Led by composer and conductor Ben Cottrell, Beats & Pieces Big Band see themselves as a band that happens to be big, rather than your average ‘big band’. They’re an extremely tightknit bunch, meeting as students in Manchester and growing up and developing musically individually and collectively within the city’s exciting scene. First playing together as Beats & Pieces in 2008, today these fourteen musicians know each other inside out socially and musically, and this familiarity is part of what sets them aside from a lot of other big bands today. The music is an expression of the band’s members and their varied musical backgrounds and activities, all brought together in Ben Cottrell’s inspired writing. His compositions reflect the diversity of music that people of their generation have grown up surrounded by, and as such are influenced as much by Michael Jackson, Björk or Radiohead as they are Duke Ellington, Gil Evans or Loose Tubes.