…Twice ‘grammy’ long-listed guitar supremo Neil C. Young.
Nominated for a ‘Grammy’ award by Canadian American Records 3 times to date, Neil C. Young is an accomplished composer, arranger and musician… Along with this performance recognition, Neil has also received acclaim for his work through the International Songwriting Competition (2006) with two pieces being shortlisted in the instrumental category, ‘Time will sing’ and ‘That Darned’, this recognition has also been given through a honourable mention at the Canary Islands International Songwriting Competition. Neil has played and worked with many other artists across different genres through his career, Nathan Bray, Soweto Kinch, Ben Crosland, Gary Boyle, Steve Tromans, Pat McCarthy, Pat Sprakes, Wendy Kirkland, Barnaby Dickinson, The Earlies, Sara Lowes, Liam Frost, Denny Laine, King Creosote to name a few. This all add to the influences already within Neil’s playing and the influences continue to grow. In a contemporary musical climate, which is often overcrowded with an eclectic range of guitar styles, Neil not only acknowledges these various influences, but also displays an in-depth knowledge of performance and composition, which were key to his studies with Gary Boyle and with Fred T Baker at renowned Birmingham Conservatoire.
David Healey is a jazz saxophonist based in London and he currently occupies the National Youth Jazz Orchestra Tenor 1 chair. He grew up in Newark and after playing jazz regularly throughout his youth joined NYJO when he went to London for university. Since then he has performed at venues including Ronnie Scott’s, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Buckingham Palace, and has played with the likes of Gregory Porter and Clare Teal, among others. His quartet features are currently enjoying success in and around the Capital and we’re really pleased to have managed to snatch him for this date.
The combination of these two top line musicians is intense, stylistic and technically excellent, verging towards the harder side of jazz…
PRS is driven by drummer Simon Potts, who cites his influences as Buddy Rich, Art Blakey & Max Roach to name a few. Having worked as a session drummer with the BBC at their Maida Vale and Paris Studios playing with both big and small bands, Simon’s love of jazz was fuelled by his father, a jazz trumpeter, who led his own band for over 40 years.
Following in his dad’s footsteps, Simon has worked with many artists including Jamie Cullum, Digby Fairweather, Stacey Kent, Jacqui Dankworth, Barb Jungr, Denny Illett Jr. and Johnny Mars (American blues harmonica player not to be confused with Johnny Marr guitarist from the Smiths!)
“You can hear the music in Si’s solos – he’s unreal…” – Steve Rodda – Guitar
Steve Rodda picked up his first guitar in 1976 (we know, he doesn’t look old enough!) and has been playing jazz gigs since the late nineties, with strong Django Reinhardt influences apparent in his sound. He also loves Reggae, Ska, Country and Blues but primarily is known as a jazz guitarist
Part three of PRS is Stray’s co-owner Mat Short, on bass guitar. Originally playing alto sax, Mat turned to the dark side and has been playing his late father’s bass guitar since his passing over 2 years ago. Having been taught improvisation by saxophone supremo Jan Kopinski, Mat also spent a couple of years under the watchful eye of jazz trumpeter Nathan Bray, until he switched to playing bass.
Mat’s cites his musical influences as wide ranging as Stanley Turrentine, Pat Sprakes, LTJ Bukem, Duke Ellington James Brown, Steely Dan – he also loves playing bass in his church worship team!