Born in the UK, Len Aruliah grew up in Vancouver, Canada, where he studied saxophone with Julia Nolan, David Branter, and Stan Karp, and arranging with Fred Stride. He has a Bachelor of Music degree in classical saxophone from the University of British Columbia School of Music. In 1993, he studied at the Banff Centre for the Arts Jazz Workshop, working with faculty members Hugh Fraser, Kenny Wheeler, Pat LaBarbera, and Don Thompson.
An accomplished jazz performer and improviser, Len has worked extensively for many years with guitarist Jared Burrows in numerous groups, including his own quartet, quintet, and sextet. In 2007, he released the album Full Circle, featuring a jazz quartet playing his original compositions, and in 2017 released new quintet album No Complications. In Britain, he performs with the Mike Collins Quartet, the Bristol European Jazz Ensemble, and Nigerian group Meta/Mistura. Other UK credits include the Hackney Colliery Band, Paul Weinreb’s Quintet and Tarantula, the 4Seasons Band, the River City Stompers, the Hot Orange Big Band, the Charles Condy Quartet, and his own groups.
As a composer and arranger, Len also writes music for other artists. In 2013, the London brass quintet Mardi Brass recorded his piece Cobalt Blue on their album Something Blue. He has written and recorded horn arrangements for jazz singer Rose Tait’s album The One, gospel singer Joy Ibisa’s I’ve Got Joy, and Solange Renée’s Sons of God.
Len is also an active music educator, teaching woodwinds, keyboards, music theory, composition and improvisation. He has performed concerts of his compositions with student ensembles at Capilano University in Vancouver in 2011, 2012, and 2016. He has been a regular faculty member of the South Delta Jazz Workshop since 2005, and in 2011 he was guest composer for the SDJW Faculty Concert. In London he has taught at the British Academy of New Music, Goldsmith’s College, and Morley College, as well as privately, and in schools throughout the city.
His lifelong musical studies continue through transcription of improvised solos and compositions, and score analysis. At the archive in the Royal Academy of Music, he studies the music of Kenny Wheeler by examining original manuscripts. He made a presentation at the 2011 North American Saxophone Alliance on the improvisational style of saxophonist Paul Desmond.
Other performing credits include tours with singers Gene Pitney and Lorraine Klaasen, and several theatre productions: Simply Heavenly at Trafalgar Studios, Hello, Dolly! at Lincoln Theatre Royal with Anita Dobson, and Marilyn & Ella at Stratford Theatre Royal and the Apollo Theatre in London’s West End. He has played at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival with his own quartet, also the Delta Quartet, sextet Sound & Fury, and the Alan Matheson Big Band. With the 4Seasons Band, he has performed at the London African Music Festival at Queen Elizabeth Hall, and with the Association of British Calypsonians at the London Calypso tent at Notting Hill Carnival.