Brian Dee & Len Skeat
Brian Dee is a pianist of astonishing versatility. Much in demand as an accompanist (his work with Elaine Delmar particularly impressive), he is also a solo player of originality and technical complexity, having come into the music business alternating challenging groups led by the likes of Tubby Hayes and Vic Ash/Harry Klein with working in swing bands such as the Eric Winstone and Ken Mackintosh orchestras, plus accompanying such singers as Lita Roza. In recent years Brian has made a reputation as a composer/songwriter, working with Val Wiseman to create Keeping the Flame Alive, devoted to the lives and works of the Bronte sisters.
It is probably easier to list the top musicians that Len Skeat hasn’t worked with. An immaculate bass players known as ‘The Time Lord’, he began in the late 1950s with Eddie Thompson’s Trio and was soon working with Ted Heath’s Orchestra and Stephane Grappelli’s trio, before becoming much in demand from top-line American visitors. Well known as Peggy Lee’s favourite bass player for her UK visits, he has also played with a list of jazz legends too long to enumerate: a brief sample comes up with Ruby Braff, Ben Webster, Lockjaw David, Lionel Hampton, Billy Eckstine and Harry Edison. In addition Len has worked in the States with Bobby Rosengarten’s band and toured Europe with Charlie Antolini as well as featuring in any number of British all-star groups and picking up many a British Jazz Award.
Brian and Len appear in the StarCity Swing Session at 7pm on Friday 5th and as a duo at Miller & Carter, The Mailbox at 8pm on Sunday 7th. They also accompany Roy Forbes at 1pm at The Belfry on Sunday 7th, at The British Jazz Awards Afterparty at The Dropforge at 8:30pm on Wednesday 10th, at The Barber Institute at 1:10pm on Friday 12th, at The Public at 8pm on Saturday 13th and at Hotel Du Vin at 2pm on Sunday 14th