Recently featured alongside leading players from all over the world at the “Bass 2012” convention in Copenhagen, Simon Woolf is a lyrical double-bassist in the tradition of his great idol, Red Mitchell. Simon Woolf has enjoyed long associations with leading UK jazz artists Andy Panayi, Mark Nightingale, Geoff Simkins, Dave Cliff, Peter Jacobsen, Bobby Wellins and been heard accompanying such US jazz greats as Benny Golson, Harry Allen, Ruby Braff, George van Eps & Howard Alden. Musical theatre has included on-stage appearences in West End runs of Cy Coleman’s ‘I Love My Wife’ & the National Theatre production of ‘High Society’. Simon Woolf studied initially with Tristano disciple Peter Ind, latterly with orchestral maestro Tom Martin & jazz legend Michael Moore (ex Bill Evans, Bob Brookmeyer, currently Dave Brubeck). An active teacher himself, many of Simon Woolf’s students have gone on to successful careers on the London Jazz scene.
Karen took up the tenor saxophone whilst studying composition at the Royal Northern College of Music. A friend introduced her to a recording of Dexter Gordon and she was instantly hooked, quickly joining the college jazz band and finding regular work in a busy soul band based in Liverpool. Since relocating to London in 1999 Karen has become a busy freelance musician working alongside many top class British and American musicians such as Scott Hamilton, Sir John Dankworth, Cleo laine, Danny Moss, Alan Barnes, Barbara Lea, Dick Sudhalter, Mark Nightingale and Ellyn Rucker
In March 2004 Karen began a three-year stint in Humphrey Lyttelton’s band, which took her to venues and festivals across the UK and into Europe playing alongside Joe Temperley, Stacey Kent, Acker Bilk and the great blues singer Elkie Brooks. During this time Karen was also working hard to establish her own quintet with which she produced three albums and played at top jazz venues in the UK. In 2006 Karen played at the Ginza Festival, Tokyo, with British singer Tina May and pianist Nikki Iles, and she appeared at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival 2007, with US trumpet star Jeremy Pelt and South African singer Esther Miller.
For the last four years Karen has played at The Norwich Jazz Party in the UK working alongside Ken Peplowski, Scott Robinson, Warren Vache, Bucky Pizzerelli and Scott Hamilton. She has twice won the tenor saxophone category in the British Jazz Awards, but she is equally at home playing the baritone sax.
More recently Karen has been touring with fellow saxophonist Robert Fowler showcasing the great tenor partnership of Al Cohn and Zoot Sims, She has also formed a new quartet featuring Nikki Iles, Steve Brown and Dave Green, which has been delighting festival audiences across the UK. Karen was delighted to play on Jacqui Dankworth’s album earlier this year and she also recorded with top UK singer Tina may. Karen’s next project will be to record her quartet and she is also busy writing for her sextet, which was featured at the Norwich Jazz party in 2010.