Blue VanguardExeter's Premier Jazz Club

Forthcoming Gigs

2017

Upcoming | Archive: 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
  • Thu
    12
    Jan
    2017

    Jim Mullen

    Jim Mullen was guitarist with Pete Brown & Piblokto! for two albums in 1970. He then played with Brian Auger's Oblivion Express, appearing on the band's first three albums together with future Average White Band drummer Robbie McIntosh, Mullen then joined Kokomo and later toured with the Average White Band.
    It was while both musicians were touring the United States with AWB in the mid-70s that Mullen met tenor player Dick Morrissey, and throughout the 1980s they found critical notice as joint leaders of the leading British jazz/funk band Morrissey Mullen. Record producer Richard Niles, who produced the band's sixth album, "It's About Time", later produced three solo albums for Jim.
    Jim has also played and recorded with, among others, Mose Allison, Hamish Stuart, Joanna Eden, Tam White, Claire Martin, Mike Carr, Jimmy Witherspoon, Dave O'Higgins and Georgie Fame. Jim has recorded as part of The AllStars, a collective of session musicians on their Paul McCartney-produced album All About the Music, alongside special guests Jocelyn Brown, Hamish Stuart and Angelo Starr. In 2014, he featured prominently on the Citrus Sun album, 'People of Tomorrow', produced by Incognito co-founder, Jean-Paul 'Bluey' Maunick.
    Jim has won many British music awards including "Best Guitar" in the British Telecom Jazz Awards (1994, 1996 and 2000).

     

  • Thu
    09
    Feb
    2017

    The Sound of Blue Note

     Terry Quinney (Sax) & Andy Urquhart (Trumpet)
     
    "Blue Note Records is an American jazz record label founded in 1939 and has featured some of the greatest names in jazz. Tonight we will be playing a selection of tunes from the fifties and sixties by artists such as Art Blakey, Donald Byrd, Grant Green, Lee Morgan, Hank Mobley, Wayne Shorter and Cannonball Adderley."

  • Thu
    02
    Mar
    2017

    Jacqui Hicks & Maggie Reeday

    "Jacqui is the best we have." Digby Fairweather "Jacqui Hicks is one of those rarities, a great singer and a consummate musician." Bruce Adams

    "Be it the most romantic ballad, hard swinging standard, or the raunchiest blues, Jacqui knows how to put any song across. She is world class." Paul Lacey - Back To Basie Orchestra

    "Jacqui Hicks is not only a fine singer, but a consummate musician also with a genuine feeling for the music." Brian Dee

    "....not only a great vocalist but a singer who is a complete musician as well." Bill Sharpe - Shakatak

    A classically trained clarinettist, Jacqui Hicks studied saxophone & flute on the jazz course at Leeds College of Music and started singing during her three years there. She continued her education, still as a saxophone player, on the one year post-graduate jazz course at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Shortly after leaving the Guildhall Jacqui joined the National Youth Jazz Orchestra as their vocalist and spent the next four years touring and also recording with them - including the vocal album Looking Forward Looking Back.

    Since 1993 Jacqui has worked with the jazz/funk band Shakatak, both as backing vocalist and sax player. She's toured Europe and Eastern Europe, South Africa, the Far East & Japan numerous times with them and also appears on their albums Let The Piano Play, View From The City, Under Your Spell, Blue Savannah, Beautiful Day and the MOBO nominated Live At Ronnie Scotts.

    Additionally, she sings three tracks of Shakatak drummer, Roger Odell's Beatifik album The Blue Window, released in 2000 and makes a guest appearance on a new compilation album called Smooth Solos - Shakatak & Friends.

    Jacqui has also worked with the Latin/Pop band Matt Bianco touring Japan, Indonesia & Europe with them and appears on their albums Gran Via, Another Time:Another Place and a re-working of their greatest hits ; A Collection.

    She is a featured vocalist on Paprika Soul's 2002 album Into The Light, including the single Too Much Love Makin', a track that also appears on the JazzFM CD Venice Beach.

    Under her own name she released the album Spellbound back in 2000 which was well received by the critics :

    "...a beautifully crafted and controlled performance. A fine debut indeed." Jazz Review
    "...a singer of warmth, poise and intelligence whose smoky voice is a pleasure to listen to." Yorkshire Post

    As a session singer Jacqui has recorded songs for Hal David & John Cacavas, Duncan Lamont, Brian Dee and Johnny Keating, among others. She's worked on several soundtracks including the films Tomb Raider II and Veronica Guerin and appeared in a couple of Radio 4 plays for the BBC. She is currently appearing up and down the country with Paul Lacey's Back To Basie Orchestra.

     

  • Thu
    06
    Apr
    2017

    Steve Fishwick

    Steve Fishwick is widely considered to be one of the best jazz trumpet players ever to come from the UK, and is rapidly gaining a global reputation thanks to his flawless technique and his beautifully flowing, harmonically rich improvisations. He is one of an increasing number of trumpeters who have been heavily influenced by the melodic approach of the late great Kenny Dorham, a figure often overlooked (and undeservedly so) in the pantheon of Jazz Trumpet Legends. As well as "K.D.", Steve cites Art Farmer, Miles Davis and Woody Shaw among his favourite players, but his style is very much his own. Trumpet great Wynton Marsalis recently said about him "Steve has his own style. He plays from the bottom to the top of the horn whilst maintaining the integrity of the chords. I can't think of another trumpet player that can do what he does." Legendary Jazz critic Ira Gitler had this to say 'My question is where has Fishwick been hiding? Hip middle register melodious bebop, but when Steve lights his wick he becomes a flying fish, soaring above the waves, totally in control!'

    Steve was born in Manchester along with his identical twin brother, drummer Matt Fishwick, in 1976. They grew up on a diet of big band jazz fed by their parents' record collection before graduating to the sounds of Charlie Parker and Miles Davis. They entered the then thriving Manchester jazz scene, playing their first professional gigs whilst still in their early 'teens, with musicians that are now key players in the London and European scene. They left Manchester in 1994 for London to study at the Royal Academy of Music. 

    Since leaving the Academy in 1998, where he earned a Bachelor of Music degree, Steve has played with most leading UK jazz musicians (Sir John Dankworth, the BBC Big Band, Stan Tracey, Peter King and Mike Carr amongst many, many others), many of the leading European musicians such as George Mraz, Dado Moroni, Claus Raibler, Tony Lakatos, the WDR big band and many US musicians such as Anita O' Day (recording with her on her last album 'Indestructible!'), Ron Carter, Jimmy Heath, Dick Oattes, Peter Erskine, Tim Lefebvre, Eric Harland, Scott Hamilton, Ken Peplowski, Herb Geller, Lanny Morgan, Richie Cole, Ben Dixon, Bob Cranshaw, Earl May, Lew Soloff, Clifford Jarvis, Ronnie Cuber, Keith Copland, John Riley, Tardo Hammer, Aaron Diehl, Brad Leali and Hod O' Brien. He won the 2002 British Jazz Awards 'Rising Star' prize and in the same year toured the UK with British saxophonist Alan Barnes, substituting the great U.S. trumpeter Conte Candoli who sadly and unexpectedly passed away. 

    Steve leads many projects often with Welsh saxophonist Osian Roberts with whom he recorded an album in NYC with legendary American pianist Cedar Walton and bass great Peter Washington, released in September 2009.  Their latest project is a sextet featuring Frank Basile, one of the best exponents of baritone saxophone from NYC.  Their first CD 'When Night Falls' was released in 2014 and was nominated for a British Jazz Award for best CD of the year.  In total Steve has released seven CDs on the Hard Bop Records label. 

    In 2014 Steve was invited by Jeremy Pelt to play at the Festival Of New Trumpet Music (founded by Dave Douglas) in New York City.  He performed at Smoke jazz club, Smalls and Dizzy's Club Coca Cola with Osian Roberts, Matt Fishwick, Jeb Patton and Mike Karn.  Whilst in NYC they also recorded their second sextet CD, '...In The Empire State' which was released in 2016 to much critical acclaim.   

    Steve can be heard playing the jazz trumpet solos on the soundtrack to the 2010 BAFTA nominated British Movie and Ian Drury Bio-Pic 'Sex And Drugs And Rock And Roll'. He has also recorded for many TV programs and commercials.  His busy performance schedule has taken him all over Europe (France, Germany, Switzerland, Greece, Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Estonia, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Italy, Spain and Ireland), China and New York on numerous occasions.  

  • Thu
    25
    May
    2017

    Deelee Dubé

    Since January 2015, Deelee has been resident singer at Renato D’Aiello’s Acoustic Jazz Lounge which takes place at Ronnie Scott’s Bar. and teamed up with the Renato D’Aiello Sextet and performed to a full house at Pizza Express Jazz Club, Dean Sreet in February 2015 for two nights, paying homage to the music of the late, great Horace Silver, with a great line-up of musicians which included Quentin Collins and Andy Davies on Trumpet.
    Having recently performed to a full house at the Swanage Jazz Festival 2015 Deelee continues to perform in and around London and Europe and is due to be performing at the iconic Royal Albert Hall’s Elgar Room in March 2016.

    Born in London, Deelee studied at the Brit School of performing Arts and pursued an academic path in music and also graduated with a BA honours degree.

    Deelee tends to possess a voice quality that is quite versatile, ranging from a sonorous vibrant tone to a stunningly mature and sophisticated one, yet all encapsulated within a wide vocal range, that remains pure across her entire vocal register. Her technique is of one that echoes the style of various vocal greats and her sound has been branded as “[Sarah] Vaughan meets [Jimi] Hendrix -M. Small, Saxophonist (Michael Buble band member ).

    Deelee often captures the attention of audiences because of her vocal ability and precision with words and phrasing, her swooping glissandi and variation of melody, and most notably her unique expression of emotion and intonation through song.
    Her upcoming album entitled Tenderly is due to be released early 2016 and she will be performing at the iconic Royal Albert Hall’s Elgar Room in March 2016.

    Musical collaborations include Renato D’Aiello’s latest album Satori, Frankie Paul, Florence and the Machine, BarclayCard Unwind.
    Deelee is currently creating a buzz around the London’s live music circuit and has graced the stage of various prestigious venues which include The Royal Albert Hall, Ronnie Scott’s, The Troubadour, Boisdale, and the Hideaway to name a few her upcoming album entitled Tenderly is due to be released early 2016.

    “Sarah Vaughan Meets Jimi Hendrix!” (Rainy Day Blues) ~ M. Small (Michael Bublé band instrumentalist)

    “Deelee is a skilled and talented singer-songwriter to keep and eye and ear on.” ~ JJB (Guitarist for The Monkees)

    “Loved the album! Amazing Voice!” ~ Taj Jackson (3T)

    “Deelee has an Amazing Voice!” ~ Danny O’Donoghue (The Script, The Voice UK)

  • Thu
    22
    Jun
    2017

    Jean Toussaint

    Born in the US Virgin Islands and raised in New York, Grammy-winning US jazz saxophone giant Jean Toussaint began his international career as a member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in 1982.

    After four and a half years in the band alongside Terence Blanchard, Donald Harrison, Lonnie Plaxico and Mulgrew Miller, he settled in London, quickly becoming a key figure in British jazz.

    Toussaint has maintained a considerable presence as bandleader in Europe, especially in Britain and France, and worked in the groups of Americans such as McCoy Tyner, Max Roach, Cedar Walton, Gil Evans and Jeff 'Tain' Watts.

  • Thu
    13
    Jul
    2017

    Greg Abate

    Greg_Abate_A  BW.jpgGreg Abate - saxophonist, flautist & composer.

    In the mid 70’s after finishing a four year program at Berklee College Of Music, Greg played lead alto for the Ray Charles Orchestra for 2 years.

    In 1978 Greg formed his group Channel One which was a favorite in the New England area and from there had the opportunity to play tenor sax with the revived Artie Shaw Orchestra under leadership of Dick Johnson from 1986 to ’87.

    Following this experience Greg ventured out as post hard bop soloist playing Jazz Festivals, Jazz Societies and Jazz Clubs throughout the U.S. Canada and abroad, including most of Europe, UK, and Moscow and Georgia Russia.

    Greg’s newest release The Greg Abate Quintet features Phil Woods  , Jesse Green, Evan Gregor and Bill Goodwin. 

     

    “I sleep alot better knowing there are alto players like Greg! It was a joy to make music with him and he writes good songs that are challenging.”  Phil Woods

    Greg recorded his first CD Live At Birdland NYC in 1991 on the Candid Jazz Label with the trio of James Williams, Rufus Reid and Kenny Washington.

    To this date Greg has recorded over 15 other recordings and was nominated for a Grammy for his 2004 recording EVOLUTION in four categories . James Williams, Harvie S and Billy Hart comprised the trio.

     

    Greg is also an adjunct professor of Jazz Studies at Rhode Island College and is also a very active jazz clinician with co. sponsorship from the Conn -Selmer Instrument Co., conducting workshops and master classes through the U.S and abroad.

    What some say about Greg Abate:

    Abate is not content to rely on stock bebop riffs and standard chord progressions. Rather, the sharp angularity of his phrases and the often startling pauses in his fast-moving lines give his work a feeling of constant invention and creativity.”

    –Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune

    “…Abate’s musical style can be seen as a distillation of swing’s easygoing vibe and bop’s
    more animated groove. He has developed a unique voice.

    –METRO San Jose,

    “Greg Abate is an absolute powerhouse who will absolutely not let hard driving bebop die.
    One of the most exciting players around today, Greg’s commitment to the music is total…”

    –W. Pickowitz, Jr., The Jazz Messenger

    “Multi-saxophonist Greg Abate is a prime example of the ‘rear back and blow’ school of contemporary bop-based players. The tunes he writes or chooses are based on the kinds of changes that harmony-oriented jazzmen have favored since the beginning and he swings through them with and eager and easy virtuosity.”

    –David Franklin, Jazz Times

    “Greg Abate is one of the most appealing saxophonists on the scene today. He is mature with an abundance of gentle self-confidence. The result is that he plays music with sweetness and daring.”

    –Jim Merod, New Jazz Recordings

  • Thu
    17
    Aug
    2017

    Derek Nash & Martin Dale

    At the forefront of the British Jazz movement, Derek Nash is "one of the most versatile saxophonists in the UK today" (The Guardian

    Derek has been a member of the Jools Holland Rhythm and Blues Orchestra since 2004, has led Sax Appeal for over thirty years, fronts the funk/fusion band Protect the Beat, and is a member of the Ronnie Scott's Blues Explosion.

    He is renowned for his energetic, vibrant, passionate and charismatic performances on all four saxophones - from sonorous baritone to soaring soprano - and is an award-winning performer having received the John Dankworth Award and the British Jazz Award (Small Group) for Sax Appeal. He received Best Jazz CD of the Year for Young Lions, Old Tigers with the late Spike Robinson, receiving the same British Jazz Award for "Joyriding" by The Derek Nash Acoustic Quartet in 2012. He regularly appears in the British Jazz awards nominations in several categories (Alto/Tenor and Baritone) and was nominated for Jazz Musician of the Year by the Global Music Foundation.

    He has recorded three solo CDs - Setting New Standards (1998) alongside Clark Tracey, Alec Dankworth and Graham Harvey; Snapshot (2009) with Jan Lundgren, Geoff Gascoyne and Steve Brown; and Joyriding (2012) with the multi-award winning pianist Dave Newton, and Geoff Gascoyne and Sebastiaan de Krom.

    With the Jools Holland Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, Derek performs approaching 100 gigs per year, including for 65,000 people at the Cardiff Millennium Stadium and for over 100,000 at the Glastonbury Festival, where he was a featured soloist, and he also appears on the last seven CDs.  He has performed live and on TV with such greats as Eric Clapton, Amy Winehouse, Emeli Sande, Jessie J, Sir Paul McCartney, Solomon Burke, Annie Lennox, Eddie Floyd, Sam Moore, Madeleine Peyroux, Roger Daltrey, David Sanborn, Eddi Reader and Tom Jones.

     

    Sax Appeal has featured some of the leading saxophonists in the UK including Mornington Lockett, Gary Plumley, Bob McKay, Scott Garland, Simon Allen, Nigel Hitchcock, Dave O'Higgins, Paul Booth, Tim Garland and Matt Wates.  They are supported by the top rhythm section of Phil Scragg (bass), Mike Bradley (drums) and Pete Adams (piano).  They have recorded six CDs - Flat Out (1991), Let's Go (1994), Outside In (1997), Take No Prisoners (2000), The Flatiron Suite (2006) and Funkerdeen (2014). The Sax Appeal Big Band is an enlarged version of the core group with the addition of four trumpets and three trombones and features some of the best including Winston Rollins, Martin Gladdish, Richard Henry, Martin Shaw, Jon Scott, Danny Marsden and Gabriel Garrick.  Their long-awaited first CD will be recorded soon.

    Protect the Beat performs original, contemporary funk/groove material, following in the giant steps of the great Morrisey Mullen and The Yelowjackets.  Playing at Jazz festivals around the world, the band features Darby Todd (drums), Winston Blissett (bass), Arden Hart (piano) and Tim Cansfield (guitar) who have played with, among others, Massive Attack, George Clinton, Buddy Whittington and The Bee Gees.  They have released two CDs - It Ain't Dinner Jazz (2002) and Intrepid (2007).

     

    As a member of the Ronnie Scott's Blues Explosion, Derek performs regularly at the world-famous club alongside blues greats Tony Remy (guitar), Marcus Bonfanti (vocals and guitar), Paddy Milner (vocals and piano), Nick Cohen (bass), Frank Tontoh (drums), Paul Newton (trumpet) and Winston Rollins (trombone).  They regularly feature top blues guests, one of which was Jack Bruce.  He was so impressed with the band that he invited them to become his regular European touring band.

     

    As much a composer and arranger as a performer, Derek has composed virtually all the Sax Appeal repertoire.  His Setting New Standards CD was a collaboration with his father Pat Nash,(arranger for the BBC Northern Dance Orchestra for over 35 years) and his  CD - Joyriding - includes seven new and diverse compositions.  He has also composed for TV and radio. As an arranger, he has written for Annie Lennox, Mavis Staples, Alison Moyet, Lulu, Kylie Minogue, Ruby Turner, David Sanborn, Dave Edmunds, Martha Reeves and the Vandelas and the Jools Holland Rhythm and Blues Orchestra.  

    He has appeared on CDs with many other artists including Don Grusin, George Melly, Bob Dorough, Jools Holland, Tom Jones, Peter Green, Shakatak, Lulu, David Sanborn, India Arie, Geoff Gascoyne, Alison Moyet, Digby Fairweather and Trudy Kerr.

    As a performer, he has played with Don and Dave Grusin, John Dankworth, Ray Gelato, John Ehteridge, Russell Ferrante, Nelson Rangell, Snake Davis, Bob Dorough, Oscar Castro Neves, Lillian Boutte, Clare Teal, Jamie Cullum, Humphrey Lyttelton and Alan Barnes. He has also worked with boogie-maestro Ben Waters, appearing on his CDs Shakin' in the Makin', Hurricane and Boogie for Stu (alongside Keith Richards) and performing a series of dates with Axel Zwingenberger, Dave Green and Charlie Watts.

    Derek owns and operates Clowns Pocket Recording Studios.  As a record producer and engineer, Derek has worked with such musicians as Jamie Cullum (he received a gold disc forPointless Nostalgic), Bobby Wellins, Stan Tracey, Martin Drew, Georgie Fame, Alan Barnes, Tim Garland, Geoff Gascoyne, Tony Remy, Dave O'Higgins, Eric Alexander, Kirk Lightsley, Clark Tracey, Tom Cawley's Curios and Trudy Kerr, with whom he is also co-director of Jazzizit Records, a UK independent Jazz label.

  • Thu
    21
    Sep
    2017

    Geoff Simkins

    Geoff has been playing jazz since his early teens originally as a drummer but quickly switching to Alto Saxophone.

    As a professional musician since 1977, he has played at concerts, clubs and festivals in all parts of the U.K. and has worked abroad extensively in Europe, Scandinavia, West Africa, Bahrein, Dubai, and the Far East. Recordings include albums with his own quartet, two L.P's with Danny Moss (which were voted among the top records of the year by Jazz Journal), albums with Billy Butterfield and Yank Lawson, and most recently with Dave Cliff including the much praised C.D's 'The Music of Tadd Dameron' released in 1997 and the marvellous duo and quartet recording of the previous year - 'Sipping at Bells '.

    Geoff has appeared many times on B.B.C. Radio's Jazz Club and Jazz Parade and was the subject of a television documentary made by T.V.S. Geoff leads his own quartet featuring Nikki Iles, Simon Woolf and Martin France, works as often as possible with Dave Cliff in a variety of settings from duo to quintet, and is increasingly in demand as a guest at jazz clubs and festivals throughout the U.K. He often works with American musicians who are visiting this country and over the years has played with such luminaries as Art Farmer, Bobby Shew, Al Cohn, Tal Farlow, Slide Hampton, Warren Vache, Al Grey, Kenny Davern, Bill Berry, Al Casey, Howard Alden, Ruby Braff, Bill Coleman and Conte Candoli. Geoff is a respected teacher and as well as running a very successful improvisation course at Sussex University, he is a regular tutor at the famous Glamorgan Summer School. In 1994 he was invited to be a tutor at the Czech Jazz Summer School and appeared at clubs in Prague and on Czech Television. Geoff has also been involved in many of the Jazz In Education projects which have brought live music to schools throughout the South and Midlands.

  • Thu
    26
    Oct
    2017

    Andy Panayi

    Andy Panayi is an exceptionally gifted jazz musician, skilled in performance, composition and arranging.
    He plays all the flutes and all the saxophones and currently leads his own groups, both jazz and classical. He also writes commissioned works and compositions & arrangements for his own ensembles.

    Andy has performed and recorded with many singers such as; Shirley Bassey, Jessye Norman, Paul McCartney, Seth MacFarlane, Elaine Paige, Salena Jones, Elvis Costello, Georgie Fame, Peter Skellen, Zoot Money, Irene Reed, Elaine Delmar, Helen Shapiro, Madeline Bell & Patty Austin to name a few.

    He’s also worked alongside or supported Abdulla Ibrahim (Dollar Brand), Freddie Hubbard, Phil Woods, Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Centre Jazz Orchestra, Joe Lovano, Roy Hargrove, Louie Bellson Octet & Big Band, Ed Thigpen, Jiggs Whigham, Billy Cobham, Indo-Jazz Fusions run by Johnny Mayer, Vale of Glamorgan Contemporary Music Festival, RPO, BBC Concert Orchestra, LSSO, The Moscow City Ballet, Ronnie Scott & his Side-men, Scott Hamilton, Ken Peplowski, Pepper Adams, Kenny Baker, Ted Heath/ Don Lusher Big Band, BBC Radio Big Band, Bert Kaemphert Orchestra, Stan Tracey Big Band -Septet – Octet, John Dankworth & Cleo Laine, The John & Alec Dankworth Generation Big Band, Humphrey Lyttelton and many more.

  • Thu
    09
    Nov
    2017

    Roger Beaujolais & Neil Burns

    "I was

    born in Harrogate in Yorkshire although my parents were from Devon & Cornwall. My father had a job in Leeds at the time. When I was 2 years old my parents moved to Winchester where I lived till I was 8 when my parents moved to Portsmouth. I was there till I was 18 when I moved to Dorset with my parents (not by choice – it’s a long story). When I was 20 I moved to Devon & stayed there for a couple of years before moving to London in 1975. I bought my first vibraphone in 1977 at the age of 24 having never played one before in my life. At the time I had a full time job & a year later my daughter was born so I didn’t have much time to practice. I started in earnest around my 26th birthday. I played my first gig at the age of 28. Before that I didn’t have a car which made it impossible. Within 3 days of buying a car I played my first gig. I am completely self taught.

    When people find out the above they often ask if I played other instruments before. Yes, I did – but not for long & not to a high standard. I bought a drum kit when I was 15 (I had a summer job in a factory to pay for it) because some school friends were forming a rock band & thought I’d do! I had lessons from a retired big band drummer for a few months so learnt the rudiments. When I was 16 I started having piano lessons at school primarily to play blues & boogie woogie which I was really into at the time. I had lessons for 9 months – till I left school – & got Grade 1 piano. That is the extent of my musical tuition.

    Soon after starting on vibes I was a founder member of jump/jive band “The Chevalier Brothers” & had a successful time in the 1980’s touring Europe extensively along with many gigs in the UK & trips to the USA & Japan. For a brief period we were darlings of the UK rock press but outside the UK we were known on the jazz scene playing at numerous jazz festivals including Montreux, North Sea & others in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Belgium & France.

    The Chevalier Brothers split up in 1988 & immediately I was offered work by pop band Fairground Attraction. I had played on their original demos before they got their record deal & then played on their first album. The album & their first single ‘Perfect’ went to Number One on the pop charts. I was with the band until they imploded in 1989 & then, with the money that I’d earnt from working with them, I paid for the recording of my first album.

    Acid Jazz Records agreed to release it & that started a 5 year collaboration that produced 4 albums – two latin jazz albums by the Beaujolais Band – ‘Mind How You Go’ (1990) & ‘Talk, Talk & More Talk’ (1993) & two soul jazz albums by Vibraphonic – ‘Vibraphonic’ (1993) & ‘Vibraphonic 2’ (1995). I got dropped by Acid Jazz Records in 1995 which I’m sure has nothing to do with the fact that at the time I was giving the label a lot of grief over the £7,500 they’d owed me for some time. They had zero interest in whether one of their successful artists was able to pay his bills or not…… Then it turned out that Hollywood Records in LA were interested in Vibraphonic so I signed to them in 1996. Hollywood Records is the audio arm of Disney so I was signed to Disney & used to get cheques with Mickey Mouse on! In 1996 they released ‘A Vibraphonic Christmas’ (their idea, not mine) & then in 1997 they released ‘On A Roll’. Just as ‘On A Roll’ was being released Hollywood sacked their MD & as a result no funds were made available for promotion & marketing. When there’s no promotion no-one knows an album is out so not surprisingly it didn’t sell well. Six months later Hollywood hired a new MD who looked at sales & got rid of me. That’s the music business for you……

    A year later I was just about to record another Vibraphonic album in my home studio when my flat flooded. That put an end to that idea – or the schedule for it anyway. Frustrated because of that I decided to make a ‘straightahead’ jazz album which was released in 1999 – ‘For Old Times’. That was under the name of the Roger Beaujolais Quintet. That started things moving in a slightly different direction musically & I found that I really enjoyed playing acoustic music on an acoustic vibraphone. For the previous 15 or so years the bands I’d played with were too loud for me to play acoustically so I used a Deagan Electravibe which, great as it was, always felt a bit like a compromise in terms of sound. Despite that I still recorded another Vibraphonic album (once my flat had dried out!) which came out on my own label, StayTuned Records, in 2000.

    Three other quintet albums followed – ‘I’ll See You Tonight’ (2002), ‘Sentimental’ (2005) & ‘Blue Reflections’ (2008). And then there were 4…… The band became a quartet in 2010 & a quartet album – ‘Mind The Gap’ – was released in 2013. I have just released a second quartet album ‘Sunset’ in June 2017.

    I’ve glossed over a few things like the Soul Station album ‘Cuttin’ The Groove’ from 1996, the Travis/Beaujolais Quartet album ‘Berlin Vibe’ from 2000 & the LushLife album from 2009. Also, becoming a Professor of Music at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance & the sessions with the likes of Robert Plant, Roni Size, Paul Weller, Morrissey, Kirsty MacColl, Alexander O’Neal, Neneh Cherry, Shola Ama, Colin Vearncombe, Alison Limerick & many more – but this could go on forever. …….."