Billy Marrows is a London-based award-winning guitarist and composer/arranger.
Billy Marrows is a London-based jazz guitarist and award-winning composer. He leads the Billy Marrows Band, the Billy Marrows Big Band and a new chamber jazz ensemble Grande Família. Billy is a member of projects across a broad spectrum of the London jazz scene such as Huw V Williams’ Di-Cysgodion, OK Aurora and the Tom Ridout Quintet. He has toured in the UK and Europe with Chelsea Carmichael, the Tom Barford Group, Patchwork Jazz Orchestra and Tom Ridout and has appeared on a number of albums, including Amsterdam-based Sam Newbould’s Bogus Notus and Tom Barford's Bloomer, released on Edition records.
With all proceeds going to World Child Cancer, Billy's debut album Penelope will be released on the 26th of January 2024, in memory of his mum Penny. The album features Billy’s new chamber jazz group, Grande Família, both as a 12-piece ensemble and in smaller combinations, interspersed with intimate solo guitar vignettes. The first single A Grande Família was released for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and its video was premiered by Jazzwise. Billy also has more music in the pipeline with the Billy Marrows Band, and played a sold out show with the Billy Marrows Big Band at The Vortex Jazz Club on the last day of the 2023 London Jazz Festival.
Billy won the 2019 Eddie Harvey Jazz Arranger of the Year Award as well as both the small ensemble and big band category of the Dankworth Prize for Jazz Composition in 2016 and 2018 respectively. His composition Genmaicha was released by Patchwork Jazz Orchestra on their record The Light That Shines and he has been commissioned to write compositions/arrangements for singer-songwriter Hohnen-Ford and Berlin based Fabia Mantwill Orchestra. He wrote a suite for his octet inspired by gamelan for the 2016 Lancaster Youth Jazz Commission and his music has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and JazzFM. In 2018, Billy studied with Vince Mendoza at the Metropole Orkest Arrangers Workshop in Holland; his arrangement of Man in the Mirror was performed at the Lantaren Venster Rotterdam by the Metropole Orkest and Becca Stevens.
An alumnus of the Royal Academy of Music in London, Billy graduated with a first-class degree in jazz guitar performance in 2017. During this time he studied improvisation and composition with many UK and international jazz luminaries including Mike Walker, Pete Churchill and Barak Schmool. Billy is also involved in a range of music education work including for Guildhall Young Artists, the National Youth Jazz Collective and lectures jazz guitar at Morley College.
Billy is grateful for the support of Help Musicians UK, the Sir John Barbirolli Memorial Foundation Grant and the Richard Turner Fund.