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Geoff Eales is regarded as one of the UKmarker's most inspirational jazz pianists and composers.

Musical education

Born in Aberbargoedmarker in the south Wales valleysmarker, his musical education began at the age of eight, in the late 1950s. His father Horace, pianist in a well-known local dance band, taught him to play the 12-bar blues. He was also introduced to piano masters Erroll Garner, George Shearing and Oscar Peterson, as well as Bud Powell, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie.

Eales also underwent a more conventional musical education while a pupil at Lewis School Pengammarker, learning classical piano and the French horn. He played the latter with the Glamorgan Youth Orchestra and, in 1968, with the National Youth Orchestra of Wales. He achieved a first class honours and a masters degree at Cardiff Universitymarker and in 1975 was awarded his doctorate in music.


Throughout his long and distinguished career Geoff Eales has worked with pop stars, country singers, opera divas, variety artists, and played on countless sound tracks, TV shows and jingles, been a featured soloist with symphony orchestras and has composed chamber music, symphonies and concertos.

Early in his career he cruised the world on a Greekmarker liner. For four months he was based in the jazz capital of the world, New Orleansmarker where he played with many American jazzmen such as Buddy Tate, Jimmy McPartland, Earl Warren and Major Holley. He then moved to Londonmarker, where he joined Joe Loss' band. The following year he became the pianist in the BBC Big Band, where he remained for over four years.

For the next 15 years Eales worked with an array of conductors, composers and singers including Henry Mancini, Lalo Schifrin, Jerry Goldsmith, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Rosemary Clooney, Adelaide Hall, Tammy Wynette, Shirley Bassey, Andy Williams, Kiri Te Kanawa and Jose Carreras.

By the end of the 1990s he felt the need to return to jazz, since when has performed at some of the world’s leading jazz clubs, such as the The Blue Note Clubs in Osaka and Fukuoka, New Yorkmarker’s Birdland , The Jazz Bakery in Los Angelesmarker, Louisvillemarker's Jazz Factory and Londonmarker's Ronnie Scott's, and at many major jazz festivals.

His work has met with critical acclaim, such as:
".... as original as they come, listening to everyone but beholden to no single influence; Eales demands your attention with the force of his musical personality and keeps it with his musicianship"
and :
"Geoff Eales is unique. When you talk to him one word comes up over and over, eclectic. Eclectic is a word he uses to describe some of his influences, for example Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock. It also accurately describes, not only Geoff's playing, but also his life.....any performance by Geoff will refer to the varied influences and experiences of his life so far : a splendid synthesis of all that he knows from Messiaen through Henry Mancini to Bill Evans." One of the world's most respected jazz critics, Dave Gelly has called him 'phenominally accomplished' in The Observer in 2005.

For the last five years Geoff's regular partners in his own trio have been ex- Nucleus/Soft Machine bassist Roy Babbington and drummer Mark Fletcher. The trio recently played at the Victoria Theatre in Settle with its tales of Berry the Hangman who carried out 131 executions at the end of the 19th Century. Over 100 years ago people would cram into the theatre – not to hear a jazz concert – but to hear Berry speak about his craft as a professional executioner. The presence of a gibbet on the street outside the theatre was a somewhat less than reassuring sight for the jazzers.


  • Mountains Of Fire (Black Box, 1999)
  • Red Letter Days (Black Box, 2001)
  • Facing The Muse (Mainstem, 2002)
  • Synergy (Basho, 2004)
  • The Homecoming (33 Jazz, 2006)
  • Jazz Piano Legends (2007)
  • Epicentre (33 Records, 2007)


  2. Budd Kopman (Cadence Magazine)
  3. Jack Kenny, Jazz Views"
  4. Dave Gelly

External links

  • Geoff Eales biography from BBC Wales

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