The Karen Sharp Quartet


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Featuring Alex Steele Piano, Flo Moore Bass, Sophie Alloway Drums

A prominent figure on the UK Jazz scene since 2000, Karen is well known and admired for her melodic, full-toned saxophone playing, winning the British Jazz Awards for best tenor saxophonist on numerous occasions and appearing as a nominee in the rising star category of the Downbeat Critics Poll for baritone sax in 2018 and 2019.

Born in Suffolk, Karen studied classical piano and clarinet before discovering jazz and switching to the tenor sax, a choice inspired by two giants of improvisation – Dexter Gordon and Sonny Rollins.

Her career took off when she was asked to join Humphrey Lyttelton’s band with whom she toured the UK and Europe for four years. During this period Karen also worked hard to establish her own quintet, touring the festival and club circuit and recording the first of 6 albums as a leader.

Very quickly Karen began appearing as a soloist working alongside musicians such as John and Jacqui Dankworth, Ken Peplowski, Alan Barnes, Tina May, Nikki Iles, Esther Miller, Jeremy Pelt, Howard Alden, Scott Hamilton, Warren Vache, Scott Robinson and Harry Allen. Highlights of this period include the Ginza Festival in Tokyo, the Cape Town International Jazz Festival and the Singapore International Jazz Festival.

More recent work has involved larger ensembles and Karen was delighted to be part of the ‘Guy Barker Big Band’ performance at the BBC Proms. She has also played with Robert Fowler’s ‘Gerry Mulligan’s Concert Jazz Band’, Steve Waterman’s Big Band, the Stan Tracey Big Band and the Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Orchestra.

She has also recently recorded a new trio album with bassist Simon Thorpe and guitarist Colin Oxley, released in December 2019. Aside from her own projects Karen is very excited to be part of the Nikki Iles Jazz Orchestra, recently launched to a packed audience at the Vortex. London.