Dave Milligan


Trumpeter and composer Colin Steele has been described as the Sibelius of Scotland. His music is a joyous celebration of Scottish melody and rhythm, liberated and enhanced by the spirit, sophistication and technique of jazz. His recordings and concerts are warm, life affirming, and thrilling in their effect. He disarms the most hardened jazz fan with the power and beauty of his music and his playing speaks strongly to audiences of all musical tastes.

Dave has been at the heart of Colin Steele’s original music projects for almost 20 years as pianist and arranger. Together they have produced award-winning albums and performed throughout
Europe to critical acclaim, in particular with Steele’s Quintet, Quartet, Stramash and most recently in duo format.

The two have been playing together since the mid-1990s and in that time have collaborated on a wide variety of other projects, including: The Midnight Blue Band, Melting Pot, Masquenada, The Unusual Suspects, Bachué, The Edinburgh Festival Jazz Orchestra and ‘A Funny Valentine’ – a theatre show about the life and music of Chet Baker.

Since the release of his debut album Twilight Dreams in 2002, Steele’s highly original and melodic Scottish folk-influenced jazz has won just about every UK jazz plaudit there is; from BBC Jazz CD of the Year and Jazz Review international CD of the Year (for his album The Journey Home) to CD of the year accolades in The Guardian, Observer, Independent and The New Statesman. Steele’s compositions are inspired by Scottish and Irish folk music, but are firmly rooted in the jazz tradition. The success of his first 2 quintet recordings led to a third, Through the Waves being released internationally by top European label ACT.

In 2006 Steele formed Stramash, a 10 piece Scottish ‘supergroup’ consisting of his jazz quintet, fiddles, bagpipes, whistle and cello. This group received universal critical acclaim, both for their concerts and for their recording, which was released in 2009. “a stunningly lyrical ensemble”. (THE TIMES)

“Steele’s lyrical trumpet work bristled with invention, by turns rich and warm or sharp-edged and plangent as the music demanded, while Milligan’s constantly imaginative pianism, rich in harmonic colour and rhythmic momentum beneath his melodic creations, again demonstrated what a fully developed player he is.”

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