David Milligan (biography)

Dave Milligan, born and raised in the Scottish Borders, is a pianist whose musical imagination flows freely between jazz improvisation and the traditional airs and dance meters of his native Scotland. In a professional career spanning fifteen years, Dave has performed throughout Europe, USA, Canada, Australia and Asia.

Many will know him from his earlier work in mainstream jazz with leading figures such as Carol Kidd, Scott Hamilton and Art Farmer, but in more recent years Dave has also become familiar to a new audience. His interest in traditional & folk music inspired a unique crossover piano style which has featured most prominently in the critically-acclaimed Bachué, with harpist and singer Corrina Hewat, in the duo with concertina virtuoso Simon Thoumire, as a core member of the Catriona Macdonald band, and in the 22-piece folk orchestra The Unusual Suspects, which he and Hewat masterminded.

Folk music also has a strong presence in Milligan’s work in the jazz scene; mainly in the trio with bassist Tom Lyne and drummer Tom Bancroft, but also in his crucial role as pianist and arranger for award-winning trumpeter Colin Steele’s Quintet and 10-piece Stramash. The essence of Dave’s own music however, continues to be improvisation and a fascination for juxtaposing styles has earned him an enviable reputation as one of the UK’s most individual voices.

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