ARQ – Alison Rayner Quintet

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Last Show: Wednesday 3 rd November 2021

PizzaExpress Jazz Club (Soho)

Led by bassist and composer Alison Rayner, multi award-winning quintet ARQ are widely celebrated from several years of extensive UK and European touring. Their music combines richly nuanced compositions, rhythmic interplay and folk-infused melodies; this, along with their love of improvisation, creates a strong sense of narrative and cinematic quality. ARQ play ‘songs without words’ and are lauded for their vibrant, communicative performances.

"A collection of eight perfectly formed originals"

BBC Music Magazine

ARQ’s  third album Short Stories (released October 2019), supported by Arts Council England and PRS Foundation, has received extensive national / international radio play and press acclaim. Promotional touring was halted by the pandemic in Spring 2020; this now resumes with an appearance at Ronnie Scott’s and regional touring from October 2021.

Short Stories reviews

  • A collection of eight perfectly formed originals. BBC Music Magazine
  • Memories brought to lif.e The Observer 
  • A great album. All About Jazz
  • A thing of beauty, an album that celebrates life. Something Else 
  • Another impeccable album featuring warm, colourful, intelligent writing and exceptional playing. 1/2 


  • Ivor Novello Composer Award 2019 Alison Rayner
  • All PartyParliamentary Jazz Award 2018 Ensemble of the Year  
  • British Jazz Award 2018 Best Small Group

Band Line Up

Alison Rayner (double/fretless bass)

Buster Birch (drums / percussion)

Deirdre Cartwright (guitar)

Diane McLoughlin (saxophones)

Steve Lodder (piano)