Biographie Graham Collier
(1937-2011) was a trailblazer for nearly 50 years. He was the first British graduate of the renowned Berklee School of Jazz, where he studied with Herb Pomeroy and four years later became the first jazz composer to receive a grant from the Arts Council of Great Britain (as it was then called). In the late 60s and throughout the 1970s, Collier performed and recorded his compositions in groups made up of many of the finest UK jazz musicians – Harry Beckett, Mike Gibbs, Henry Lowther, John Marshall, Stan Sulzmann, John Surman and Kenny Wheeler among them. Many classic albums would result from this period.
In the 1980s, Collier became a leading force in jazz education. It was from a big band workshop he ran, that Loose Tubes would develop. In 1986 he started the Royal Academy of Music’s first jazz course and he remained the course’s artistic director until 1999. At this point Collier left England to live in first Spain and in 2008 Greece. He remained influential as an educator, author, band leader and composer until his untimely death in 2011. Among those who appeared in his international groups are Tomasz Stanko and Palle Mikkelborg. In 1987 he was awarded an OBE by HM Queen Elizabeth II.