Pianist and composer Andrea Vicari was born in Miami (Florida) and grew up in Birmingham (England). Educated at Cardiff University she won a scholarship to study at The Guildhall School of Music in London. Andrea was soon in demand as a ‘side-man” working with bass guitar legend, Dill Katz in a band that included the then unknown guitarist Phil Robson. Soon after she formed her first important group with Julian Argüelles on saxophone & Stuart Hall, then of Django Bates’ “Human Chain”, on bass. Other employers included GRP recording artist, Phil Bent; jazz warrior David-Jean Baptiste with whom she recorded her first commercially released CD; and the all-women band “Birds” led by Kathy Stobart. She played a successful season at London’s sadly defunct jazz club “The Bass Clef” with the late great American saxophone innovator, Eddie Harris, broadcasting live on JazzFM radio; and gigged with the US trumpet legend Art Farmer.
Chris Hodgkins recently retired after 29 years as the Director of Jazz Services, the national support charity for jazz music and musicians. During his time at the organisation, he was honoured for his Services to Jazz at the 2002 BBC Jazz Awards and in July 2013 at the British Jazz Awards. Chris was awarded the Services to Jazz Award at the Parliamentary Jazz Awards in March 2015. Despite his successes championing British jazz he still found the time to play himself, and as a musician released several great albums with his various groups, including 2009’s Boswell’s London Journal, which was reviewed as ‘CD of the Week’ in the Evening Standard. With his days of administration behind him, Chris now takes to the road, the radio and the recording studio to focus on playing the music he loves.
Hodgkins was raised in Cardiff. He co-founded the Welsh Jazz Festival and was instrumental in establishing the Welsh Jazz Society. As a professional trumpeter, Chris has toured the UK and Europe, appearing at the Sacramento Jazz Festival in the USA. The Chris Hodgkins Band made a name for itself supporting the likes of Buddy Tate, Humphrey Lyttelton, Kathy Stobart, Bud Freeman and Wild Bill Davison.
Todd Gordon has established himself as “one of Britain’s most popular singers and entertainers” (Scottish Television). An avid Beatles’ fan until the age of eleven, his musical horizons were broadened when he first heard a Frank Sinatra album. From that moment, he collected almost every recording by Ol’ Blue Eyes and, from there, his interest expanded to jazz and swing, encompassing numerous other renowned singers and instrumentalists.
Further inspiration came in 1975 when he met Ella Fitzgerald prior to one of her shows and then, during the concert, she invited him on stage and sang specially to him. Since then, Gordon has been fortunate enough to meet many more of his idols – including Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Count Basie, Woody Herman, George Shearing and Tony Bennett, motivating him to immerse himself in the Great American Songbook genre.
Gordon’s interest in music and singing was passionate, yet always private. But in 2000, he took part in a week-long vocal jazz workshop and that changed everything. His stage debut came in 2001 at Scotland’s top jazz club and from that moment on, as the cliché goes, he’s never looked back. In 2003, aged 44, he was booked to open for Dionne Warwick during her UK tour, which prompted him to give up his day job organisng exhibiBons. Since then, Gordon has performed frequently at Britain’s top jazz venues, including The Pizza Express Jazz Room, The 606 in Chelsea and the world-renowned Ronnie Scott’s. He’s also performed at The Plaza and The Algonquin hotels in New York – where he even did a duet with actor Christopher Walken, singing “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.”
I was born in Liverpool at the height of Beatlemania, though I was blissfully unaware of such a phenomena at the time. I have worked most of my professional life as a teacher; a job which has taken me halfway around the world, before depositing me in London, my home since the beginning of this century. Along the way, I have fallen in love with rock, punk and indie, industrial, techno, reggae, jungle and world music; pretty much in that order.
As well as playing music myself, I have recently established the “No Wahala Sounds” record label with my friend and business partner, James; specialising in lost gems from Africa and the Indian sub-continent.
On my Jazz London Radio programme, World Showcase, I hope to play tracks that may by turns delight, intrigue and occasionally disconcert the listener.
Hope you enjoy the trip!
London born and based Emily Saunders has established a strong career as vocalist, writer, producer.
Her music, broadcast nationally on BBC Radio 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, JazzFM & XFM, along with radio stations around the world (eg Australia, Japan, Mexico, Spain, Germany, South Africa, Sweden to name a few), has also charted internationally on iTunes and Amazon in the UK, USA, Spain, Germany, France and Indonesia; Emily has truly become an international force in the jazz world.
Through bandleading, virtuosic vocals, composing, arranging and producing both Cotton Skies and her second release Outsiders Insiders, she has become critically acclaimed as being assured, polished and accomplished.
Kevin Davy was born in Nottingham in 1961. He moved to Manchester in 1986 to take up a place as a student, at Manchester Metropolitan University, attaining a Bachelors of Arts Degree in General Arts, after which he stayed in the city, becoming involved in the arts and music scene there. A background in Print, and Visual Arts, as well as literature, continue to inform his work.
Kevin has an extensive recorded discography, which includes work ranging from musical theatre, to modern jazz, and contemporary music. He has toured extensively, with groups such as: Lamb, Adam F, Lemn Sissay’s Secret Society, and Finley Quaye. In 1994 Kevin relocated to London to work as an actor-musician, at The Donmar Warehouse, on their production of, The Three Penny Opera, directed by Phyllida Lloyd. Collaborations with the writer SuAndi, and others have followed, with participation in community-driven projects. Formerly, Kevin had built strong affiliations with Manchester venues; Band On The Wall, and PJ Bells, where he had long residencies. More recently, Kevin has toured Germany with the acclaimed show; Afrika Afrika, conceived by Andre Heller, and choreographed by Georges Mamboye. Over the last two years, Kevin Davy, has revived his popular:
Kevin Davy’s Monster Jam at the Rich Mix venue, in Bethnal Green, London, and continues to direct his own music as well as work in collaboration with other musical projects.
Ollie Howell is a critically acclaimed and multi-award winning drummer and composer. Already having earned praise from celebrated producer Quincy Jones and legendary jazz drummer Jimmy Cobb, Ollie has had an eventful start to his early career, including the release of his debut album ’Sutures and Stitches’, which received huge critical acclaim, including being featured in MOJO Magazine’s ‘Top 10 Jazz Album’s Of The Year’.
After growing up in Oxfordshire, Ollie attended the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and whilst studying there, was presented with a special ‘Music Innovation Award’ from the National Welsh-American Foundation, and shortly after graduating was awarded the prestigious Peter Whittingham Development Award, from Help Musician’s UK. Ollie is also now a Sky Academy Arts Scholarship winner, and is the first ever jazz recipient of any Sky accolade.
London based guitarist and composer who became well known presenting the BBC TV’s ground breaking series ‘Rockschool’. She also played with Afro Latin Jazz group The Guest Stars. They recorded three albums and toured in 17 countries. In 1991 she formed the Deirdre Cartwright Group. Has recorded five albums with her own group, and played festivals from Mexico to Warsaw. She has also written and recorded albums with the groups Emily Remembered, LUND and ARQ. She has played with Tal Farlow, toured with Jamaican composer Marjorie Whylie, founded Blow the Fuse with Alison Rayner, presented on Radio 3. Has written seven books on guitar playing and was head of guitar syllabus for the Rock School exam series.
“If there is a more complete guitarist in contemporary music than Deirdre Cartwright – I’d like to know who it is” Dave Gelly The Observer
“Cartwright’s coolly undulating Grant Green shuffle groove is one of the understated pleasure of UK’s contemporary fusion.” John Fordham
“Her sinewy guitar fronts a sparse trio – with beatnik spoken-word injections from Sarah P – who stretch out like a psychedelic 1960s blues band, but take the blind leaps of faith of improvisers. Highlights are the Nirvana grunge-fusion Smells Like Jazz and a sublime exploration of Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights.” Stewart Lee Sunday Times
A Steinway Concert Jazz Artist, and award winning jazz composer and clinician, Lenore Raphael has been called “Queen of swing” and “simply one of the best pianists in the jazz mainstream” by jazz writer John Gilbert.
Lenore’s internationally acclaimed performances include major jazz festivals and venues such as Jazz At Lincoln Center, the Blue Note, Ottawa International Jazz Festival, Birdland, Ronnie Scott’s (London), the S.S. Oosterdam Floating Jazz Festival, The Joy of Jazz festival Johannesburg, SA
With 10 CDs on the Swingin’ Fox Music label, her CD “Class Act” received TOP PICK for international releases for 2009 on CKUC. FM Canadian Radio network and the BBC network.
Along the way she has performed with such jazz greats as Clark Terry, Wycliffe Gordon, Ken Peplowski, Jon Hendricks, Warren Vache, Jay Leonhart, Marlene VerPlanck, Howard Alden, Harry Allen, Jack Wilkins, Giacomo Gates and many more.
As a jazz teacher and clinician, Lenore has done Jazz Master Classes globally at such prestigious schools as The Edinburgh Conservatory, University of South Africa, Orange County School for the Arts, East Tennessee State University where she also ran the summer jazz piano camp, Montclair University in New Jersey where she was director of the summer jazz camp for 5 years.
She brings her years of experience performing and knowing these artists into her comfortable and informative and fun interview radio show “Lenore Raphael’s JazzSpot”.
Liv Fernandes was born in Cornwall, but at the age of two her parents moved to London where she grew up. Liv has gone from working in the health sector, to medical journalist and later press and information roles in the charity sector. It was during the latter that she began singing and training her voice for jazz. She studied Jazz Singing Level 1, 2 and 3 and learnt piano for four years at City Lit Adult Education College as well other institutions before finding her personal vocal coach in contemporary and bossa singer Clare Foster. Liv has participated in small gigs and in 2017 she was selected as one of several soloists in Ella Fitzgerald ꟷ a Tribute at Addlestone Community Theatre.
Finding various roles in the charity sector had taken her away from her journalist roots, Liv took a course in radio broadcasting. It was here that the tutor recognising her passion for jazz, suggested she find a music radio show. Soon after completing her course Liv was interviewed on the former Croydon Radio. This was soon followed by an invite to become a presenter at the community station. Liv spent four years with the station playing jazz and interviewing over 130 guests. Highlights included Gregory Porter, Clare Teal, Zara McFarlane, Jose James, Courtney Pine, Elaine Delmar and many more. She also introduced a country music show to the station. At the same time, feeling she had re-discovered her media mojo, Liv also had a stint on the newsdesk at Eagle Radio. Croydon Radio closed its broadcasting doors in March 2017.
Liv hopes to bring some of her zest for radio to Jazz London Radio with a soul jazz programme. She not only wants to explore the post-hard bop jazz pioneers who brought soul, gospel and r’n B to their jazz of the sixties but also contemporary artists who aspire to a soul inflected jazz.