Andrew Bain announced as new Head of Jazz at RWCMD in Cardiff

Andrew Bain. Photo credit Oliver Burnside

In a press release today, Edinburgh-born Andrew Bain is announced as the New Head of Jazz at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, as the successor to bassist Paula Gardiner, who has been in the role since 2001.

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Royal Welsh College announce Andrew Bain as new Head of Jazz  

The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama has appointed musician and educator Andrew Bain as its new Head of Jazz, taking over from Paula Gardiner who retires at the end of this academic year.  

One of the leading performers and educators in the UK, Andrew is currently Deputy Head and Senior Lecturer in jazz at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. At RWCMD he will lead an inclusive, inspiring and critically acclaimed department which sends its jazz graduates all over the world. 

‘RWCMD’s music programmes combine individual instrumental or vocal craft with collaborative artistry and links to the wider society. All of these three elements are fundamental to jazz and Andrew brings a passionate commitment to this holistic approach to training,’ said RWCMD Director of Music Tim Rhys-Evans. 

‘His pedigree as a player, a collaborator, a leader of ensembles, a passionate educator, and as an academic make him the ideal person to take up the baton from Paula, and I’m excited about the future of jazz at RWCMD under his leadership.   

Jazz at the College has gone from strength to strength and is both highly regarded as a creative hub that produces highly-skilled, curious artists with strong individual identities, and as a firm fixture as a venue for jazz in Cardiff, most notably perhaps for the weekly Friday night AmserJazzTime events.  

We wish Paula every happiness in her retirement and thank her enormously for everything she has done through her inspiring leadership.’ 

Andrew added, ‘I am delighted to be taking on the position of Head of Jazz at RWCMD. After the excellent stewardship of Paula Gardiner since 2001, I look forward to bringing my expertise to the jazz department and wider community to continue and extend the reputation of the jazz course for many more years to come. I can’t wait to get started.’ 

Paula’s final AmserJazzTime takes place on 30th June in the College’s Carne Foyer. This free event is an opportunity to say goodbye and diolch to Paula.  


Andrew Bain, musician, educator and researcher, is one of the leading performers and educators in Europe having performed with luminaries such as Wynton Marsalis, Natalie Cole, Kenny Wheeler, Randy Brecker, John Taylor, NDR Big Band, Dave Liebman and Bob Mintzer, including a New York residency. 

He has performed across the UK, Europe and America, including performing and conducting at the BBC Proms. He has had professional ties with institutions across the world, having been artist-in-residence at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogota, Colombia (2019) and the University of Stavanger, Norway. He was visiting Jazz tutor to both the Conservatorio di Musica Vincenzo Bellini di Palermo, Sicily (2016 & 2017), and the University of Music and Performing Arts, Graz, Austria (2019). Andrew is also director of Summer Jazz Camp Scotland with the first course running this August.  

Andrew has a number of his own projects in action at the moment: Player Piano (2015) with Mike Walker, Gwilym Simcock, Iain Dixon, and Steve Watts; Embodied Hope (Whirlwind Recordings 2017) with George Colligan, Jon Irabagon, and Michael Janisch; and his latest project – (no)boundaries (Whirlwind Recordings 2020) – a free improv exploration featuring Peter Evans, Alex Bonney, and John O’Gallagher released in March 2020. His latest project, Mosvatnet, features Angelica Sanchez, John O’Gallagher, Tori Freestone and Per Zanussi. They will release an album in 2024. 

He was Deputy Head of Jazz at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and sits on the steering committee for the International Network for Artistic Research in Jazz

(Release ends)

Comment: Paula Gardiner has been a friend and supporter of LJN, and we both congratulate and thank her as she leaves the role, having been hugely and consistently effective in it. There is also, incidentally a transition under way at Guildhall, where applications for a new Head of Jazz closed a few weeks ago.

LINK: Release at the RWCMD’s blog

Full biography of Andrew Bain

Categories: News

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