Double bassist and composer Calum Gourlay is a leading light amongst the new generation of creative improvising musicians in Europe. As a bassist, he is known already for his deep warm tone, controlled execution as both a supporter and improviser, and rock solid time and pulse. Born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1986, he began his musical journey playing the cello in primary school and by the age of fourteen started the double bass, having developed a serious interest in jazz and improvised music. Gourlay’s talents were noticed by many of Scotland’s premier jazz artists, and as a result he became the first bassist selected for the then ‘brand new’ Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra as well as the bass chair in the NYJOS and FYJO.
By 2004, Calum was ready to start University, and as a result of his standout talents, he was picked as the only jazz acoustic bass player for the Royal Academy of Music Class of 2004, which is one of the most competitive schools of higher learning to gain admission in all of Europe. Graduating with first class honors with a B.Mus.(Jazz) degree in 2008, Gourlay has since become a mainstay on the London scene while performing regularly up and down the UK and Mainland Europe. Already a very experienced young musician, Calum has performed or recorded with many illustrious names including the Kit Downes Trio, the Tommy Smith Group, Will Vinson, The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra featuring Joe Lovano, John Schofield, and Kurt Elling, Martin Speake, Martin Kershaw, Stacey Kent, Sheila Jordan and Trish Clowes.
“Mature bass playing beyond his years” – The Herald
“Enthralling and oh so satisfying” – London Jazz Blog