Graham South is a trumpeter and composer based in Manchester, UK. Since the mid-2000s he has been involved in a vast array of creative music-making. Whether as a founding and surviving member of Beats and Pieces Big Band, a composer/performer in the Vonnegut Collective or at the core of the Johnny Hunter Quartet, his contributions have become a mainstay of the scene in Manchester and beyond.

2020 saw the release of Graham’s first record as a leader, By and By. A suite of African American Spirituals arranged for a quartet of some of his regular collaborators and some of the UK’s finest improvisers – Richard Jones (piano), Seth Bennett (bass) and Johnny Hunter (drums). This was originally commissioned by Southwell Music Festival in 2018 to complement Michael Tippett’s A Child of Our Time, in which Tippett set the same spirituals.

As well as Beats & Pieces, Vonnegut Collective and JHQ, Graham is a member of Agbeko, Anton Hunter’s Article XI and The Manchester Jazz Collective. He is an active orchestral trumpeter, and has freelanced with groups such as the BBC Philharmonic, Manchester Camerata and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra over the last fifteen years.

Education plays a central role in Graham’s creative output, with trumpet teaching roles at the Junior Royal Northern College of Music, the University of Manchester and two of Manchester’s further education institutes, Loreto and Xaverian College. Between 2014-2022 he ran Tithe Barn Primary School’s innovative daily brass tuition programme in Stockport.

Despite making Manchester his home, Graham is a Yorkshireman from Harrogate with roots in the brass band tradition with formative years in Tewit Youth Band and at Harrogate Music Centre. Before embarking on his musical career, he studied music at The University of Manchester, including postgraduate composition with Philip Grange. A lifelong student of the trumpet, he has studied with Rhys Owens, Tracey Redfern, Murray Greig and Gerard Presencer and taken further lessons with Ingrid Jensen, Ralph Alessi, Peter Evans and Greg Spence. He also studies occasionally with guitarist Mike Walker.