Ryan Quigley is an award-winning jazz and lead trumpet player and an in-demand studio musician, composer, arranger and educator.
His recent recording and touring work includes dates with Quincy Jones, Ron Carter, Aretha Franklin, Harry Connick Jr, George Michael, Gregory Porter, Beverley Knight and Sir Tom Jones and as a lead and guest principal trumpeter he has appeared with the Grammy-winning Metropole Orkest, the Halle Orchestra, the Berlin Staatskapelle, the Royal Northern Sinfonia, the BBC Scottish Symphony and Royal Scottish National Orchestras, the RTE Concert and Symphony Orchestras, and the BBC Big Band.
The Derry born, Glasgow raised, London-based Quigley began playing trumpet at the age of eleven. His late father, who had played with Maynard Ferguson, the Who and Diana Ross during the golden era of Irish showbands in the 1960s, give him his first lesson and became an inspiration. Quigley Senior also informed his son’s early musical taste by playing vinyl recordings of Clifford Brown, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Duke Ellington, Freddie Hubbard, The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Carol King, and Ryan’s hero, Maynard Ferguson.
Lessons at school from Scottish Dixieland legend Alex Dalgleish gave Quigley a grounding in jazz standards and New Orleans favourites and while still in his early teens Quigley was sitting in with Dalgleish’s band and another Scottish jazz scene staple, George Penman’s Jazzmen.
On leaving school Quigley studied classical trumpet with John Gracie, the long-time Royal Scottish National Orchestra player, at the then Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (now Royal Conservatoire of Scotland), a period that proved invaluable when he moved into the session and orchestral scene.
In 2000, he joined the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, playing concerts and touring over the next thirteen years with leading American musicians including saxophonist Joe Lovano and guitarist John Scofield and recording with Norwegian bass master Arild Andersen, vocalist Kurt Elling, saxophonists Donny McCaslin and Dave Liebman and vibraphone virtuoso Joe Locke, among others.
He recorded his first album, Laphroag-ian Slip, in 2008. Featuring mostly original compositions, this took his career onto a new level as a player and composer and led to work with Michel LeGrand, Robbie Williams, Michael Buble and the great composer-bandleader-arranger Michael Gibbs. He has since taken the lead role in performances based on the Clifford Brownwith Strings album and in 2016 he released his second album – his first for leading UK jazz label Whirlwind – What Doesn’t Kill You with a band that included top New York drummer Clarence Penn and pianist Steve Hamilton of The Billy Cobham band.
With Penn on board and former Jazz Messengers pianist Geoff Keezer standing in for Hamilton, Quigley toured What Doesn’t Kill You in the autumn of 2016, earning rave reviews and enthusiastic audience responses.
Having led his own big band featuring his own arrangements of Beatles favourites and his recreation of the Grammy winning Ella and Louis, Porgy and Bess recording for the RTÉ concert orchestra, Quigley is currently concentrating, between session work, on writing string arrangements of Great American Songbook standards inspired by his Clifford Brown with Strings experience.