Meet The Band

Find out more about our musicians below.

You can also visit our Blog where you'll find some in-depth interviews with certain musicians.

Vocals

  • Callum Gillies

    Vocals

    Who are your top musical influences?
    Nat Cole, Kurt Elling, My Dad (Stuart Gillies), Jack Black!

    What is your favourite musical experience?
    Performing with Down for the Count at Ronnie's Scotts, and in Trafalgar Square for Pride)

    What is your favourite album?
    The Beautiful Game (Vulfpeck)

    What are your favourite things in life?
    Subscriptions, MMA, board games, a good scotch

  • Hannah Castleman

    Vocals

    Who are your top musical influences?
    Ella Fitzgerald, Rosemary Clooney, Mel Torme, Aretha Franklin, The Manhattan Transfer

    What was the best gig you've ever been to?
    Billy Joel at Wembley

    What is your favourite album?
    Ella at Juan-Les Pins (Ella Fitzgerald) and Songs In The Attic (Billy Joel). They're both live albums and I couldn't choose between them!

    What are your favourite things in life?
    Books, coffee, podcasts, ballet classes (I'm awful but it's fun)

  • Katie Birtill

    Vocals

    Who are your top musical influences?
    Ella Fitzgerald, Joni Mitchell, Aretha Franklin, Barbra Streisand

    What was the best gig you've ever been to?
    Stevie Wonder at Hyde Park 2016! Gorgeous Day, incredible band, buzzing crowd and Stevie Wonder

    What is your favourite album?
    Ella's Fitzgerald "Gold" - my first Ella CD from Santa.

    Where are we most likely to find you when you're not gigging?
    On muddy country walks

  • Lydia Bell

    Vocals

    What are your top musical influences?
    Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan for singing, Carole King and Joni Mitchell for songwriting

    What was the best gig you've ever been to?
    Earth Wind And Fire Experience headlining Love Supreme Festival 2014 - ultimate disco!

    What is your favourite album?
    Tapestry (Carole King)

    What are your favourite things in life?
    Oil painting, walking around the Kent countryside, teaching piano/singing, G&Ts

Rhythm

  • Mike Paul-Smith

    Musical Director & Piano

    Who are your top musical influences?
    Duke Ellington, Nat 'King' Cole, Stevie Wonder

    What was the best gig you've ever been to?
    Stevie Wonder at Hyde Park

    What is your favourite album?
    Songs for Swingin' Lovers (Frank Sinatra)

    What are your favourite things in life?
    My perfect day starts with a posh coffee, features woodfired pizza for lunch, curry and craft beer for dinner, and ends with any sort of live music or swing dancing

  • Alex Howgego

    Piano

    What was the best gig you've ever been to?
    Jacques Loussier Trio performing The Four Seasons

    What is your favourite album?
    Oscar Peterson Songbooks, but an honorable mention goes to the Conférence de Presse recordings with Michel Petrucciani

    Where are we most likely to find you when you're not gigging?
    In the office writing code, or under my car

    What are your favourite things in life?
    Two words for you: Tubular. Bells.

  • Charlie Pyne

    Bass

    Who are your top musical influences?
    Paul Chambers, Ella Fitzgerald, Bobo Stenson, Chucho Valdes

    What is your favourite musical experience?
    Performing with Down for the Count at Ronnie Scott's

    What is your favourite album?
    Mi Tierra (Gloria Estefan)

    Where are we most likely to find you when you're not gigging?
    Painting with acrylics or baking tasty pastries! 

  • Dae Hyun Lee

    Drums & Percussion

    Who are your top musical influences?
    Count Basie and His Orchestra, Quincy Jones, Ray Brown, Jeff Hamilton.

    What was the best gig you've ever been to?
    Monty Alexander at Ronnie Scott's

    What is your favourite album?
    Sinatra at the Sands

    What are your favourite things in life?
    Service stations

  • John Rixon

    Bass

    Who are your top musical influences?
    Ray Brown, James Jamerson, Chuck Rainey

    What was the best gig you've ever been to?
    Queueing up for returns at the Barbican to see Oscar Peterson and getting the last ticket available

    Where are we most likely to find you when you're not gigging?
    Dancing balboa or lindy hop

  • James Smith

    Drums

    Who are your top musical influences?
    Bernard Purdie, Steve Jordan, Sonny Payne, Bill Withers

    What was the best gig you've ever been to?
    Stevie Wonder at Hyde Park

    What is your favourite musical experience?
    Performing with Down for the Count at Ronnie's, or at Twickenham Stadium in front of 82,000 people for the Rugby World Cup finals in 2015

    What are your favourite things in life?
    Swimming and learning Spanish. Also peanut butter is pretty great too.

  • Jonny Wickham

    Bass

    Who are your top musical influences?
    Stevie Wonder, Tom Waits, Charles Mingus, Bob Marley

    What was the best gig you've ever been to?
    Stevie Wonder (all 4 times...)

    What is your favourite musical experience?
    Performing at Glastonbury Festival in 2019

    What are your favourite things in life?
    Fresh guitar strings and oven fresh pizza

  • Ollie Copeland

    Bass

    Who are your top musical influences?
    Charles Mingus, Christian McBride, Ray Brown, Carol Kaye, Esperanza Spalding. 

    What is your favourite musical experience?
    Playing to a sold out Bridgewater Hall in Manchester with Karen Hauer and Gorka Marquez' Firedance UK Tour in March 2020.

    What is your favourite album?
    Ah Um' (Charles Mingus)

    What are your favourite things in life?
    Road cycling, sushi and Mario Kart.

  • Sam Ainslie

    Guitar

    Who are your top musical influences?
    Jimi Hendrix, Adam Rogers, Jim Hall, John Scofield

    What was the best gig you've ever been to?
    James Taylor at Hyde Park

    What is your favourite musical experience?
    Performing in The Wedding Singer at Daegu Opera House, South Korea

    Where are we most likely to find you when you're not gigging?
    Arranging music, practicing guitar or working out

Horns

  • Alex Western-King

    Saxophone

    Who are your top musical influences?
    Charlie Parker, Joe Henderson, Sonny Rollins, Lester Young

    What is your favourite performance that you’ve given?
    My own quartet at Ronnie Scott's Late Show

    What is your favourite album?
    The Bird (Charlie Parker)

    What are your favourite things in life?
    Coffee, beer and jazz

  • Jamie Hone

    Saxophone

    Who are your top musical influences?
    As a saxophonist, Sam Butera for the raucous solos, Gerry Mulligan for the sweet baritone sound, and Lester Young for the gentle tenor.

    What was the best gig you've ever been to?
    The Cat Empire at The Shepherd's Bush Empire - it was a great gig, but it later turned out I was stood next to my future wife, without even realising it!

    What are your favourite things in life?
    Jamie likes trains. The rumours are true.

    Where are we most likely to find you when you're not gigging?
    Keeping the Tube running, or at home eating the tasty food his fiancée cooks!

  • Kate Edwards

    Saxophone

    Who are your top musical influences?
    Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Snake Davis

    What was the best gig you've ever been to?
    The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra playing along to Jurassic Park live at The Royal Albert Hall

    What is your favourite album?
    Dangerous (Michael Jackson)

    What are your favourite things in life?
    Food - cooking it AND eating it!

  • Luke Pinkstone

    Saxophone

    Who are your top musical influences?
    Sam Butera, Dave O'Higgins, Oscar Peterson, Paquito D'Rivera, Metropole Orkest

    What was the best gig you've ever been to?
    Michel Camilo at Ronnie Scott's

    What is your favourite album?
    Night Train (Oscar Peterson)

    What are your favourite things in life?
    A strong coffee and a Pastel de Nata

  • Max Fagandini

    Trumpet

    Who are your top musical influences?
    Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Wayne Bergeron, Lee Morgan

    What was the best gig you've ever been to?
    Stevie Wonder, 2016 at British Summer Time in Hyde Park, OR Benny Golson at Ronnies with Mike

    What is your favourite album?
    Songs In The Key Of Life (Stevie Wonder)

    What are your favourite things in life?
    Music, a nice beer with friends in a pub, and our dog Pablo

  • Simon Joyner

    Trumpet

    Who are your top musical influences?
    Louis Armstrong, Chet Baker, Cootie Williams... plus Ella Fitzgerald, Nelson Riddle, Oscar Peterson, Jacob Collier, Benjamin Britten, Claude Debussy, Dmitri Shostakovich, on it goes...

    Favourite gig you've performed at?
    Got to be our debut at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, it was a privilege to have some of my arrangements performed in such an exciting venue.

    Random fact?
    I appeared in the fourth Harry Potter film as a trumpet-playing Hogwarts student

    Where are we most likely to find you when you're not gigging?
    Composing/arranging, painting watercolours, making websites, out on a lovely walk, or in the pub (or more realistically pushing my toddler on the swings)

  • Tim Rabbitt

    Trumpet

    What was the best gig you have ever been to?
    Star Wars: A New Hope performed by the LSO Live

    What's your favourite performance you've ever given?
    Performing live on Radio 3 with NYJO and the BBC singers

    What are your most favourite things in life?
    Cricket, friends and a beer at sunset!

    Where are we most likely to find you when you're not gigging?
    Teaching maths, watching cricket or playing cricket

Strings

  • Amelia Forster

    Keyboards & Cello

    Who are your top musical influences?
    Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway & Amy Winehouse

    What is your favourite musical experience?
    Down for the Count's first performance at Twinwood Festival in 2013

    What is your favourite album?
    The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

    Where are we most likely to find you when you're not gigging?
    Hunting for bargains in charity shops or cooking big one-pot meals for my family.

  • Lucy Andrews

    Cello

    Who are your top musical influences?
    Beyoncé, Earth, Wind and Fire, John Williams

    What was the best gig you've ever been to?
    Muse 'Drones' Tour at the O2 Arena.

    What is your favourite musical experience?
    Performing at a celebrity birthday party to many distinguished guests and realising that Professor Dumbledore, Professor McGonagall and Lord Voldemort himself were all there listening.

    Where are we most likely to find you when you're not gigging?
    Watching movies or F.R.I.E.N.D.S, reading Harry Potter, doing escape rooms, board games and quizzes!

Crew

  • Jack Childs

    Sound

    What was the best gig you've ever been to?
    Angels and Airwaves gig in London - the first gig I ever went to, the sound and lighting for this show was mega! It's where I first found my love for the production side of a show.

    What is your favourite album?
    Swing Into Christmas (Down for the Count)!

    What are your favourite things in life?
    My little home studio and drums drums drums! 

    Where are we most likely to find you when you're not gigging?
    Swing dancing or mixing

  • Ruby Willis

    Marketing

     What was the best gig you have ever been to?
     Tom Misch at O2 Academy, Birmingham in 2018.

     What is your favourite album?  
     Geography by Tom Misch (spot the theme here) 

     What are your most favourite things in life? 
     Thrifting, books, theatre, and travelling! 

    Where are we most likely to find you when you're not gigging?
     On my laptop, telling everyone to come to Down for the Count shows! 

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