Simon Roth

Percussion Tutor and Workshop Leader


I am a musician whose work straddles the contemporary and traditional. I grew up in a house of musicians wedged between an old forest, the M25 and the Metropolitan line, immersed in Big Band Jazz, Free Improv, Classical music, Klezmer, 1960s Pop and a well worn tape of the Metropolitan Police Big Band performing The A Team Theme Tune, which was the sound of adventure in the form of press rolls and brass swells. Since then I have performed across Europe, North and South America and Asia. UK Performance highlights include Ronnie Scott’s International Piano Trio Festival, South Bank Centre, Kings Place Festival and opening the EFG London Jazz Festival. Other festival appearances include Lattitude, Green Man, Shambala and Wilderness.

I have written for and led groups such as Mayday Project, Stories and Land of If and collaborated with Mercury-nominated folk singer Sam Lee, experimental punk band Magnus Loom and multi-award winning vocalist Lauren Kinsella. As a drummer I was a longstanding member of Elliot Galvin’s trio and Ghanaian-inspired band Vula Viel. In 2017 I toured the UK with legendary US saxophonist Chris Potter as part of ten-piece chamber ensemble Inner City Ensemble, premiering Chris’ original music. My music has been performed at the BBC Proms and broadcast widely on national radio and I have appeared on critically acclaimed recordings by Elliot Galvin Trio, Engines Orchestra, Vula Viel, Lauren Kinsella’s Thought-Fox, Resolute and Raph Clarkson’s Dissolute Society and Fran & Flora.

I work across theatre, dance and film, with productions for Turner Contemporary, Happy Days International Beckett Festival, Sefiroth, Rich Mix and London Jewish Film Festival. I ran the cross-arts platform Pop-Up Circus, staging exhibitions and live events in unlikely locations around London, which has since evolved into the interactive arts party Soapbox Circus. My studies have connected me with 20th Century masters, Carnatic music, Klezmer, Jazz and Electroacoustic music. I was fortunate to spend time absorbing the wisdom of world-renowned jazz innovators John Taylor, Julian Arguelles, Paul Clarvis, Barak Schmool and Tom Rainey.