Long before Andy Middleton won First Prize, Best Soloist and Best Arrangement Awards at the 13th Europe Jazz Contest in 1991, he was garnering attention from his elders and peers. He has worked as a sideman with Lionel Hampton, Bob Mintzer, Randy Brecker and Maria Schneider, among many others, who were drawn to his imaginative, sincere, lyrical and adventurous solos which never resort to clichÈ or empty virtuosic display.
As a leader he has had the great pleasure to record with jazz greats Joey Calderazzo (Acid Rain, Owl/EMI France), Renee Rosnes (Terra Infirma, Owl/EMI France), Dave Holland and Ralph Towner (Nomadís Notebook, Intuition) and with Kenny Wheeler, Reinventing the World (Intuition). Reinventing the World firmly establishes Middleton as a musician of extraordinary sensitivity, ability and talent, both as a composer and a performer.
Andy has toured Europe extensively, performing at many of the major jazz festivals and in clubs in almost every European country.
Andyís new book, Melodic Improvising (Advance Music, 2005) is a guide/playalong CD that offers numerous approaches to developing a strong sense of melodic invention. Andy is a highly regarded university and high school jazz clinician, presenting workshops and performing as a guest artist and conductor throughout the United States and Europe. He is also artistic director of the Poysdorf Jazz and Wine Summer jazz workshop, and maintains an active roster of students in his private studio practice.
Middleton was awarded a highly prestigious composition grant from Chamber Music Americaís New Works: Creation and Presentation Program in 2004, a National Endowment for the Arts Performance Grant in 1996, and grants from the Fund for US Artists at International Festivals in 1992, 1993, and 2003. In the words of master saxophonist, composer and educator David Liebman: ìAndy Middleton represents the best of a new generation of jazz musicians.