Danny Riley

Danny Riley is a professional composer, arranger, and bandleader based in Oxford, whose special interests include contemporary chamber music, electroacoustics, Modernism within jazz, and the music of Don Ellis. A recent graduate of Music at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, Danny has worked regularly as a conductor with a variety of local musicians, most notably The Donut Kings big band (2019-2022) and Oxford University Brass Band (2019-2020). As a composer, Danny studied under Martyn Harry and has collaborated with world-leading musicians, including the BBC Singers, the Swiss Army Band, Rosamund Brass, and His Majesty’s Sagbutts and Cornetts, among others, and has received international performances of his music in Bern (2020) and The Hague (2017).

Danny joined the Velvet Tones in January 2023 and is keenly leading the band into new sonic territories. His vision for the band is to combine a nuanced and deep understanding of swing and its history – something of a dying tradition in contemporary jazz – with new ideas and original songs, building upon an established catalogue of music that the band excels at performing and maintaining the great tradition of ‘big’ jazz bands.

Danny’s favourite song from the Velvet Tones library is Frank Sinatra’s ‘The Way You Look Tonight’.