TORI HANDSLEY - Electric Harp
RUTH GOLLER - Bass
MOSES BOYD - Drums
The Tori Handsley Trio is a contemporary, electric-harp led trio which draws upon a myriad of rock, jazz, reggae and latin influences, taking the harp into a new context, using FX pedals and showcasing an entirely unique sound alongside two of the most creative, ground-breaking leaders on their instruments, Ruth Goller & Moses Boyd.
“Tori Handsley took the harp into unexplored territory with her open-minded, mesmerizing post-EST compositions and freely improvising young trio at Soho's Spice of Life.”
Selwyn Harris, Jazzwise.
The trio performs original compositions written by band leader Tori Handsley with catchy, rocky riffs, heavy driving bass, loud drums n' bass rhythms, reggae grooves... splattered with layers of improvisation. Particular influences include: EST, Neil Cowley Trio, Bad Plus, Keith Jarrett, Dorothy Ashby, Magnus Ostrom, Nigel Kennedy, Debussy, McCoy Tyner & Mahavishnu Orchestra.
Composer, arranger and performer, Tori has worked with artists including Nigel Kennedy, Binker & Moses, Shabaka Hutchings, and Orphy Robinson and is renowned for her unique take on the harp, hailed as "Definitely one to watch" by Mike Chadwick - from his show Cutting Edge, Jazz FM
Tori comes together with Moses Boyd (Winner MOBO Award 2015, Steve Reid Innovation Award, Floating Points, 4tet, Binker & Moses), and Ruth Goller (Acoustic Ladyland, Melt Yourself Down, Rokia Toure, Let Spin). With their respective jazz and punk-improv backgrounds, they meld together to create an innovative tapestry of sound, exciting new audiences who often say they don't usually like the harp!
"I've seen her live a couple of times, she's played down at Jazz in the Round at the Cockpit theatre and she is really, really fascinating to watch... you don't really get that many harp players in jazz and to sit up close and watch her working what must be a really difficult instrument to master, is a joy indeed."
Jez Nelson - from his show 'Somethin Else' Jazz FM
Tori is passionate about demonstrating the versatility of the harp, to break down preconceptions about the instrument, and bring the harp into everyday society. Through her music, she tells stories about the world from her experiences, hoping to empower others to consider their place in an ever changing world.
Through her music and work in the community, she hopes to inspire other artists, especially young women to do something different, and daring and step out from the crowd.
"Tori Handsley has been steadily building an enviable reputation on the harp with some groundbreaking performances of new music and at the same time highlighting her resilience and dedication to bring her art to audiences. Tori is an essential music force that needs to be experienced by as many thinking musicians and audiences as possible.
"The hard work that I have witnessed her put in and the level of thought and professional dedication that goes into each and every concert, is to be admired.
"She is without doubt steadily becoming one of the most exciting and original musicians on the UK scene."
Orphy Robinson, Musician (Blue Note)
"I first met Tori Handsley through the radical Warriors International 'FREEDOM! The Art Of Improvisation' sessions. Her punky attitude and bold approach to the harp led me to working with her on the 'Enlightenment - In The Spirit Of 'A Love Supreme' concerts. Tori's radical new trio is built around her own carefully crafted compositions and features excellent electric bassist Ruth Goller and in-demand trap drummer Moses Boyd. This threesome joins a new generation of trios, like GoGo Penguin, who are pioneering new dimensions, expanding expectations and successfully reaching out to fresh audiences. Time to check them out."
Paul Bradshaw, Straight No Chaser - Former Editor/Publisher; Ancient to Future.
The Trio has performed at venues including: The Purcell Room, Ronnie Scotts, Jazz in the Round, and the Vortex. The trio's self titled EP, released both in CD format as well as online, was promoted by Mike Chadwick both on his show 'The Cutting Edge' Jazz FM and on Soulandjazz.com:
"Not an instrument you hear that often, and certainly not as a lead instrument" Mike Chadwick congratulated Tori on "making some amazing music on the harp".
One of the highlights of her career was touring with her childhood hero, Nigel Kennedy, as part of his band for his Duke Ellington tour, and one of the most inspiring experiences of her life. Tori has since performed with artists including: Shabaka Hutchings, Pat Thomas, Mark Mondesir, Rowland Sutherland, Neil Charles, Claude Deppa, Doug Boyle, and recorded on the acclaimed Kairos 4tet album ‘Everything we Hold’ and is a collaborator for the Engines Orchestra (Winner of Jazz Parliamentary Ensemble Award).
Tori co-hosts 'Freedom' a monthly improvisation night at the Vortex, with Orphy Robinson and Cleveland Watkiss, and is a member of Warriors International.