Rob Mitchell

Principal Lecturer: Jazz


Job title: Principal Lecturer: Jazz

Courses taught: Foundation Year, BA (Hons) Music (Jazz)

Specialisms: saxophone, composition, jazz performance, musical direction 

Saxophonist and composer, Rob Mitchell (BA, MMus, PGCE) is a former student of Dave O’Higgins and began studying the saxophone aged 15 at Hartwick College, New York. There he studied under drummer Justin DiCioccio (Manhattan School of Music) and discovered his love of big bands and jazz performance.

After studying his Masters degree, Rob performed and toured with bands including Martha Reeves, Candi Staton, The Haggis Horns, Roy Wood, Tony Christie, The Craig Charles Fantasy Funk Band, The Brand New Heavies, Alexander O’Neal, Jaki Graham, Dominic Miller, The BBC Big Band, Dennis Rollins, Mike Gibbs, Ian Ballamy, Dave O’Higgins, Alan Barnes, Lisa Stansfield and Juliet Roberts.

Rob continues to perform around the world and some of the most memorable performances include Proms in the Park 2013 (Hyde Park) with The Craig Charles Fantasy Funk band in front of 45,000 people and broadcast on the BBC, Glastonbury with Kava Kava, supporting the legendary Sharon Jones And The Dap-Kings at ‘The Ritz’ in Manchester and The Strictly Come Dancing Live Show.

Rob has featured on many recordings including those by The BBC Big Band, Jaki Graham, Lisa Stansfield, Submotion Orchestra, The Haggis Horns and Abstract Orchestra.

Festivals have included Glastonbury, London Jazz Festival, Proms in The Park, Freedom Festival, The Garden Festival, Croatia, La Sala de Carabanchel, Madrid, Mostly Jazz Festival and Manchester Jazz festival.

Rob has appeared on radio, television and has been interviewed for a number of publications including BBC Four, BBC Radio 2&3, BBC Radio 6, Saxophone & Clarinet Magazine and KVM Magazine.

In 2011 Rob began an exciting new venture into online publishing, getting many of his jazz and pop arrangements published through Jazzwise, which are available for download at

Over the last few years Rob has channelled his energy into his group ‘Abstract Orchestra’, a big band that fuses jazz orchestration with hip-hop, where he is composer/arranger and producer. The band is made up of some of the best musicians in the UK that have toured and recorded with Jamiroquai, Corinne Bailey Rae, Amy Winehouse and Submotion Orchestra. The group has seen quick success and has featured in Time Out London’s top ten gigs list, and just recently completed a sell-out tour performing the music of hip-hop producer J Dilla. Their debut album ‘Dilla’ is available on ATA records and has featured on Gilles Peterson’s BBC 6 music show. They have supported Mos Def, Talib Kweli and De La Soul, as well as filming for the MOBO awards. Their next tour will be interpretations of the music of MADVILLAIN, which has already seen success in London, selling out three consecutive weeks at the Jazz Café and XOYO.

Rob is an award-wining teacher and has taught at Leeds College of Music for the last ten years. He is a Principal Lecturer on the BA Music (Jazz) course, tutoring in saxophone and composition one to one lessons. Rob also delivers composition and musical direction lectures and is module co-ordinator for composition.

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