Jacqui Hicks Nic France Nick Weldon Dave Lewis Steve Rose Fri 14th Dec 2018
Jacqui studied saxophone & flute on the jazz course at Leeds College of Music and started singing during her three years there, continuing on to the Masters course at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.
Shortly after leaving the GSDM, Jacqui joined NYJO in 1992 as the featured vocalist and spent the next four years touring and also recording with the band — including the vocal album Looking Forward, Looking Back.
Since 1993 Jacqui has worked with the jazz/funk band Shakatak, both as backing vocalist and sax player. She’s toured Europe and Eastern Europe, South Africa, the Far East & Japan numerous times with them and also appears on their albums Let The Piano Play, View From The City, Under Your Spell, Blue Savannah and Beautiful Day.
Jacqui has also worked with the Latin/Pop band Matt Bianco, touring Japan, Indonesia & Europe with them and appears on their albums Gran Via, Another Time: Another Place and a re-working of their greatest hits, A Collection.
Under her own name she released her debut album Spellbound back in 2000 – which was well received by the critics – and has released two acclaimed jazz CDs in collaboration with the John Critchinson Trio: With A Song In My Heart and A Child Is Born.
Dave Lewis is an American saxophonist, resident in the UK. A consummate, passionate performer who is well respected in the fields of Jazz, Dance, Soul and Rock, Dave has toured and recorded throughout the United States, Europe and Japan, and has made numerous TV, Radio and Video appearances. Since living in the UK he’s worked with John Martyn, Bryan Ferry, Tommy Chase, John Mayall, Lamont Dozier and Eric Clapton amongst many others. Dave’s playing is soulful and funky with a natural affinity to the Jazz and R&B greats, such as Dexter Gordon, King Curtis and Joe Henderson. He is known for his distinctive tenor sound and individual approach. Dave is an honours graduate from the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston and a well-known in demand player on the London jazz scene. He also leads his seven piece band, ’Dave Lewis’ 1UP’ as well as playing and recording with the Blockheads.
Nic France started playing piano when he was 7 years old. He had a formal and fairly intense musical education as a cathedral chorister at Ely from the age of 7-12 and learnt to play the violin as well. Nic started playing drums at school when he was about 14 and played in a school band. In 1976 at the age of 19, he studied music, percussion, piano and singing at Cambridge College of Arts and Technology but he self self taught on kit. Whilst in Cambridge Nic played regularly at the Modern Jazz Club with fellow students Chucho Merchan and John Donaldson and had the great opportunity to play with some outstanding musicians such as Gordon Beck, Martin Taylor and Tony Coe.
In 1980 France moved to London to work as a freelance session drummer and started playing with Ian Carr's Nucleus. This lead to playing with many other established London based musicians including Ronnie Scott, John Taylor, Allan Holdsworth, Jim Mullen, Tim Whitehead and Bobby Wellins. International artists included Mose Allison, L. Shankar, Hank Crawford and David Fathead Newman and an appearance on BBC tv with Billy Cobham. Nic was a founder member of Loose Tubes alongside Django Bates, John Parricelli, Chris Batchelor, Mark Lockheart and Iain Ballamy.
By 1984 he had joined Working Week, toured Europe extensively and recorded 3 albums. In 1988/89 Nic had the great pleasure of playing drums and singing backing vocals with Bill Withers on two UK and European tours. From 1989-95 he played with Tanita Tikaram, involving several world tours and albums. From the mid 90's Nic France played with Antonio Forcione, Ian Shaw, Christie Hennessey and toured and recorded with Tim Garland's Lammas. In 2001/2 he had the good fortune to play with David Gilmour with guests Kate Bush, Bob Geldorf and Robert Wyatt, appearing on the David Gilmour Live DVD recorded at the Festival Hall. Nic played with Andy Sheppard, Nigel Kennedy and Barb Jungr over this period. He has been playing drums for Terry Callier since 2005, and currently performs with Mbawula a South African Township band, and Jazzinho a contemporary Brazilian band. In 2009 Nic played with the Charlie Haden Liberation Orchestra.
France teaches at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, Uppingham School and for the National Youth Jazz Collective courses and summer schools.
Born in Cambridge, Nick Weldon is the son of writer Fay Weldon and folk singer and actor Colyn Davies. He was introduced to jazz by his stepfather Ron Weldon. He studied at Keele University, receiving a First Class Degree in French and Philosophy. After graduating from the Barry Summer School along with, inter alia, Martin Speake, Simon Wallace and Clark Tracey, Nick began working as a professional jazz pianist in 1979.
Nick built his reputation as a strong swinging sideman in the bands of UK players and was also called upon to accompany many visiting American jazz artists, including Johnny Griffin, Sheila Jordan, Sonny Stitt, Jimmy Witherspoon, Dewey Redman and Teddy Edwards. During the eighties and nineties Nick was a regular player at Soho's Ronnie Scott's Club, Peter Ind's Bass and Tenor Clef rooms, and Steve Rubie's 606 club.
Nick runs a record label - Verge, through which he has released two piano trio albums Lavender's Blue and Live at the Albert, the CDs People We Once Knew and Your Time from the Andra Sparks Quintet, and a poetry and jazz single If I Were A Gong also featuring percussionist Paul Clarvis.
Nick has a long experience in many different teaching environments, and made a start in the Education Department of Brixton Prison (as visiting teacher rather than inmate). He is currently a professor at Trinity College of Music and at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. Nick was Director of the famous Wavendon Summer School and now runs his own organisation, Jazz School UK, with his partner, jazz singer Andra Sparks, in the converted Northamptonshire Shoefactory where they live.
Nick Weldon is also the author of the novel Idristan, the BBC Radio Play Laura-Mae and the Olivardies, and many poems, jazz tunes, and songs, including Your Time (Nick's translation of Leo Ferre's Avec Le Temps) and Where You Are (Nick's lyric for Pat Metheny's Question And Answer)
Nick's current trio features Tim Wells on double bass and Felix Weldon on drums. He also plays double bass in his own sextet with drummer Trevor Tomkins, singer Andra Sparks, trumpeter Laura Jurd, saxophonist Art Themen and pianist Nikki Iles. The sextet CD A Hidden Flame is due for release on Verge early in 2015.