Born in Kendal, Cumbria Gavin Barras studied music at the University of Manchester, receiving private tuition from Roberto Carillo-Garcia and Corin Long. Whist studying classical music Gavin continued developing his love for jazz and received lessons from Steve Berry in jazz bass. Gavin is a busy working musician, actively involved in several recording and touring projects both in the UK and abroad. His influences on bass include Ray Brown, Paul Chambers, Wilbur Ware, Charlie Haden, Christian McBride, George Mraz, Hein van de Geyn and electric bassist Jaco Pastorius. Gavin is also heavily influenced by Chet Baker, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Enrico Pieranunzi and Billy Higgins.
He has performed at jazz festivals such as London, Manchester, Brecon, Glasgow, Wigan, Southport and Birmingham. Overseas he has appeared at the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands and in 2010 travelled to Taiwan to perform at the Taipai International Jazz Festival.
Recent and forthcoming venues Gavin has performed at include Ronnie Scott’s (London), Pizza Express Jazz Club (London), The Vortex (London), Royal Festival Hall (London), King’s Place (London), Matt and Phred’s Jazz Club (Manchester), The Bridgewater Hall (Manchester), Symphony Hall (Birmingham), Dizzy’s Jazz Club (Rotterdam), Sounds Jazz Club (Brussels), Music Village (Brussels), Cafe Alto (Amsterdam).
Gavin has played with musicians such as saxophonists Tim Garland, Dave O’Higgins, Iain Dixon and Ed Jones; trumpeters Neil Yates and Steve Waterman; pianists Les Chisnall, Dan Whieldon, Rick Simpson and Zoe Rahman; guitarists Mike Walker, Stuart McCallum, Gary Boyle and Mike Outram; drummers Luke Flowers, Dave Walsh, Jon Scott, Pat Illingworth and Eryl Roberts.
Gavin is currently a member of several groups including EU4, Dan Whieldon Trio, Jadid Ensemble, Ducie, Mercury, John Sarah Ellen Hughes Band, 6Pac Jazz Sextet, Nat Birchall Band, Matthew Halsall Band, Unfurl and Steve Plews Trio.
A founding member of the jazz quartet EU4, Gavin has toured the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands and Belgium. The band features musicians from Slovakia, Germany, Holland and the UK and they recorded their debut album in 2008 on GLP Records. Their second album was released on the Netherlands’ OAP Records in October 2011. Recorded near Amsterdam, it features original compositions by Gavin and the rest of the band.
As a member of the Matthew Halsall Quintet Gavin has featured on three critically acclaimed albums and, in 2011 appeared on Jamie Cullum’s BBC Radio 2 jazz show. He has also been involved in several live sessions for BBC 6 Music and for Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Show on BBC Radio One with both the Matthew Halsall and Nat Birchall Bands.
Recent and forthcoming activities include recording the debut album of The Steve Plews Triowhich was launched in November 2011 at the London Jazz Festival, performing at Ronnie Scott’s as part of the Brit Jazz festival in August 2011, playing with the Gondwana Orchestra at Brecon Cathedral as part of the Brecon Jazz Festival 2011 and touring Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany with EU4 in January 2012. In January 2012 Gavin will be recording his debut solo album featuring Ed Jones on Tenor Saxophone, Corey Mwamba on Vibes, Steve Plews on Piano and Dave Walsh on Drums. It will be released later in 2012 on ASC Records
Gavin is committed to teaching and, in addition to a large portfolio of students at his home in Glossop (www.highstreetmusic.co.uk), has worked as a tutor at the Dartington Jazz Summer School for the last five years and has been involved in Live Music Now as a member of 6Pac Jazz Ensemble delivering regular education workshops in schools, prisons, young offenders institutions and hospitals.