I grew up in Leeds, and started playing the guitar aged 12 under the influence of Lonnie Donegan, like many British rock musicians of my generation. I started my band “The Dark Blues” in 1963 while studying Physics at Oxford, and have played over 5000 gigs on guitar, tenor sax, and vocals. I also had a long business career with IBM until I left in 2003 to become Master of the Worshipful Company of Musicians for a year, after which I have continued to work as a management consultant. I have been a NYJO Trustee since 2000, when (as Chairman of the Musicians’ Company Jazz Committee) I was able to arrange a three-year sponsorship of NYJO.
I live on a farm in Hertfordshire with my wife Dr Deborah Cunningham, a great NYJO supporter and passionate lover of jazz generally. My son has lived and worked as a musician in Beijing since 2005, and my daughter is finishing her PhD in Los Angeles. We are fortunate to have a lovely house in Italy, Ripertoli, which we visit whenever we can – a particular highlight is the annual olive harvest in November, when we make our own extra virgin olive oil. If you want to know what Ripertoli is like, listen to the piece of that name on Tim Garland’s album “Via”, with the Storms/Nocturnes trio – it’s a great piece of music for a great place.