When Colin Towns formed the Mask Orchestra in 1990, he brought together some of the most important new and established players on the jazz scene. The Mask Orchestra was seen not only as an exciting new band, it was ground breaking. Twenty-five years on, Colin Towns Mask Orchestra is back. The new double album Drama is the group’s seventh release and boasts a line-up featuring a veritable who’s who of jazz’s finest. As the title might suggest, the inspiration for Drama is theatre and drama, featuring new and also original music from Colin Towns’ extensive work in the theatre, from classic plays including One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Equus and Macbeth, to contemporary work including Terry Johnson’s Hysteria.

“Towns’ harmonic palatte, idiomatic playfulness and Stravinskyesque energy have created music for a function that nonetheless stands tall without it” The Guardian ★★★★

Drama by name but epic in form…sit back, let the curtains part & enter a world of wonder” Jazzwise Magazine ★★★★

for freshness, for edge-of-the-seat excitement, the Mask Orchestra are almost certainly unbeatable” LondonJazz 

…a gigantic cosmos of sounds…” Audio (jazz cd of the month) ★★★★★

Colin Towns is not only one of Europe’s most prolific film, television and theatre composers, but also a pianist, songwriter, arranger, producer and collaborator.  His name has graced the credits of many prestigious and popular features.  He feels at home in every musical genre, from the classical world to sound design and his work ranges from symphonic orchestra to one man band.  Colin composes not by example but intuitively, giving each score it’s own voice.

 “Vision and ideas are essential, reinvention is key – learn from the past but remember to move forward.  What matters most is tomorrow” Colin Towns



“working with Colin on the score has been such a blast, it’s given me so many movement ideas. Collaborating with a composer is a long and arduous process but it’s been made infinitely easier by Colin’s almost instinctive grasp of what I need, and his ever accommodating willingness to change or adapt the material”

David Bintley (choreographer of Birmingham Royal Ballet)

“what an extraordinary sound you made from such a small group”

Adrian Noble (former Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the RSC)

“Towns creates music the power and range of which is unique…”

The Stage

“thank you for the beautiful music you have composed for Angelina Ballerina…it is just captivating”

Helen Craig (illustrator)

“seldom have I met a composer who can fill the spaces in a film with real music, thus enlarging its wholeness…long may this gift prevail”

Philip Saville (director)

“Towns is clearly a composer of a kind that is rare in Britain or indeed in any country…”

The Daily Telegraph

“the best music of Towns’ jazz career…..The Orpheus Suite is a full-throated big band score, and the prospect of hearing this mighty band live with the ballet is irresistible. When the 20 players wrap their fingers around Towns’ bravura, high-energy writing, they blow the roof off. Colin Towns has made the score leap with joy”

The Guardian

“thank you for your beautiful score”

Gerard Pires (Double Zero)

“….brilliant, powerful and emotional score”

Olvier Dahan (Les Rivieres Pourpres 2/Crimson Rivers 2)

“If the music breathes life into the filmed images, at times giving them their reason for being, then Colin has given wings to Mon Ange, letting it fly away to a place higher than I ever dreamed”

Serge Fryman (Mon Ange/My Angel)