remembered by those of us of a certain age for 60's gigs at the
Flamingo Club in Soho and Klooks Kleek, tonight we are priviledged to
host the legendary Zoot Money. At school Zoot played the French horn and
sang in the choir, life changed when he discovered Jerry Lee Lewis and
Ray Charles, took up keyboard and, by the beginning of the 1960s,
Hammond organ. In 1961 he formed the Big Roll Band playing soul, jazz
and R&B. Famed far and wide for his combination of outrageous
antics (including "shocking" trouser activity that predated PJ Proby by
several years), tight musicianship and passionate vocal delivery. Zoot's
countless musical associations include Alexis Korner's Blues
Incorporated, Georgie Fame, Alan Price, Ruby Turner, Dick
Heckstall-Smith, Steve Marriott & Ronnie Lane, Peter Green and Eric
1936 in Glasgow, Bobby worked with Stan Tracey's Quartet during the
1960s, playing on the classic album "Under Milk Wood". In a poll by Jazz
UK magazine, readers chose this record as their all-time favourite
British jazz album. Bobby was absent from the jazz scene for a number of
years, until in 1976 he formed a quartet and with Don Weller, a
quintet. He was then able to perform regularly and start recording
again. Bobby Wellins is and always has been an original with his own
distinctive sound. "Bobby Wellins has a tenor sax tone so celebrated
that it has become the one aspect of his playing everbody mentions. But
that gorgeous, smoky sound is part of a complete style that involves
articulation, phrasing and a delightfully wayward approach to time" -
Head of Jazz at the Royal Academy of Music, Nick Smart is an internationally renowned jazz educator, trumpeter and musical director. In 2013 he was the winner of the prestigious Parliamentary Award for Jazz Education. 2005, Nick released his debut album 'Remembering Nick Drake' to critical acclaim. The album featured Smart’s arrangements of Nick Drake’s music played by an all star line-up including John Parricelli, Paul Clarvis, Christine Tobin and Stan Sulzmann amongst others.
Stan Sulzmann’s career stretches back to the 60’s, when as part of a uniquely talented crop of British musicians, he played with Graham Collier, John Taylor, Kenny Wheeler and Gordon Beck as well as leading his own groups.
This evening we welcome several talented musicians completely new to the club, introduced to us by bassist, bandleader, composer, arranger and record producer Gary Crosby OBE. A founder member of the original Jazz Warriors, he leads Gary Crosby’s Nu Troop, Gary Crosby Trio, Guava, Jazz Jamaica and Jazz Jamaica All Stars. Gary is the nephew of guitarist Ernest Ranglin, who performed with Jazz Jamaica at Ronnie Scott’s in October 2009 as part of the club’s anniversary concert series. In 1991, Gary established Tomorrow’s Warriors, providing a platform for talented young musicians who wished to pursue a career in jazz. Over the following 13 years, the Tomorrow’s Warriors Jazz Café Jam Session became an institution and developed four generations of Warriors, including Denys Baptiste, J-Life and Soweto Kinch. In 2009, Gary was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Tonight we proudly present the one man institution that is Peter
King. In the words of one critic, "the finest alto saxophonist that
Britain has ever produced, and one of the finest in the world today" -
Dave Gelly. Peter King has been a major influence on the British jazz
scene ever since he played, at the age of eighteen, the opening night of
the original Ronnie Scott’s in 1959. He’s worked with such legends as
Bud Powell, Elvin Jones, Max Roach, Milt Jackson, Lalo Schifrin, George
Coleman and the Ray Charles Orchestra. "A wonderful musician, Peter
King, of course, is a master of his instrument. People are aware of that
here in America as well as in England" - Elvin Jones. "World’s great
Altoist...My Man!" - Nat Adderley. "Peter King is one of the best
musicians in the world" - Lalo Schifrin.
vibrant and charismatic performer on all 4 sax's from soprano to
baritone, Derek Nash is of course best known as leader and arranger,
since its inception almost 30 years ago, of the award winning ensemble
‘Sax Appeal’. His playing credits include David Sanborn, Mavis Staples,
Eric Clapton, Tom Jones and the late Spike Robinson with whom he
recorded an award winning CD 'Young Lions Old Tigers'.
Etheridge weren’t so brilliant he might be more famous. His versatility
is confusing. What other guitarist could have begun his career as a
member of Soft Machine and the Stephan Grappelli Quintet?” - Dave Gelly,
Observer. John left Grappelli’s group in the early 80s. For the last
twenty years he has pursued a career involving associations with many of
the great players - he has appeared with: Barney Kessel, Herb Ellis,
Dizzy Gillespie, Tony Williams, Yehudi Menuhin, Pat Metheny and Nigel
Kennedy. “I never wanted to be a star, just a highly respected musician
like John Etheridge” - Sting, The Guardian. “One of the best
guitarists in the world” - Pat Metheny.
Siegel studied sax, clarinet and conducting at UEA, Norwich. Moving to
London in 1991 he became known on his second instrument, the double
bass. Now established as one of the most in-demand saxophonists on the
scene, his current bands are the Julian Siegel Quartet featuring pianist Liam Noble, the Julian Siegel Trio with US stars drummer Joey Baron and bassist Greg Cohen and the influential band Partisans, co-led for the last 14 years with guitarist Phil Robson. Julian has played in large ensembles led by Andrew Hill, Mike Gibbs alongside Bill Frisell, Steve Swallow and Adam Nussbaum, the Hermeto Pascoal UK Big Band, Django Bates Delightful Precipice, John Taylor, Jazz Jamaica, Kenny Wheeler, Colin Towns with the NDR big band, Hans Koller New Memories Band with Steve Lacy and with Jason Yarde's'Acoutastic Bombastic' In smaller groups he has played with Gary Husband’s ‘Drive’, Django Bates’ Human Chain, NYC performance artist/violinist Laurie Anderson and pianist/singer-songwriter Steve Nieve, The Smith Quartet, Kirk Lightsey, Norma Winstone and Jason Palmer’s Quartet featuring Jeff Ballard.
Horler is a highly respected pianist and composer who has earned a
formidable reputation on the British jazz scene over many years. His
credentials as a musician are as impeccable as they are diverse. As his
reputation grew he found himself increasingly supporting American jazz
stars such as Bob Brookmeyer, Clark Terry, Zoot Sims, Al Cohn, Art
Farmer, Pepper Adams, Bud Shank, and Shorty Rodgers. One of the most
notable of these events was working with Chet Baker for a week at The
Canteen in Great Queen Street.
Mark Nightingale is one
of the most sought after session-musicians on the London scene. His rich
and varied musical life has taken him from recording with Sting, Tom
Jones, the Spice Girls and Robbie Williams to playing in the orchestras
of Henry Mancini, Michel Legrand and Frank Sinatra. He has also
performed in such esteemed jazz company as Clark Terry, Bill Holman,
Slide Hampton, James Morrison and Ray Brown.
to us all as the accomplished leader of his astonishing big band, as
well as a prolific composer for the movies, television and commercials,
tonight John Altman lays down his baton to front a small group. An Emmy
and BAFTA winning composer, John began his musical journey at age 3 with
Judy Garland at the London Palladium. Commencing his recording and live
career as an in-demand saxophonist in the late 60s he has performed
with many of the major figures in music over the last few decades
including Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, Muddy Waters, Nick Drake, Eric
Clapton, Sting, Phil Collins, Jimmy Page, Little Richard and Van
Morrison, also jazz giants Al Cohn, Jimmy Heath, Chet Baker, Bud Freeman
and Joe Newman. His last quartet album recorded in LA was Observer Jazz
CD of the month, as was his previous big band CD featuring vocalist
of the late Jimmy Skidmore, also a tenor saxophonist, Alan has toured
and recorded with Elvin Jones, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Joe
Henderson, Dexter Gordon, Mike Gibbs and Mike Westbrook, Chris
McGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath, John Dankworth and Tubby Hayes Big
Bands, the widely influential SOS group with Mike Osborne and John
Surman as well as a continuing association with Georgie Fame’s Blue
Flames. “Skidmore - one of the most ferociously virtuosic saxophonists
to have emerged out of the British sax generation that worked up its
momentum around 1970 - is no mere mirror of Coltrane’s glory. When he
attacks the master’s long, twisting odysseys into melodic and harmonic
density, he plays as if the effort is fearsome. To watch his chest
pumping after a five-minute double-time avalanche of improvisation, you
almost wish he would sit down and recover with a bit of Coltrane-like
yoga breathing” - John Fordham, Guardian.
Tonight, our annual welcome back to tenor ace Benn Clatworthy, grandson of the famous theatre and revue artist, Gertrude Lawrence. Raised in London he has been a resident of Los Angeles since 1980. As a teenager Benn took sax lessons from Ronnie Scott who recommended him to Berklee College, Boston. Benn’s distinctive, muscular saxophone and flute feature in his unique arrangements of standards from Cole Porter to Marvin Gaye, John Coltrane to the Beatles. His work credits include such notables as Cedar Walton, Lionel Hampton and Jimmy Cleveland. Benn has released eleven CDs to critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic. Cecilia Coleman is one of the USA's most original voices both as pianist and composer/arranger. Born at Long Beach, CA and resident of New York, she has led her own groups since 1990. She is credited with seven CDs as a leader.
born Jim Mullen is possibly best known for his long association with
the legendary sax player Dick Morrisey. Their popular group Morrisey
Mullen was at the forefront of the jazz-funk movement in the UK,
producing seven albums. Jim has also gained acclaim backing vocalist
Claire Martin on three albums. As a sideman he has been in demand by
visiting U.S. stars like Gene Harris, Mose Allison, Jimmy Smith, Percy
Sledge, Plas Johnson, Jimmy Witherspoon and Terry Callier. A dynamic
and forceful player, his deep affinity with the blues gives his music a
quality of earthy excitement.
Tim Whitehead was born in Liverpool, the son of one of the original writers of Dennis the Menace in the Beano. His first public performance was as solo clarinettist in his school orchestra’s rendition of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, conducted by his fellow pupil, the now knighted, Sir Simon Rattle. From this promising musical beginning, Tim decided to follow a career in Law, but was pulled back to music, and more specifically jazz, soon after qualifying. In the 70s he toured with Ian Carr’s Nucleus and Graham Collier Music and won the Young Jazz Musicians of the Year Award with his own band South of the Border in 1977. In the 80’s he was a member of the big band Loose Tubes. In 2009 Tim was the first ever musician Artist in Residence at Tate Britain, to research and compose music in response to the work of JMW Turner. During the residency he wrote 'Colour Beginnings' which was performed at Tate Britain in November 2009 following a series of lecture demonstrations in October. The performance was also recorded for release in 2010. The London Jazz Festival commissioned Tim to compose 'Turner And The Thames' for the 2013 and 2014 festivals, which were performed by Tim's quartet.
Woodstock survivor Henry Lowther has had a varied career since the 60’s working with both the Gil Evans and George Russell Orchestras, John Dankworth, Peter King, Kenny Wheeler, Charlie Watts, Loose Tubes and John Surman on the jazz scene, to Manfred Mann, Buzzcocks, John Mayall and Keef Hartley at the legendary Woodstock Festival in August 1969. On the classical side, Henry is an accomplished composer, as well as being a featured member of the London Brass Virtuosi. Allison Neale was born in Seattle, USA and raised in Northamptonshire. Skilled and versatile, equally at home on sax or flute, she started playing by ear at an early age, assimilating the stylistic approach of many players, but above all Paul Desmond and Art Pepper, with whom she still has a particular affinity.
Spillett is the kind of big toned wailing tenor player that I like.
The influences of Tubby Hayes and Johnny Griffin are clearly
discernible in his sound, harmonic thinking and in his direct
no-nonsense determination in getting things swinging. This refreshing
attitude is also in evidence in his composing. He has written a whole
raft of catchy hard bop tunes which are great launching pads for the
soloist and that never fall into the trap of complexity for
complexity's sake. A great player" - Alan Barnes. "Those of us who have
heard him...have been left blinking in disbelief. It's not just his
mastery of the tenor saxophone, phenomenal though that is, but the
absolute conviction of his playing that is so impressive" - Dave Gelly,
Sunday Observer. "The world's leading Tubbiologist" - Jack Massarik,
Nottingham born, Tony Kofi studied at the Berklee College of
Music in Boston. Back in the UK he played with The Jazz Warriors and
Gary Crosby's Nu Troop. His subsequent playing credits include Billy
Higgins, Branford Marsalis, Byron Wallen, Claude Deppa, Donald Byrd,
Lonnie Smith, Eddie Henderson, Jazz Jamaica All Stars and the big bands
of Jean Toussaint and Julian Joseph. Tony's quartet was voted best
ensemble at the 2005 Parliamentary Jazz Awards; their CD ‘Plays Monk -
All Is Know’, was awarded ‘BBC Jazz Line-up Album of the Year 2005’. "If
the parameters, as on Kofi's previous albums, are mostly retro, the
impact of the music is again wholly of today. Kofi deals not so much
with the past as with the eternal truths of jazz music - swing,
in-the-moment lyricism, the lust for life - and he continues to find
compelling ways to express them. His albums are heartfelt, unpretentious
explosions of joy, and precisely what the doctor ordered" - Chris May,
It's time for our annual fix of the world-class
Liane Carroll. Born in London and raised in Hastings, where she
currently lives with her husband, bassist Roger Carey, East Side
favourite Liane has been playing the piano since she was three and
performing professionally since the age of fifteen. She has toured and
recorded with artists such as Gerry Rafferty, Long John Baldry and Paul
McCartney. Liane enjoyed success as double winner in the 2005 BBC Jazz
Awards and 'Best female jazz vocalist' at the first Ronnie Scott’s Jazz
Awards. Liane went on to pick up the 2008 Parliamentary Jazz Award for
'Musician Of The Year.' Later that year Liane formed an exciting new
collaboration with the acclaimed Scottish jazz pianist Brian Kellock,
and in November the pair toured throughout Scotland, at which The Herald
declared, "This may well be British jazz's greatest double act." In
2009 Liane and her trio went stateside for the first time and performed
to rapturous audiences at Dizzy's Jazz Club at the Lincoln Centre and
the Rochester Jazz Festival. "No one who hears Liane Carroll in person
is likely to forget the experience. It's not just that she's a brilliant
pianist and a mesmerising singer, but that, like Stevie Wonder, she
seems in some magical way to be made out of music. No recording has
managed to capture this quality until now, but this one comes close" -
Dave Gelly, The Observer (reviewing Liane's CD 'Up and Down'). Liane's
last CD 'Ballads' was released to huge critical acclaim.
A real favourite of the club, Quentin Collins, born locally in Forest
Gate, is an outstanding trumpeter who graduated from the Guildhall
School of Music by winning the 'Best Finals' prize. Already with a
wealth of experience, he has worked with the likes of Jean Toussaint,
Stan Tracey, Norma Winstone, Roy Ayers, John Surman, Roy Hargrove, Tim
Garland and Ray Gelato. In 2007 Quentin released his debut solo album
"If Not Now, Then When?" on SunlightSquare Records to much critical
acclaim. He is now the regular trumpet player for the Kyle Eastwood
band, with whom Quentin tours extensively. In Quentin's own words "I've
played in many different contexts & styles e.g. Pop, Funk, Reggae,
Classical, Hip-Hop, but I love Jazz above all, especially Be-Bop,
Hard-Bop, Post-Bop and contemporary straight-ahead". "A Trumpeter whose
style is a sizzling update of the Morgan/Hubbard approach" - MOJO
Tonight's Festival band, specially formed for this one-off gig, should really raise the roof. Winston Rollins, Chris Storr, Dave Ital and bandleader Derek Nash, are all members of Jools Holland's famed Rhythm & Blues Orchestra. Pete Whittaker is a leading exponent of the hammond organ, Geoff Gascoyne the go-to bass player and Clive Fenner the hugely experienced host and resident drummer of the long established East Side Jazz Club in Leytonstone.
Derek Nash is a vibrant and charismatic performer on all four saxes from soprano to baritone. Derek is of course best known as leader and arranger, since its inception 30 years ago, of the award winning ensemble 'Sax Appeal'. His playing credits include David Sanborn, Mavis Staples, Eric Clapton, Tom Jones, Jools Holland and the late Spike Robinson with whom he recorded an award winning CD 'Young Lions Old Tigers'. Derek is also a respected recording engineer. He was awarded a gold disc for his work on 'Pointless Nostalgic' by Jamie Cullum and has recorded for Bobby Wellins, Dave O'Higgins, Martin Drew, Geoff Gascoyne, Georgie Fame and George Melly.
Don's career started when he played Mozart's clarinet concerto in the Fairfield Hall, Croydon as a 14 year old. He went on to take up tenor sax, with lessons from Kathy Stobart and formed his now almost legendary group "Major Surgery" which ran for nine years playing his own compositions.“Weller’s stage presence and the world-class power and fluency of his sax-playing has been part of his enduring charm over three decades on the British jazz scene” - John Fordham, The Guardian. “He imitates nobody yet swings as hard and plays as soulfully, inventively and, if necessary, as devastatingly fast as any American icon could” - Jack Massarik, London Evening Standard.
Byron began playing jazz around Brighton, then came to London at the beginning of the 1990s to play with Jazz Warriors singer Cleveland Watkiss and to work in the quartet of jazz drummer John Stevens. Later he joined Gary Crosby’s band Nu-Troop and in 1995 formed his own band, Sound Advice. Byron won the 2003 BBC prize for "Innovation in Jazz". He's played trumpet in a huge variety of musical settings including The Style Council, Charles Earland, Courtney Pine and Jean Toussaint. He has also worked with Andrew Hill, Lonnie Liston Smith, Ronnie Laws and Chaka Khan. “..one of the most innovative, exciting and original trumpet players alive” - Jazzwise Magazine.
in Gloucester and spending her student days in Paris, award winning
jazz vocalist Tina has recorded numerous CDs both as a leader and a
guest. In 2004 Tina completed recording with legendry pianist Ray Bryant
and a host of New York jazz players. These sessions at the Rudy Van
Gelder studio's were released on 'Tina May sings the Ray Bryant Song
Book'. “For musical taste, delicacy of interpretation and presentational
flair Tina May has always been a hard act to follow. She is also
completely at home in jazz, which isn't as common among high-profile
singers as you might think” - Dave Gelly, Observer
began playing saxophone at the age of 15. In 1984 he graduated from
Middlesex University with a degree in music, and for a while served an
apprenticeship as a street musician. He works in the UK and
internationally with a wide range of his own projects and
collaborations. Ed’s playing credits include George Benson, Horace
Silver, Jimmy Witherspoon, Dianne Reeves, Charles Earland, Clifford
Jarvis and Dr Lonnie Smith. “A formidable saxophonist. Ed Jones may have
hit his highest profile through his work with bands US3 and Incognito,
but he’s an improviser to his fingertips, a player of forceful
imagination and one of the UK’s most distinctive saxophonists.” - John
Fordham, The Guardian. “One of the most fluent and forceful saxophonists
in Europe” - Jack Massarik, Evening Standard.
is committed to swinging and exciting jazz and likes to bring in
influences from his different musical experiences. For more than 10
years he has been resident drummer at The East Side Jazz Club in East
London where he has supported many of the countries top jazz musicians
including Kenny Wheeler, Peter King, John Etheridge, Alan Barnes, Jean
Toussaint and Tony Coe. He started playing in blues, pop and jazz-rock
bands supporting groups including Fleetwood Mac, Free and The Nice, but
always had a love of jazz since first hearing “ Straight No Chaser” in
his early teens. He studied and became good friends with top American
drummer Clifford Jarvis ( Freddie Hubbard, Sun Ra, Pharoah Sanders) and
Britains premier drum teacher Bob Armstrong. As well as organising the
East Side Jazz Club he is founder and Director of ‘Jazzsummerschool’
which offers jazz courses in France and Cuban music courses in Havana
Cuba. The Quartet’s first CD, recorded live in the club and aptly named ‘Get It!’ will be available this evening.
A big welcome back after 2 long years to the phenomenal, exciting, unpredictable musical genius that is Gilad Atzmon.
"Eschewing the political rhetoric, Atzmon now lets the music do the talking, relaxing into a skilful and witty dialogue with his versatile bandmates. Together they breathe new harmonic and rhythmic life into every composition they perform, transforming even the most well-worn jazz standards into scintillating originals - the true essence of real live jazz." "You get an awful lot of music with Gilad Atzmon: quotes from jazz standards, torch songs, ideas playfully purloined from Mediterranean or Middle Eastern sources, sultry Paris-cabaret smooches, New Orleans clarinet swing and bebop in hyperdrive. The Israeli reed virtuoso is acclaimed as one of the most original world-jazz specialists..” - John Fordham, The Guardian. "Atzmon is an astonishing musician with a seemingly effortless ability to demolish and rebuild any old tune he chooses to play" - John Lewis, Time Out.
Tonight a big welcome to Nadim Teimoori who debuts as a leader at the East Side. His superb tenor sound first came to our attention when he accompanied Dennis Rollins, at his gig here in January this year. Originally from Doncaster, Nadim joined DYJA (Doncaster Youth Jazz Associaton) at the age of 13 and progressed rapidly, receiving recognition from all over the country and winning numerous awards. A diploma in Jazz Studies at Leeds College of Music followed, before ending up at the Royal Academy Of Music in 2008, winning the Humphrey Lyttelton Royal Academy of Music Jazz Award in 2011, and graduating with 1st Class Honours in 2012. A former member of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO), Nadim performed with NYJO at the BBC Proms in 2012.
“More than any other British jazz trumpeter, Pearce probably
deserves the mantle of heir to Jimmy Deuchar, offering a style that
contains a fractured lyricism reminiscent of his forebear...He has a
sophisticated command of harmonic improvising, although, as with his
self-confessed (and disparate) trumpet heroes - Chet Baker, Art Farmer
and Don Cherry - his playing comes across as anything but contrived.
Pearce had a lengthy association with Ronnie Scott which lasted from the
1970s until Scott's health forced him to abandon performing in the
mid-1990s, and some of his best recorded work can be found on the CD
Never Pat A Burning Dog (Jazz House, 1990), where his solos contrast
admirably with Scott's more forthright contributions, and contain a heat
and urgency never far beneath the cool surface" - Simon Spillett.
The last album from Denys Baptiste ‘Identity By Subtraction’ attracted some very positive reviews: "London saxophonist Baptiste won a raft of prizes - a Mercury, a Mobo and a British Jazz award - and much deserved acclaim for 2003's ‘Let Freedom Ring’. Given that head-start, his seven-year absence from the recording studio has been surprising. But the traditionally swaggering tenor-sax tone with a soulfully imploring contemporary edge is still fully functioning on this new quartet set...There's plenty of Coltrane-driven orthodox-postbop that largely avoids the rhythmically byzantine nu-jazz challenges of recent years" - John Fordham, The Guardian. "Baptiste puts all the pieces together with rare dedication, imagination and emotion. Nine mature originals complete a multi-faceted suite of straight-ahead contemporary jazz that repays repeated listening" - Jack Massarik, London Evening Standard.
Barnes is the most reliably entertaining, multi-skilled reed virtuoso
on the UK scene” - John Fordham, Guardian. Alan has enjoyed a prolific
career, playing and recording for many bands. He has dominated the
British Jazz Awards over the years, having won the alto sax section in
1993, 95, 97 & 99, the clarinet award for 94, 96 & 98
and being voted the top baritone player in 98, 2000 & 2002. In
2001 and 2006 Alan received the prestigious BBC Jazz Instrumentalist of
the Year award and in November 2003 was made a fellow of the Leeds
College of Music. 2003 also saw the inception of Alan’s own record label
Woodville Records. Alan is joined by the co-leader of his award-winning
quintet - trumpeter par excellence Bruce Adams, himself a previous
winner of the top trumpet prize at the British Jazz Awards.
Stepney born, raised on the Isle of Wight, tenor saxophonist Mornington Lockett returned to London to attend the Guildhall School of Music. As a member of the Ronnie Scott Sextet, Mornington worked extensively in Britain and abroad. He has recorded albums with Ronnie Scott, guitarist Jim Mullen, drummer Martin Drew, jazz singers Sarah Jane Morris, Claire Martin and Ian Shaw and the rock band Oasis. In 2001 Mornington and the late Martin Drew formed the group 'Celebrating The Jazz Couriers', recreating the classic 1950s group which featured Tubby Hayes and Ronnie Scott. In 2004 the group disbanded, and reformed as the 'New Couriers' taking in the Tubby Hayes Quartet repertoire and also the compositions of the great British pianist and vibraphone player, Victor Feldman. "Saxophonist Mornington Lockett must be one of the most complete masters of the instrument alive today" - Dave Gelly, The Observer.
Tonight we proudly present the one man institution that is Peter King. In the words of one critic, "the finest alto saxophonist that Britain has ever produced, and one of the finest in the world today" - Dave Gelly. Peter King has been a major influence on the British jazz scene ever since he played, at the age of eighteen, the opening night of the original Ronnie Scott’s in 1959. He’s worked with such legends as Bud Powell, Elvin Jones, Max Roach, Milt Jackson, Lalo Schifrin, George Coleman and the Ray Charles Orchestra. "A wonderful musician, Peter King, of course, is a master of his instrument. People are aware of that here in America as well as in England" - Elvin Jones. "World’s great Altoist...My Man!" - Nat Adderley. "Peter King is one of the best musicians in the world" - Lalo Schifrin.
Born in Vancouver, Canada 1982, Jay took up the trumpet at 11 years of age. At 15 he became the youngest artist to lead his own band at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival. Keen to develop his career further, Jay moved to London at the age of 17 where he immediately attracted the attention of Gary Crosby who engaged him as a dep for Jazz Jamaica All Stars and Nu Troop. In 2002 Gary offered him a place in the core band of Tomorrow's Warriors. Formerly co-frontman of the much admired band Empirical, Jay is a featured member of Dennis Rollins’ Badbone & Co and has performed with Andrew Hill, Wynton Marsalis, Ray Brown, George Benson and Hugh Masakela. Jay's solo debut album Jay Walkin’, was released in November 2010 "..evoking the spirit of the 1940′s New York Birdland scene"
Tonight we welcome back the affable Derek Nash, a vibrant and charismatic performer on all four saxes from soprano to baritone. Derek is of course best known as leader and arranger, since its inception 30 years ago, of the award winning ensemble 'Sax Appeal'. His playing credits include David Sanborn, Mavis Staples, Eric Clapton, Tom Jones, Jools Holland and the late Spike Robinson with whom he recorded an award winning CD 'Young Lions Old Tigers'. Derek is also a respected recording engineer, he was awarded a gold disc for his work on 'Pointless Nostalgic' by Jamie Cullum and has recorded for Bobby Wellins, Dave O'Higgins, Martin Drew, Geoff Gascoyne, Georgie Fame & George Melly.
Head of Jazz at the Royal Academy of Music, Nick Smart is an internationally renowned jazz educator, trumpeter and musical director. In 2013 he was the winner of the prestigious Parliamentary Award for Jazz Education. 2005, Nick released his debut album 'Remembering Nick Drake' to critical acclaim. The album featured Smart’s arrangements of Nick Drake’s music played by an all star line-up including John Parricelli, Paul Clarvis, Christine Tobin and Stan Sulzmann amongst others. It was described by Straight No Chaser magazine as "..a future classic because it really captures all that is best about British jazz..". Rob Townsend started playing the sax when he got fed up with carting drums around. A senior lecturer in Jazz at Middlesex University, he has performed with a broad range of leading musicians including Django Bates, Sam Rivers, Iain Ballamy, Tim Garland, Mark Lockheart and Bill Bruford. Rob has been a featured soloist with ex Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett for a number of years, touring internationally and recording a number of albums and DVDs.
Art Themen, orthopaedic surgeon (now retired) and illustrious saxman, remains a firm favourite on the British jazz scene with a pedigree as long as Southend Pier. Art was involved in the early British blues movement with Alexis Korner’s All Stars, Jack Bruce’s Band and Long John Baldry’s Hoochie Coochie Men. He has played and recorded with the bands of Michael Garrick, Graham Collier, Don Weller and in 1974 began a long association with Stan Tracey. He also toured and recorded with Charlie Parker alumni, Red Rodney and Al Haig. “Originally a Dexter Gordon and Sonny Rollins disciple..Themen has proved himself remarkably attentive to the saxophone styles of subsequent generations. The atonal whirlings of Evan Parker are evident, alongside John Coltrane's sheets of sound, and the full-bodied, vibrato-laden rhapsodising of long-gone swing stars such as Coleman Hawkins” - John Fordham, The Guardian.
Martin Shaw was born into a family of musicians, both his mother and father being accomplished pianists. He began piano lessons at the age of 9 and started studying the trumpet at the age of 11. Four years later Martin became a member of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Great Britain and remained there for 3 years. He subsequently gained a place at the Royal Academy of Music in London. In 1989 Martin was invited to study at Berklee college of music in Boston. Martin has worked with many leading jazz artists including Cleo Laine, John Dankworth, Pete King, Dick Morrisey, Tim Garland and numerous big bands including the BBC Big Band; he has also recorded, performed live and toured extensively with various pop artists including Sting, Jamiroquai, Natalie Cole, Paul Young and the Brand New Heavies. In 2001 Martin was appointed professor of Jazz Trumpet at the Birmingham Conservatoire. Co-fronting tonight, Sam Mayne is also a former student of the Royal Academy of Music. Sam's work credits include Billy Cobham, Amy Winehouse, BBC Big Band & Concert Orchestra, Joe Locke, Victor Bailey, Django Bates, Tim Garland, Stan Tracey, Joe Lovano, Bud Shank, Patti Austin and Gladys Knight.