MEET THE MUSICIANS…
ALEX ‘THE LARYNX’ WYCHERLEY – VOCALS
An academy-trained vocalist with an extensive resume in musical theatre, Alex has been charming audiences all over the UK for years with his timeless voice and smooth self-assured stage-presence. In addition to his work as front-man for Captain Redeye and the Hoods, he can be regularly seen on the stage in variety shows across the North of England, leading several big bands, and propping up the piano in inumerable smoky Jazz clubs.
‘SHAKEY’ JAKE GOSS – TENOR AND ALTO SAXOPHONES
After graduating from the Royal Academy, Jake has gone on to become a notable figure in the UK jazz scene, and has played with Nathan Watts (Stevie Wonder’s long-serving bassist), Jason Marshall (Roy Hargrove), Stan Tracey, Gerard Presencer, Soweto Kinch, Don Weller, Spike Wells, Dave Whitford, and leads his own Jazz group ‘Banyan’ which includes Mercury Prize-nominee Kit Downes. Jake has a huge appreciation for 30’s and ’40s swing, having grown up in Washington DC where he had the opportunity to play with the Brooks Tegler Big Band, honing a big sound and hard-swinging approach on the alto and tenor saxophones.
‘EASY’ DAVE ORCHANT – TRUMPET
A graduate of the Guildhall Postgraduate Jazz course Dave is fast becoming established on the London Jazz scene. He regularly performs with a number of different musical collectives in venues across the UK. As trumpeter and writer with the pioneering experimental klezmer band, Oi Va Voi, he has won both national and international acclaim and continues to perform with the group in venues across the world. He is a talented arranger and composer and writes for both his own Jazz quintet and for a range of other projects
MARTYN ‘MIGHTY’ STRANGE – BARITONE SAXOPHONE
A Leeds College of Music graduate, Martyn is the founder, saxophonist and manager of Get Funked, one of the top entertainment acts in the UK. Martyn’s heavyweight baritone saxophone can be also be heard in the highly-regarded Afro-funk band the Ariya Afrobeat Arkestra, performing across the UK and attracting attention and airplay from Jamie Cullum and Craig Charles on BBC Radio 2 and 6 repectively.
JOHN ‘BIG JOHNNY SLIDE’ ALLEN – TROMBONE AND VOCALS
Big Johnny Slide has been a stalwart member of the Hoods since its original inception and has become a true swingin’ showman, combining his talents on the trombone with rousing backing vocals to lead the band with gusto! John has played the ‘bone since his arms were too short to reach the low notes and has since performed in several notable big bands, while also gigging and recording with a number of UK soul-jazz acts, including the Incognito-proteges Kaldera.
TOM ‘DEEP PHAT’ FRY – DOUBLE BASS
After graduating from Leeds College of Music in 2000, Tom headed south to London seek his musical fortunes and has since played with a host of musical luminaries, such as Neil Innes (Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band) and Tom Baxter. He is currently playing electric bass for critcally-acclaimed rock band Audioporn. He has also written lots of ill conceived and badly received poetry that you shouldn’t mention when you speak to him. Other worthy achievements include; ‘Waltzing’ onto the triple word score for 143 points and nearly playing Badminton for Sussex but not quite while still in his early teens.
ALEX ‘CASA’ NOVAK – GUITAR
As a founder member of the Hoods, Alex was inspired by the rhythm sections of the great 40s and 50s jump-jazz acts, and has sought to recreate their energy and flair. A guitarist in the line of Grant Green and Pat Martino, he has taken his soulful strumming to clubs across the UK, from Leeds down to Brighton. Alex cut his musical teeth in the big bands of the North of England, and has since been a regular feature in a number of professional acts playing in styles ranging from soul to funk to Jazz, as well as taking on the role of band director for the Hoochie Coochie Lounge, a Brighton-based musical variety night.
TAZ ‘MANIA’ MODI – PIANO
Taz Modi is a well-known keyboardist in the North of England, and is a founder member of the much-lauded Submotion Orchestra as well as appearing with acts such as The Haggis Horns, Eddie Roberts and the Fire Eaters, Matthew Halsall (Gondwana Records), Jenna G, Malena (Freestyle), Homecut and Ariya Astrobeat Arkestra (First Word) and many more.
‘SMALL’ PAUL GREGORY – DRUMS
Paul was invited to study at the Royal Academy of Music’s junior school age 14. A degree course in Jazz at the Guildhall School Of Music and Drama followed, since which his fiery drumming has provided the pulse behind acts such as Stan Sulzmann, Kenny Wheeler, John Dankworth, Buddy Greco, Guy Barker, Jean Toussaint, Kit Downes, Frances Ruffelle, Eliza Doolittle, Peter Straker, Roger Lloyd Pack, Clive Rowe, Joanna Macgregor, Elaine C Smith, MC Tali, Michael Kiwanuka, Joss Stone, Bellatrix and Reeps One, at venues and festivals across the U.K and Europe. Currently, in addition to his exemplary percussion work for the Hoods, he is also the drummer for reknowned folk-hip-hop act Dizraeli and the Small Gods.