Saxophonist, composer and teacher Mornington Lockett studied at Dartington College of Arts, gaining a first class honours degree, before moving to London to attend the Guildhall School of Music And Drama as a post-graduate. As a member of the Ronnie Scott Quintet, Mornington toured widely, in the U.K. and internationally. He has recorded more than 50 albums with a wide variety of artists, including Ronnie Scott, Jim Mullen, Stan Tracey, Don Grusin, Martin Drew, Claire Martin, Sarah Jane Morris and Ian Shaw. Recent commercial studio work includes a session with Oasis.
Mornington has also toured variously with Oscar Peterson's rhythm section, drummer Martin Drew, bassist Niels Henning Ørsted Pedersen and guitarist Ulf Wakenius.
In 1995 Mornington performed in concert with Cuban trumpet star, Arturo Sandoval at the Barbican Hall, and as a result was asked to rejoin the group for part of their 1998 U.K. tour.
In 2001 Mornington performed for a week at the Jazz Café in London with US Hammond organ legend Jimmy Smith. He then worked with Jimmy on all his subsequent visits to the UK and toured Europe extensively with the band in the summer of 2004.
In 2004 Mornington was involved in an ambitious project with the renaissance vocal group "Sequentia", reinterpreting the music of Thomas Tallis for choir and saxophone improvisations in honour of the 500th anniversary of the composer's birth. A second concert took place in 2006 involving the music of Spanish renaissance composer Victoria.
In May 2008 Mornington participated in a cultural exchange with the Hungarian government, playing a series of concerts in Budapest and London with multi-award-winning Hungarian pianist Béla Szakcsi Lakatos and his trio, which featured, on one occasion, legendary US drummer Jack De Johnette.
Mornington is currently working and recording with his own group: "The New Jazz Couriers", a tribute to Ronnie Scott and Tubby Hayes' famous band from the 1950s. The band has released four critically acclaimed albums and won the 2002 British Jazz Award for Best Small Group. In autumn of 2005 the group toured the UK with the Swiss trumpet virtuoso Franco Ambrosetti, and Mornington has subsequently been invited to Switzerland for a number of concerts and clinics.
In 2006 Mornington joined forces with two of his heroes, Don Weller and Art Themen to form the "Three Jazz Tenors" band. The group recorded a live album and is very popular on the UK jazz festival circuit.
Mornington's newest group is a piano-less trio with bassist Laurence Cottle and drummer Martin Drew, called "LCD". In November 2008 the group joined forces with the celebrated Russian pianist Gregory Fine for a short tour of Samara in Russia.
Mornington has also worked regularly with legendary British pianist and composer Stan Tracey for 15 years. Highlights include a recreation of the iconic 1965 "Under Milk Wood" suite, a concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall celebrating the centenary of the birth of Duke Ellington, and a performance of Ellington's "Sacred Music", at a packed St. Paul's Cathedral in 2006 as part of Stan's 80th Birthday Celebrations. Mornington also appeared with Stan Tracey at the 2009 Proms at the Royal Albert Hall. An octet album has just been recorded, planned for release in 2010.
Another exciting current project is the reformation of the group 'Elephant', perhaps the first professional group Mornington ever played with, for which Mornington was 'headhunted' when a Guildhall student back in 1986. The new band, rebranded as 'Elephant III', led by trombonist Paul Nieman, is strongly rooted in latin music, and has recently recorded a CD, the 'Eastcote Sessions'.
Mornington is very much involved with music education, with a c.v. that includes the Royal College of Music, Trinity College of Music, Leeds College of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music. He has recently been giving a series of masterclasses in cooperation with Saxophones.co.uk and P.Mauriat Saxophones
In 2008 Mornington became an endorsee of P. Mauriat saxophones and is currently very happy to be playing their instruments exclusively.