Meet the Band
All the members of Jazzin’it have been around the jazz scene for quite a time – as some of their pictures clearly show!! This page is a brief insight into what has inspired and influenced them to play the music that they do today: -
Richard Knock - trumpet
Richard's violinist grandfather was leader of a dance band in London in the 1920s. His parents both played piano and he learnt violin at school. He and his brother John were introduced to jazz when listening to the American Forces Network radio programmes in the 1940s and he took up the trumpet and his brother the trombone when in their early teens.
A career in the Merchant Navy allowed him to explore jazz origins in West Africa and subsequent visits to both New York and New Orleans where he heard among others the Wilbur de Paris band, Henry Red Allen, Narvin Kimball, Louis Nelson and Albert Burbank, which helped to cement a lifelong interest in the music.
A founder member of the Eccleston Brass Band in 1970 and the Yarrow River Jazzband in 1987, and still active with both bands, Richard has played with many of the North West's jazzbands and is conversant with a variety of styles. Favourite trumpet man has to be Henry Red Allen who set the flame fully alight back in 1957. Second hobby: flying gliders.
Lindsay Taylor - trombone
Lindsay started to learn playing music at school up in Scotland at the age of 9, after listening to a George Chisholm recording. Unfortunately the primary school didn't have a trombone so he had to start on the trumpet and a move to tenor horn until the summer holidays between primary and secondary schools. During this time he started to play with local amateur brass bands, learning to read and play with groups of other players. Moving on to trombone between primary and secondary schools Lindsay has never looked back. Building a reputation through brass band, orchestral and swing bands. A very lucky and productive start to a playing career.
Moving home with work meant a change in emphasis of his playing which started to be more based in the swing and jazz bands of the area where he lives. Increasing the range of instruments Lindsay plays now finds him occasionally playing a sousaphone in a jazz band and learning to play a double bass too.
Phil Yates - clarinet and vocals
Phil began piano lessons at age 7 and was constantly being told off for not reading the music and playing by ear, so improvisation must have been in the DNA! He took up the clarinet at 17 in his last year in 6th Form, just having a 20 minute lesson every week, then went to college with a pile of Chris Barber records and proceeded to copy all Monty Sunshine's solos note for note.
Phil didn’t have the confidence to sit in with a band until his mid twenties, but as soon as he did, he felt completely at home. Joining the Dobbs Gutter Jazz Band in Southport in 1978 until its demise in 1990, when he was already a member of the Mathew St. Ragtime Band in Liverpool (later to become the Down Town Dixieland JB) He ceased to be a member in 2004 but still deps with them regularly. Has been with the Yarrow River Jazzband since 2003.
Hobbies: Cookery, Local History and expanding an already huge collection of recorded music. Main musical influences: Johnny Dodds, Omer Simeon, Jimmie Noone. Other musical passions (apart from classic jazz)—Bob Dylan—Wagnerian opera—Bob Dylan—John Coltrane—Mahler—Bob Dylan—20th Century British composers and finally - Bob Dylan.
Dave Rossiter - clarinet, saxophones and vocals
Dave learned music in his schooldays on the piano, and joined the R.A.F. in 1956 as a regular and ‘snitched’ his father’s soprano sax to partake in various military bands avoiding guard duties for the privilege. He was posted to Cyprus in 1958 and was coerced to join a jazz band called The Allakeefic Stompers. This event taught him that there were other types of music other than Rock and Roll. From this era he was hooked on the Traditional Jazz Sound and has continued in this vein since.
Leaving the services in 1968 after 12 years, he joined a band in Swindon called the Thamesdown Jazzmen and played in the Breda Auld Style Jazz Festivals in Holland for several years in the early 80s.
Dave moved north in 1988 and has played in several bands in Yorkshire and Lancashire over the years and has had many enjoyable hours with real friends, playing and entertaining audiences throughout the area. Hopefully this will continue for a few years yet to come with Jazzin’it.
Sadly, Dave has decided not to continue with the band largely due to the significant cost of travelling from his home in Glossop to rehearsals in Tarleton - September 2012
Mark Todd - guitar
Mark started playing the guitar at Junior School, at 10 years of age, 38 years ago. He also started lessons at home, learning finger picking styles & various folk songs and rags. His first ‘public’ performance was at St Anne’s Junior School end of year concert where he came first and was awarded the Musician of the Year Trophy. He even did an encore of a little instrumental number he had composed himself!
Over the years Mark developed his playing style to include rock and jazz guitar & improvisation, also playing guitar in Church. He was filmed by the BBC in Lourdes, France, and his guitar playing was used as the music during the credits of a BBC2 documentary programme!
Mark’s jazz music interest was given a large boost by regular visits to ‘The Lamb’ pub in Preston on regular Sunday evenings in the 1990s to see ‘Free Parking’, following which he would learn their compositions and the jazz standards they would play.
In 2003, he set-up his own band, ‘Top Marks’; the music they cover is an eclectic mix of folk, jazz, pop and rock and they have performed at over 60 events over the last 8 years or so.
Mark joined ‘Jazzin It’ in November 2011 to re-enforce the jazz guitar element of his repertoire and to play more regular live gigs.
Gerry Clayton - double bass and vocals
Gerry started his professional musical career in 1959 when he co-formed “Karl Terry & The Cruisers”. The band became extremely popular around Merseyside and performed at “The Cavern Club” on numerous occasions. A season in “The Star Club” Hamburg followed.
He became established as a backing musician at various clubs in the Liverpool and Manchester areas and recorded several times at Strawberry Studios in Stockport amongst others. Later he joined the Trad Jazz scene with Blackpool’s “The Festival Jazzmen” and formed his own Quartet which performed for various functions for 25 years. Now he's founder member of Jazzin’it.
Mike Sutton - drummer
Mike’s interest in music started whilst he was still at primary school playing in Prestwich Borough Brass Band and as a teenager he formed a ‘beat group’ with three of his pals - 'The Ugly Ducklings' who recently performed a re-union gig after having disbanded 45 years earlier. Mike was brought up on jazz listening and playing along to his dad’s 78s and major influences on his playing were some of the drummers in the ‘trad boom’ of the 60s – Ron McKay, Ron Bowden, Lenny Hastings and of course Buddy Rich.
Mike worked in the financial sector but he always maintained his interest in music, especially jazz, playing all forms from trad and modern to big bands. He has also worked extensively as a session musician in theatres, studios and clubs and took voluntary redundancy in the early 90s to return to his musical roots and became a music teacher.
Mike has always admired the music of the Dutch Swing College band and, having a desire to play some good swinging jazz again, he decided to form a band on similar lines – Jazzin’it is the result.
When not working Mike and wife Anne spend as much time as possible aboard their narrowboat ‘Sunflower’ on the Leeds & Liverpool canal where life is even more laid back than the jazz he plays!!