Oriole – Biography

Guitarist and composer Jonny Phillip’s Oriole feature a unique set of musicians chosen for their musical openness, empathetic playing and ability to assimilate folkloric styles into a unified contemporary sound. First formed in 2004 their members represent something of a F-IRE supergroup, albeit one whose sound is a million miles from the left-field jazz often associated with the groundbreaking collective of which they are associated.

Oriole’s first two albums Song for the Sleeping – 2005 and Migration 2006 were released to critical success, with elements of South American folklore, art-rock, and rich cinematic tapestries sitting together naturally. The combination of these elements is in part what makes Oriole’s sound so powerful and affecting.

Jonny is at the heart of Oriole, not only as composer and arranger, but also the guitarist
quietly holding things together, the perfect foil to the outstanding trio of soloists, Ingrid Laubrock (sax), Idris Rahman (sax, clarinet) and Ben Davis (cello) and the formidably tight rhythm section of Seb Rochford (drums), Ruth Goller (bass) and Adriano Adewale (percussion). Weaving his way between the two is Nick Ramm (piano).

On Oriole?s recently released third album Every New Day you can almost feel the sun passing overhead as Oriole undertakes a musical journey through parched landscapes influenced by the Iberian peninsular, where their composer spent the last few years performing with Spanish, Portuguese and Cuban musicians. This music is warm, not only in its Latin rhythms and alto tonalities but also in the musical interplay of these long-time musical friends who elevate Phillips’ gently luminous but compelling music to new heights. If music could provide vitamin D, Oriole’s new sun-soaked sound would be packed full of it, or as Jazzwise put it:

Like Polar Bear at carnival time”.


Guitar  – Jonny Phillips
Sax – Ingrid Laubrock/Idris Rahman/Alam Nathoo
Cello – Ben Davis
Keys – Nick Ramm
Drums – Seb Rochford
Bass – Ruth Goller/Andy Hamil/Fernando De Marco
Percussion – Adriano Adewale