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Johnny Hunter


Johnny is a drummer, composer and bandleader from Manchester,named as "artist to watch in 2017" by Jazzwise.

He was featured at Ronnie Scott's, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Manchester Jazz Festival, Kings Place. He regularly tours Europe as part of the Anglo-Swiss collaboration, MoonMot. He also toured and recorded with, among others, Nat Birchall, Olie Brice, Dee Byrne, Adam Fairhall, Kim Macari, Corey Mwamba, Cath Roberts, Nishla Smith.

Johnny’s focus is on composing for improvisers; to make the most of their skills in interpreting the music whilst retaining a strong compositional identity. He developed techniques with his group, “Fragments”, with their album described as an “imaginatively detailed and uncompromising diary of a virtuosic improv group” by John Fordham. He also applied his methods in other ensembles: Pale Blue Dot, premiered 2016 with En Bas String Quartet at NQ Jazz; Backlash (2017) suite for piccolo, trumpet, trombone, euphonium, accordion, percussion; Now It Can Be Told (2018) showcasing his Post-Rock influences, exploring electronics in jazz; Composition for Large Ensemble (2019) featured on BBC Radio 3 following successful participation in Sound and Music’s 2018 New Voices.

Outside of his own work, he has contributed to testing an online system with almost zero latency with Sloth Racket; taught at Sheffield Jazz Workshop for several years, providing online resources for his group during lockdown;worked as a promoter, running the Sheffield Noise Upstairs, Brilliant Corners Jazz Club and various jam sessions; founded Northern Contemporary, a label specialising in improvised music, attracting the attention of The Wire and Jazzwise, and receiving several plays on BBC Radio.

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