Andy started playing
clarinet at school in Oxford. After leaving Art College at Cambridge he
turned professional in 1963 playing with the London City Stompers,
Charlie Galbraith All Stars and the Alan Elsdon Band with whom he
toured and recorded with his idol Edmond Hall. He joined Kenny
Ball's Jazzmen in 1967 and in 1968 recorded "I Wanna Be Like
You" from Walt Disney's Jungle Book which has now become his trade
mark! Also in 1968 with the Kenny Ball Band he played the London birthday
concerts with Louis Armstrong. He has done countless world tours, national
and international TV, Radio and recordings. Andy recorded a successful
Jazz House CD with his son Paul in 1995 he really enjoyed doing. He also
makes appearances with the European Jazz Giants. Now at this stage of
his career he is making more time to play with the Andy Cooper's Euro
Top 8 and to play with musicians he has always admired. "Music
should be fun to play, with me it certainly is and the audience will always
enjoy that too" quotes Andy! This can be seen with every musician
in the Top 8 Band.
Mike started playing in 1957 and turned professional in 1961 when he formed the Mike Cotton Jazz Band, later becoming the successful Mike Cotton Sound until 1971. From 1971 till 1973 Mike toured the U.S.A. with the famous rock band The Kinks. Then in April 1973 became a regular member of the Acker Bilk Band until 1991.
He has played with American musicians touring the UK, Peanuts Hucko, Wild Bill, Yank Lawson and Bud Freeman to name a few, also with Australian Bob Barnard. Mike now enjoys life as a very successful solo musician, whilst also appearing regularly with many bands in the UK.
His hobbies when time allows includes bird watching, watching sports and ethnic cooking. Mike's ambition is to continue telling Peter >Banjo< Meyer that England's fourth goal in the 1966 World Cup Final certainly was a goal!!! Tough, Peter!
Originally from Manchester, Johnny has been voted many times winner of the Baritone Saxaphone category of the British Jazz Awards and has also appeared in the American Downbeat Poll.
A long time member of the Alex Welsh and Humphrey Lyttleton bands, he has had partnerships with famous British jazz artists including Roy Williams and Mike Cotton. He has toured extensively with many great stars in Britain, Europe and the USA including appearing at the famous Newport Jazz Festival. He recorded under his own name and featured on recordings with Buddy Tate, Ruby Braff, Henry "Red" Allen, Bud Freeman and Wild Bill. He has appeared on national TV and Radio, one of his recordings being used for the signature tune for BBC Radio Jazz Score. Singing is part of his repertoire and his great sense of fun can be seen and heard in his vocals. Johnny is affectionately known as S.P. (Senior Professional) in the band and S.P. has always thought that the German 1966 World Cup Final Team were all banjo players and couldn't play cricket anyway!!!
Born in Catford, London, Ian has lived almost all his life in Swindon, Wilts. Ian's professional career began with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO) in 1977 and has since gone from strength to strength.
He has since been a member of the Pete Allen Jazz Band, Rod Mason Hot Five and Terry Lightfoot and his Jazzmen. Apart from the Top 8, Ian also currently plays with Acker Bilk and his Paramount Jazz Band and the Back To Basie Orchestra. If that isn't enough, Ian is such demand that he can often be found deputising with Terry Lightfoot, Humphrey Lyttelton, Kenny Ball, The Pasadena Roof Orchestra and the Dutch Swing College Band too!
Ian can play in many jazz styles, thanks to his varied experience with other bands. With the Top 8, Ian is in his element as he belts out some blistering Trombone in the style of his childhood hero Trummy Young. Ian has been playing with the Top 8 on an occasional basis for the past 3 years and is now a regular member of the band. Ian is too young to remember the 1966 World Cup :) but is sure we will do it properly in
Born in Auvelais,
Belgium in 1958. Completely self-taught,he singed,played drums,saxes and
bass with some bands in
He 's still playing with some of those artists; and he writes music for classical and modern ballets (Monette Loza,Alvin Alley). He is currently playing with Pete York's Jazz All Stars, Dany Doriz and co-leading a quintet with Bruce Adams. He is also still writing arrangements or playing with and for Johnny Halliday, Michel Fugain, Maurane and Mariah Carey.
Peter >Banjo< Meyer's career started in Hamburg in 1959. Forty years later in 1999 he celebrated his 40th stage anniversary to a sell out concert in Hamburg, followed by a tour with his European Jazz Giants. He has toured the USA, South America and Europe and made many TV, radio and recording appearances throughout. Playing also with American and European Jazz legends, highlighted by recordings with Jazz Veterans like Ikey Robinson, The Harlem Jazz and Blues Band from New York, the remarkable US Banjo player Buddy Wachter and also with the Bremer Symphony Orchestra in the production of Porgy and Bess.
During his career he has supported his colleagues as an arranger and record producer. He has been with the Hamburg Jazz Band Hot Lips for thirty years, playing also for the Old Merry Tale Jazz Band for five years. As a soloist and a rhythmn player his achievements speak for themselves. Peter is a humourist! His life ambition is to prove that England's third goal in the 1966 World Cup Final was not a goal!!!
Tucker played in various Scottish bands in the late fifties. After National Service in the RAF he came down to London with the Forrie Cairns Clansmen in 1962. He joined the Terry Lightfoot Band in 1963 until joining the Acker Bilk Band in 1964 where he remains, playing now only on the occasions Acker wishes to appear. Being an entrepreneur he runs his own Jazz, Blues and Bepop Band for corporate bookings, and also booking other musicians into various venues throughout London. Known affectionately as Mister McFixit!!!, he also runs the very popular Heartbreak Hotel in Hampstead London. He has a keen interest in antiques (and that's why he loves touring with this Band!) and is an avid collector of watches and clocks.
Tucker doesn't really care about the result of the 1966 World Cup Final because Scotland didn't even qualify to play!!!
Born in Birmingham he was given his first set of Drums at the age of five and was soon to be inspired by listening to Gene Krupa, Ed Thigpen and Dennis Chambers, but in particular he has styled himself on Buddy Rich. Before joining the Kenny Ball Band in 1999 he toured the world with many other bands, starting with an American Rock cover band. Nick turned professional with the Pete Allen Jazz Band. He left after five years and then played with Terry Lightfoot's Jazz Band, the First Class Sounds, quartets and trios including Scott Hamilton. In addition to this he also runs his own quartet which enables him to display his vocal talents. He enjoys training and keeping fit, which is good news for the older members of the band because he can help carry them around!
Coming from Birmingham he doesn't know much about football so he doesn't care about the 1966 World Cup Final!