Ian Ballantine is widely regarded as one of the finest vibraphone players in the world. Add to this a whole range of other instruments, compositional skills and the ability to form a variety of ensembles playing different forms of music and you have a pretty formidable package.
Growing up in Nottingham, it was here, feeling his way as a young musician, that he first developed a reputation and local fame. Deciding that he needed to expand his musical knowledge he left his home town to study for three years at Leeds College of Music; a place that has produced more of its fair share of 'name' musicians.
Whilst still at college he was inspired to form a band called Semuta. This hot combination of power, excitement and authoritative musicianship, was soon making it imperative for audiences to turn up early to get in at the regular gigs. This was the band he was to bring with him to London, recording an album, and enjoying considerable success for a time playing opposite Ronnie Scott's band.
Eventually Semuta split up and he set about developing a broader more flexible base. playing in numerous combinations of duos, trios and quartets, working with some of the top musicians in Britain.
ian Ballantine is considered one of the finest jazz vibraphone players in the world, as well as playing piano and flute. Based in London, England his discography includes jazz from smooth solo virtuoso playing to duos, trios and quartets (plus Ian's band Semuta). Working with some of Britain's outstanding musicians, playing anything from standards to fusion with the Ballantine/Shaw Band playing great originals.
The Ballantine/Shaw Band is a fusion of guitar and vibes sounds with rhythms from rock to Latin. This is a band that only records original material although some standards are played at live gigs. It includes co-leader Kenny Shaw on guitar who has worked with a vast number of famous names. Harvey Weston on bass and Trevor Tomkins on drums complete the line-up. These superb and highly experienced musicians have worked with far too many names to mention. As this band has been working together for so many years it can be said that the sum is now greater than the parts.
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