring leadership.
Andrew Bain’s Background and Projects
Andrew Bain has an impressive background in music, having performed with notable artists such as Wynton Marsalis, Natalie Cole, Kenny Wheeler, Randy Brecker, John Taylor, NDR Big Band, Dave Liebman, and Bob Mintzer. Bain has also performed across the UK, Europe, and America, including appearances and conducting at the BBC Proms.
Throughout his career, Bain has collaborated with various institutions worldwide, serving as artist-in-residence at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, Colombia (2019), and the University of Stavanger, Norway. He was also a visiting Jazz tutor at the Conservatorio di Musica Vincenzo Bellini di Palermo, Sicily (2016 & 2017), and the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, Austria (2019). Bain is the director of Summer Jazz Camp Scotland, with the first course set to run this August.
Bain is currently working on several projects, including Player Piano (2015), Embodied Hope (Whirlwind Recordings 2017), and his latest project, (no)boundaries (Whirlwind Recordings 2020) – a free improv exploration featuring Peter Evans, Alex Bonney, and John O’Gallagher, which was released in March 2020. His upcoming project, Mosvatnet, features Angelica Sanchez, John O’Gallagher, Tori Freestone, and Per Zanussi, with an album release scheduled for 2024.
In addition to his new role at RWCMD, Bain was Deputy Head of Jazz at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and sits on the steering committee for the International Network for Artistic Research in Jazz.
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