Jazz

My current group Ménage Artois, featuring Hammond Organ, piano and drums, has its roots as far back as 1984 when I began working as a full-time jazz pianist, collaborating with other musicians on live performances and broadcasts, leading to the formation of Full Circle (with Rick Taylor, Adrian Tilbrook and Keith Peberdy). The band's range of activities has included such diverse projects as a jazz arrangement of Stravinsky's Petroushka for English Dance Theatre, performances at the world renowned Ronnie Scott's Club, participation in many jazz workshops, and several successful festival appearances including Bracknell, Newcastle and Leuven (Belgium). An album, 'Beauty of the Unexpected', and the quality of the original compositions, resulted in a commission to write and perform a suite in collaboration with the Belgian Radio Orchestra. This was followed by an invitation to perform with the same orchestra as guest pianist for a special Frank Zappa tribute concert and CD recording. My trio 'rEvolution' developed the style of music first heard with Full Circle, and has performed as support to Don Grolnick and Billy Cobham.

In 1997 and living permanently in Belgium, I joined with saxophonist Johan Vandendriessche and, after many years using piano and synthesisers, returned to the Hammond Organ in a new trio format, The Demagogue Reacts! Also in 1997 I worked with jazz giant John Surman and Northumbrian piper Kathryn Tickell on a special project of original music commissioned by the Stockton Riverside International Festival. Kathryn and I played together again in the Brosella Festival (Brussels) in July 2000, along with Johan Vandendriessche (saxes) and Frank Michiels (percussion). I also feature on Kathryn's album 'The Gathering' and with The Demagogue Reacts! on her album 'Strange But True'.

In 1998 I performed in the 20th Jazz Hoeilaart Festival in Brussels with Milkshake Banana, featuring special guest Toots Thielemans. The Demagogue Reacts! have two CDs on the Lyrae label. Myself and Johan also play on Marc Moulin's 'Top Secret' album (Blue Note Records) and have performed many Festival dates with top DJ Sven Van Hees as well as being featured on his top selling album 'Synthesia'.

Throughout my career I have been closely involved in the educational side of music, participating in several Musicians Union workshops and summer school courses, and as a tutor for the Edinburgh Napier University Jazz Summer School. I have lectured at Durham and York Universities, and for four years at New College Durham.