Carlos Lopez-Real MA (Oxon) LGSM, FHEA
“Carlos plays with a sound that comes from his soul.” David Liebman
Carlos has been a professor at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama since 2007. As a core member of the jazz department he leads the Contemporary Jazz course, coaches small ensembles, gives one-to-one lessons in improvisation, harmony, rhythm and composition to a wide range of instrumentalists and singers, and sits on internal/external exam boards. He is also a mentor for the Performance Matters course, and part of the jazz summer school team.
Aside from his work at Guildhall, Carlos has been a visiting tutor at the Royal Academy of Music, the Royal College of Music and Leeds College of Music. He taught for 15 years in various schools and still teaches saxophone at the Purcell School. He has tutored on many jazz summer schools, and runs workshops for jazz clubs up and down the country, including a seven year residency at JAGZ in Ascot (1997-2004). His series of play-along books is published by Spartan Press, and he is currently working on a book about learning jazz improvisation through transcription. An eloquent speaker, he is often asked to give pre-concert talks.
As a player, Carlos is an in-demand saxophonist. His quintet Mandorla released its debut CD in 2009, when they toured the UK extensively. This band spawned several other projects, including a quartet with singer Fini Bearman (who featured on the Mandorla album singing Carlos’s settings of poems by Carol Ann Duffy), and a new duo project with singer (and Guildhall colleague) Brigitte Beraha involving live looping and sound processing. In addition to jazz, Carlos’s composing is influenced by classical composers such as Steve Reich and John Adams, the singer Bjork and North Indian improvised music.
As a sideman, Carlos has featured on over 15 albums, as well as numerous session recordings. He been involved with the F-IRE collective for a number of years, having recorded and toured with many bands such as Justin Quinn's Bakehouse (featured on their award-winning album 'Before I Forget'), Tom Arthurs' Centripede, Jonathan Bratoeff's Quintet, Barak Schmool's Meta Meta, and the F-IRE large ensemble for whom he composed several tunes. Additionally, he has collaborated with Zoe Rahman, Gary Husband and the Nicolas Meier Group, and held the sax chair in John Mayer's classic band Indo-Jazz Fusions. He has also featured with salsa greats Roberto Pla, Machito jnr and Tito Rodriguez jnr, most recently on a BBC TV documentary about salsa music.
Carlos is also active as a promoter on the jazz scene. In 2007 he founded ‘E17 jazz’, London’s newest jazz collective. The weekly gigs showcase both younger local players like John Turville, as well as veterans of the scene like Stan Sulzmann. He applied for, and managed, successful grant applications to the Arts Council of England, PRS for Music Foundation, Jazz Services and Apex Arts. In 2009 he curated the Walthamstow jazz festival, commissioning Liam Noble to compose a new suite of music for the E17 jazz large ensemble. In 2008 he also promoted weekly gigs at Smollenskys on the Strand.
Before his postgraduate studies at Guildhall (and subsequent further study in the USA with David Liebman) Carlos gained a degree in Psychology and Philosophy from St Hugh’s College, Oxford. His psychology background has always been very useful for his work as an educator, and additionally he has been able to bring both psychology and music together through his work as a consultant. He has led workshops for both UK and multinational companies, primarily using small-group jazz improvisation as a metaphor for leadership and team-building skills. He has participated in conferences in the UK, Hungary and Romania. Carlos lives in Walthamstow, London, with his wife and two children.
"Very impressive debut...” Jazzwise
“Gorgeously lyrical and infectiously rhythmic… [Lopez-Real is] not only a vibrant improviser, but also a composer and arranger of substance.” All About Jazz.
“richly melodic originals and powerful, snaking solos.” Time Out
“Lopez-Real has a nice line in Lee Konitz smokiness but also its opposite, a raw and explosive multiphonics that suggests the Argentinian Gato Barbieri.”
John Fordham, Guardian