Orphy Robinson MBE

London boy Orphy is a vibraphonist & multi-instrumentalist, he’s written music for TV, film, theatre, opera and even contemporary classical music. What he doesn’t know about jazz, funk, soul and fusion just isn’t worth knowing…

Audiences first discovered his musical skills while he played with saxophonist Courtney Pine in the 1980’s big band Jazz Warriors, and Orphy was also an original member of the Brit Funk set up Savanna in which he also came to prominence during the early days of his career.

In the 1990’s he released two critically acclaimed solo albums on the world famous Blue Note label ‘When Tomorrow Comes’ and ‘The Vibes Describes’. Orphy has worked alongside artists such as Nigel KennedyWynton MarsalisHugh MasekelaSpringheel JackSunny MurrayMica ParisImaginationCentral LineJunior GiscombeKenny ThomasJean-Paul “Bluey” MaunickNeneh Cherry and many more.

He’s continued to work in education and has been recognised nationally with a nomination for Jazz Educator of the Year at the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Awards. He is also a founder member of EDGE (The Shape of Things to Come) a group of artists, writers and promoters curating events originally pitched as a fringe to the London Jazz Festival.

Orphy about to do his DJ set in the Connoisseurs Corner at Summer Soulstice 2017. Photo by Jenny B © Summer Soulstice Ltd.

We’ve had the honour of Orphy performing at two Summer Soulstice events; in 2009 with Beggar & Co (The Original Light Of The World) and again the following year with Savanna, who themselves were doing their first live performance in some twenty years.

His work as a composer has led to commissions for contemporary dance companies including the Phoenix Dance and has performed in notable venues including the Royal Albert Hall, the Houses of Parliament and the Hackney Empire, the latter being where he has led the Music Education department successfully for several years. In 2018 he was awarded an MBE from Her Majesty the Queen, for his services to music.

Orphy’s a big a fan of Summer Soulstice, as we are of him. He’s been an event regular as both performer, punter and DJ (the latter in 2017 alongside his better half Ruth Fisher). He’s still busy playing and touring and you can also him him on the airwaves every Sunday afternoon on Delite Radio show, ‘Jazz Joint Jukebox’

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