Henry Lowther was born in Leicester, England, in 1941. His first musical experiences were through his father, who gave him cornet tuition, and with the local Salvation Army band. In his teenage years he developed an interest in classical music and began to study violin, eventually entering the Royal Academy of Music at the age of 18 to study with the highly respected violinist Manoug Parikian. Shortly after this Henry became interested in jazz after listening to Indian music and a recording of Sonny Rollins, and resumed brass playing on trumpet.
During the sixties Henry was one of the first musicians on the British jazz scene to experiment with total free improvisation, notably with Jack Bruce, Lyn Dobson and John Hiseman. He played with the original and seminal Mike Westbrook band (which included Mike Osborne and John Surman), and also with John Dankworth, including playing on the now legendary and rare Kenny Wheeler album "Windmill Tilter". In the sixties Henry also worked on the rock scene with Manfred Mann and John Mayall, and also with Keef Hartley, with whom he appeared at the famous Woodstock festival in 1969.
Over the last thirty years Henry's work on the British jazz scene reads like a "Who's Who". He has played regularly with, amongst many others, Gordon Beck, Michael Garrick, Graham Collier, Mike Gibbs, Pete King, Loose Tubes, John Surman, John Taylor, Stan Tracey and Kenny Wheeler.
Over the years Henry has toured widely with various artists and bands in Canada, Europe, India, Japan, the former Soviet Union and the USA. Tours in recent years have included those with the Berlin Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, John Harle, the London Jazz Composers Orchestra, the New York Composers Orchestra and Hermeto Pascoal. He is one of only two or three players in the world to have had the honour of playing lead trumpet with both Gil Evans and George Russell.
Recent activities have included engagements in France with Tony Hymas and Sam Rivers, in Morocco with the Anglo/French/Spanish group "Los Incontralodos", gigs with Django Bates' Delightful Precipice, and three tours of Finland with the Jan Simons Band. In December last Henry took part in the "Schuller at 75" concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall with the distinguished composer Gunther Schuller and the London Sionfonietta. Henry has also played recently on albums with Billy Cobham's Conundrum, Mark Lockheart, Stan Sulzman, John Surman and Kenny Wheeler's music for Brass Ensemble. Currently Henry is a member of "Swingstrasse", which consists mainly of musicians loosely drawn from around the N8 area of north London, Hans Koller's "New Memories" and the new Charlie Watts band.
Henry's musical breadth is confirmed by his frequent engagements as a classical player with major symphony orchestras and ensembles, including the London Brass Virtuosi, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the London Sinfonietta and the Matrix Ensemble. Until its demise Henry was for five years the solo flugelhorn player with the strings of the BBC Radio Orchestra, and as a session musician he has recorded with Bing Crosby, George Harrison, Elton John, Henry Mancini, Paul McCartney, Van Morrison, Simon Rattle, Nelson Riddle and Talk Talk amongst many others.
In the last few years Henry has become increasingly interested in composition and formed his own band "Still Waters" to enable him to pursue this interest further. "Still Waters" has recently released an album, "ID", on the Village Life label.
Although most of Henry's compositional activity has been directed towards small band jazz as vehicles for improvisation, he has, in the last few years tried to devote more time to composition. This has included a commission from Rikskonserter, the Swedish State Arts Agency, to write a piece for the London Brass Virtuosi's 1994 Tour of Sweden, "Bredon Hill" written for the BBC, a brass quintet commissioned by Chaconne Brass and a piece commissioned by the Berlin Contemporary Jazz Orchestra. Future projects include recording "Vietnam Requiem", a collaboration with novelist, "Ambit" magazine editor and distinguished paediatrician Martin Bax and artist Eduardo Paolozzi and a piece written for the Jemina Festival in Spain which is to be performed by the London Brass Virtuosi featuring Henry and the amazing percussionist Paul Clarvis.