Biographies/CVs

for PIMP MY JAZZ (original line-up) 

 

BASS

Bass guitarist Terry Peaker has played, recorded and toured with many famous names over the years, including Champion Jack Dupree, Otis Spann and Marion Montgomery (60s) and Emile Ford, Walker Brothers, Billy Ocean and Gino Washington (70s). He played at Dover Street Wine Bar with at least six bands in the 1990s and held the record for playing with three different bands on three nights in one week. He accompanied Lynda Berkley every week for five years and played with Doc Cox and also Dana Gillespie around Europe. He currently tours with Beaky’s Band (Dave Dee etc) and occasionally John Leyton.

 

SAXOPHONE

A recent Cambridge graduate, Alastair Penman is a highly sought after saxophonist, clarinettist and ewi player comfortable in any genre. He has played principal clarinet under conductors such as Sir Roger Norrington, Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Stephen Cleobury, David Hill and many others at venues including the Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Symphony Hall and King's College Chapel. He has also played saxophone alongside jazz greats including Mike Gibbs, Steve Waterman, Mark Nightingale and Gareth Lockrane, and at Montreux, London and Tarrega Jazz Festivals.

 

GUITAR

John Spraggon is an outstanding guitarist who was introduced to music because his father played in the RAF Central Band. John belongs to a multi-genre function band which has played all major venues all over the country, including Buckingham Palace, HMS Belfast and the BBC’s Tomorrow’s World party involving Patrick Moore and Brian May. He has performed with top sax players including Dave Lewis, Stewart Curtis and Frank Griffith. He likes Pimp My Jazz because Gavin’s original music is often unexpected and contains unusual chords.

 

KEYBOARD

Phil Craddock started playing the piano when he was three, and studied classical piano up to Grade VII.  He discovered the wonders of jazz in his 30s, favouring the ballads of Richard Rodgers, Cole Porter and George Gershwin, but taking on anything interesting, which is what attracted him to the variety and sophistication of Pimp My Jazz. He has attended Michael Garrick's piano courses and had two private tutors. His heroes are Dave Brubeck, Bill Evans and Oscar Peterson. He performs regularly in local jazz trios and quartets and in local jazz platforms, and also composes his own songs and tunes.

 

DRUMS

Session drummer/bass player Kweku Graves started playing piano at eight, but later gave it up for the trombone, reaching Grade VI. He took up double bass, played in the Goldsmiths Youth Orchestra before joining a pop band as an electric bass player and touring Cyprus performing in American air bases. In 1984 joined ska band Headline (signed to Virgin) as a bass player and toured Europe. In 1986 joined pop band Desert Island Dix as percussionist. He became a pupil of the renowned jazz drummer Clark Tracey (son of Stan Tracey) in late 80s. Recently put together the mixed-genre band Collective 9four, for which he writes some original material.

 

VOCALS

Lonette Charles trained in drama and performing arts, but was noticed for her velvet-toned low register singing voice, and four years ago at the age of 21 was asked to become the vocalist for new combo The Jazz Traitors which performs jazz standards and covers throughout West London. She was a natural choice when Sparks & Shelley formed the jazz and Latin band Pimp My Jazz, also singing on their original track album. Vocally Lonette has been compared variously to Diana Krall, Claire Martin, Cleo Laine, Sade and Karen Carpenter, but her torch song is a Julie London number, Cry Me A River. She is married to one of Europe’s top dubstep DJ/producers, Gary McCann. 

 

RHYTHM GUITAR/VOCALS/COMPOSER

G.K. (Gavin) Sparks played lead and rhythm guitar in various UK pop/rock bands in his youth and worked in Spain and also in Germany touring US bases. He was once in a successful bubblegum band called Love Children put together by a duo which included Peter “Love Me, Love My Dog” Shelley. Has written songs in many styles over the years, often employing unusual chords, and with his lyricist partner Kay Shelley has had a number of them recorded by various artists, but he now feels that jazz is his preference. He sings occasionally because he has pleasing tone, phrasing and vocal style.  
 

MANAGER/CO-LYRICIST

Kay Shelley has been a journalist for many years, in local and regional newspapers and magazines, at a features agency and at a college of further education. Her roles have included news reporter, women's page editor, chief reporter, sub-editor, features editor, TV editor, assistant editor and Press, PR & Corporate Communications officer.  She co-wrote pop and country lyrics with composer G.K.(Gavin) Sparks in the 90s and 00s, forming the songwriting team Sparks & Shelley. After co-producing their 14-track jazz and Latin album and co-founding Pimp My Jazz, she became the band’s manager. She sings part of one song in French.
 
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