Lyndon Owen is a musician who performs, composes and is active in promoting community arts events. Primarily known as a saxophonist focussing on tenor and soprano, he also is regularly seen and heard playing a wide variety of wind instruments from throughout Europe and the Middle East. These include other saxophones, Gaita Gallega, various clarinets, tarogato, douduk, fujara, mey, zurnah, and various fipple flutes.
Primarily an improvising musician he works in several genres encompassing jazz, world music, contemporary classical, dance music and free experimental work. He has also undertaken various recording work including commercially successful folk, rockabilly and dance pieces.
He is currently chairman of ‘Music In Monmouth‘, a community arts group whose aim is to bring world class, new music, free to access for any one, to South Wales. He also manages a company which makes music products for people with Dementia and other cognitive problems.
Lyndon started playing full time in 1993 and simultaneously studied Performing Arts (Jazz) at Manchester City College with Mike Hall and Dennis Freedman.
During that time he played with several blues and jazz bands in the North of England and was part of Enigma Music with Geoff Amos and Pete Martin, promoting new high quality music in West Yorkshire, through which he discovered the freedom of European experimental music.
In 1995 he formed a seminal septet, “The Big Clutch”, which played a combination of his compositions which allowed areas of free experimentation alongside more formally structured music. The band attracted major players including Paul Hession, John Thorne, Alan Wilkinson, Alan Tomlinson, Mick Beck, Didrik Ingvaldsen, Rod Mason, Stuart McDonald, Simon Pugsley, Jenni Myhill-Molloy, Gavin Barras. He also received Arts Council of England support for the compositions for this project.
In 2000 he moved to Monmouth, South Wales, and started ‘Music in Monmouth’ a community arts group which aims to bring new original music to a population, at no cost, so they can become engaged with a wider musical and artistic palette. Monmouth now attracts international and national bands and is firmly on the touring circuit. Lyndon also served on the Jazz Services Touring Panel for over 7 years.
During this time he worked as a freelance player, including touring Germany and the United States, teaching, and being involved with various projects as diverse as the Lord Mayor’s parade in Belfast, free improvising at the opening of the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle, featuring on a Joe Stead folk album, teaching at various summer schools, making dance and show music with Rothwell ‘shack’ Shackleton and Diz Willis, flamenco with Augustino de Jerez in Andalucia,
In 2005 Lyndon was part of the notorious ‘Big Fight’ with Billy Jenkins, Simon Pugsley, Dave Stapleton, Rod ‘Roomdarkener’ Mason, Paul Hession. The formality of a boxing match, England versus Wales, where the musicians undergo three 3-minute rounds and improvise at each other.
Work with Dave Begley and Tore Dimmestol has produced various dance tracks for www.eyereel.com records. In a similar genre he performs live with DJs Max Reinhardt and Rita Ray and various world artists such as Yazid Fentazi, Sheema Mukherjee, Batch Gueye, and many others.
Lyndon has also worked on various contemporary classical pieces such as ‘The Third Paragraph’, Cornelius Cardew, and ‘Silah, the breath of the world’, John Luther Adams (UK premier). Working with the ‘Instant Orchestra’ and many other artistic happenings and alongside various artists such as Pat Thomas, Jason Yarde, Chris Cundy, Dom Lash, Bruno Guastalla, Paul Scott, Kuljit Bhamra, amongst others.
He has also provided music for films, most recently ‘The Mire Archive‘ from Eclectic films.
His current working bands are:
Coltrane Dedication – a jazz quintet collective playing off the later tunes of John Coltrane (Current regular members: Lyndon Owen, Caractacus Downes, Daniel Gwydion Williams, Ashley John Long, Dominic Lash, Dave Jones, John Paul Gard, Ian Poole, Iolo Whelan, Aidan Thorne – its a movable feast!)
EIRA/snow – a world jazz folk duo playing Celtic, Arabic, Scandinavian and eastern European music (Lyndon Owen and Caractacus Downes).
Free Form projects: Owen has worked in various free form groups and most recently in Toru with Phil Gibbs (guitar), Ashley John Long (Double Bass) and Alex Goodyear (drums). LMnO (Long, Moyes and Owen) – a free-form improvising trio making extensive use of electronics in conjunction with Double Bass, Cello and various wind instruments.
Lyndon has been fortunate to collaborate with many established players from long term projects through to single events. Here’s just a few in no particular order Alan Wilkinson, Ashley John Long, Caractacus Downes, John Paul Gard, Daniel Gwydion Williams, Phil Gibbs, Sheema Mukherjee, Kuljit Bhamra, Will Cass, Pete Martin, Ian Poole, John Thorne, Dominic Lash, Dave Jones, Mark Latimer, Max Reinhardt, Yazid Fentazi, Steve Berry, Rita Ray, Phill Gibbs, Dane Cronenberg, Lian Lee-Hines, Emanuel (grafo) Grafitti, Stuart McDonald, Andy Goodall, Dan James, Aiden Thorne, Bill Fletcher, Alan Tomlinson, Iolo Whelan, Erica Lyons, Ronnie Rogers, Thad Kelly, Pat Thomas, Jim Bashford, Jason Yarde, Chris Cundy, Bruno Guastalla, Paul Scott, Batch Gueye, Paul Jones, Paul Hession, Doc Eugene Chadbourne, Mike Collins, Alex Goodyear Mark O’Conner, Jenni Myhill-Molloy, Rod Mason, Patti Flynn, Mick Beck, Didrik Ingvaldsen (Faroes Islands), Rothwell Shackleton, Dave Begley, Chris Mayfield, Greg Evans, Tonki De La Pena (Madrid), Tore Dimmestol, Chris Sykes, Shrimp City Blues (Charleston, USA), Augostino De Jerez, James Owston, Bob Duck, Les Morgan, Joe Stead, Steve Tarner, Lynn Thomas, Peader Long, Martin Davis, Fred Hoyle, and many others.Lyndon Owen at All About Jazz