Roger Beaujolais (vibes) Robin Aspland (p) Simon Thorpe (b) Winston Clifford (d)
Roger’s music is an imaginative reworking of music of the hard bop bands of the fifties and sixties, with a mix of standards and originals. ‘His technique on the vibraphone is masterly … he can switch from funk to delicate ballad in an instant’ (Dave Gelly, Observer)
Entirely self-taught, Roger took up music, playing piano and drums, briefly playing the latter in a rock band. He listened to and admired a wide range of jazz musicians, on many instruments, but it was not until he was 24 that he began to seriously consider the vibraphone. At 28 he played his first gig on this instrument and since 1973 has been fully engaged as a professional musician. An early group he led was the Beaujolais Band, which played an appealing mix of salsa and bop, coming as it did in a period when hard bop was enjoying a renaissance. Since then he has customarily been heard leading his own quintet and the acid jazz group Vibraphonic, and as co-leader of the Theo Travis /Roger Beaujolais Quartet. He also worked often with the popular jump jive unit the Chevalier Brothers of which group he was a co-founder in the early 80s. Other members of the band included Ray Gelato (saxophone), Maurice Chevalier (guitar), Clark Kent (bass) and John Piper (drums). With this group, Beaujolais recorded and toured internationally through the 80s, appearing at many of the main jazz festivals.
Among many other musicians and bands with whom Roger has played and recorded are contemporary jazz, Latin and pop artists including Robin Aspland, Butterfield 8, Guy Chambers, Winston Clifford, Mary Coughlan, D-Influence, Simon Thorpe, Roland Perrin, Fairground Attraction, 4 Hero, Slim Gaillard, Ed Motta, Mark Nevin, Tommaso Starace, Mark Lockheart, Minika Green, Tony Rémy, Pete Lewinson, Davide Mantovani, Kirsty MacColl, Dave Lewis, Jim Hart, Masami Tsuchiya, Robert Plant and Paul Weller. He has also played with Tim Richards’ revival of Spirit Level, Great Spirit. In addition to performing, Roger has taught jazz vibraphone at Trinity College of Music in London.
Roger’s band features three of the very best first choice rhythm section musicians in Britain.
Winston Clifford – drums
One of the most popular drummers on the UK jazz scene, Winston has played with virtually all of the top musicians in the country. He studied with Bill Eydon & later with Trevor Tomkins when at the Guildhall School of Music. Winston is first choice for many UK bandleaders including Ed Jones, Jonathan Gee, & Zoe Rahman. He also plays with the Carleen Anderson Group.
Winston has played, toured or recorded with many visiting US artists including Stanley Turrentine, Benny Golson, Slim Gaillard, John Abercrombie, Joe Lovano, Eddie Henderson, Carmen Lundy, Freddie Hubbard, Art Farmer, Monty Alexander & Eddie Harris.
Robin Aspland – piano
Born in Leeds, early music experience included playing violin, piano, singing in church choir, playing drums and percussion. Graduated with music degree from Colchester Institute followed by jazz course at Guildhall School of Music.
Regular fixture on UK jazz scene having played with Ronnie Scott, Peter King, Jim Mullen, Kenny Wheeler, John Dankworth and Cleo Laine. Also played with George Coleman, Steve Grossman, Bobby Watson, Arturo Sandoval, Annie Ross, Bob Brookmeyer & Georgie Fame.
Toured and recorded with Van Morrison for six years & played on many sessions for TV and film (including ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’). Currently also working with Anita Wardell, Benn Clatworthy, Hamish Stuart and Curtis Stigers.
Simon Thorpe – double bass
One of Britain’s most popular bass players, Simon is well known for his great sound, melodic solos & solid beat.
For several years he played with Stacey Kent & Jim Tomlinson (featuring on 5 of their albums). He has been laying down the bass line for the Bobby Wellins Quartet since 1998 & is a favourite with many of the greats in Britain & the USA inc. Scott Hamilton, Warren Vache, Alan Barnes, Dave Cliff & Don Weller.
Simon also leads a number of bands in various styles, has played numerous sessions & also composes music for TV & radio.