Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians

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Ramanan, Roland

Ramanan, Roland, trumpeter; b. London, 4 February 1966. His mother is Elizabeth Ramanan (b.1932). His father was Shake Keane (1927-1997), a trumpeter, poet, and broadcaster best remembered for his pioneering work with the Joe Harriott Quintet in the mid-60s.

At primary school he received lessons on the trumpet because the school had no saxophones. Jazz was the music he grew up listening to, gravitating towards the freer end of the spectrum. Roland and his mother moved to the midlands in 1979 and gained an invaluable grounding in improvisation by playing the Midland Youth Jazz Orchestra before leaving home for Hull University. He got involved in the improvised music scene after coming back down to London from Hull in 1987. Roland attended composer and violinist Phil Wachsmann's workshops as well as a "Search and Reflect" workshop with legendary drummer John Stevens. Stevens helped Ramanan to form the group Swift, featuring Nigel Coombes, Roger Smith and John Rangecroft.   In 1989 he started work as a primary school teacher and still works in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in their Learning Support Service. Since then Roland has performed steadily and quietly on the London Improv scene, playing with the likes of Eddie Prevost, Jon Lloyd, Marcio Mattos and Maggie Nicols.  He also wrote several reviews for the Wire magazine. Most recently he can be found on the first Sunday of every month playing with the London Improvisors Orchestra.

Ramanan is married to Ruth Ramanan and has two children Noah (b. 1993) and Naima (b. 1996).

Shaken (2002); London Improvisors Orchestra:Proceedings (1999); London Improvisors Orchestra: freedom of the city 2001 (2001); Unissued Cassette Tape: Wooden Taps with Maggie Nichols, Marcio Mattos, Michael Garcia (1994)

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