Biography

PIANIST, COMPOSER & EDUCATOR.

David Austin Grey is a UK based pianist, composer and educator. Having studied music at The University of Birmingham and Birmingham Conservatoire (studying with such musicians as Hans Koller, Liam Noble & Mike Williams), David is currently working with his own bands [Hansu-Tori, Neon Villages, One Many People, Little Church] and freelancing throughout the UK.

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.

Over the last few years David has worked with a number of well respected musicians including Soweto Kinch, Michael League, Black Voices, Martin Speake, Stuart McCallum, Bill Laurence, Robert ‘Sput’ Searight, Percy Pursglove, Eliza Shaddad, Chris Mapp, Lluis Mather, Yazz Ahmed, Adam Jackson, Nick Rundle, Gemma Weekes, Rachael Cohen, Michael Fletcher, Chima Anya, Musa Okwonga and New York based artists ‘iLLspokinn’ and Y? (aka. ‘Why G?’).

He also supported artists including Marcus Miller, Sons of Kemet and Snarky Puppy.

As an educator, writer and leader his previous and current clients include Birmingham Royal Ballet, THSH, 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.

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, 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, 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.