Simon Purcell


Head of Jazz Department, Jazz Piano, Improvisation

Area of work

Professorial Staff (Jazz Piano), improvisation classes, research into teaching and learning of jazz improvisation.

Contact details


Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Faculty of Music, King Charles Court, Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, London, SE10 9JF

Email: [email protected]

Phone One: +44 (0)20 8305 4392



Simon Purcell is one of Britain’s most accomplished contemporary jazz pianists. A graduate of Trinity College of Music in 1980, he has performed both as leader and sideman with amongst others - Red Rodney, Kenny Wheeler, Eddie Henderson, Stan Sulzmann, Jean Tousaint, Valerie Ponomarev, Dale Barlow, Gene Calderazzo, Julian Arguelles, Bobby Shew, Julian Siegel, Conrad Erwig, and Steve Williamson. A committed educationalist, Simon is the author of published educational research and as a highly respected teacher, many of Britain’s most accomplished jazz musicians are past students.

Qualifications / Educational Background

  • Trinity College of Music GTCL
  • Goldsmiths College PGCE

Teaching Experience

  • Trinity Laban - Head of Jazz Department, (appointed 2005).
  • Professor of Jazz Improvisation and Piano, Teacher of jazz improvisation, combos.
  • Guildhall School of Music & Drama - Professor of Jazz Improvisation and Piano, 1988 - 2005.
  • Course Tutor, 1997 -2005. Co-Leader of Staff Development Research Project and Mentoring Scheme and for Music Studies teachers at GSMD, 1999 - 2001.
  • Co-Director University of Glamorgan Summer School, Jazz Course (formerly Barry Summer School) 1987 - 2006.

Creative Outputs


  • Teacher Research in the Conservatoire in The Reflective Conservatoire: Studies in Music Education, published Ashgate2005.


  • Make Someone Happy (CD) with Liane Carroll - 2010
  • Women Have Standards (CD) with Anita Wardell - 1993
  • Green Chimneys (CD) with Cleveland Watkiss - 1991

External appointments

  • Higher Education advisor to National Youth Jazz Orchestra 2009 - ongoing
  • University of Auckland (NZ) Music Faculty Review 2008
  • External Examining: Leeds College of Music: 2005 - 2009; Middlesex University: Undergraduate Jazz Course 2000 - 2005; Birmingham Conservatoire: Undergraduate Jazz Course, 2000 - 2004.
  • Goldsmiths College: Certificate in Jazz & Popular Music, 1995 -1997.
  • Royal Academy of Music, Post Graduate Jazz Education modules, 2004.
  • Consultant to Birmingham Conservatoire Undergraduate Jazz Course, 1999 - 2001
  • Educational Director and Consultant National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Scotland, 2001 - 02.


Jazz Educationalist of the Year Award from the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Committee - 2006.

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