1 “John Rae” 1
* June 8, 1966
United Kingdom
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biography John Rae

John Rae drummer, composer and musical director was born in Edinburgh (now living in New Zealand and Scotland) in 1966 and is the fourth youngest member of a musical family. Since winning the ‘Most Promising Drummer of the Year’ at the 1984 Edinburgh International Jazz Festival and a ‘Herald Angel’ at the 2005 Edinburgh Festival, John has been one of the most sought after musician and composers in the UK.

Recorded first album at the age of sixteen with the acclaimed saxophonist Tommy Smith and has subsequently recorded over 30 albums including two BBC jazz albums of the year (2004 and 2003). As a leader and composer has recorded ‘The Big If Smiles Again’, ‘Celtic Feet’ and’ Beware The Feet’. For three years (2000-2003) was the drummer for the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra.

2004 saw the formation of the 35 piece ensemble ‘Big Feet’. This is an amalgamation of jazz big band with Traditional Scottish pipe band and was first performed at the Isle of Islay Jazz Festival. Appointed musical director and composer for the critically acclaimed DanceBase production ‘Off Kilter’ (part of it performed at the opening ceremony of the Scottish Parliament). Toured the U.K. and Europe with the award winning international group ‘Magic Feet’ featuring Hungarian gypsy violinist Roberto Farkas.

Founding member and writer for the Giant Stepping Stanes, Power of Scotland big band, John Rae Collective, New Jazz, Afro/Celtic Jazz Ensemble, John Rae's Celtic Feet and has received various commissions from the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, Channel Four, Scottish Youth Jazz Orchestra and the BBC. Performs worldwide concert and television /radio performances with the Brian Kellock Trio, Magic Feet, Findlay Macdonald, Julio Pacheco and Celtic Feet.

John is Scotlands top jazz drummer and has toured extensively in the UK, Far East and Europe with his own groups as well as Canada and Eastern Europe. As a drummer, he has worked with many of the great names in jazz with artists such as Tal Farlow, Joe Levano, Lee Konitz, Ingrid Jenson, George Connigan, Dave Liebman, Jessie Davis, Maria Schnider, Tony Scott, Charles MacPherson, Dave Berkman, Art Farmer, Ethan Iverson, Guus Janssen, Buddy de Franco, Red Rodney, Pete King, Scott Hamilton, Barney Kessel, Kenny Wheeler, Martin Taylor, Vijay Iller, Warren Vache and Pepe Torres.

Selected Discography

Tommy Smith - Giant Strides G.R.P 322, Martin Taylor - Change of Heart Linn AKD, Spike Robinson - Stairway To The Stars Hep 03, Tom Bancroft Orch. - Tom Bancroft Caber 001, Hue and Cry - Stars Crash Down, Brian Kellock Trio - Something’s got to Give Caber 003, Brian Kellock Trio - Live at Henry's Caber 020, Suzanne Bonnar - Empty Tables JB CD9001, John Rae Collective - The Big If Smiles Again Caber 022, John Rae’s Celtic Feet - Celtic Feet Caber 010 - Beware The Feet Caber 018, John Burges - Urge to Burge Caber 011, Findly Macdonald - Findly Macdonald Foot Stompin Records, Colin Steele - Twighlight Dreams Caber 020, Colin Steele – Variations on a dream Caber 011, Scottish National Jazz Orchestra - Miles ahead, Sparticus Records.

email contact@johnrae.biz


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