Osian Roberts

Welsh tenor saxophonist Osian Roberts was born in 1976 into a very musical family (his father is the renowned opera singer Eric Roberts, and his grandfather was a professional woodwind teacher and performer). He took up the alto saxophone at the age of nine having shown a keen interest in jazz, and by the time he switched to tenor four years later, this interest had developed into an obsession. Soon after he formed a quintet with friends that went on to win the 1992 Daily Telegraph Young Jazz Ensemble Award. The following year he won the solo category of the competition and began working professionally with some of Wales' leading jazz musicians.

These early signs of promise meant that in 1994 he was awarded a scholarship to study jazz performance and composition at London's Royal Academy Of Music. It was during his time at the Academy that he first met Matt and Steve Fishwick, which led to the three like-minded friends forming a group together. That musical association has proved to be a lasting one, as they continue to work together very successfully as The Osian Roberts/Steve Fishwick Quintet. After graduating, Osian received another scholarship to go to New York to study with Dick Oatts and Joe Lovano at the Lake Placid Institute's annual jazz course. He then returned to London where he continued to work under his own name and with various other jazz groups, such as the Gareth Lockrane Sextet (finalists in the Vienne Jazz Festival Grande Concours de Jazz), the Tom Cawley Quartet, Mike Carr's 'Blue Note Quartet', the Matt Wates Sextet, and many others, his growing reputation earning him a nomination for the Worshipful Company Of Musicians' Jazz Medal.

Osian currently lives near Prague in the Czech Republic, where he has worked and collaborated with many of the country's finest musicians, including Najponk, George Mraz, Martin Sulc, Jan Korinek, Jaromir Honzak, Petr Dvorsky, David Doruska, Libor Smoldas, and Ondrej Pivec.

Apart from his work on Hard Bop Records, Osian has appeared on various recordings since his debut in 1995 with pianist Richard Fairhurst's quartet ("The Hungry Ants" {Babel BDV 9504}  which went on to win the Perrier Jazz Album of the Year Award, as well as reaching the top ten in the Virgin Jazz Charts). These include an album featuring his big band arranging "Unforgettable" on Czech label CzechArt, recordings with The Tarantinos, NYJO ("Two Suites" NYJ024), and the Catrin Finch Big Band CF47 ("String Theory" KCD010).

Throughout his career, Osian has been active in a diverse range of musical settings in addition to his jazz work: These include being a long term member of funk/soul band The Tarantinos; work with rock bands such as The Fratellis, The Guillemots, and Thunder; numerous television appearances, including performances with Michael BublĂ© and Paul Anka; composing for a film ("Cross-currents" S4C/Boda Productions); brass arranging for a rock/blues album by Czech star Roman PokornĂ˝; as well as general commercial session work for film soundtracks, television and radio. He also teaches privately, and is a member of the faculty on the Royal Welsh College of Music jazz course.

Osian features on the following HBR albums (click titles for album info):

HBR33001 "Too Much!" by The Osian Roberts/Steve Fishwick Quintet

HBR33003 On The Up And Up by The Osian Roberts/Steve Fishwick Quintet

HBR33006 ...with Cedar Walton! by The Osian Roberts/Steve Fishwick Quintet