Chris Noble is a composer and jazz arranger, known for his work with contemporary composers’ collaborative Platform 4 and Straight 8s big band

Chris Noble is a contemporary composer and jazz arranger based in Sheffield, England. He has written pieces for performance by such varied artists as Ensemble 360, contemporary pianist Phil Thomas and percussion duo Passepartout, and has collaborated across the arts with projects involving artists such as dance company Ffin Dance and metalwork sculptor Gill Brent.

Graduating with a PhD (Sheffield University) in 2009, Chris lists a number of diverse influences upon his work including jazz pianists Herbie Hancock and Bill Evans, alongside contemporary composers such as Marc-Anthony Turnage and Richard Rodney Bennett. Compositionally, he is primarily interested in integrating jazz harmonies into a more contemporary ‘classical’ context.

Chris also arranges for big band and jazz ensembles and in 2017 he received a commission from the music hubs of South Yorkshire to compose an oratorio, Jazz Journeys, for 600 children to perform at the Albert Hall in the Music For Youth Prom series. This was a joint collaboration with the internationally renowned trombonist Dennis Rollins (who has won numerous national and international jazz awards and featured with Courtney Pine, Baba Maal, Jamiroquai, US3, Brand New Heavies, Blur and Maceo Parker amongst others).

Chris runs the Sheffield jazz super-group Straight 8s (a big band comprising former and current members of Renegade Brass Band, Flok, Bad Brew, Screaming Maldini, Hot Diamond Aces and Dr Fat Lip).


“A great bandleader and incredible composer/ arranger, Chris’s all-round musical skills are second to none! Always a pleasure to work with him!”

Dennis Rollins


Life, Education and Performance

Chris was born in Kendal in the Lake District and is fiercely proud of his background there as well as his adopted home of Sheffield. He retains strong musical connections in both.

Chris studied at Sheffield University between 2001 and 2009, gaining a First Class honours undergraduate degree, sharing the Julian Payne First Year prize for academic achievement, before going on to complete a PhD in Composition, highlights including a 55-minute Jazz opera, ‘Walk All Over Me’.

Chris performs regularly locally and nationally as a jazz pianist, orchestral pianist, and French horn player.

He is also an ABRSM examiner, which regularly takes him across the UK and Singapore.



June 7th 2020

Straight 8s Big Band Live!
Wadsley Festival 2020

June 14th 2020

Straight 8s Big Band Live!
Peggy’s Skylight, Nottingham

July 18th 2020

Dr Fat Lip
The Folk Forest festival, Sheffield

July 19th 2020

Sheffield Beatles Project
The Folk Forest festival, Sheffield

Dec 12th 2020

Sheffield Beatles Project
O2 Academy, Sheffield


Arranging and Composing:

As well as performing and tutoring, Chris happily takes on work in jazz arranging alongside commissions in contemporary composition

Based in (but not necessarily limited to) Sheffield, Chris enjoys a varied career in arranging and composing and is always looking for new projects that interest him in both spheres. Examples of his work can be found elsewhere on this website.

Chris has worked with all sizes of ensemble, from soloists and duos up to 600-strong groups of children in the Albert Hall.

If you’d like to commission a new work from Chris, or would like something arranged for any size jazz ensemble, then do get in touch.

Here’s an example of Chris’s arranging for Solo Piano:
Feel free to download here:  Isn’t She Lovely for Solo Piano


Straight 8s Big Band

Dennis Rollins MBE

At Straight 8s we are more than lucky to be able to (when diaries are free enough!) occasionally call upon the services of jazz trombone legend Dennis Rollins.  Dennis and Chris collaborated together on Jazz Journeys, a piece for 600 young jazz musicians from across South Yorkshire that was performed in the Royal Albert Hall in 2017, and have remained good friends ever since.  Dennis has won countless awards across the jazz sphere for his work as a bandleader (2006 BBC Jazz Award for best Big Band with Badbone & Co; 2007 British Jazz Awards and Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Awards Trombonist Of The Year amongst many others), and has worked with jazz artists as diverse as Courtney Pine, Maceo Parker, Jamiroquai and Jean Toussaint.  Dennis’s latest project FUNKY-FUNK! is currently recording and gigging around the UK. See for more details. Photograph – Darren Cowley.

Andy Nesbitt

Andy Nesbitt (trumpet) is the founder of the hugely successful Renegade Brass Band (, a Sheffield-based group comprising 8 horns, an MC, live scratch DJ, and drums & percussion to produce a live show quite unlike anything on the UK scene. Their music combines elements of funk, jazz and hip hop, and they have played a huge number of festivals including Glastonbury, Soundwave Croatia and Java Jazz Jakarta as well supporting established acts such as De La Soul, Busta Rhymes and Jamie Cullum.  BBC6 Music’s Craig Charles has described RBB as ‘probably the best brass band working out of Britain’, and their new live album The Abbey Road Session is available now ( Photo – Charlie Jepson.


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