Ben Cottrell is a composer and saxophonist currently based in Manchester, UK. He is best known as the musical director of the Beats & Pieces Big Band, which he founded in 2009 and has since received consistent audience and critical acclaim alongside awards at home and abroad (Parliamentary Jazz Awards Ensemble of the Year 2014, Jazz FM Awards Best UK Newcomer 2013, European Young Artists’ Jazz Award at 2011 Burghausen International Jazz Festival, Germany). Their debut album Big Ideas was released in March 2012 on Efpi Records, an independent label co-founded and managed by Ben alongside two other band members that has grown from its Manchester roots to become an umbrella organisation promoting the activities of an emerging generation of musicians based across the UK and Scandinavia.
Movers and shakers such as [Colin] Towns, Matthew Herbert, Darcy James Argue and [Ben] Cottrell demonstrate that large ensembles remain a vital force in contemporary jazz
John L Walters, The Guardian
Ben is regularly in demand as an orchestral arranger and has worked with a diverse range of artists including Snarky Puppy, Laura Mvula, Goldie and Everything Everything. His arrangements have been performed and recorded by world renowned orchestras such as the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Metropole Orkest (Netherlands) and The Heritage Orchestra. Ben was selected as one of the participants for the ‘Take Five’ professional development scheme in 2010/11, aimed at ‘the UK’s most talented emerging creative jazz musicians’, and he is among the composers represented by In All Seriousness Music Ltd, the publishing arm of international music producers Serious.