Meet the band
James Billington - Vocals
James has been singing to crowds now for about 15 years with his first paid gig being a friend’s 18th. He was particularly drawn to swing and jazz music after receiving Robbie Williams’ album ‘Swing when you’re winning’ for Christmas and found that he couldn’t turn it off. It wasn’t long before he knew every word to all the songs on the album.
In the years between then and now, James has built up a strong reputation around the South West as a swing and jazz singer having performed for many years as a solo artist or with a pianist at public and private events such as weddings, birthdays and business functions.
Crooning is not the only thing James does, as he also treads the boards performing in musical theatre shows for different theatre companies around devon.
He has played many leading roles over the last few years but his most notable performance was as Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls at the Northcott Theatre in Exeter for which he was nominated for a best actor Rose Bowl award.
Peter Manfield - Bass
Peter trained at Kneller Hall the Royal Military School of Music to play Tuba, double bass and bass guitar. He then joined his band, The Queens Life Guards - the senior regiment in the Army. Duties included playing for the Queen, Royalty and Heads of State including playing the tuba on horseback!
Peter has had the privilege of playing at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and Edinburgh in different combos including marching band, mounted band, dance band, brass quintet and string quartets.
Since moving to Devon, he was in the Devon & Dorsets which became amalgamated and became the Rifles Band and was Band Sergeant Major until leaving in April 2014.
Peter teaches all brass instruments in local primary and secondary schools. He plays in shows, rock bands, traditional jazz bands, Top Brass - a brass quintet, Lympstone Brass Band and orchestras.
He loves playing with All Jazzed Up.
Simon Carter - Keys
Originally from Bristol, Simon started playing the piano at the age of 8 and shortly after added the clarinet and saxophone to his skill set. Whilst studying for his music degree at Cardiff University, Simon began teaching the piano and built up a significant student base there.
Upon graduating, Simon studied for his PGCE at Bristol University in secondary music before starting a career as a music teacher – something he has done ever since.
Simon teaches the piano and keyboard in schools and privately and now also gives singing lessons.
Simon is also well respected in the region for his work in musical theatre, working regularly as a musical director for several companies as well as performing in pit orchestras.
Steve Douglas - Drums
Steve is a multi-talented musician and drummer.
He is classically trained in Percussion and Piano and plays to a high standard. He plays with orchestras and theatre groups as well as at weddings and functions.
He deputises for numerous bands and is in high demand.
He loves the challenge of keeping music live and fresh.
He is a drum teacher based in Exeter and is available to provide tuition at his state of the art home studio.
He's also available for drum performance engagements.
Cat North - Sax
Cat has been playing saxophone since the age of 12 and enjoys playing tenor, alto and soprano sax.
She has played across Europe, performing in Austria, Italy, the Netherlands and Disneyland Paris.
Since moving to Exeter, Cat has played with a range of bands from funk septet to sax/piano duo, jazz quintet to concert band, and 25 piece jazz orchestra to name a few. Her real passion is jazz and big band music and aside from All Jazzed Up she can regularly be seen playing with The Locked Horns Jazz Orchestra.
Cat’s musical influences include Sonny Rollins, Maceo Parker, John Coltrane and Herbie Hancock, amongst others.
Chris Holland - Trombone
Born and raised in the beautiful Devon town of Sidmouth, Chris has been playing trombone for more years than he cares to mention. Chris works in local government by day but his real love is music. He first learnt trombone under Maurice Beadows for whom he owes a great deal then progressing to various bands and orchestras. He plays for different groups including a long time association with the Sidmouth Town band, a brass band with which he continues to play with as Principal Trombone. He has been involved in many orchestral concerts and played under many famous conductors with one of his fondest memories playing under the baton of Sir Neville Mariner.
Chris also also has a love of theatre and has tread the boards many times in both plays and musicals. His knowledge of the stage is considerable as he continues to appear ‘in the pit’ under the stage in many musicals performed in theatres all over Devon, Dorset and Somerset and occasionally on stage.
Chris is thrilled to be playing for All Jazzed Up and loves the different music and fun styles encountered during the performances.
Matt Sherwood - Trumpet
Matt’s life always has and continues to revolve around music. His musical journey began aged 7 when he started trumpet lessons at school and began singing in his local church choir, and he has been performing ever since!
Having been deeply involved with musical ensembles at school and throughout his native Hertfordshire County, Matt went on to gain both an Undergraduate and a Masters degree specialising in Music Performance from Canterbury Christ Church University.
Since moving to Devon Matt has joined several ensembles prides himself in performing a huge variety of genres, from Orchestral to Brass Band to Jazz and Pop!
Matt truly lives Music 24/7 as he sells musical instruments by day and spends his evenings at various concerts and rehearsals.