Ronnie Jones

Biography

Ronnie has  been playing  percussion since he was a toddler when he used to jam along on tambourine to the likes of The Average White Band and Weather Report with his bongo-playing Dad, and started playing drum  kit at 11 . For several years he  had  weekly lessons from  former Tubby Hayes/Stan Tracey/Georgie Fame drummer Bill Eyden whilst at High School in  Greenford in West London. Ronnie  started to take music more seriously after joining Ealing Youth Orchestra at 16, which saw him perform with soloists from English National Opera and take part in several tours to France, where the orchestra performed to hundreds of people, including at St Malo Cathedral. 

 

Although he was studying  History, Ronnie immersed himself into music whilst at University; performing with the University Big Band on drums and Latin percussion, as well as the University symphony orchestra and Wind Band. He also joined - and later became President of - the university's Jazz Funk Association. It was through the association that Ronnie met and started playing with the band Planet Janet on Latin percussion (and picked up the nickname 'Bongo Ron'). The band played nearly every week, most often at Cardiff's Toucan Club, which was always packed with hundreds of funk fans.By 18, Ronnie's weekend job was gigging with a funk quartet and depping with various pit orchestras, symphony orchestras and brass bands across West London (including helping the The Hanwell Band to the national brass band finals). But it wasn't until he left for Cardiff University in 1996 that Ronnie first started playing jazz .

 

After university,  playing music took a back seat in Ronnie's life for a few years ,  as he went to teach English in Niigata in Japan for a year (although he did host his own jazz funk radio show whilst he was there). He returned to  study a postgrad in journalism and went on to work as a  reporter and producer in London , which saw him work for ITN, the BBC, Richard & Judy and radio station LBC . Ronnie  refocused on his music   when he left London for Devon in 2005, and  he immersed himself in the thriving local jazz scene.

 

Ronnie is now an in demand drummer and percussionist and has played with some of the top jazz musicians in the South West including several appearances at the Teignmouth Jazz Festival and at Exeter's Vibraphonic Festival. Ronnie is thrilled to have fulfilled one of his long-held ambitions of forming his own jazz quartet and was delighted to bring his band to play at Ealing Jazz Festival in 2014; where he first fell in love with jazz as a teenager .

Gary Bayley

Gary started playing the saxophone in 1970. As a big band & dance band player there was no shortage of high standard ensembles in the Southampton area, and he quickly assimilated the teachings of the fine visiting musicians working the transatlantic liners and venues that included the Mecca and Top Rank ballrooms. Later he went on to play soul, funk, and reggae, and made frequent appearances in the recording studio as a pop 'session player'. He was also the flautist with The Elizabethan Consort of Musicke and saxophonist in the electro-fusion bands LeftBank and Venturi.

 

In the 1980's Gary made his mark on the British modern jazz scene; Radio Three said:  '... a fine original soloist in the British jazz tradition...', The Guardian newspaper reviewed: '... an explosive improvising talent with a spit-fire technique...', and more recently Jazzwise magazine stated: 'immense'.

 

As well as the Ronnie Jones Quartet, Gary has been in the ranks of legendary composer/orchestra leader Mike Westbrook since 2005 (appearing on two recordings), and has appeared at The London Jazz Festival five times as well as Ronnie Scott's and London's Pizza Express jazz club.

Joss Kidd

Joss was born in the small  seaside fishing town of Oban on the north west coast of Scotland and moved to Glasgow at an early age. It was here that Joss started to take an interest in jazz, becoming involved with jazz workshops and big band at the Glasgow Arts Centre and performing with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Scotland.

 

Aged seventeen Joss moved to London to study jazz at university. He was taught harmony and theory by Pete Churchill (Jazz Education award 2007) and Nikki Iles (Jazz Education award nominee 2007 & 2009) and had guitar tuition under the guidance of multi-instrumentalist Stuart Hall and Phil Robson (Winner of 'Best Jazz musician of the Year' 2009). Joss also developed his performing skills with tuition by founding member of Loose Tubes and jazz educator - trumpeter Chris Batchelor.

 

After graduating with an honours degree in Jazz (BA Music Jazz Studies) Joss stayed in London for several years working professionally before studying for a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) and moving to Devon where he still resides. Joss now teaches Music part time at a local secondary school while continuing to gig with some of the top musicians in the South West. 

David George

After a misspent musical youth playing drums and guitar in bands covering The Undertones and Dr Feelgood, David discovered his musical vocation after picking up an upright bass for the first time at a Dartington Hall summer school.

 

Gaining a jazz education at the now legendary workshops run by Totnes Jazz Collective, he went on to play regularly at the Collective's gigs and with groups convened by several of its members including Lewis Riley and Sam Richards.

 

An enthusiast for all kinds of jazz, as well as working regularly with Ronnie and Joss in duo and trio formats he also plays for the nine-piece band Ellingtonia, which has appeared at festivals across the South West including Teignmouth, Bude and Dartmouth; and for AJ's Big Band which specialises in the music of another colossus of jazz: Glenn Miller.

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