Jamie Howell, Jazz Sounds Director

Jamie has directed Jazz Sounds since it’s inception in September 2019.


What has been the worst or most memorable thing that has happened during one of your performances – as a performer/director/accompanist?

I once played an entire song in a different key to the bass player (one semi-tone out) because the sound was so terrible I couldn’t hear him. I only realised when I looked at his hands in the last part of the song.

Who is your musical inspiration?

There are a hundred names I could write here, a few of them: Bill Frisell (guitarist), Richard Spaven (drummer), John Zorn (composer/saxophonist), Bernhard Lang (composer)

What inspires you to perform and teach?

I love improvising, basically because I can’t be bothered to learn anything properly (half joking). Communicating what I’m really fascinated by to other people is a joy.

Which instrument do you wish you had learned?

I started on drums and I still play them (I’m principally a guitarist), but I wouldn’t really call myself a drummer – I wish I was though.

What musical advice would you give to your younger self?

Make things. Songs, pieces, teaching material, recordings, lyrics – things which accumulate and give you a portfolio of stuff to show people, add to, and improve.

What musical moment are you most proud of?

I can’t say I ‘do’ pride much – I think everything I do is terrible! But, I have been in a few good bands including one when I lived in Budapest which made some great music.

Which three words describe you as a musician?

Learning, Exploring, Aspiring

What is your favourite memory of working with Music at Reading?

Most of the Jazz Sounds rehearsals! It’s such a lovely bunch of people and I get to play and talk about stuff I love with them.


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