SUSAN VALLIANT SPEER
I am so proud of my band. So I would like you to know a little more about them.
Piano and Musical Director - Alan studied piano at the Royal Accademy of Music in London where he was a prize winner and performed both solo and concerto concerts in the Dukes Hall. Although trained in the classical discipline, he came into contact with John Dankworth while at the Royal Acadamy, and that began his life long passion for jazz. Alan is also an author of many books on jazz composition that have been hailed as ……’the best jazz writing since Brubeck’…Tony Caramia, Eastman School of Music, New York. He has also been musical director of several musicals including Annie Get Your Gun, Cabaret, No, No, Nannette and Blood Brothers. He is an established jazz player having worked with John Dankworth, Don Rendell, Barbara Thompson, Ecoutez, Dats Jazz and the Terry Lightfoot Band to name just a few.
Drums - Alan has musical experience that spans everything from the West End to jazz to swing to pop to rock and roll. Alan is a truly versatile musician, and Susan is delighted to be working with him. Just of few of his credits include working for Howard Keel Tours, CD and TV, Linda Carter (Wonder Woman) Tour, and Des O'Connor Tours and gigs world wide including being a member of the TV show house band since 1977. Alan has played for Joe Pasquale Tours, Anthony Newley Cabaret and concerts, film soundtracks, and many West End shows including 14 years on the long running hit show, Blood Brothers.
Bass - Russell has played for artistes as diverse as the rock band, Blur to Shirely Bassey and Max Bygraves. He is accomplished on both the double bass as well as electric bass. He has appeared in venues that are as diverse as The Hollywood Bowl to the back of a truck. Russell is very busy in the West Rend having been in the latest productions of Chicago and The Rat Pack. He travels regularly to gigs in Europe, and has the motto.....have bass will travel.
Reeds - Frank is well known in music circles having played in many big bands including Glenn Miller, Buddy Rich, Mel Torme, and UK band Peter Cater. Frank has also recorded with guitarist/singer John Pizzarelli on his CD's 'All of Me' and 'Naturally'. As a composer/arranger Frank has contributed music to the Ron Carter Nonet, The Lionel Hampton Orchestra, The John Hendricks Explosion and The Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra. Frank is a lecturer in music at the Brunel University in London.