David Austin Grey is a UK based pianist, composer and educator working across multiple musical disciplines.
He has worked throughout the UK and performed internationally, including residencies and collaborations in Brazil, The United States and South Asia.
His most long-standing group ‘Hansu-Tori’ has received national press and radio play (BBC Radio 3, Jazzwise Magazine, Jazz FM, BBC Introducing, The Observer, BBC WM and BBC Radio Scotland).
A graduate of The University of Birmingham and Royal Birmingham Conservatoire; David has worked with such well-respected artists and institutions as Birmingham Royal Ballet, British Council, Courtney Pine, Eliza Shaddad, Freya Roy, Soweto Kinch, Xhosa Cole, Michael League, Black Voices and Snarky Puppy. He has also supported GRAMMY-winning artists Marcus Miller, Terri-Lyne Carrington and Snarky Puppy.
In 2020 David was one of four UK-based pianists invited to perform at Symphony Hall Birmingham as part of the ‘Jamie Cullum Recommends’ series.
In 2019 David was a recipient of British Council’s Film and Music Fund (FAMLAB).
In 2019 David travelled to New York, USA in order to work, learn from and collaborate with GRAMMY nominated artist Dave Douglas.In 2018 David was one of 15 composers selected to join Sound and Music’s prestigious ‘New Voices‘ scheme – an artists development program for talented upcoming UK composers.
In April 2016, David presented his first full-scale multi-discipline production, (in collaboration with Birmingham Royal Ballet, choreographer Kit Holder, Hansu-Tori and Birmingham based illustrator Nick Robertson) entitled ‘Wolves Are People Too‘. This was a vibrant and unique blend of contemporary jazz, classical and modern ballet, and live on-stage illustration. Continuing the process of cross-arts experimentation and composition is now a major focus of David’s work.
In 2015 David was approached by BBC Radio 3 and BBC Introducing to perform at a live showcase at Birmingham’s CBSO centre, ahead of the BBC Music Awards 2015. This performance was recorded and broadcast on ‘Jazz on 3’. 2014 saw the release of Hansu-Tori’s debut album entitled ‘An Improvised Escape‘. This garnered huge amounts of positive praise and great critical reception, including national radio play (via Jazz FM, BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio 3 and BBC Introducing) – and International, national and regional magazine/newspaper coverage, including a ‘4 star’ review in Jazzwise Magazine and a full-page feature in the Birmingham Post.
In 2013 David was selected for the ‘Artistic Directors Series’ at Band on the Wall, collaborating and performing with the founding members of the Grammy award-winning, high-energy American based group ‘Snarky Puppy’ – namely Michael League, Bill Laurence and Robert ‘Sput’ Searight. Following this, the band Hans Prya was formed: a ’10-piece – genre-hopping’ band that features some of the finest musicians from across the United Kingdom.
As an educator, writer and leader his previous and current clients and collaborations include Birmingham Royal Ballet, THSH, British Council. Birmingham Conservatoire, Jazzlines, Birmingham Jazz, New Optimists, The University of Birmingham, EC Arts, Nu-Century Arts & Birmingham Repertory Theatre. As a performer David has appeared at numerous venues and festivals across the country including, Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Mostly Jazz Funk & Soul Festival, Harmonic Festival, LUME Festival, Symphony Hall, Manchester International Jazz Festival, Birmingham Town Hall, The Flyover Show, BASS Festival, Arts Fest UK, and Glasgow International Jazz Festival. During 2009/10 David was heavily involved in the national ‘Banded About’ project as a workshop leader. This project was an arts council funded initiative to encourage music making in young children, specifically in a group context. At the same time he also co-led and wrote for the Banded About ‘Practitioner Ensemble’ along with acclaimed alto saxophonist Soweto Kinch. David Continues to be involved in teaching and education – a experienced and highly sought after lecturer and workshop leader, working with such organisations as The Abram Wilson Foundation, Birmingham Conservatoire and Sound and Music.
David has been greatly influenced and inspired by a great number of musical personalities including: artists such as Ambrose Akinmusire, Esperanza Spalding, Dave Douglas, Mayra Andrade, Leo Genovese, Abdullah Ibrahim, Immanuel Wilkins. Herbie Hancock, Brian Blade, Ben Wendel, Dave Binney, Bill Evans, Wayne Shorter, Gerald Clayton, Fred Hersch, Wynton Marsalis, Kenny Kirkland, Lupe Fiasco, Flying Lotus, Thundercat, Chick Corea, Lionel Loueke, Jimmy Cliff, Danilo Perez, Dave Holland, Miguel Zenon, Max Richter, Miles Okazaki, Walter Smith III, Bonobo, D’Angelo, Tigran Hamasyan, Chris Potter, Elzhi, Jose Gonzalez, Gretchen Parlato, Boards Of Canada, Floating Points, J Dilla, The Internet and Shigeto. Bands: including Brian Blade Fellowship, The Cinematic Orchestra, Claudia Quintet, Hiatus Kaiyote, A Tribe Called Quest, Slum Village, Miles Davis’ 2nd Great Quintet, The Roots and People Under The Stairs – and composers such as Joe Hisaishi, Max Richter, Thomas Newman, Edward Elgar, Yoko Kanno, Alexandre Desplat and Steve Reich.
When not making music, David concentrates his energies on photography and martial arts. He has practiced various martial disciplines for over 15 years and teaches Taekwondo in his home city of Birmingham.