News — Artist Spotlight

Artist Spotlight: Snow Owl - Bass Player, Virtuoso, Musical Genius 0

Snow OwlI’m thinking how to start the intro for this article on an amazing artist, after reading my notes it’s becoming clear that one word doesn’t quite fit-all.

There’s ‘virtuoso’ (a person highly skilled in music) or ‘musical genius’ (an exceptional intellectual with creative powers and natural abilities within musical creations) and ‘erudition’ (the quality of having and showing great knowledge within learning and the ability to teach).

Let’s leave it at that then, as they all narrate in fine detail to the extraordinary talents of Colombian born Juan García-Herreos, master of the electric Contrabass guitar. Juan does indeed have it all backed up with numerous prestigious musical awards, including the first electric bassist to receive a nomination for the highest recognition by all major bass and music publications for work with the Contrabass bass guitar.

Artist Spotlight: Chris Storr - Trumpet Player 0


Chris Storr and Winston RollinsChris Storr is one of the most respected and sought after trumpet players in the music business, having played and recorded with more popular artists than you can think of, from Tom Jones, Amy Winehouse, Billy Ocean to Massive Attack. He’s performed and toured with the greats, and still called upon for active duties within a host of main stream bands including King Creole and the Coconuts, Jools Holland’s Rhythm And Blues Orchestra and his own band Fillet-o-Soul.
We catch up with a rather tired Chris Storr after a recent 5 week UK tour as trumpet player in the Strictly Come Dancing Band, a stripped back version of the band in the TV Series, but none the less demanding.



Interview: Lars Mullen

Artist Spotlight: Derek Nash - One of the Finest Award Winning Jazz Saxophonists 0

Jools Holland and Derek NashDerek Nash is in the music business, he’s also a respected writer, arranger, record producer, recording engineer, band leader and runs his own Clowns Pocket recording studios. Oh, and he’s been in Jools Holland’s’ band for over 11 years, he’s the leader of Sax Appeal which is still gigging flat out after 35 years, as is his band Protect The Beat, he’s a member of Ronnie Scott’s Blues Explosion and is quite excited about his new album with Acoustic Quartet. Are we proud he uses a Fusion bag... you bet!

 Read the full interview here

Artist Spotlight: Nate Maingard - A Modern Day Troubadour 0

I started calling myself a troubadour several years ago now”, says Nate, “As I am nomadic and I also play music from the heart for people who care about it. I descend from a long lineage of travelling musicians, so it seemed quite natural to work as a troubadour myself. Originally, troubadours were minstrels who roamed around France during the 12th and 13th centuries playing songs in the courts about the people and courtly love. I actually found out quite recently that one of my ancestors called Aimeric Du Peguilhan was one of the last great troubadours of that time in France, so I can say it’s literally in my blood..."

Read the full interview here


Artist Spotlight: Winston Rollins - Trombonist at Jools Holland’s Band and much more 0

Winston Rollins with Fusion Trombone Gig Bag

As one of the music business’s nicest guys within the world of brass players, Winston Rollins has an enviable CV, having been in bands like Aswad, Courtney Pine, Jamiroquai, The Brand New Heavies and Incognito. Not one to keep still, Winston is also a trombonist in Jools Holland’s Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, whilst running his own studio and his own big band.  

Read the full interview with Winston Rollins here...





Artist Spotlight: It's all blow for Phil Veacock 0

Phil Veacock with Joss StonePhil Veacock is best known for his work as tenor saxophonist and musical arranger in Jools Holland's Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, a position he’s had for over 21 years.

If you’ve seen the band live, or on the BBC’s ‘Later With Jools Holland’ or indeed, on the channels annual New Year’s Eve Hootenanny, he’s the one centre stage, giving subtle cues to the rest of the band whilst still playing the sax, what a guy.

Read the full interview here...





Artist Spotlight: Neil Taylor - Guitarist, Singer and Songwriter 0

Neil TaylorAs a songwriter, Neil Taylor has penned songs for the likes of Tears For Fears, Tina Turner and Cher, as a session player he’s been on countless albums. As a solo artist he can hold a packed audience at the Royal Albert Hall.

Oh, and if we are talking ‘as a cool guitar player’ he recorded and toured with Robbie Williams for ten years!

Read the full article....





Artist Spotlight: Sarah Maisel & Craig Chee - A match made in Ukulele Heaven 0

Sarah Maisel & Craig Chee

There is indeed, a huge army of ‘uke’ players out there thrumming away, but very few have managed to actually earn a living as professional players, the exception being Sarah Maisel and Craig Chee based in San Diego, California USA.

Fusion caught up with Sarah and Craig via Skype, whilst they were visiting family in the exotic Hawaii Islands. 

Craig Chee grew up in Hawaii, and as a youngster he loved everything musical. This included going to the theatre, singing in choirs and even watching films. It was a huge part of his upbringing.

“I can relate to your story Craig,” says Sarah, “I didn’t have a ukulele as a child. I actually started playing classical violin when I was six years old, I took all the lessons and played in orchestras up until I was about 17. Then I realised that I didn’t have the drive to be a professional violinist, so I dropped all musical ties whilst I pursued a career in costume making in the theatre for six years. I actually have a degree in pattern making.

By chance I went to a pizza place where there were about 40 ukulele players performing along with hula hula dancers, it was the coolest, most awesome thing I’d ever witnessed, a real life changing moment. Until then, I knew very little about a ukulele, I actually contacted the band leader called Frank Leong for lessons in 2006, and haven’t looked back, it’s such a beautiful and happy sounding instrument, like the people who surround it.

Read the full article...

Artist Spotlight: The England Supporters Band 0



The England Band - Supporters BandSports fans will certainly be aware of the pulsating ‘boomta boomta’ drum beat, trumpet trills and trombone parps, that are heard at many competitive events around the world, especially at football matches, in a live situation or on TV. We can narrow that down a little further, England football matches to be precise, they are in fact, the official, and now legendary, England Supporters Band, fronted by band leader John Hemmingham. Using modern technology, Fusion paid a visit to John via Skype, witnessing an office that rather resembled an explosion in a paper mill.

“Hi”, says John, “Sorry about my untidy desk, I’m in the middle of running through all the football fixtures for 2015, I also have the job of organising all the transport, flights and hotels for our home and away matches, it’s just gone crazy. It’s not just football, we also play at all the Leeds Rhino matches, Great Britain Hockey Championships, Olympic events around the world, all the Ricky Hatton boxing matches in Las Vegas, George Groves boxing and UK Snooker Championships, it just keeps going and the work just pours in. Some events you would think a brass band with drums wouldn’t fit in but it does, this includes pantomimes and even a French cookery TV show in France called Bocuse D’or.”

Click here to read the full interview.

Artist Spotlight: Farnell Newton - Trumpeter, Educator, Recording Artist 0

Farnell Newton - Trumpet PlayerFarnell Newton is an incredibly versatile musical educator at Portland State University’s Jazz Department, where he teaches a variety of musical styles including, jazz, hip hop, funk, soul, rock, pop and Latin music. He’s also become one of the world’s most respected horn players, and a first choice for touring and recording for a host of major artists.

A never-ending list of artists that have benefited from Farnell’s playing includes Stevie Wonder, Bootsy Collins, Jill Scott, Earth, Wind and Fire, Gladys Knight and Cee Lo Green.

Time is tight for Farnell, but Fusion managed to catch up with him for an interview on a wet November afternoon in 2014.