WE HAVE BEEN FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO HAVE DIFFERENT MUSICIANS FROM THE LONDON JAZZ SCENE TAKE PART IN OUR HOUSE BAND… INTRODUCING THE GIRLS TO DIFFERENT INFLUENCES AND CONNECTIONS… HERE ARE SOME OF THEM…
Maddy Shaw (flutes)
Maddy Shaw is a professional flutist based in London focusing on jazz, funk and blues across the whole family of flutes: concert, alto, bass and piccolo flute. Maddy holds a performance ATCL (distinction) and LTCL diploma in jazz flute from Trinity College. She graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama at BMus level with Merit, and has been lucky enough to study with world class flutists: Gareth Lockrane, Rowland Sutherland, Joaquin Oliveros and ‘Magic’ Malik Mezzandri. She is the founder and Director of the Girl Plays Jazz project supporting girls and young women in jazz improvisation. Maddy worked for 15 years as a barrister before changing career to devote more time to developing and working as a jazz musician, with her quartet Felicidade, duo The Italian Job, Orquesta Estela Cuban Big Band, and with other London-based jazz bands.
Andy Ruiz Palma (guitar)
Andy is an acoustic and electric jazz guitarist who plays both lead and rhythm. He is the founder of the Bright Stars of Jazz which has its roots in Chicago and New Orleans jazz. He is part of the gypsy jazz project La Bouche Manouche playing tunes in the Hot Club style with a repertoire of swingtime jazz and French cafe music. A recent performance numbered over a million and half views on Youtube, and counting. Andy plays in modern jazz outfits including the flute-led Felicidade. He undertakes regular duo and trio work. He has experience running whole band workshops, and one to one tuition, including schools-based jazz workshops promoting jazz to children, and as part of the Girl Plays Jazz project.
Asha Parkinson (tenor)
Asha is a 19 year old composer and saxophonist who currently studies at Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Asha reached the semi-finals of both the BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year and BBC Inspire Young Composer Awards in 2016 alongside receiving a legacy award (in memory of Princess Diana, Princess of Wales) for her work with Voices Beyond Divisions. Asha leads the 12 piece band Kalpadruma exploring connections between Arabic, Turkish, Indian, Contemporary Classical and Jazz Music.
Sophie Watson (alto sax)
Sophie is an Alto Saxophonist and Clarinettist, Sophie began her studies in music at a young age firstly gaining invaluable training at the City of Edinburgh Music School. Sophie most recently studied at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama gaining an Artist Masters degree in Jazz Saxophone. Sophie has performed professionally and worked as an educator in music for 9 years across London. Venues performed at include, Ronnie Scotts, The Albert Hall as part of the BBC Proms, The Barbican Hall, Vortex Jazz Club, Pizza Express Jazz Club, The Southbank Centre, The London Jazz Festival, Bestival.
Grace Archer (vocals)
Wun Yen Chen (bass)
Wun Yen Chan, not the usual name to come out of Wiltshire and the west country. This British born Chinese lad headed over to London after studying in Kidderminster College’s flag ship course of Music and Recording. Always the team member Wun picked the right instrument for this, Bass! Be it electric or double bass, funk, jazz, soul or pop he’s ready to lay the foundation and support his fellow musicians.
This supporting role has led him to record for Barry White, Clare Teal, Claire Martin, Sarah Moule, Emma Hatton, Ria Jones and Ian Shaw to name a few.
Collaborating with some of London’s finest musicians Xantone Blacq (Amy Winehouse), Graham Russell (Shirley Bassey), Rob Hughes (ABC, Holly Johnson) Cameron Pierre (Courtney Pine) to name a few.
So what else has Wun done? Released music on the hip ‘Acid Jazz’ label, played at all the major festivals (Glastonbury, O2, Bestival). It’s fun to be Wun.
Cat Craig (keys)
Catherine Craig is a UK-based pianist, teacher, writer and composer. She plays with a number of bands around London, most notably the John Bennett Band, a 14 piece ensemble which began in the 60s playing John’s original music encompassing funk-infused soundscapes, tight grooves, hard bop and impressionist improvisations. Catherine is drawing together her life experience by recording three studio albums encompassing her improvisations, sonic manifestos and songs.
Andy Asante (piano)
Cyro Zuzi (drums/percussion)
Cyro Zuzi is a Brazilian born, percussionist and drummer, who started his musical career more than 20 years ago, studying with one of the main Brazilian tutors Douglas Las Casas and Ramon Montagner. In Brazil he played in many rock bands around Sao Paulo, and in the year 2000 spent some time studying drums in Havana (Cuba), with the collaborator of Modern Drummer Magazine: Chuck Silverman among other Cuban teachers.
In the same year he took the 1st place in an important drum contest in Sao Paulo: Concurso de Bateristas do Vale do Paraiba. In 2007 moved to London, and started doing gigs and recording sessions with top musicians in UK, he also appeared in 2 TV programs on the BBC Television (8 out of 10 Cats and Backchat) and the ITV (Loose Women).
He has recorded 3 albums in London with the Hard Rock band Nitroville (Don´t stop what is coming), and the Jazz artists Tamas Teszary (Bopcore) and Guido Spannocchi (Terms and Conditions), he also collaborated on many tracks for independent artists. In 2018 recorded an instructional DVD called ´Workshop de Jazz Internacional´ in Brazil with his own trio.
Cyro has been gigging and touring in many cities around UK, and played in some of the top music festivals – Cheltenham Jazz Fest, Secret Garden Party and Glastonbury, he has also toured in Argentina, Chile, Holland, France, Belgium, Spain, Portugal , Germany, and also other countries in Africa and Middle East.
…and we are grateful to additional support and participation from the following musicians who have supported our masterclasses and workshops: Sara McGuinness (Cuban pianist and bandleader), Jimmy Martinez (bass) Michele Drees (drums and band leader) Issie Barratt (Baritone, composer, bandleader), Shirley Smart (Cello, composer and bandleader) Irene Serra (vocals) Amy Baldwin (double bass), Sophie Watson (alto sax) Sam Every (drums) Andy Asante (piano) Chun Ting (double bass) Simone Miller (violin) Simon Rawlings (guitar) … and to many other musicians who have given us their time and support.