Dave Bainbridge

Dave's Gear Page > Co-founder, songwriter, musician, producer Iona / 1989-present
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Photos by Joe del Tufo, Chris Sands, Janien Kommer, Jean-Daniel Lerber, Monica Duffels, Lutz Diehl, Christopher Nehls, Tim Martindale, Tim Ostendorf & Jonathan Mark
B orn in Darlington in the north east of England, and from a musical family, Dave began piano lessons at the age of 8 and guitar lessons from his dad at 13. He joined his first band 'Exodus' at the age of 14 - "We all liked Genesis at the time, hence the name - it seemed like the next best thing!"

Dave subsequently studied at the Leeds College of Music, gaining several performance awards (including BBC Radio 2 Best Jazz Soloist Award). At college he also developed a deep interest in recording and synthesizers, particularly through work with college bands 'The Leeds Synthonia' and the 'Hyperspace Rock Orchestra' (the members of which, under the guidance of a rather eccentric college teacher, used to perform concerts dressed in Roman style togas!).

Since then his musical career has involved composing, recording, performing, producing, arranging and teaching.

After an unsuccessful attempt to launch a 'progressive rock' band called 'Plan B' with his sister in 1981 (the era of electro pop!), Dave went on to play guitar in jazz fusion band 'Sound Effect', which featured on keys Paul Birchall (currently keyboard player with Heather Smalls, Combination Head and The Snake Davis Band). In 1982 Dave simultaneously joined jazz fusion pioneer Gary Boyle's band as well the soul band 'Snake Davis and the Alligator Shoes' (later 'The Suspicions'), playing keys in both bands. In the mid 1980's to early 1990's, due to his association with the 'Norman Beaker' band, Dave was very active on the UK Blues scene. With the Norman Beaker band, Dave backed many visiting UK, US and European blues artists, both 'live' and on recordings for the 'Paul Jones Blues Show' on BBC Radio 2, including; Jack Bruce, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Paul Jones, Pete Brown, Phil Guy, Lowell Fulson, Lurrie Bell, Cary Bell, Rockin' Sidney, Guitar Shorty (Jimi Hendrix brother-in-law!), Louisiana Red, Colin Hodgkinson, Tony McPhee, Chris Farlowe, Herbie Goins, Fenton Robinson, Johnny Mars, Mick Abrahams, Ted Hawkins, Helen Watson, Angela Brown etc.

Dave has also played keyboards with blues legend Buddie Guy and in 1990 was one of the nominees in the category of 'Instrumentalist of the Year' in the British Blues Connections awards.

Whilst still at college in Leeds Dave, through a mutual friend, met up with singer/songwriter Adrian Snell, whom he had long admired. The result was a working partnership (many concerts, album co-production and musical direction) that spanned the next 8 years from 1982 to 1990 and through which he would first meet Joanne Hogg and David Fitzgerald. In 2007 Dave worked again with Adrian, on keyboards, acoustic guitar and sound design for the world premier of Adrian's 'The Cry' at St Paul's Cathedral - an event sponsored by Save the Children featuring a 17 piece orchestra, several solo singers and a 160 piece choir.

Dave co-founded with the band's former woodwind player, David Fitzgerald, in the summer of 1989 with Joanne Hogg joining soon after Dave and David's first 'duo' gig as . As well as playing guitars and keys with Iona, behind the scenes Dave has produced all the bands albums to date and also mixed the latest album 'Another Realm' in his own Open Sky studio.

Dave's first solo album 'Veil of Gossamer' was released in June 2004 to critical acclaim and includes a number of guest appearances, including Mae McKenna, Racheal Cohen (formerly Jones, of The Reasoning) and Joanne Hogg on vocals.

He has collaborated on several duo projects include 'The Eye of the Eagle' (cd & dvd) with David Fitzgerald (1998), 'From Silence' (cd & dvd) with Troy Donockley (2004), 'When World's Collide' also with Troy Donockley (2005) and his most recent reunion with old friend David Fitzgerald, the evocative 'Life Journey' (2009).

In 2008 Dave briefly formed his own band 'Open Sky' with Gabriel Alonso (percussion and drums), Andrea Alonso (vocals, flute), Steve Lawson (basses, loops) and Andy Green (keys, vocals) and played several concerts in the UK, performing material from 'Veil of Gossamer' as well as new material and some tracks. In the same year he collaborated with classical guitarist Nick Fletcher, recording and producing Nick's album 'Cathedral of Dreams (2009)'. The album features 'Iberian Fantasy' a guitar concerto co-written by Dave and Nick. Tracks from this album have been featured on Classic FM.

He has worked with many other artists including: Gloria Gaynor, Paul Jones, Phil Keaggy, Michael Ball (string arranging), Soulful Terrain, and (through his work as producer) Moya Brennan (Clannad) and Robert Fripp.

Dave's music has been heard on numerous TV programmes and he has written the soundtracks for numerous short films, most recently 'Petrified' (2011) (CGI animated comedy short), 'Man from the Moon', 'Remember to Smile', 'Going Up' (all 2011 'Straight 8' competition entries). Over the past 3 years he has written, recorded and mixed in 5.1 surround sound around 16 short films for a major multi-national company for showing in their iMax cinema.

Dave has produced and/or mixed albums for several other artists including Joanne's solo album 'Looking into Light', albums by Adrian Snell, The Kairos Ensemble, The Pete James Trio, Nick Fletcher, Kingsway Music.

Debbie and Dave Bainbridge run Iona's own label and his own Open Sky recording studio and occasionally play together in Christian worship events. Dave also occasionally plays with jazz/improvisation artists 'Fairclough & Youell' along with virtuoso bassist & guitarist Fred T Baker. Their debut album 'Momentarily' was recently released.

Dave is currently working on the follow up to 'Veil of Gossamer', which is projected to be released towards the end of 2012.


'Veil of Gossamer' reviews:

'To my ears this is the most successful album of this type since Mike Oldfield's masterpiece Ommadawn. Stunning.' - Sept 2004

'...a sonic masterpiece...Bainbridge has given us what is in my humble opinion one of the best albums ever to be recorded.....some of the best music that he has ever written Chris MacIntosh aka Grandfather Rock August 2004.'

'Bainbridge's guitar playing is superb; his electric solos conjure Eric Johnson and Allan Holdsworth, while his acoustic technique dazzles, thanks to a remarkable dexterity and the use of unusual tunings.... ....Looking deeper, the music is genuinely touching, possessing a spiritual quality that speaks to the soul and inspires various states of positivity, from peaceful tranquility to breathless exhilaration. Layers of wordless vocals - courtesy of Joanne Hogg (Iona), Rachel Jones (Karnataka), and Mae McKenna - and McKenna's heartfelt renderings of Gaelic hymns (in the original language) lend an ethereal, otherworldly quality to much of Veil of Gossamer.....Best of 2004, hands down.' August 2004

'Albums of this quality are a rare thing and make life and music absolutely worthwhile. Besides the outstanding compositions and musicians, the production is flawless and the artwork fits the theme of the music as if the artist knew the story (which wasn't the case!). So, an absolutely amazing album, filled with nothing but beauty, beauty we all need in our lives, whether we admit it or not.' August 2004

'I fear that my words might not do justice to the haunting and beautiful guitar that opens The Everlasting Hills (part 1); or misses the beauty of the vocals accompanied by Troy Donockley's Uilleann Pipes in (part 2)......Veil of Gossamer is a truly wonderful album combining the best of Iona's Celtic atmospheres along with some splendid guitar work from Dave Bainbridge, and great performances from the assembled cast.' Holland Sept 2004

Sitting here stunned after my first full listen to Veil of Gossamer, I've not the command of words to convey the true gratitude to Dave Bainbridge for what has instantly become one of my favorite recordings of all time. Kenneth L. Solomon - Progressive Soundscapes Radio August 2004.
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11th June 2019

Soon in Hardenberg - Dave Bainbridge & Frank Van Essen and band playing SANCTUM & Iona. With sand art by Gert van der Vijver. Come and join us if you can!

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6th June 2019

Dave Bainbridge and Frank Van Essen will be together for another gig on 17th August in The Netherlands!

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1st June 2019

Soon in The Netherlands! With Iona's Dave Bainbridge and Frank van Essen. Music from Frank's album SANCTUM and some well known Iona material. Tickets available now.

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9th June 2019

Out on the river , pulling oars, in the wake of my recent visit to Kells, remembering my Colmkille Curragh voyage in 1997!

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22nd May 2019

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19th May 2019

BACK TO MY ROOTS!
Here at Kells, Co. Meath, Ireland! Spiritual heart of Ireland. House of St. Colmkille, Book of Kells...
Seems such a long way from Blue Coast Records , California!
Speaking of which , here’s a link to 3 of my songs, remixed by BCRs Cookie Marenco. You can have a listen here , and if you enjoy, can download from BCR.😁


Oops! Forgot to add the link on my first post 😳

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19th May 2019

BACK TO MY ROOTS!....
Here in Kells, Co. Meath, spiritual heart of Ireland. House of St Colmkille, Book of Kells...
Seems a long way from Blue Coast Records, California!
Speaking of which , here’s a link to 3 of my songs , remixed by BCRs Cookie Marenco. You can have a listen here, and if you enjoy, can purchase the download from BCR 😁

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16th May 2019

HOME .....It’s Jo here, and I’m wondering if my recording whirlwind in California was a dream😳 And enjoying the fact that it’s warmer and sunnier here than it was in San Francisco Bay ..... in my dream?

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18th May 2019

JOB DONE😁
Three days , three albums!
Ya can get a lot done when it’s just piano and vocal and no “drop-ins” or edits!
Album 1. 9 Jo Hogg songs plus a cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah ( only 4 of the original 80 verses!) , all sung in French

Album 2. 9 Jo Hogg songs sung in English

Album 3. Solo piano tracks of all the songs plus some improvised solo piano
Blue Coast Records will release the albums in DSD( direct stream digital), and all will be available for download direct from joannehoggmusic ...( not sure when🤔)
Home tomorrow 😁

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10th May 2019

IS THIS REALLY CALIFORNIA??

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18th May 2019

SONGS IN FRENCH??
Did she really say that? 😳

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8th May 2019

ACROSS THE POND....! 😎

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1st April 2019

FROM THIS TO HOME.....
It’s a stark contrast , that’s for sure. Sunny conditions made our job easier and life a little less harsh for those living in Moria, but there were many tragic stories being lived out in our midst. I saw a family and group of friends carry the dead body of a woman out of the camp on one of the days, and that week, volunteers tried to console a family who had lost a child , one of twins, while making the treacherous boat crossing from Turkey. Hundreds still make the terrifying journey every week. People back home often ask me why they leave their country to end up somewhere as awful as most of the camps. When you hear their stories, it’s not hard to understand why. Even though conditions are desperate in the camp, many folk that I met were so grateful to have survived, and cling to the hope that they might have a chance to start a new life somewhere. But while they are in limbo , EuroRelief will continue to do the best they can to support and care for them , and we will continue to support their passionate efforts.

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25th March 2019

SUNSHINE AND SMILES....
No matter how many times I come here, it’s always quite a surreal experience. The resilience of people to cope in such a difficult environment never ceases to amaze me. It looks better in the sunshine, but the reality is still very grim. There are nasty biting insects in the overcrowded tents and isoboxes, large rats are frequent visitors, and chickenpox and scabies is rife. People stand in line several times a day for food, water, info, assistance .... and the camp is on a steep hill so getting around requires great effort, especially for mothers with small children and heavy bottles of water to carry, and for the elderly too. We’ve found a way to turn very large t shirts into carrying bags that folk can make for themselves requiring only a pair of scissors. This has proved very popular with the women who have so many things to carry , including their laundry. So far, we’ve had three days of vitamin distribution and noting other medical needs that we can return to with specific treatments. Finding particular tents in the sprawling mass can be very challenging , even with the tent number and a map!
And then, a few miles down the road, we mingle with the locals and tourists and enjoy the view and feel very thankful for so much.

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24th April 2019

MAP PROJECT PART 2......
Currently working on 6 new songs for Miracles and Parables part 2. Photos are from a recent session tracking drums and bass with my fav dynamic duo, Terl Bryant and Phil Barker. Miracles of healing, deliverance and raising the dead , and Parables about the Kingdom of God , the sower and the seed and the good shepherd. Instrumentation will be in keeping with part 1, so it’ll be drums, bass, cello, piano, guitar and my favourite brass instrument, the flugelhorn.
I’ll keep you posted. 😁 jo.

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25th February 2019

Hi Everyone,
Just to let you know that some of the Iona back catalogue plus my solo albums, are now available from Burning Shed - see

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9th February 2019

ITS BACK TO THE MAP!
So , earlier this week, I went to London to record my favourite dynamic duo, Terl Bryant and Phil Barker ( both known to you Iona friends😁). I’ve been working on some new songs for the MAP Project Part 2. We recorded on three new songs, all parable songs! Good Shepherd, Listen( the story of Jesus talking to a crowd about the sower and the seed), and The Kings Party( one of the parables about the kingdom of heaven).
As always, the dynamic duo did not disappoint 😁.
Will keep you posted on progress.

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14th January 2019

Hi folks, Jo here.

Since my last trip to Moria camp in November, 1000 more refugees with this story, making this journey, arrived in Lesvos in December, needing kindness.

All the proceeds from the Road From Ruin CD go to support the R.A.I.N fund (Refugee Aid International Network) Click Here:

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2nd January 2019

Jo here,

To finish off the year, I thought I’d share the Horse and Rider video with you, in memory of Esmerado, my special white horse, featured in the artwork of Iona’s Another Realm, and this year in the artwork of The MAP Project.

The song, from Uncountable Stars, was remixed earlier this year to get a more panoramic sound for the videos use in an exhibition in Japan, so here it is..... the updated version of Horse and Rider, featuring Esmerado.

And finally, I’d like to wish you a very happy and blessed 2019.

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30th December 2018

Hi, Jo here. Thought you might enjoy this.... a wee clip from an evening of trad music with family and local friends at Christmas. I think it’ll be a Festive tradition for years to come 😁🎶

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26th December 2018

A gift for this season - FREE DOWLOAD
Christmas songs (in Dutch!) featuring Iona's Frank van Essen, Dave Bainbridge and Troy Donockley

Yesterday, Marlou & I sang on the marketsquare of our hometown, Hardenberg. Beautiful (Dutch) songs from our Christmas CD Immanuël. It was cold & wet, but we were so moved by the depth of the lyrics, the melodies & the arrangements I did 16 years ago now.
They are still powerful testimonies of Gods love for His people, and some of the arrangements are still favourites of mine, too.

Marlou & I decided to make them available for free this Christmas for you to enjoy. With a little extra: I found all the original mixes in my archives, and remastered them up to today's standards. Everything now sounds so much more open, warm & beautiful. Very happy!

So please feel free to listen and download the music.
And we wish you every blessing for the coming days & the new year. May the love & shalom of King Yeshua be with you always.

Feel free to share and spread the word!

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24th December 2018

A Special message from Frank van Essen.

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4th December 2018

Healing Stories From Lesvos

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19th November 2018

18+ years after the Iona recording of this wonderful tune, I decided to record a new, improvised version with Dave Bainbridge. Listen to the full version at and enjoy SANCTUM

The melody of A Million Stars has been with me since my teens. It's one of those tunes that just "happened" one day while improvising on my own, and has never left me. One day I played it for Dave & Troy and they loved it, so that's how it ended up on the Iona album Open Sky. It's great to hear how the years have shaped the melody and both Dave's and my playing. The version on SANCTUM is as we improvised it in the studio, with a few minor edits, but it's very spontaneous and inspired. Hope you enjoy it. - Frank

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13th November 2018

Frank van Essen's SANCTUM is out now! Very excited to share it with you. With Dave Bainbridge, Troy Donockley and bass legend Jimmy Johnson, this is an album you don´t want to miss! Check it out on - and please share!

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26th October 2018

A small preview of Frank van Essen's S A N C T U M. The downloadable version will be available on the 25th via

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26th October 2018

10/25/2018

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19th October 2018

BACK IN THE STUDIO......
Well, the 3 Peaks in 1 day was completed and I’m not sure of the exact total of funds raised, but it was amazing. Thanks so much to all of you who supported us. I hope to be returning to the camp on Lesbos next month so I’ll keep you posted on that. In the meantime, I’m trying to finish the songs for Road From Ruin. They wouldn’t be complete without the lovely Gwyneth playing cello 😁.

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22nd September 2018

Two peaks done. One more plus getting down from number two! Weather has been great 👍

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1st October 2018

Hi folks. The three peaks challenge is looming! Two days away. Yesterday I was back in Copper House studio with mate Stu Reid , working on three new songs for my interlude EP( between MAP Project Parts 1&2). It will have 4 new tracks and I’m going to add 3 from Uncountable Stars , on a similar theme. The new songs have been inspired by some personal accounts of refugee experiences. This will be exclusively a fundraising non profit project.
If you’d like to support the 3 Peaks challenge for charity R.A.I.N ( Refugee Aid International Network) that I continue my involvement with, then you can use the link below.

Thankyou again.
I’ll keep you posted on everything! ⛰🎶
Ps. The picture was taken yesterday as Storm Ali hit our north coast!

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