Rowland Sutherland's Biography


Feedback Form

Please contact
Rowland Sutherland


Flautist Rowland Sutherland enjoys an international career in many different fields of music. He regularly performs in new music and classical ensembles, jazz groups, symphony orchestras, various non-Western groups, pop outfits and as a soloist. Many of Rowland's solo contemporary flute performances have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3, London. He has composed and arranged music for groups, ensembles and for the BBC.  

Composition commissions include those written for the percussion quartet "Ensemble Bash" and the contemporary music group "New Music Players". In 2003 The New Music Players released a special recording of commissions by British composers called Crying Bird, Echoing Star on the London Independent Records label which includes Rowland's composition Timeless Odyssey.
Rowland was commissioned by the worldly, contemporary classical ensemble "Lontano" for his work Espiritu Libre, which received its first performance at La Linea, the London Festival of Latin Music 2005 at the South Bank Centre. They also performed Rowland's new version for gospel choir and ensemble of his work The Mystical Land, during the ensembles 30th Anniversary concert series 2006.
Rowland's piano trio One for Hermeto was given its world premiere by the Fidelio Trio for whom it was written for. The event took place during the BMIC's The Cutting Edge 2005 series at The Warehouse, in London.

Rowland studied flute at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama mainly with Kathryn Lukas as well as Philippa Davies, Peter Lloyd, Edward Beckett and participated in master classes given by the late Geoffrey Gilbert.  He studied jazz with the late pianist Lionel Grigson.

Rowland tutors at the Trinity College of Music, Guildhall School of Music and Drama and Royal Northern College of Music. As an educator he has given consultations, workshops and/or coached at the Trinity College of Music, Royal Academy of Music, Birmingham Conservatoire, Sussex, York and Durham Universities various community centres as well as The Centre for Young Musicians, where Rowland studied as a teenager with the late Harold Clarke, at Pimlico school.

Rowland Sutherland fronts his own band, the critically acclaimed Mistura, who perform Brazilian jazz fusion alongside African-Cuban and pan African grooves. Their album, Rowland Sutherland's Mistura - 'Coast to Coast' is out now on the FMR label.
Mistura have performed at a number of the leading jazz festivals in Britain including: Glastonbury, Glasgow International, Crawley (Outside - In), Greenwich and the City of London Festival.  Their rousing performance at the Bath International Festival was filmed by HTV television.
In 1998, Mistura supported the legendary pianist and singer Tania Maria at the QEH in London. They went down a storm at the Ritmos Festa do Mundo 95 - Porto, Portugal which also featured Salif Keita & Irakere.

Rowland was voted the number one Flutist in the Brazilian newspaper Tribuna da Imprensa ("Press Tribune") in The 24th Annual Jazz Poll.

He has played and recorded with some of the finest and most adventurous new music ensembles and dance companies in Britain. These include: New Music Players, Ixion, Lontano, Icebreaker, Uroboros, London Musici, Music Projects/London, Phoenix Dance, Jazz Xchange Music and Dance and Rambert Dance Company.

Rowland made his BBC Prom debut as soloist during its 2006 season performing Steve Reich, for his 70th birthday celebrations, alongside a number of top UK percusionists and vocal group Synergy at the Royal Albert Hall.

In 2002 Rowland performed in a concerto by Stewart Wallace, written for the electric group Icebreaker with the American Composers Orchestra, at New York's Carnegie Hall. The Orchestras' music director designate, Steven Sloane, conducted the event. In 2005, Icebreaker then went on to give several performances at the Lincoln Centre Festival.

In 2004 Rowland was one of the featured jazz soloists with the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Robert Ziegler and the Russell Maliphant dance company, performing works by Barry Adamson at the Barbican Centre. The composer of many art film soundtracks and former bassist with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

As a freelance musician Rowland is also active in the orchestral field and has played with such orchestras as: Philharmonia, Bournemouth Symphony, B.B.C. National Orchestra Of Wales, London Philharmonic, European Community Chamber, Sadlers Wells Royal Ballet and B.B.C. Radio. He has played principal flute with the latter three.

Rowland performs in an adventurous flute and guitar duo with Alan Thomas. They explore a wide range of music from all four corners of the globe.

Rowland was a member of several eminent jazz outfits. These included the big band Jazz Warriors founded by the prominent saxophonist Courtney Pine obe and Orphy Robinson's Sextet 'Annavas', appearing on their album "When Tomorrow Comes" released by the legendary Blue Note label.
Rowland also performed in the colourful 11 piece jazz ensemble led by soprano and tenor sax player Mark Lockheart, 'The Scratch Band' who have two albums out, 'Through Rose Coloured Glasses' and 'Imaginary Dances'. Rowland uses all four flutes in the large contemporary jazz ensemble, Arrange of Space, which is directed by composer Issie Barratt. He also solos with ex Art Blakey Jazz Messenger saxophonist Jean Toussaint in the dynamic raga 'n' beats Indian group Shiva Nova.

As bandleader, Rowland's Project 'Creative Force' the six piece Caribbean nu jazz group, which features Orphy Robinson on vibes and percussion, uses ska, dub, African-funk, Afro Brazilian and various Reggae rhythms.
Rowland leads the quintet In Kimbe, with Sardinian vocalist Filomena Campus, exploring Mediterranean and Brazilian jazz alongside moments of free improv. In 2006 Rowland formed an experimental/free improv trio called Myrtle, with Alwynne Pritchard (voice) and Thorolf Thuestad (computer) which often features a guest from the jazz free improv field. 

Rowland's jazz experience also includes working in a number of collaborations, performances and recordings with other artists. These include: touring with the legendary US saxophonist / bass clarinettist David Murray; recording with African master drummer Gaspar Lawal; playing with the 'Rebirth Brass Band' from New Orleans; recording with Pops Mohamed, master percussionist from South Africa; an historic flute concert with Frank Wess and Ali Ryerson during the 1995 London Jazz Festival, and in 1996 his tour with the Phoenix Dance Company concluded with performances at the Atlanta Olympic Games. 
In 2001 Rowland recorded and performed live in a rare concert, (held at the Barbican Centre in London) given by the renowned music producer William Orbit (Madonna, Blur, All Saints...).

In 1999 to mark the fifth anniversary of Sun Ra's departure from earth, Rowland arranged a number of his celebrated works and formed a special band within his London Art Collective. It featured Pat Thomas, Orphy Robinson, Geoff Hawkins, John Edwards and a special guest, Francisco Mora Catlett (ex Sun Ra Arkestra drummer and percussionist). The event was held at the Scala in London and also featured Carl Craig's Innerzone Orchestra and Radio 1's Gilles Peterson.
Other top free improv musicians Rowland has performed with include the melodious bassists Steve Lawson, remarkable steel guitarist B J Cole, inventive guitarist Roger Goula and also the Recycle Collective.

Rowland's involvement with Brazilian music led him to play and record with the London 'Afro Blok'. Fronted by the expressive percussionist, Richard Ajileye, it largely consisted of various types of African and Brazilian percussion instruments, horns and vocals. In 1994 they represented Great Britain at the Commonwealth Games Arts festival in Vancouver Island. 
Rowland has also performed with 'Olodum', the famous Afro Bloc from Bahia, Brazil, (who appeared on Paul Simon's 'Rhythm of the Saints' album of 1992 & Michael Jackson's album 'History') and a number of influential Brazilian artists including:
legendary ex Weather Report drummer and percussionist the late Dom Um Romao, the cult singer/songwriter Joyce and the renowned multi-percussionist Nana Vasconcellos. He has also appeared on stage with composer and multi-instrumentalist Hermeto Pascoal as well as with Flora Purim and Airto.

In addition to the above, as a session musician, Rowland has enjoyed guesting on flutes for various artists' recordings over the years such as: George Benson, Incognito, Mezzoforte, MC Solaar, Keziah Jones, William Orbit, Melanie C, Roland Gift, Omar, Marc Almond, Guillemots and Colonial Cousins. Rowland has also participated in various radio, TV and film soundtracks.

Press Quotes

“...enriched by Rowland Sutherland's lovely flute sound...”. John Fordham - The GUARDIAN

“...featuring peerless flautist Rowland Sutherland” John L. Walters - THE GUARDIAN

“...Sutherland...gutsy improvisations...” Kevin Le Gendre - JAZZWISE

“a flautist with one of the nicest sounds in the business“ TIME OUT

“Rowland Sutherland is one of the world’s greatest and most versatile flautists, in huge demand in the fields of
classical music, jazz, contemporary, non-Western and popular music.” Geoff Eales -

“...improviser of real character” John Fordham - THE GUARDIAN

“a force to be reckoned with...” CITY LIMITS

“flautist Rowland Sutherland... especially impressive” Nick Jones - THE LEICESTER MERCURY

“One of the UK’s finest flautists – whether jazz or classical – Rowland Sutherland” Paul Bradshaw – STRAIGHT NO CHASER

“…which includes the brilliant flautist Rowland Sutherland” Ben Watson - THE WIRE

“...the excellent soloist...Rowland Sutherland...” Geoff Brown - The Times

“There were especially sterling contributions from the flautist Rowland Sutherland...” Keith Potter - The Independant

“...a gifted flute player... Sutherland shines throughout...” John L Walters - THE GUARDIAN

“... Leader Sutherland's flute renditions are prodigious...” George W. Carroll -

“I was most impressed with Rowland Sutherland’s playing... we heard the full range of flute colours,
and were spoilt by his sensitive and dreamy pianissimo playing. He was superb throughout the concert” Aleks Szram -

“Rowland Sutherland was exceptional; his playing encompassed controlled legatos, seemingly impossible high notes and percussive effects from the keys”

“Cassandra’s Dream Song presents the entire gamut of extended techniques available on a flute,
ranging from key slapping to singing and epitomises the composer’s then current concern with notation and interpretation,
aiming for a specific performance tension visible to the audience. Rowland Sutherland’s performance was flawlessly poised,
clearly articulating every nuance of the score” Douglas Bertram

ROWLAND leads his pulsating Brazilian, afro latin jazz band:
Rowland Sutherland's MISTURA

The vibrant Brazilian and Latin jazz music of Mistura
Compositions and arrangements by Rowland Sutherland


Read the review at JAZZREVIEWS

Also available now online at:




Rowland Sutherland Flutes

Rowland Sutherland Sextet

Rowland Sutherland Compositions




Feedback Form

Please contact: Rowland Sutherland

© MM Mistura, Rowland Sutherland and MusicLink
design and hosting by
Above photo by Goswin Schwendinger
Last updated: March 6, 2013