Christine Franey who recorded two albums in the late 1990s with the Guildford–based folk country band ‘The Blazing Homesteads’. For more summers than she can remember she ‘yee-haahed’ from the club stages at Guilfest and the Cambridge Folk Festival. After hanging up the Stetson and fringed shirt she experimented with grunge- folk- rock producing a third album with Hackney-based band ‘Happyland’. Now in retirement from band life but still very much employed in her day job as a university lecturer she dabbles with barbershop singing and is chuffed to bits to be invited to take part in Barbie’s blues and gospel ensemble.
Jenny Jones is one of my ex-pupils with whom I have been friends for a long time. We parted ways back in the late 80s when I went to York University and Jen back to Australia where she sang in various Sydney jazz venues. Now back in the UK permanently and having retired from singing (apart from being a member of Rock Choir) she’s absolutely thrilled to be invited to be one of “the girls” on my new album.
Paula Benson is an actor/director/comedian and teacher who pursued a singing career and had a record deal in the early 80’s. She has appeared as a backing singer for various artists including Barbie Benson (her mum!) and has also performed in a range of musicals and pantomimes. She now concentrates on all things theatrical and is Artistic Director and Co-Founder of all-female theatre company 'Get Over It Productions' and is one half of comedy duo 'Barber and Benson'.
Patrick Kingsland, his early work was for the BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop, in the first days of synthesisers, including incidental music for Dr Who and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. After leaving the BBC he wrote music for conventional instruments combined with electronics for many TV documentaries: ‘Pole to Pole’, ‘The Power and the Glory’ ‘The Road To War’ and ‘Around The World In 80 Days (for which he received a BAFTA nomination), also eight albums of music for the KPM Music Library. Children’s series include ‘Words and Pictures’, ‘Blips’ and ‘The Number Crew’. His latest album “Retro Electro” once again features electronics. He is currently doing live gigs with The Radiophonic Workshop, with colleagues from the old days.
Shiobain Corsie, I'm a born and bred Londoner who grew up in a home listening to opera, classical, pop, soul and Tamla Motown. I can't remember a time when I didn't love to sing and took part in every concert and performance throughout my school days. As a teenager I became interested in Gospel music and sang in my church. I joined a Christian band called Meet Jesus Music in 1978 and spent most Saturdays performing around the country. In 1979 we headlined at the Greenbelt festival. Through the mid to late 80's I was part of a collaboration writing and recording music with Liz Fletcher, Robbie Taylor & Errol Kennedy. I also did session singing; recording and live performances.
After a break to have a family and study for a degree I returned to performing and recording. I co-wrote and recorded a spiritual song 'In Your Love' in 2011, which was played by Aled Jones on 'Good Morning Sunday'. More recently I have been involved with a local jazz collective. We played at a charity concert called 'Jazz on the Broadway' in April 2013 in aid of the Street Child World Cup. The event was compared by Clive Davis. It was a privilege to perform with the Acton Music Collective amongst a line up including Alexander Stewart, Colin Salmon & Richard Hills to name a few. Barbie and I met through mutual friends in the early 80's. We had the same singing teacher; Florence Norberg-Weisse. We reconnected in 2011when I approached her for vocal coaching - she has a lot of knowledge to share. I am delighted to be involved in her latest project.
Pete North of Diving Duck Recordings, which was founded in 2004, as an independent British jazz label for the contemporary scene. With seven critically-acclaimed albums to their credit, their mission is to produce music that represents the great diversity and musicality shown by the current UK jazz scene.
Kelvin Christiane is a freelance saxophonist, flautist, clarinettist, percussionist and composer who has been leading music ensembles for the past seventeen years. He has released twelve CDs to date of mainly original compositions. A graduate from the Leeds College of Music, he has played with artists such as Bernard ‘Pretty’ Purdie - the world’s most recorded drummer (Aretha, James Brown, Steely Dan etc.), Pucho & the Latin Soul Bros. (Top New York percussionist), Blue Mercedes, Jim Mullen, Pete King, Gilad Atzmon and many others.
Robert Rickenberg, a graduate of the Guildhall School of Music Robert is now firmly established as one of the country's leading jazz double bass players. He came to prominance on the scene for his work with the Sheena Davis Group to which he also contributed his "imaginative arrangements" (Oxford Times) and his tenure with the great American saxophonist Spike Robinson.
Jazz Review described him as "a real gem of a player, with a rich dark sound, spot on the beat and lays down a really solid framework." With his "stalwart support and top-notch solos" (Allaboutjazz-US) Robert has played alongside numerous British & American jazz greats including John Dankworth, Herb Geller, Danny Gottlieb, Jim Mullen, Will Gaines & Mark Murphy.
He has also played and recorded for a wide range of projects outside the jazz field including Kylie & Dannii Minogue, Westlife, the Fun Lovin' Criminals, opera singers Kim Criswell & Ruti Halvani, klezmer band K-Groove and classical composer Howard Blake.
Les Cirkel - If you saw Stanley Kubrick's film "Eyes Wide Shut", then you probably saw drummer
Les Cirkel playing in the Sonata Club scene with Tom Cruise!
His diverse and versatile drumming and helpful teaching methods cover all genres from pop to jazz. At 15 he was chosen out of 20+ auditionees to be first-call drummer with NYJO. Since then he has gone on to be drumming with 60's pop icons Sandie Shaw, Dana, Cilla Black, John Walker (Walker Bros), soul singers Three Degrees, Brooke Benton, The Drifters, The Platters, crooners Matt Monroe, Des O'Connor & Val Doonican.
He's played opposite Buddy Rich at Ronnie Scott's, as well as working there with Liza Minelli, Jon Hendricks, Jackie Cain & Roy Kral as well as the great drummer Steve Gadd. He even played for Princess Anne's wedding at Buckingham Palace. Les has recorded albums with Nat King Cole's brother Freddie Cole, Marian Montgomery, Val Doonican, reggae star Dillinger, jazz saxophonist Matt Wates and singer Frank Holder. Les has played the West End theatre shows Cats, Me & My Girl, Rocky Horror Show & Little Shop of Horrors and co-ran Salsa band Pa Gozar.
Les toured and recorded in the USA and Europe with trip-hop star Tricky and during this time also working in concert with Goldfrapp, Martina Topley Bird, Bjork and Paul Weller. He backed Blur's Damon Albarn, Kath Koffee & Alison Moyet on Tricky's second album Nearly God and has kicked ass with rock bands Magna Carta and Crazy Mabel, backed Boyband Westlife, played Glastonbury and other major festivals with Tricky, Sony-signed Helen Sheppard and also played MTV's Most Wanted as well as Jools Holland's show 'Later'.
Alex Hutton began the piano at the age of 5, although there were early musical experiences on mandolin and guitar. During his teenage years, he played in local Rock, Latin and Salsa bands in Sheffield.
A half year spent in New York on a music course gave Alex the spirit and determination to play Jazz (Meanwhile he completed a BA Hons degree in History/Philosophy.)
In 1995 he spent 7 months touring the USA and Canada with the soul band ‘Boy on a Dolphin’ (Atlantic Records). The following year, now back home and firmly back in the jazz world, he reached the finals of a televised Jazz competition winning the accolade: “Great British Talent...a wonderfully natural pianist” from the late Ronnie Scott.
He relocated to London in 1996 and winning a full Scholarship, he attended the Guildhall School of music (post grad) in 1997. Alex Hutton is the best pianist I have met in recent years who was on my last album and that is just for starters.
Jim Hart originally form Cornwall began playing piano and drums aged four and soon extended this to include tuned and orchestral percussion. He started playing jazz and working on modern harmony aged ten. In 1994 he went to Manchester to do his A levels at Chetham’s School of Music. Whilst there he was a percussion finalist in the BBC Young Musician of the Year and won the John Dankworth ‘Most Promising Musician’ award in the BBC Big Band of the Year competition.
He then moved to London to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where he began to focus mainly on playing jazz, both on drums and piano. On leaving the Guildhall, Jim became the drummer for NYJO and stayed with them for three years. During this time Jim also developed as a vibraphone player and became in demand as a drummer and percussionist.
In 2002 Jim formed his own group Gemini with saxophonist Ivo Neame and began writing all the music for it. With this group he went on to be a founder member of London’s innovative LOOP Collective. Gemini’s first album ‘Emergence’ was received to critical acclaim and a successful UK tour followed. Jim used ‘Emergence’ to set up the collective’s label LOOP Records. He is currently working on the second Gemini album. Jim also fronts a second group called the Jim Hart Quartet with Ivo on piano. With this group he recently recorded for Woodville records.
He is now the regular drummer for Sir John Dankworth and Dame Cleo Laine and his other major projects at present include Neon, with Stan Sulzmann and Gwilym Simcock, The Liquorice Allsorts with Alan Barnes and Paul Clarvis, The Ivo Neame Quartet, The New Jazz Couriers, Tom Richards Jazz Orchestra and many more.
Jim was the winner of a 2007 British Jazz award, the 2006 British Jazz award for 'Rising star' and the 2006 Worshipful Company of Musicians Jazz medal. He has worked with a host of international stars including Phil Woods, Joel Frahm, Richie Barshay, Franco Ambrosetti, Julien Arguelles Shaun Escoffery, The Herbaliser, The Heritage Orchestra and Airto Moreira.
Brian Dee is one of England's leading jazz pianists. He first came to prominence with the opening of the Ronnie Scott Club in 1959. His international reputation grew and he toured as a member of The Jazz Five opposite Miles Davis. In 1965 he got voted "Melody Maker New Star". Dee's working experience as an accompanist of world class vocalists is well known. The list of jazz stars that he has worked with is endless and includes recordings with Bing Crosby, Johnny Mercer, Peggy Lee and Fred Astaire. He is still making frequent appearances at Ronnie Scott's and broadcasts regularly on radio with his own trio.
Sarah Clevely, is a composer as well as a singer. She has written a number of choral works published by Recital Music and instrumental works, one of which has aired on US radio. Two of her vocal recordings have aired on Women of Substance Radio. Sarah also teaches music theory on a private basis. She studied for many years with the Open University and completed a Masters in Music three years ago. She is one of four South West Representatives for the Incorporated Society of Musicians, which involves organising local musical events. She sings with Morley Choir and the CoMa singers and is very excited to be part of this album.
Chris studied Drums and Percussion at the London College of Music, graduating in 2004. He is an active musician, regularly performing, song-writing and producing for a number of bands. Chris has performed and recorded with jazz musicians such as Frank Sinatra Jr, Randy Brecker, Mike Stern, Andy Sheppard and Jason Rebello. However, Chris can adapt his skills to most styles and has provided his services to Lilly Allen, Lee Ryan (Blue) and Nate James amongst others. He has performed all over the UK, Europe as well and further afield, including Lagos and Nigeria.
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