Originally from ‘down south’, Anthony has lived in West Cumbria for about two years and now resides in Egremont. He has played piano for almost as long as he can remember, but started to take it more seriously at university when he discovered that he could be paid in chips and beer for playing covers of Jamie Cullum’s covers. His jazz influences include bluesy organists such as Jimmy McGriff, rapid pianists Monty Alexander and Oscar Peterson, the jazz-rock band Chicago and, almost inevitably, the Count Basie Big Band. His longstanding but so far unfulfilled ambition is to start a prog rock band.
Neil has been playing music since about the age of eight, when he started to learn the organ. He was soon appearing in public around his home town of Bolton, playing solo on electronic organs, theatre organs and church organs – and was even a warm-up act for The Houghton Weavers! After graduating from university with a degree in computer science he bought an electric piano, which opened doors to playing in bands. Having tried, and failed, to teach himself classical guitar, he bought a bass and was soon playing with jazz bands. Since moving to West Cumbria in 2008, his bass playing has made him very popular and kept him busy with various local bands.
Sam first picked up the guitar at university, playing folk blues in the Mississippi John Hurt style. After a long lay-off he started playing bass guitar with a local small jazz band and returned to the guitar for The La’al Big Band where he is trying to disprove the old adage about old dogs and new tricks. He likes a wide range of music from baroque to jazz and a wide range of guitarists including Lonnie Johnson, Django Reinhardt, Hubert Sumlin and Bill Frizzell, but is desperately trying to learn to play like Freddie Green as so many of the scores demand.
Jack started on piano as a 10 year old before switching to drums at 17. He studied jazz and contemporary music at Leeds College of Music and has played in lots of bands over the years, covering various styles. His favourite genre has always been Jazz with a range of influences from Miles Davis to Pat Metheny (and all of their drummers too).
Having wanted to play drums as a young child but being told that they were too noisy, Steve finally got going at the age of 17. His interests have developed into all areas of drums and percussion and he has a particular love of Latin and jazz music. Despite several layoffs over the years he now has the time to be active over a range of musical styles as diverse as electronic, rock, theatre and classical in addition to Latin and jazz and is willing to give anything a go.