“Jamie Safiruddin is a smart, sensitive pianist and his work with the classy young singer, Ben Cox, shows enormous promise” – Barb Jungr
Jamie is skilled pianist, arranger and song writer. In demand around the country, he is a founder member of The Ben Cox Band, and writes fantastic original tunes with Ben Cox.
Jamie started playing the piano at the age of 8 on a lovely baby grand that had been a family heirloom since the start of the century. Music had always been around the house as both his mum’s parents were trad-jazzers in the British boom of the 50s and met playing in a band called Zenith 6 that played all over the country for several years, even running their own club together. Jamie had an inspiring, fun yet disciplined teacher for 8 years, who he now counts as one of his closest friends and he was very lucky to have started off with such a good guide, both musically and personally.
He really got the bug when he started playing with other musicians at the age of 15 which was at the brilliant local music school, The Music Place. Here he discovered the exciting electric funk and fusion of Herbie Hancock, The Yellowjackets, The Meters, Weather Report, Chick Corea and Tower of Power. From there, it was a logical step backwards to find the origins of the music in 50s and 60s American Jazz -Miles Davis, Art Blakey, John Coltrane, Jimmy Smith that he grew to love and slowly learned to play. With the help of a fantastic Jazz Summer School he received some world class tuition and guidance from Les Chisnall, Mike Walker and Andy Schofield. It was a natural progression to move to London, and whilst studying at Guildhall, highlights have included performances with Iain Ballamy, Jacqui Dankworth & Julian Siegel, as well as making his conducting debut with a piece he arranged for the School Big Band to play featuring the exquisite vocalist Ian Shaw.
Jamie’s professional work as arranger has recently begun to develop, including several arrangements featuring on the forthcoming Cherry Ghost album as well as Jonathan Ansell (G4′s) latest solo release. He has toured with the legendary Paul Heaton , with ’The 8th’ and recently had the pleasure of accompanying Ian Shaw in a duet setting at several venues around the country.
Songwriting is Jamie’s latest love and as he now finds more and more time for lyrics, songs and big band arrangements.
His favourite song-writers include Nick Drake, Bob Dylan, John Martyn, Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder, Joni Mitchell, Rufus Wainwright, Sting, Tom Waits, Walter Becker & Donald Fagen,