Oli Hayhurst has been one of the busiest bass players on the London jazz scene since graduating from the Royal Academy of Music in 2000. He is involved in a wide range of music playing with stars of jazz, classical and world musics. He has been featured on over 60 albums and toured extensively.
Growing up in Cambridge playing clarinet, then guitar and bass guitar on the local music scene. After a failed attempt at a Physics degree he took up double bass and moved to London to study at the Royal Academy of Music. Whilst still a student under the late Jeff Clyne he was touring with Gilad Atzmon and playing with Irish folk singer Cara Dillon. He was a founder member of Atzmon’s Orient House Ensemble, playing on their first two albums. In 2004 with singer-songwriter Polly Paulusma he toured Europe opening for Bob Dylan. In 2006 he was featured on Zoe Rahman's Mercury nominated album, 'Melting Pot' which also won the Best Album award in the 2006 parliamentary jazz awards. He continued to play with Zoe Rahman until 2011 playing at festivals throughout Europe and recording a further three albums. This was the first of frequent pairings with Gene Calderazzo which have been continued in the bands of Julian Siegel and Pharoah Sanders. He rekindled some folk associations in 2006-7 playing in Parallelogram with Lau and Brian Finnegan. He has held long associations with Tenor saxophonists Tim Whitehead and Sam Crockatt playing in both their groups since the early 2000s. As a member of Ray Gelato’s Giants from 2008-15 he toured all over Europe, north Africa and Brazil and held annual residencies at Ronnie Scott’s in London and the Blue Note Milan. He has been a regular in Pharoah Sanders’ quartet for European dates since 2012 playing with Kurt Rosenwinkel, Dan Tepfer, Joe Farnsworth, Gene Calderazzo and William Henderson.
Latest projects include working with Jacqui Dankworth and Charlie Wood, Georgia Mancio’s songbook with the great pianist Alan Broadbent, Kate William’s string quartet meets piano trio project 4 plus 3 and Hannes Riepler’s quartet featuring Chris Cheek.
He has also worked with artists as diverse as Melanie C, Vanessa Mae, Bill McHenry, Tom Rainey, Alison Balsom, Kirk Lightsey, Maria Ewing, Bobby Wellins, Koby Israelite, Reem Kelani, Collabro, Thomas Lang, Il Divo, Kit Downes, John Law, Bob Monkhouse, Ian Shaw and both Michael Rosens, the poet and the saxophonist.
“Hayhurst is a really positive, pro-active bassist, and his control of time and tuning are super-human” Sebastian Scotney, London Jazz News, 14/1/2016
"Oli Hayhurst on double bass is a total groove monster”
The Essex Boy Review, 17/4/2012
“...but it was actually the wiry strength of Hayhurst's bass solos that were the real highlight.”
Ivan Hewett, Daily Telegraph, 8/1/2010
“Bassist Oli hayhurst plays powerfully and propuslively throughout this entire disc”
Downtown Music Gallery, 4/4/2008
"Hayhurst's probing and technically virtuoso playing was for me the highlight of the evening."
Ivan Hewitt, Daily Telegraph, 16/4/2007
“...impeccable bass playing...”
The Oxford Times, June 2006
"...'joined by bassist Oli Hayhurst and drummer Asaf Sirkis, who provide far more than mere accompaniment. Hayhurst has good ideas of his own, and Sirkis is a constant stimulus.”
Dave Gelly The Observer, April 2006
“The rhythm section of Oli Hayhurst and Milo Fell doesn't miss a beat.”
John Fordham, The Guardian, 17/03/2006
“Bassist Hayhurst opened a rearrangement of West Side Story's Somewhere with a symmetry and poise”
John Fordham, The Guardian, 25/1/2005
“double bass player Oli Hayhurst, has a driving sense of energy, yet also a reflective and transcendent quality.”
Susannah Tarbush, Saudi Gazette, 20/12/2005
“...the always eloquent bass work of Oli Hayhurst.”
John Brand, live review, Sheffield Jazz Club, March 2005
“As with most of the better tracks, Oli Hayhurst’s double bass plays a crucial part in leading the melody and setting the mood.”
Manchester Evening News, 6/5/2004
“Bassist Oli Hayhurst, well known to Cluny audiences for his driving work with Gilad Atzmon’s Orient House, provides a solid groove whatever the mood”
Schmazz at the Cluny, 2004
"The dependable rhythm team featured Oli Hayhurst who excelled on double bass, playing a singing, steadfast bottom line and dexterous solos"
Alan Joyce, Nottingham Post, 15/3/2001
“Bassist Oli Hayhurst was solid, clear and perfect.”
Bath Chronicle, 1/10/2001
“Oli Hayhurst, a bassist whose sterling qualities will be familiar to club regulars”
"Good solid bass playing" Bernard Purdie
"...like a well oiled machine" Dick Heckstall-Smith
"You play very musical solos, you bastard!" Pete Jacobsen