School At secondary school I pass all my exams except music! There’s a message here somewhere, as music has been my profession since 1967! ‘Proper’ job Still living at home after leaving school, my parents are not of the opinion that music is a career, so I join the Civil Service as a tax officer. By night I’m playing organ in R&B and soul bands. Starting out My first pro job is a month-long residency at the Star club in Hamburg. I then play in various backing bands for singers including Percy Sledge, P J Proby and Joe Brown. My own band In the early 70’s I form my own band called Listen. We win the first Melody Maker rock band contest. I’m interviewed on ‘The Whistle Test’ and sign with EMI. Unfortunately, half the band is American and can’t get work permits, so the group fizzles out. Musical Director and composer From the mid 70’s I work in Musical Theatre, composing and directing music for many companies here and abroad. I particularly enjoy my work in Hong Kong with the Chung Ying Theatre group. Bits and bobs In the life of a musician, all sorts of weird and wonderful jobs come along like… The Secret Policeman’s Ball: a show and subsequently a film for Amnesty International where I can be seen playing the piano.
The Garden of England: composing the music for a play about the 1984 Miners’ strike. My song ‘Coal Not Dole’ (lyrics by Kay Sutcliffe) has since become a protest anthem and has been recorded by artists including Martin Carthy, the Watersons and the Oyster Band
Musings of a Jazz Piano Teacher
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Willing to teach
I teach in London, UK. My students are not beginners but already have at a least
a basic knowledge of jazz theory and can read the top line of a lead sheet.
I charge £45 per hour.