Jim Collins – Saxophones / Flute
Jim studied Popular Music and Recording at Salford University College, completing his degree in 1996. He is first and foremost an alto saxophonist, but also performs on tenor and baritone saxes and flute. His style is primarily based in bebop, taking influences from Cannonball Adderley, Charlie Parker and Dexter Gordon.
Jim has performed at numerous venues across the North West, and has been a regular performer at the Manchester Jazz Festival. Jim performs regularly with The Freddie Garner Quartet and The Stuart Riley Octet. He has performed and recorded with Nearly Dan, Orchestra Timbala and Bamjimba. He also works in music education, teaching woodwind in Stockport schools.
Helen Pillinger – Saxophones
Helen is a Manchester-based saxophonist specialising in tenor and alto; the influences of Stan Getz and Joe Henderson can be traced in her warm and melodic approach to the instrument.
Born into a musical family, Helen didn’t take up music until her early 20s, after obtaining her Psychology degree at Manchester University. After establishing herself as a player on the local jazz scene, she soon secured places studying at Leeds College of Music and then Salford University. She is currently finishing off The Dalcroze Certificate (level) qualification at the RNCM.
Helen has performed in countless jazz bands over the last twenty years, including contemporary jazz band Whirl, who toured the North West throughout the late 1990s and recorded music for an Afternoon Play on BBC Radio 4. Other regular ensembles include Julian Howison’s jazz-funk ensemble ‘Ninety-Eight Percen’t and Hugh Peters’ ‘Sargasso Township Jazz Band’, all of which have performed at venues and events across the region, including the Manchester Jazz Festival. More recently Helen has played with bands such as ‘M6’ , ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’ and the piano and saxophone duo ‘Counterpoint’.
Helen has contributed music to theatre pieces, such as recorded scores for the award-winning Glee Club Performance Company, and has produced live improvised accompaniment for performance pieces at Contact Theatre, Manchester. Helen also works as an instrumental teacher in several schools across the Greater Manchester area.
Will Lenton – Saxophones
Will Lenton is a tenor saxophonist working as a composer, performer and teacher from his home in Cornholme, West Yorkshire. He studied Ecology and Anthropology at Durham University for his first degree, but having played music all his life he retrained, receiving his masters in Music Performance from Salford University in 2009.
Will is the founder and Musical Director of Mr Wilson’s Second Liners (ACE GfA funded) alongside being a founder member of HSQ. He is a saxophonist, multi-instrumentalist and composer and has worked in the Outdoor Arts Sector since 2008, performing in street, site specific, touring and participatory projects. Will has worked with many of the Northwest’s leading companies including Wired Aerial Theatre, Walk the Plank, Pif-Paf and Canopy as a performer, composer and musical director.
Kyran Matthews – Saxophones
An eclectic and dynamic musician, Kyran is a graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music, where he studied under Rob Buckland and became the only saxophonist to win all of the colleges major soloist competitions, including winning the coveted RNCM Gold Medal. Whilst completing his undergraduate studies, he also became one of the youngest wind players to ever be awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Schools of Music. As a classical artist Kyran has performed concertos at the Bridgewater Hall, World Saxophone Congress and Haden Freeman Concert Hall, in addition to solo recitals at the South Bank Centre and numerous other venues across the UK and South Africa. Kyran also regularly freelances with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and his commissioned and performed over 40 works for saxophone. Kyran’s jazz playing has seen him perform at festivals and clubs across Western Europe and South Africa as both a sideman and a leader. He has also performed with such prestigious groups as NYJO and Beats ‘n’ Pieces.
Helena Summerfield – Saxophones / Flute / Clarinet
Helena studied saxophone at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where her teachers included John Harle and Martin Hathaway. She studied doubling instruments – flute and clarinet with Glenn Martin. Helena then completed a PGCE in Secondary Music at the Institute of Education, London University.
Helena has worked in music education since 1999, firstly as a secondary music teacher and then as a peripatetic woodwind teacher. She currently works for Trafford Music Service where she is responsible for directing their youth Jazz Collective.
Outside of her education role Helena continues to be an active performer and can be heard in the Manchester based bands Zamani, M6, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Moody Elf and Vibrant P. Helena has also played in two “Irwin Mitchell MJF Originals” commissions – Mike Hall’s ‘The Felonious Monks’ and John Ellis’ ‘Evolution – Seeds and Streams’.
As the main composer for HSQ, Helena enjoys writing music in a variety of styles and loves to see audiences responding positively to her music.
HSQ previous performances
Manchester Jazz Festival, 2012
Liverpool Jazz Festival, 2013
The Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester
The Manchester Art Gallery
The Live Theatre, Newcastle
The Lescar, Sheffield
Glyde House, Bradford
The Slug and Lettuce, Didsbury, Manchester
The Hillary Step, Manchester
The Railway, Stockport
How monkey found his swing
Manchester Jazz Festival, 2015
The Just So Festival, Cheshire, 2016
The Birmingham Symphony Hall (Family picnic programme) 2016
The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester (A little bite music series) 2017
Manchester Jazz Festival, 2017