The Neil Maya Quartet

"Electrifying performance from a band that has everything - crisp melody lines and improvisation to match"

The Neil Maya Quartet is a collective of some of the finest musicians based in the southwest today, dedicated to bringing you some of the finest jazz-based music that has ever existed.


The band was originally conceived by Neil Maya and pianist Tom Unwin back in 2001 soon after Neil moved to Devon. Over the years the band has played at most jazz venues in the Southwest and beyond. It's also played at many other venues and also works for rural touring schemes throughout the country on a regular basis. The band started off playing compositions by both Neil and Tom and re-workings of standards (see the Originals and Standards project below). Over the years other projects have also developed which have brought in other musicians as well including:





  The Brubeck Project                    1959: the Golden Year of Jazz                    The Jazz Funk Emporium

The Neil Maya Quartet's Originals and Standards project was the band's first project. The band is one of the Southwest’s most exciting and talented bands, whose aim is to find fresh, new sounds within the wide scope of jazz whilst staying accessible to the public at large. As well as playing innovative re-workings of jazz standards and material by other composers, the band also plays its own compositions.


The Neil Maya Quartet is often rooted in the sounds of the cool jazz movement of the 50’s and 60’s, but love playing other styles such as funk, samba, African and even folk-rock. The quartet is always striving to find different ways to deliver jazz, and although the soloing aspect is central to its approach, in a similar way to classical compositions its music often tells a story which takes you on a journey across a wide and rich emotional landscape. The quartet’s music is crisp, colourful, sassy, smooth, atmospheric, intricate, cool, very imaginative and always highly entertaining!


The band covers an array of different jazz artists including Charlie Parker, Clifford Brown, Chick Corea, John Coltrane, Horace Silver, Herbie Hancock, Tom Jobim and many many more. The band's originals are inventive, lyrical, melodic, dynamic and accessible. Check out the sounds below.

Review of Bread and Circuses...


"What I liked about Bread & Circuses was the different styles. The Caribbean flavours really shine through in 'All Change Please' whilst 'Big Girl Funk Machine' is a really danceable track. Neil Maya is a talented and technically sound musician, who is developing his sound through his quartet. Neil Maya makes saxophone sounds reminiscent to Illinois Jacquet at times, and Cannonball Adderley's influence can be heard throughout - however Neil Maya's voicing and phrasing are difficult to compare to anyone. The Neil Maya Quartet is unique - something the crowd at Ronnie Scott's would appreciate"


Brian Parker,



4pb-outer 1_nmq out of the woodshed cd cover pg 1 Go To Shop NMQ

Originals and Standards

Meet the band Check out the playlist More Music
More Reviews

" Music to stir the soul"

 Andra Johnstone, Coombeinteignhead, Villages in Action

Brubeck CD label tight


A photo posted by Paff La Girafe (@pafflagirafe) on

More occasionally the band has also played other tributes including to Clifford Brown, Horace Silver and Herbie Hancock, often bringing in a trumpeters such as Andy Hague, Dave Holdsworth and Robin Pengelley as well.


The Neil Maya Quartet has also gone on to form the core of the function bands, The Drat Pack, Solar and Lush Life.


Over the years the band has released two CDs, Out of the Woodshed in 2006, Bread and Circuses in 2009 and a joint CD DVD of the Brubeck Project Live in 2017.





To check out all the bands upcoming gigs visit the gig diary here


For high quality downloadable jpegs visit the press page here

See All Neil Maya Quartet Videos