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Alastair Penman

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About Alastair

Award winning saxophonist, clarinetist and composer who has toured in the UK and globally. BBC Introducing, CMF, PLG and LMN Artist.
Public liability insurance of £10 million

Hailed as a “pioneering instrumentalist and writer” and praised for his “surpassingly beautiful music” and “undoubtedly brilliant mind”, British saxophonist Alastair Penman is a dynamic and versatile performer and composer, presenting contemporary music in new and exciting ways. Having earned masters’ degrees in both Information and Computer Engineering (University of Cambridge) and Saxophone Performance (Royal Northern College of Music), Alastair has a strong interest in the fusion of live saxophone performance with electronic effects, backings, and enhancements to create often previously undiscovered sound-worlds. Although classically trained, Alastair enjoys exploring many musical worlds; such influences can be heard in his compositions and performances, which often transcend genre definition. As a soloist, Alastair has performed at venues including Milton Court Concert Hall, Trinity and St Catharine’s College Chapels (Cambridge), The Forge, and the Concert Hall and Carole Nash Recital Room at the Royal Northern College of Music. He has also made numerous concerto appearances, including opening the 2012 Wycombe Arts Festival. Alastair has been a guest recitalist both at the RNCM and Canterbury Christ Church University Saxophone Days, presenting material from his debut album, Electric Dawn. In an ensemble setting, Alastair is soprano saxophonist with the award-winning Borealis Saxophone Quartet and has performed with the Philharmonia Chamber Orchestra, Ardente Opera, The Beethoven Ensemble, Ensemble BPM, and Cambridge Touring Opera. He has also appeared with jazz groups at Montreux and London Jazz Festivals, as well as at jazz clubs across Europe. Alastair has had the pleasure of working with conductors including Sir Roger Norrington, Dimitry Sitkovetsky, Baldur Bronnimann, David Hill and Stephen Cleobury, and has performed with jazz greats Mike Gibbs, Clare Teal, Steve Waterman, Mark Nightingale, Gareth Lockrane, Julian Arguelles, Liane Carroll, Issie Barratt and John Helliwell. Alastair’s talents have been recognised with awards from the City Music Foundation, Countess of Munster Musical Trust, RNCM (Fewkes and Harwood Scholarships) and St. Catharine’s College. Alastair has also been a finalist in the Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe and RNCM Gold Medal Competitions. Supported by the City Music Foundation, Alastair’s debut solo album, Electric Dawn, was released in November 2015 on Sospiro Records. The album features new compositions for saxophone and electronics and was produced by the legendary saxophonist John Harle. Critics have praised the playing as “exemplary”, “diamond-sharp, tonally burnished and singing free” and recognised that “each piece had a perfection of its own”, creating a “cohesive and triumphantly experimental debut”. Alastair is a Henri Selmer Paris Artist and a Vandoren UK Artist.

Performance details
I can perform outdoors
I have a car I can use to travel to gigs
I can perform with backing tracks
My equipment is PAT tested
I own a PA system
Encore awards
6th Encoreversary
Classical, Film / TV music, Contemporary classical, Classical crossover, Musical theatre, Opera, Baroque, Christmas, Jazz, Modern jazz, Jazz fusion, Experimental, Avant garde, Light music, Originals, Dixieland, Swing
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Event types:
Concert, Wedding, Wedding proposal, Funeral / Memorial service, Church service, Private event, Corporate event, Charity event, Recording session, Theatre / Show, Cruise, Birthday party, Christmas party
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Other skills:
Arranger, Audio engineer, Composer, Orchestrator, Producer, Fluent sight-reader, Fluent improviser, Live looping, Instrumental teaching
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Song list

This is a sample list - get in touch if you have any specific requests. If not already available they can usually be arranged for a small fee.
Jazz songs: (Scroll down for pop songs)
Alice in Wonderland – Sammy Fain
All Blues – Miles Davis
All of Me – Gerald Marks
All the Things You Are – Jemone Kern
Angel Eyes – Matt Dennis
Anthropology – Charlie Parker
April in Paris – Vernon Duke
Autumn in New York – Vernon Duke
Autumn Leaves – Joseph Kosma
Beautiful Love – Victor Young
Blame It On My Youth – Oscar Levant
Blue Bossa – Kenny Dorham
Blue in Green – Miles Davis
Blue Monk – Thelonious Monk
Blue Moon – Richard Rogers
Blue Room – Richard Rogers
Blues for Alice – Charlie Parker
Blue Trane – John Coltrane
Body and Soul – Johnny Green
Bye Bye Blackbird – Ray Henderson
Chega de Saudade – Antonio-Carlos Jobim
Chelsea Bridge – Billy Strayhorn
A Child is Born – Thad Jones
Corcovado – Anotonio-Carlos Jobim
Darn That Dream – Jimmy Van Heusen
Dearly Beloved – Jerome Kern
Desafinado – Antonio-Carlos Jobim
Dindi – Anotonio-Carlos Jobim
Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me – DukeEllington
Dolphin Dance – Herbie Hancock
Doxy – Sonny Rollins
Falling in Love with Love – Richard Rogers
Fly Me To The Moon – Bart Howard
Footprints – Wayne Shorter
Gentle Rain – Luiz Bonfa
Georgia on My Mind – Hoagy Carmichael
The Girl From Ipanema – Antonio-CarlosJobim
Girl Talk – Neal Hefti
God Bless the Child – Herzog-Holiday
Groovin’ High – Dizzy Gillespie
Have You Met Miss Jones? – Richard Rogers
Here’s That Rainy Day – Jimmy Van-Heusen
How High the Moon – Morgan Lewis
How Insensitive – Antonio-Carlos Jobim
I Can’t Get Started – Vernon Duke
I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free –Billy Taylor
I’ll Remember April – Raye-DePaul
Impressions – John Coltrane
In a Mellow Tone – Duke Ellington
In a Sentimental Mood – Duke Ellington
It Don’t Mean a Thing – Duke Ellington
It’s Only a Paper Moon – Harold Arlen
Just Friends – John Klenner
Let’s Fall in Love – Harold Arlen
Let’s Get Lost – Jimmy McHugh
Like Someone in Love – Jimmy Van-Heusen
Little Sunflower – Freddie Hubbard
Look to the Sky – Antonio-Carlos Jobim
Lullaby of Birdland – George Shearing
Meditation – Antonio-Carlos Jobim
Misty – Erroll Garner
Moon River – Henry Mancini
Mr P.C. – John Coltrane
My Favourite Things – Richard Rogers
My Foolish Heart – Victor Young
My Funny Valentine – Richard Rogers
My Little Suede Shoes – Charlie Parker
My One and Only Love – Wood-Mellin
My Romance – Richard Rogers
My Shining Hour – Harold Arlen
My Ship – Kurt Weill
Nature Boy – Eden Ahbez
The Nearness of You – Hoagy Carmichael
Nica’s Dream – Horace Silver
Night and Day – Cole Porter
A Night in Tunisia – Dizzy Gillespie
Nostalgia in Times Square – Charles Mingus
Now’s the Time – Charlie Parker
Oleo – Sonny Rollins
On Green Dolphin Street – Bronislau Kaper
On the Sunny Side of the Street – JimmyMcHugh
One Note Samba – Antonio-Carlos Jobim
Over the Rainbow – Harold Arlen
Peace – Horace Silver
Polkadots and Moonbeams – Jimmy Van-Heusen
Recordame – Joe Henderson
'Round Midnight – Thelonious Monk
The Saga of Harrison Crabfeathers – SteveKuhn
Satin Doll – Strayhorn/Ellington
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes – Jerome Kern
So What – Miles Davis
Solar – Miles DavisSolitude – Duke Ellington
Someday My Prince Will Come – FrankChurchill
Song for my Father – Horace Silver
The Song is You – Jerome Kern
St. Thomas – Sonny Rollins
Stella by Starlight – Victor Young
Stolen Moments – Oliver Nelson
Stormy Weather – Harold Arlen
Straight No Chaser – Thelonious Monk
Take Five – Paul Desmond
Take the A Train – Billy Strayhorn
Tenderly – Walter Gross
Tenor Madness – Sonny Rollins
There Is No Greater Love – Isham Jones
There Will Never Be Another You – HarryWarren
Triste – Anotonio Carlos Jobim
Very Early – Bill Evans
Waltz for Debby – Bill Evans
Watermelon Man – Herbie Hancock
Wave – Antonio-Carlos Jobim
The Way You Look Tonight – Jerome Kern
What Is This Thing Called Love – Cole Porter
When I Fall In Love – Victor Young
When Lights are Low – Benny Carter
When Sunny Gets Blue – Marvin Fisher
When You Wish Upon a Star – NedWashington
Witch Hunt – Wayne Shorter
Yesterdays – Jermone Kern
You Don’t Know What Love Is – Raye/DePaul
You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To – ColePorter
Pop songs:
Against All Odds – Phil Collins
Ain’t No Sunshine – Bill Withers
Always and Forever – Luther Vandross
Always On My Mind – Elvis Presley
Back for Good – Take That
Black is Black – Los Bravos
Build Me Up Buttercup – The Foundations
Close to You – The Carpenters
Dancing Queen – Abba
Easy Like Sunday Morning – Lionel Ritchie
Endless Love – Lionel Ritchie
Everybody Hurts – R.E.M.
Faithfully – Journey
Fantasy – Earth, Wind and Fire
For Once In My Life – Stevie Wonder
God Only Knows – The Beach Boys
How Deep Is Your Love? – Wet Wet Wet
How Do I Live Without You? – LeAnn Rimes
I Can’t Help Falling in Love – Elvis Presley
I Can’t Stop Loving You – Ray Charles
I Heard It Through The Grapevine – Marvin Gaye
I Wanna Dance With Somebody – Whitney Houston
I’ll Stand By You – The Pretenders
I’m a Believer – The Monkees
If I Could Turn Back Time – Cher
It’s Not Unusual – Tom Jones
Let’s Stay Together – Al Green
Livin’ on a Prayer – Bon Jovi
Love Is All Around – Wet Wet Wet
Moon River – Andy Williams
My First, My Last, My Everything – Barry White
My Way – Frank Sinatra
Save The Last Dance For Me – Michael Buble
Son Of A Preacher Man – Dusty Springfield
Stand By Me – Ben E. King
Stayin’ Alive – The Bee Gees
Sugar Sugar – The Archies
Superstition – Stevie Wonder
Time After Time – Cyndi Lauper
Tragedy – The Bee Gees
Unchained Melody – The Righteous Brothers
Unforgettable – Nat King Cole
Take My Breath Away – Berlin
The Way You Make Me Feel – Michael Jackson
We Are Family – Sister Sledge
We’ve Only Just Begun – The Carpenters
What a Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
When I Fall in Love – Nat King Cole
A Whiter Shade of Pale – Procul Harum
Wichita Lineman – Glen Campbell
YMCA – The Village People
You Are The Sunshine Of My Life – Stevie Wonder
You Make Me Feel Brand New – Stylistics
You’re Still The One – Shania Twain
Your Song – Elton John
Customer questions

What if my timings change after I've booked you?

If your timings change I will always try to accommodate this wherever possible. The more notice you can give of time changes the better! There is no extra charge unless the timings of the booking are extended.

Can you provide an iPod/DJ service before and between your sets?

Yes, I can play music over my PA system between sets if you wish. You are very welcome to choose your own playlist for this if you like, or you can leave it up to me!

How much time do you need to set up?

Usually 30 minutes is sufficient to set up - if more time is required I will advise when the booking is made.

Can I pick the songs you play from the set list?

I have an extensive song list, from which you are welcome to choose songs. If you have any special requests that I don't already have arrangements of then these can usually be arranged for a small additional fee.

Do you bring all the equipment you need to perform?

Yes, this includes PA system/amplifier as appropriate to the venue, extension leads, all instruments etc.

Can you learn song requests before the event?

If you would like a specific song that I don't already have an arrangement of, then I can usually make an arrangement specially for you. There is a small additional charge for this, and the further in advance you let me know the better!

Which venues have you performed at in the past?

Royal Albert Hall, Symphony Hall, Royal Festival Hall, St Martin-in-the-Fields, St John's Smith Square, on board the Queen Mary 2, Peckforton Castle, University of Cambridge, Oxford University, Stationers Hall, countless hotels and wedding venues!

What is the most high profile gig you've performed?

Probably the gig I will always remember is performing with the London Contemporary Orchestra to a sold out Royal Albert Hall in 4U: A Symphonic Celebration of Prince. This was made extra exciting by having a spotlit sax solo! Other highlights include being a guest artist at events including the World and European Saxophone Congresses!


Note: prices may vary based on travel distance. For an exact quote, click “Check availability”.

Standard Prices
Performance durationPrice
Short performance (up to 15 min)£200
Up to 1 hour£250
Up to 2 hours£300
Up to 3 hours£350


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From Encore customers:

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Sarah D, 1 year ago

Really started the evening off well for our Fathers 50th birthday. Many thanks.

From other customers:

Review D, 6 years ago

Alastair Penman created surpassingly beautiful music... The record is excellent...Each piece had a perfection of its own and the combination of sax and electronics never sounded cluttered but pure and diamond-sharp, tonally burnished and singing free on both instruments...Thanks to RNCM for a masterpiece of programming.

The P, 6 years ago

Penman is a pioneering instrumentalist and writer who is creating music that explores new territory. The use of electronic programming teases out new sounds within the conventional solo-saxophone canon, creating ethereal soundscapes and an all together surprising interplay throughout the record...He could go in many different directions from here, and the jazz/electronic/music world will be all the richer for it....There’s much to extract from this record, and equally much to enjoy as a cohesive and triumphantly experimental debut.

Read all 4 reviews

From other musicians:

9th February 2016

I saw Alastair perform a recital at St Martin-in-the-Fields earlier today and was blown away by the ease with which he performed such virtuosic works. Stage presence was natural and assured, and tone was beautiful. Looking forward to hearing him again in the future.