Ealing Jazz Festival


I had the pleasure of performing at the Ealing Jazz festival last Saturday with Paul Carmichael's group 'Flight'. The festival ran for 4 days  (Thursday to Sunday) and seemed to be really well attended. Ealing council shoud be congratulated for putting on such a great event which only cost the public £1 to get in! It was great to be playing Jazz to so many people. The band performed an hour of fusion jazz and were then joined on stage by Vanessa Haynes to perform some of her original soul tunes.

The band line up was:ealingjazz rehearsal29bw

  • Vanessa Haynes - vocals      
  • Martin Shaw - trumpet
  • Nigel Waddington - trumpet
  • Barnaby Dickinson - trombone
  • Rob Hughes - Tenor Sax & Flute      
  • Tim Cansfield - guitar
  • Rick Laughlin - keyboards
  • Paul Carmichael - bass guitar
  • Mike Bradley - drums
  • Jeff Scantlebury - percussion

The pictures your looking at were taken by Max Steckelmacher.

L' attitude bar

gordonI enjoyed a great gig at  L'attitude bar in Greenwich on Sunday with Gordon Mark Webber (Pictured left) on vocals and Geoff Castle on Piano. The bar is part of the very stylish new Novotel hotel. Greenwich's surrounding areas have certainly changed since I lived there whilst at Goldsmiths in the 90's.  Gordon is a busy man working as a full time singer and running a pub!  His pub is called The Greenwich Inn which has a jazz jukebox inside (Only plays jazz!) If your in the area check out the live Jazz at this venue from 1.30pm to 4pm every Sunday.

Writers Block

holgameI've been writing and recording  new material for my second album for about a year. I'm trying a different approach with this album, writing mainly for duos and small groups. However, over the last few months I've found it really difficult to compose anything I'm happy with. I started making my own albums because I was tired of playing other people's music only. I think it's important to keep pushing forward as a musician.

After promoting the first album with live gigs it's become very clear to me that I must not write music with the banality of trying to fit into any genre whether it be smooth, swing, avand garde, funk etc. The only way to go in life (be it music or not) is to be yourself. However when you can't please yourself with your own ideas your in trouble! I hope I start to enjoy the process of writing soon because at the moment it's hell grrrrrr!

Boaters Jazz

rob-alain-smallestMy next gig is this Sunday 10th of June at Boaters. The music starts at 8.30pm until 10.30pm. 

The picture you can see here is from a recent gig at the 606. I had the pleasure of playing Sax and Flute for the fab Vanessa Haynes . Vanessa writes and performs her own material which I think has an 'Anita Baker' influence, which can never be a bad thing!

I'd like to thank Alain, who is a regular down at the club. He's a surgeon by trade working for our NHS. He therfore does not get a lot of free time but one of his passions is photography and I think he's amazing!

Victoria Embankment Park Gig Tuesday 5th June

Here are some pictures from an out door gig I performed at on Tuesday. This a fantastic idea to have free jazz for people in the city. The park and stage are next to Charing Cross station and the jazz is performed between 12.30pm and 2.00pm. The jazz is on Tuesday's and Thursday's although not every week so do check their website !The band line up was Paul Carmichael on Bass, Martin Johnson on Drums, Tim Cansfield on Guitar and Sam Edwards - Keyboard.

martin-tim-i martin-tim

Mill Hill Jazz

rob by alain fluteI had a good night at my local club jazz club last Wednesday.  I chose to play an evening of swing jazz with Giorgio Serci on Guitar, Brent Keefe of drums and Henrick Jnsen  on double bass. All the guys played with exceptional taste. The band were really listening to each other. Click here to check out the clubs website.

Spice Of Life Thursday 10th May

spiceband350My gig at the Spice Of Life took an interesting turn when Arden Hart found he had a flat tyre whilst trying to park before the gig. Parking in central London is always a nightmare made a lot harder with a flat! Without any tools Arden had to call the RAC. At this point we had to start the gig. Thirty minutes into the gig the RAC called. I explained to the audience that we had to take a break due to the flat tyre! However they were very understanding and Arden was back within 15 minutes. We began again as soon as Arden returned and the gig really took off!

The Spice is a great gig to play, the club is run downstairs from the pub. However I feel the pub should play the live music upstairs through their sound system so that people who may not be aware, can hear and then come down to check out the bands. Therefore introducing more people to Jazz. To check out the club click here.

The Spin (Thurs 3rd May)

thespinOn Thursday evening I travelled to Oxford to play at the Spin. The club is run very well, by Pete Oxley who is also a great guitarist.  I highly recommend you check out this man's playing


Raph Mizraki played upright and electric bass with equall aplomb. Raph really dug in on his solo's making sure each solo spoke to the audience. Again, it's worth going to the Spin just to check out his playing

Mark Doffman co-runs the club with Pete. He is the drummer for the house group. Mark played some beautiful solo's, really adding the swing to our standards.

peteplayingnewPete Oxley raph mizrakiRaph Mizraki markdoffman2Mark Doffman

The club is a great example of a well run UK Jazz venue. The Spin has a great website where you can book tickets. The atmopshere in the club is relaxed and open minded to all the different styles of Jazz. I had a great night.


*....New Groove....*

arden hartsWe found some contemporary groove last night in Tunbridge Wells. I love the way jazz can take you in so many directions. Some gigs are more swing based, such as my gig at the Old Barge last month. Some require a different tip all together. I really enjoyed playing with the fabulous Arden Hart . He has mainly been working with Massive Attack over the last decade. However  he was free to come down and play last night and it was real treat. The evening consisted of some of my tunes alongside jazz written by Eddie Harris, Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock 

martin johnsonMartin Johnson played kit and added a great hip-hop feel to a funk orientated set. I enjoy Martin 's playing because he's always listening to your every move. Not an easything to do when your concentrating on your own playing to lock in with the bass and keyboards but he always pulls it off with style.

orefowebOrefo played bass and was 'very naughty'! Along with Arden he found some areas in the tracks where we could really push the harmony to some dark areas.  He and I have done quite a bit of recording together in the past. He played on 4 of my tracks from my album Butterfly . We also worked on some tracks which were written by him and were a different style altogether. You may get to hear them if we ever finish them! Orefo has been working with the Sugar Babes for quite a few years now but he is always writing and performing in many other areas. If you want to check these guys out we are playing again in two weeks time at the Spice Of Life on Thursday 10th May.

spice logo


ruth and rob weddingOk, it's been a while since I last updated! However I'm pleased to say it's because I got married to Ruth. We had a great day and honeymoon. Thanks to everyone who came along to celebrate. Now back to work! I'm playing a gig this Sat (28th April) at the Grey Lady from 9pm in Tunbridge Wells. It's an evening of Funk so if your free come down and have some great food and a boogie. The band consits of Arden Hart on Keyboards, Martin Johson on Kit and Orefo Orakwue on Bass.


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