Band Biographies

Darius Brubeck



Born in San Francisco, jazz pianist and composer Darius Brubeck grew up in the artistic milieu of his famous father Dave and has enjoyed a lifetime of varied international experience as band leader, composer, teacher and broadcaster.

Moving to the United Kingdom in 2006, Darius now leads the London based Darius Brubeck Quartet, which has become a successful and popular group in the UK and beyond.

For more information, please see a full biography on the About page.

Dave O’Higgins



Saxophonist Dave O’Higgins 24th album as leader “Pluto” (Ubuntu 2022) is just about to be released. The last Ubuntu release “That’s the Way to Live” (2021) has had great reviews in the Observer, Jazzwise, BBC Magazine & many online jazz sites. In 2017 “It’s Always 9:30 in Zog” was nominated for best CD (British Jazz Awards) & Dave for best tenor saxophonist. O’Higgins & Luft were nominated for best band in 2020 Parliamentary Jazz Awards.

Dave serves on the faculty at the London College of Contemporary Media. He currently performs with the Harvey / O’Higgins Project, O’Higgins & Luft, His’n’Hers, Darius Brubeck Quartet, and the Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Orchestra. In addition, Dave worked with Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Joey Calderazzo, Joe Locke, Dave Kikowski, Eric Alexander, Max Ionata, Joe Lovano, Phil Woods, Jimmy Smith, Nancy Wilson, Wayne Shorter, Eddie Gomez, Billy Childs, Abdullah Ibrahim, Jim Mullen, Martin Taylor and Stephane Grappelli. Dave also wrote and produced the 2017 Matt Bianco album, “Gravity” and tours with the band as saxophonist & musical director.

Dave’s saxophone sound and language draw from deep respect for Dexter, Stitt, Coltrane, Mobley, Turrentine and Brecker amongst a host of other inspirations from early on to the present day.

“A stunning player in the neo-bop vein, with an apparently effortless flow of coherent ideas, beautiful time and a highly developed harmonic sense.”

“His professional presentation was an object lesson to the amateurishness of local players.  His musicianship seemed boundless.  Like his friend Martin Taylor did last year to our guitarists, Dave O’Higgins did to our sax players – gave them new and exciting challenges.  And gave us mere listeners an exceptional night.”

“O’Higgins plays with quite exceptional fluency and his fund of ideas never runs out.”

Matt Ridley



A graduate of Trinity College of Music, London, Matt Ridley is well known on the UK Jazz scene both as a sideman and a band leader. He has been a core member of the Darius Brubeck Quartet since 2006. With this group he has recorded three studio albums and two live albums, and toured extensively in Europe, Russia, Saudi Arabia and South Africa.

His jazz career started as a member of the house trio at Marlow jazz club, where he played with visiting guests such as Pete King, Don Weller, Alan Barnes, Art Themen, Karen Sharp, Jim Mullen (to name a few), and continued performing with them around the UK. He was Michael Garrick’s bass player from 2008-11, in his Quartet, Jazz Orchestra, Lyric Ensemble, and ‘MJQ Celebration’. The latter project, featuring Jim Hart on vibraphone, continued to perform after Garrick’s death, with Matt taking on the mantle of band leader. Well established on the contemporary jazz scene, he has worked with Tim Garland, Ant Law, Gary Husband, Jason Yarde, and Leon Foster-Thomas.

As a band leader, he has performed across the UK at major jazz festivals and made three albums and one EP of original compositions: Thymos (2013), Metta (2016), The Antidote (2021) and The Antidote Reloaded (2022). All albums were warmly received, in particular, The Antidote, which was nominated for ‘Best Album’ in the 2022 Parliamentary Jazz Awards, and received rave reviews in DownbeatBBC Music MagazinePresto Music, and Jazzwise, who placed the album in their ’20 best jazz albums of 2021′.

Matt is actively involved in education, and in addition to a thriving private teaching practice, he is Head of Jazz at the Brentwood School in Essex, where he teaches improvisation on all instruments and directs the senior and junior jazz ensembles.
Matt Ridley Link tree

Wesley Gibbens



Wesley Gibbens is originally from Durban, South Africa where he was a long-time member of The Melvin Peters Quartet. This group memorably represented their country at the Fin de Siecle showcase of South African culture in Nantes, France. He was also the drum teacher at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s program for extra-mural and disadvantaged students from 2003 to 2005.

Wesley moved to London in 2005 and has played drums with The Darius Brubeck Quartet since its inception a year later.  His South African roots also earned him a place touring internationally with the late SA legends Lucky Ranku and Pinise Saul as well as recording and touring with Zimbabwean singer, Netsayi, Ghanaian percussionist Afla Sackey and the South African Gospel Singers.

He studied Brazilian and African music with Barak Schmool in the UK as part of the F-ire collective from 2009-2016. Recent releases under F-ire include three duo albums with fellow F-ire member Zac Gvirtzman under the name Euphorials.

Wesley has his own mix and mastering studio where he has produced, mixed and played on two recent albums, Steve Somers Long Road Home and a trio album Dysfunctional Family featuring Ben Somers and Rob Updegraff.

Other projects include touring and recording with British pianist and singer TJ Johnson and he was featured on his latest album, Songs from the Jazz Country.