Welcome to Hammondjazz.or​g

Biography Stuff: 

I was born in Newcastle (in the North of England) and encouraged to study music by my father, a well known violinist. At 16 I left school to work in the country's top nightclubs, and played for many famous performers of the period including Billy EckstineTony HancockNancy Wilson, and The Four Tops. After this period of practical experience, I went on to gain diplomas from the London College of Music and The Guildhall School of Music, and this interest in more serious composition and performance has continued to influence my later work. 
From 1978 to 1983 I worked for TFM Radio producing live music sessions — writing and performing many commercials and jingles, and ident packages for several commercial radio stations including TFM, Viking Radio, BBC Merseyside and RTHK in Hong Kong. I also played on many of the iconic Tube sessions providing the playback recordings for visiting Americans such as Eddie Grant
Grandmaster Melle Mel, Eartha Kitt and Madonna.

In 1984 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 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, and several festival appearances including Bracknell, Newcastle and Leuven (Belgium).      

Our 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, followed by an invitation to perform with the same orchestra for a special Frank Zappa tribute concert and CD recording. My trio rEvolution later developed the style of music first heard with Full Circle, and performed as support to Don Grolnick and Billy Cobham.

From 1989-2007 I was the Musical Director for singer Tony Christie, whose hit Amarillo had world-wide success and who still enjoys a huge following around the world with many successful records and albums. We played many international tours and festivals together, as well as performances at the Royal Albert Hall and appearances on Top Of The Pops.    

I worked with jazz giant John Surman and Northumbrian piper Kathryn Tickell (who features on some of Sting’s albums) on a special project of original music commissioned by the Stockton Riverside International Festival. I also played with Hugh Hopper (bassist with Soft Machine) and on Hugh's retrospective live album North and South.    

Playing Hammond organ on the 20th Jazz Hoeilaart Festival near Brussels with Milkshake Banana (the Vandendriessche Brothers legendary Belgian group), gave me a chance to work with Toots Thielemans, the world renowned jazz harmonica legend.    

Now living permanently in Belgium, I teamed up 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. We recorded the acclaimed CD Action Reaction, and a second album, Kazzbah quickly followed.    

I feature extensively (again playing Hammond) on Marc Moulin's CD Top Secret (Blue Note records), as well as the 5-track Organ remix CD by Marc Moulin. I have performed at more than 25 festivals (including the Blue Note Festival and Haarlem Jazz Festival) with international DJ Sven Van Hees and his live project Sven Van Hees & The Svengali Squad.

One of my favourite creative projects was Ménage Artois. Inspired originally by the duo of Michel Petrucciani and Eddie Louis my trio featured Charles Loos  on Piano,  Luc Vanden Bosch on drums and percussion, with myself on Hammond organ. We produced a CD with  Mogno records in Brussels and performed many concerts in Belgium and France.    

Currently I have the pleasure of touring on Hammond with Johan Verminnen, one of Belgium’s most famous artists, and Soetkin Baptist, a Flemish-speaking performer living in Norway and performing in French! I also work and record with another Belgian singer, Ilse Duyck. One of her projects is with a 15-girl vocal group My Groovy Sisters – it’s a tough job but someone has to do it! 

Since 1988 (so long ago!) I’ve been involved as a composer and performer in music theatre, mainly with the Munich-based company The American Drama Group Europe and TNT Theatre. This has been such an important part of my musical life that a separate page with more information is to be found here.