UK-based Irishman Riley Stone-Lonergan started working as a professional musician in Ireland at the age of 16. After two years working with local big bands and ensembles, Riley moved to the UK to study at Leeds College of Music, the longest running jazz course in Europe. In 2011, he graduated with 1st Class Honours and was the recipient of a number of awards including the Dave Cooper Memorial Prize for Jazz Saxophone, John Scheerer Prize for Woodwind and David Hoult Prize for Outstanding Performance.
Selected as a Yamaha Jazz Scholar in 2011, Riley’s quartet was featured in Jazzwise Magazine as well as performing at the 606 Club in London. Shortly after, Riley moved to London and began to work with the prestigious National Youth Jazz Orchestra. His tenure with the band included a tour of Germany, a televised performance at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the BBC Proms (including special guest Tim Garland) and the recording of the 2012 album, The Change.
In recent years, Riley has made two extended trips to New York City. Here, he studied with Seamus Blake, Chris Cheek, Rich Perry and Joel Frahm and recorded his original material at Tedesco Studios, as well as performing in Washington DC. In addition to this, Riley has worked overseas as a featured soloist at Bergamo Jazz Festival in Italy and has toured in Ireland, Germany, Poland and the UK.
His work with small groups have led to tours and performances at a number of major jazz festivals. Sextet LOCUS (Leah Gough-Cooper, Kim Macari, Sam Leak, Jay Davis, Tom Wheatley) have performed at London Jazz Festival, Manchester Jazz Festival and Edinburgh Jazz Festivals and in 2015, Riley was part of a comissioned project led by Kim Macari which featured the Rome-based Enrico Zanisi trio and shared a bill with Thelonious Monk Award winner Melissa Aldana.
Currently, Riley maintains a busy performance schedule. One of his main projects is Family Band, a chordless quartet featuring Kim Macari, Tom Riviere and Steve Hanley. Recording their debut album in 2015, the band have received airplay on BBC Radio and were selected to be one of 10 Ambassador groups on the Northern Line scheme by Jazz North. Recently, he was nominated for the Rising Star Award at the London Music Awards 2015.
Jon Newey, Jazzwise Editor
“The latest Leeds College of Music young lion now baring his teeth is the exquisitely named saxophonist Riley Stone-Lonergan, a Coltrane and Liebman-inspired hotshot who’s developing a sinewy soul-splattered sound of his own”
Lance Liddle, Bebop Spoken Here
“…the improbably named Riley Stone-Lonergan…blew great tenor. Rollins, Coltrane, Brecker – he’d learned from them all and with a tone that could be lyrical or biting, tender or violent – a name to remember (as if one could forget!)”
Jack Massarik, Jazzwise (Review of the Proms 2012)
“…when the band’s latest crop of soloists was finally let off the leash, the results were spectacular. Riley Stone-Lonergan, a brilliant young Irish tenorist snapped up by NYJO after winning one of last year’s Yamaha Jazz Scholar Awards, was the evening’s outstanding player.”
Eddie Myer, Jazzwise 2015
“…his sincerity, and his affection for the material, impress as much as his comprehensive technique.”