I started learning to play 4 instruments, the piano, clarinet, trombone and violin. After trying hard for grade 3 Royal School of Music on the violin I gave up because my arm kept getting tired and I touched other strings when I only wanted to bow one. I never really went into playing much Jazz on the piano in public just a few boogies and blues numbers at home. The piano has progressed into keyboards now where I feel more confident for public performances but not in the Jazz field. I pursued the clarinet to grade 5 RSM and played a few gigs in public. The trombone is the Jazz instrument for me. I achieved grade 8 RSM and started sitting in on gigs playing just a few numbers led to getting booked for entire gigs. Now I play regularly in the Downhome Jazz band, (follow the link for more on the band).
I like to play Jazz for the spontaneity and fun. Playing mainly Dixieland or New Orleans style, I do a little blues and mainstream styles also. The interaction with the other band members is so different to the clinical track laying in the studio. Further interaction is with the audience as the Jazz musicians do react to the audience which encourages them or not as the case may be. My father Eggy Ley, I believe had the greatest influence on my Jazz career, (follow the link for more on my dad). Also, my step father Barry who actually played the trombone in Jazz bands who I practiced with regularly and learned a lot about the instrument. I listened to some recordings and live bands in the early days but now I actually prefer to play than listen with a few exceptions. I do enjoy Chris Barber and his band and I do have a tendency to like a little mainstream Jazz.