The band was formed by Mike Smith -trumpet, in August 1990 and first played downstairs at the Boathouse. Mike dropped out in April 1991, shortly after adding Billy Edwards on trumpet. The band then included Billy Edwards, Dave Renton on trombone and vocals and Charlie Walcom (leader) on bass and Roy Gregory soon joined on guitar, banjo and vocals. The reed chair is now taken by Keith Jones, at different periods this has been occupied by Geoff Parker, Terry Perry, Dave Dixson and Howard Murray. For some years a keyboard was added to the band, played by Bernie Flynn. The drum chair from early on was filled by Ron Hall and from then by John Shevill. Jeff Lewis, on trombone has replaced Rob Handford, who in turn replaced Andrew MacKenzie, who joined the band, when Dave Renton became too ill to play. Charlie Walcom retired from the band in December 2010, but can still be heard ‘here and there’, on his own ‘side of the water’. Brian Hall replaces Paul Gregory on the bass.
The present band members are:-
Roy Gregory – Guitar, banjo, vocals and announcements and leader.
Django Reinhardt is one of Roy’s great inspirations and together with son Paul they have a duo, ‘Modango’. He also plays a very bluesy mouth organ. He lives in Oxton.
Paul Marks – Trumpet Flugelhorn & vocals
Paul took up the trumpet in 1987 and since then has played in a variety of different bands and musical styles ranging from Dixieland jazz to soul and R’n’B. Over the last two decades Paul has shared the stage with such luminaries as drummer Eric Delaney, guitarist Gary Potter and trumpeter Janusz Carmello, to name just a few. In addition to playing with The Parade Jazz Band, Paul runs his own 18 piece big band. The La’al Big Band which is based in West Cumbria and plays a wide mixture of music from Count Basie to Amy Winehouse. Paul is in constant demand to dep for all sorts of bands across the North West and also plays in a number of leading local bands including Liverpool’s amazing Speakeasy Bootleg Band, Terry Perry’s Big Easy and the highly acclaimed Sounds 18 Orchestra. Paul’s musical influences include trumpet players Louis Armstrong, Harry “Sweets” Edison, Chet Baker, Derek Watkins and Wynton Marsalis, and bandleaders Billy May and Count Basie, as well as vocalists Dean Martin, Tony Bennett and of course, Frank Sinatra.
Keith Jones – Reeds
Keith learnt to play Jazz at University in Sheffield in the 1950’s – motivated by hearing George Lewis – and, with John Shillito and other friends, formed a New Orleans style band in the late 1950’s. Moving to Merseyside in the 1960’s, he played for about 10 years with the Panama Jazz Band, sharing the clarinet seat with Dave Thomas but was forced to give up by work commitments. After retiring, he started playing seriously again, joining the Downtown Dixieland Jazz Band and depping for most of the local bands. He likes a wide range of music and particularly enjoys the breadth of styles which the Parade Jazz Band plays
Brian Hall – Bass and vocals
Brian started in Jazz as a teenager, playing banjo and guitar with the Panama and Leo Rutherford Bands before his first professional job with the Llew Hird Jazz Band. He moved into pop and cabaret work, including song-writing (winning Opportunity Knocks 1973 with ‘Amanda’) and about 6 years ago he returned to Jazz playing guitar/bass guitar with local Merseyside bands before joining the Parade Jazz Band in May 2012.
Jonn Shevill – Drums
John also enjoys playing with the Parade, that he travels all the way from Southport. He is a swinging, supportive and very experienced drummer and his breaks get the room alive.
Jeff Lewis – Trombone.
Neglected music for 30 odd years in favour of playing with computer networks. He is now better known for his exploits with Speakeasy Bootleg Band, but still finds time for periodic forays into the “normal” jazz scene. As for musical influences……. “If it’s good, I like it”.”
The band has a wide range over the hot jazz spectrum and cover New Orleans and Dixieland with some mainstream. “Buddy Bolden’s Blues may be followed by “Night Train”. There is extra variety, when other musicians ‘dep’ or sit in and from time to time special guests are featured. Past guests include from the North West: George Galway, Terry Brunt, and Mart Roger and from further afield: Digby Fairweather, Roy Williams, Johnny Barnes, Spats Langham, Gordon Whitworth, Campbell Burnap, Jim Douglas and from the USA, the 10th Avenue Jazz Band.
The band also play at other jazz venues and for dances, weddings etc.
Contact Roy Gregory on 0151 513 6110 or 0777 4905466 for information.