Live jazz, artists, venues and education in Leicester
Born Birmingham 1 September 1964 Brought up in Derbyshire Learnt drums and piano as a child Began working as a drummer aged 11 backing cabaret acts at the Derby Engineersâ€™ Club and doing weekend function gigs with the Gerry Foster Band Aged 15 bought a saxophone and began trying to learn Wilton Felderâ€™s solo on Street Life by the Crusaders with Randy Crawford Played several gigs for Derby Jazz as a teenager. 1983 Moved to London to study music at the City University 1983-current Formed Oâ€™Higgins Quartet / Quintet ( first toured for Jazz Services in 1985) 1983-86 Toured & recorded with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra 1986-1994 Toured & recorded with Cleo Laine and the John Dankworth Quintet 1989 first phone call from Ronnie Scott - appeared regularly at the famed club ever since 1986-2000 Toured & recorded on and off with Icelandic fusion band, Mezzoforte 1988-1990 Co-led fusion band Roadside Picnic with bassist Mario Castronari, signed to BMG Records as part of the â€œjazz boomâ€ of late â€˜80s Late 80s-early 90s toured extensively with award winning sax quartet, Itchy Fingers 1990 Recorded â€œA Clearer Viewâ€ with fellow BMG artist Jason Rebello, produced by Wayne Shorter Early 1990s played several times with US vibes player Joe Locke which led to recording second solo cd in New York in 1994 with Locke, Joey Calderazzo, James Genus and Adam Nussbaum. Further collaborations resulted with Billy Childs, Eddie Gomez, Gene Jackson, Dave Kikowski and Gary Novak. 1990 acted & performed as busker in â€œThe Return of Mr Beanâ€ with Rowan Atkinson 1992 Played a week at the Royal Albert Hall with Frank Sinatra 1996 Recorded and toured with Ray Charles - Strong Love Affair album 1994-1998 Toured & recorded with Martin Taylorâ€™s Spirit of Django. MDâ€™d and arranged 3 songs on the cd Celebrating Grappelli with violinist Stephane Grappelli. This album was a big hit worldwide. 1993-1998 Toured & recorded with Jim Mullenâ€™s Quartet with Laurence Cottle & Ian Thomas 1993-2000 Toured & recorded extensively in South Africa, collaborating with many local musicians. Also offered full time posts at Natal University, Durban and Cape Town University 2000-2005 Dave Oâ€™Higgins Biggish Band - 10 piece band playing all original compositions and arrangements, given Peter Whittingham Award for musical excellence to record Big Shake Up cd Mid 1990s-present BBC Big Band Mid 2000s-present regular guest with Ronnie Scottâ€™s Allstars (house band) 2001 Toured & recorded with Jamie Cullum 2005-2008 Toured & recorded with Kyle Eastwood 2002-present Toured & recorded with Matthew Herbert Big Band 2006 John Serry Quartet recording â€œThe Shiftâ€. Serry is US Grammy nominated pianist. 2007-present after introduction by Danish drummer, Kristian Leth, began collaboration with US saxophonist Eric Alexander 2009-2011 collaborations, recordings and concerts internationally and in Derby with Brazilian accordion, piano player and composer, Chico Chagas 2010-present Gascoyne/Oâ€™Higgins Quartet, group with Sebastiaan de Krom on drums, Graham Harvey on piano and co-led with bassist, Geoff Gascoyne. The two leaders take equal responsibility to write & arrange a selection of â€œcontrafactsâ€ (new tunes written to changes of favourite standards) 2010-present The Two Minds Big Band co-led with long time associate, Pete Wraight. Wraight is the MD an arranger of Matthew Herbertâ€™s Big Band. The band is has recorded an album of originals - 5 tunes written and arranged by each leader with the same title as its inspiration. 2010 created JVG Studio recording facility, 67 recordings produced so far - this is a â€œlive in the roomâ€ studio for recording acoustic jazz sessions, based on the early Rudy Van Gelder at Hackensack model. 2010-present Brubecks Play Brubeck group formed with Darius, Chris and Dan Brubeck to celebrate the music of Dave Brubeck. 2011-present joined Darius Brubeck Quartet with Matt Ridley (bass) and Wesley Gibbons (drums) 2013 elected to the London Regional Committee of Musiciansâ€™ Union 2014 invited to play at Dizzyâ€™s at the Lincoln Center, New York, with Darius, Chris and Dan Brubeck 2014 Produced and co-led the Loire Allstars cd with Tristan Mailliot, Anita Wardell, Oli Hayhurst and Mike Gorman 2014 Performed 2-tenor line up with great saxophonist & Member of the Order of Canada, Phil Dwyer
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