The Freedom of Movement
Steve Fishwick is widely considered to be one of the best jazz trumpet players ever to come from the UK, and is rapidly gaining a global reputation thanks to his flawless technique and his beautifully flowing, harmonically rich improvisations. He is one of an increasing number of trumpeters who have been heavily influenced by the melodic approach of the late great Kenny Dorham, a figure often overlooked (and undeservedly so) in the pantheon of Jazz Trumpet Legends. As well as “K.D.”, Steve cites Art Farmer, Miles Davis and Woody Shaw among his favourite players, but his style is very much his own. Trumpet great Wynton Marsalis recently said about him “Steve has his own style. He plays from the bottom to the top of the horn whilst maintaining the integrity of the chords. I can’t think of another trumpet player that can do what he does.” Legendary Jazz critic Ira Gitler had this to say ‘My question is where has Fishwick been hiding? Hip middle register melodious bebop, but when Steve lights his wick he becomes a flying fish, soaring above the waves, totally in control!’
Steve was born in Manchester along with his identical twin brother, drummer Matt Fishwick, in 1976. They grew up on a diet of big band jazz fed by their parents’ record collection before graduating to the sounds of Charlie Parker and Miles Davis. They entered the then thriving Manchester jazz scene, playing their first professional gigs whilst still in their early ‘teens, with musicians that are now key players in the London and European scene. They left Manchester in 1994 for London to study at the Royal Academy of Music.
Since leaving the Academy in 1998, where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree, Steve has played with most leading UK jazz musicians (Sir John Dankworth, the BBC Big Band, Stan Tracey, Peter King and Mike Carr amongst many, many others), many of the leading European musicians such as George Mraz, Dado Moroni, Claus Raibler, Tony Lakatos, the WDR big band and many US musicians such as Anita O’ Day (recording with her on her last album ‘Indestructible!’), Ron Carter, Jimmy Heath, Dick Oattes, Peter Erskine, Tim Lefebvre, Eric Harland, Scott Hamilton, Grant Stewart, Ken Peplowski, Herb Geller, Lanny Morgan, Bruce Barth, Richie Cole, Ben Dixon, Bob Cranshaw, Earl May, Lew Soloff, Clifford Jarvis, Ronnie Cuber, Keith Copland, John Riley, Tardo Hammer, Aaron Diehl, Brad Leali and Hod O’ Brien. He won the 2002 British Jazz Awards ‘Rising Star’ prize and in the same year toured the UK with British saxophonist Alan Barnes, substituting the great U.S. trumpeter Conte Candoli who sadly and unexpectedly passed away.
Steve leads many projects often with Welsh saxophonist Osian Roberts with whom he recorded an album in NYC with legendary American pianist Cedar Walton and bass great Peter Washington, released in September 2009. Their latest project is a sextet featuring Frank Basile, one of the best exponents of baritone saxophone from NYC. Their first CD ‘When Night Falls’ was released in 2014 and was nominated for a British Jazz Award for best CD of the year. In total Steve has released seven CDs on the Hard Bop Records label.
In 2014 Steve was invited by Jeremy Pelt to play at the Festival Of New Trumpet Music (founded by Dave Douglas) in New York City. He performed at Smoke jazz club, Smalls and Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola with Osian Roberts, Matt Fishwick, Jeb Patton and Mike Karn. Whilst in NYC they also recorded their second sextet CD, ‘…In The Empire State’ which was released in 2016 to much critical acclaim.
Steve can be heard playing the jazz trumpet solos on the soundtrack to the 2010 BAFTA nominated British Movie and Ian Drury Bio-Pic ‘Sex And Drugs And Rock And Roll’. He has also recorded for many TV programs and commercials. His busy performance schedule has taken him all over Europe (France, Germany, Switzerland, Greece, Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Estonia, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Italy, Spain and Ireland), China and New York on numerous occasions.
Steve is also a busy and enthusiastic educator and is principal lecturer of jazz trumpet at Leeds College of Music as well as being on the teaching faculty at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He has given master classes at numerous conservatoires including the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and Shanghai Conservatory of Music and he is a regular visiting tutor at The Royal Academy of Music and Birmingham Conservatoire.