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Aquarium are:

Sam Leak - Piano/Composition
James Allsopp - Tenor Saxophone/Bass Clarinet
Calum Gourlay - Double Bass
Joshua Blackmore - Drums

Their debut album was recorded in 2009 and released to a fantastic critical reception, alongside an extensive Arts Council funded national tour, in the summer of 2011 on the prestigious Babel Label . This was featured as one of the top 10 international Jazz albums of 2011 in MOJO Magazine, where it was described as "Multi-faceted and smart as a pin, this is poetic chamber Jazz of a very high order"(Chris Ingham). In April 2012 they recorded their second album for the exciting new label Jellymould Jazz . This was released in 2013 and received rave reviews, described by BBC Music Magazine's Daniel Spicer as "assured and sophisticated acoustic jazz with deep roots in the tradition, that knows exactly what it's trying to do - and succeeds." 

Album credits:

The first Aquarium album was recorded in December 2009 at Porcupine Studios . It was engineered by Nick Taylor, produced by Richard Fairhurst, and mixed by Steve Lowe. 'Places' was recorded in April 2012 at Curtis Schwartz Studio, where it was mixed and mastered by Curtis Schwartz.


To purchase Aquarium albums click the following links.

- Aquarium

- Places 

Sam often leads the 'Late Late Shows' at the world famous Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club. Here he performs a variety of music from the Jazz canon with some of the leading lights of the Jazz scene. Previous performances have featured Iain Ballamy, Stan Sulzmann, Julian Arguelles and Colin Stranahan."



The Sam Leak Big Band formed in 2015 to perform "Summer Tales and Winding Roads," Sam's extended suite for large ensemble. Sometimes rich and and sonorous and at others eerily sparse, the writing conjures up a journey across America and all of the encounters along the way. 

‘an impressively mature piece of work… I thought Leak’s suite [for big band] was superb and represented a considerable artistic achievement.’ Ian Mann, The Jazz Mann

To date the suite has been featured in three London Jazz Festivals, promoted by Serious. 

Conductor – Kim Macari

Sam Mayne - Alto Saxophone/Clarinet
Simon Marsh - Alto Saxophone/Clarinet/Alto Flute
Alec Harper - Tenor Saxophone/Clarinet/Soprano Saxophone
Lluis Mather - Tenor Saxophone/Bass Clarinet
Sam Rapley - Baritone Saxophone/Bass Clarinet

Louis Dowdeswell - Lead Trumpet/Flugelhorn
Percy Pursglove - Trumpet/Flugelhorn
Robbie Robson - Trumpet/Flugelhorn
Miguel Gorodi - Trumpet/Flugelhorn 

Trevor Mires - Lead Trombone
Tom White - Trombone
Patrick Hayes - Trombone
Yusuf Oliver Narçin - Bass Trombone

Sam Leak - Piano/Composition
Oli Hayhurst - Double Bass
Jon Scott - Drums


The Alex Merritt/Sam Leak Quartet have been touring heavily across the UK, notably including performances at Brecon Jazz Festival, and the London Jazz Festival. Sam and Alex have a particular penchant for producing reharmonisations and arrangements of standard compositions, as well as composing their own repertoire for the group. 

Recently they have been exploring some of the lesser played Thelonious Monk repertoire.


Projects that Sam has performed and recorded with include: 

- Mark Perry/Duncan Eagles Quintet
- Ant Law Quintet
- Anita Wardell Quartet
- Henry Spencer's 'Juncture'
- Locus
- Enzo Zirilli's 'Acoustic Report'
- Louise Gibbs Septet
- Filipe Monteiro Group
- Leo Appleyard Quintet
- Paul Jordanous
- Matt Fishwick Quartet
- The Spike Orchestra
- Alula
- Ray Warleigh Quintet
- Matt Roberts Big Band
- Hayden Prosser's 'Elision Quintet
- Chris Rand Quintet
- Simians of Swing
- Wildflower Sextet

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