MEMBERS BIOGRAPHIES

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Robin Smith

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Robin Smith: Cornet/Trumpet

Robin first performed live jazz in a small wine bar in Teddington at the age of 17 with Artie Jay (a strange combination of bald trumpet, bearded sax and wispy Casio keyboard!). He studied the trumpet at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and pursued his serious interest in jazz by forming The Stateside Stompers. In the classical field he has performed with most of the major London symphony orchestras & opera companies. Robin's studio recordings include The Divine Comedy album 'Casanova', various films for the BBC and most recently a major American and Japanese dance floor hit 'Os Dois Irmaos' with Space Odyssey.

Often to be found deep in the pit of The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Robin surfaces occasionally to teach at various schools, including Alleyn's in Dulwich, conduct Surrey Brass and to buy wine!

 

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John Gowers

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John Gowers: Clarinet/Vocals

John first played jazz in Cambridge as clarinettist with cabaret trio The Froggits, who went on to appear regularly on the Edinburgh Fringe and BBC Radio, recording an album with guests including Johnny van Derrick and Tristan Fry, as well as a large proportion of the Kenny Baker Band.

John now teaches music at Brambletye Prep School in Sussex and plays as much jazz as possible as an escape from 'real' music! His dazzling clarinet playing can be heard with the Ashdowners Dixieland Band as well as John Gowers Jazz Gold at the Three Crowns in Ashurstwood, West Sussex.
 

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Steve Higgins

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Steve Higgins: Piano/Vocals

Recently returned from directing West Side Story in South Africa, Steve has managed to combine a dual career as conductor and pianist for opera companies both here and abroad alongside regular appearances with jazz outfits like the infamous Itchy Feet. Steve's recordings include a crossover project in India with European jazz and Indian classical musicians, and he has been musical advisor for several films, including the recent Hilary and Jackie.

Other interests include cabaret, song and dry martinis.
 

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Peter Hodge

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Peter Hodge: Trombone

This ancient trombone player began in '53 with Harry Gold and his Pieces of Eight, moved on to Freddy Randall, then Sid Phillips for too long. Then, suitably chastened, he went into theatres where he stayed until '87. Along the way he has worked with everybody and his dog - including visiting American firemen like Ruby Braff and Warren Vachet - and still does!

Pete has played at the Nice Jazz Festival with the Bob Wilbur (Benny Goodman) Band where he rubbed musical shoulders with Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis...
oh, and sat on the beach with Stan Getz... Ho-hum!!
 

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Bill Boston

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Bill Boston: Alto Saxophone/Tenor Saxophone/Bass Saxophone

Bill started his jazz career with the first NYJO in the mid 60's. He has performed and recorded with artists as diverse as Geno Washington, The Temperance Seven, Rolf Harris and Terrorvision.

Famous locally for being proprietor of 'Bill's Music Shop' in Forest Hill, sadly now defunct - motto: "Never Knowingly Open!" - Bill currently performs with Harry Strutters Hot Rhythm Orchestra, and can be seen most Sunday nights at Covent Garden's famous 'Lamb & Flag' with the Dave Chandler Quintet.
 

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Bobby Worth

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Bobby Worth: Drums

Born in London Bobby was one of the original members of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra. He was a member of Frankie Vaughan's "V men" in 1969 with which he toured the world. On his return he became the resident drummer at London's Talk of the Town with the Burt Rhodes Orchestra. Bobby has recorded with artists such as the Brian Dee Trio, Spike Robinson, Dick Morrissey, Jim Mullen and Elaine Delmar. Voted British Telecom jazz drummer of the year in 1998 he has recently formed his own quartet featuring Ben Castle on Saxophone. As a big band drummer Bobby was a member of Kenny Baker's Dozen, the Freddy Staff Big Band and has worked with the BBC Radio Orchestra.
 

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Andy Grappy

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Andy Grappy: Sousaphone

As a tuba player Andy has performed with most of London's major symphony orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra and BBC Symphony Orchestra. He has worked extensively in jazz working with Mike Westbrook, Jazz Warriors, Lester Bowie, McCoy Tyner, Loose Tubes and Robert Palmer.

In the West End, Andy has performed in 'Showboat', 'South Pacific', 'Barnum' and is currently appearing in 'Chicago' at the Adelphi.
 

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Adam Precious

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Adam Precious: Pogo Stick (Upright Bass)

Following a classical training at the RNCM, Adam joined the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra for two years. He then moved to London to pursue a freelance career, working with the Philharmonia, RPO and the Academy of St. Martins as well as the BBC Concert Orchestra. Symphony Orchestra and Big Band.

Adam has recorded and performed with Rick Wakeman, Eric Clapton and the recent pop sensation Westlife. He is currently working on an album of duets for Warner Brothers with bass guitarist Tony Harlow.
 

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Malcolm Harrison

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Malcolm Harrison: Steel /Guitar/Banjo

Malcolm came to the rhythm jazz guitar via the 1960's folk route listening to people like Martin Carthy, Davy Graham, and John Renbourne etc. However the first hearing of Django Reinhardt and the Hot Club de France changed his direction for life! With the swinging rhythm of the Hot Club type bands as his engine, and the Mickey Baker Jazz Guitar Guide as his Highway Code he was on the road!

Malcolm plays regularly with Hot Club type bands but also enjoys being in the engine-room with a Dixieland/Bix Beiderbeck set-up with more of an Eddie Lang style. He has never had a lesson in his life!