Michael is an award-winning composer with three solo albums to his name. His album, The Long Way Home (2014) featured some of the UK’s most highly regarded jazz musicians including Gerard Presencer, Nigel Hitchcock, James Maddren and Jason Rebello and garnered high praise in the press. He is currently working on a new recording project which promises to be an exciting mixture of Latin-tinged jazz-funk influenced tunes.
Michael has worked extensively as a composer for TV and film and is best known for his original score for Richard Loncraine’s rom-com feature ‘Finding Your Feet’ starring Imelda Staunton, Timothy Spall and Celia Imrie and the jazz score for Hugo Berkeley’s fascinating BBC/PBS/Arte documentary ‘Jazz Ambassadors’. Other projects include Richard Linklater’s ‘Me and Orson Welles’ starring Zac Efron and Claire Danes and ‘Nothing Like The Holidays’ in collaboration with Paul Oakenfold. Recent work includes string arrangements for Ricky Gervais’ film ‘David Brent: Life on the Road’.
His interest in improvisation led him to work aged 17 in Dick Heckstall-Smith’s band, Big Chief, at the same time he was mentored by the legendary African conga drummer, Reebop Kwaku Bah (Jimmy Cliff, Traffic, Rolling Stones). His time working with Reebop left a deep impression on him and continues to inspire him.
His first break in commercial music came aged 20 when Ian Dury hired Mike to co-write and arrange his album Four Thousand Weeks’ Holiday. Throughout the 1980s Mike wrote and performed with many leading pop acts including teenybop idols, Curiosity Killed the Cat and UK Rn’B innovators Soul II Soul.
During the 1990s Michael co-wrote tracks for Teena Marie, The James Taylor Quartet, Patrice Rushen and DJ Wookie and Lalomie Washburn. As a producer he worked on albums for The James Taylor Quartet (Supernatural Feeling) and London rare-groove funk band PUSH. Michael also performed live and in the studio with a number of recording artists including Sting, The Bee Gees, Mark Morrison, Soul II Soul and many others. He also had a long association with Steve Winwood, touring with him in his seminal rock band, Traffic, in 1994 and afterwards becoming his Musical Director until 1999.
Michael’s new band line-up is a stellar group of individuals who are strong individual voices and artists in their own right. They bring an intensity and level of artistry to Michael’s joyous compositions that shouldn’t be missed.
SAHIL BATRA (KEYBOARDS)
Sahil is an MD, keyboardist and vocalist for various bands around London.
Currently playing alongside acclaimed singer-songwriter Nick Corbin (signed to Acid Jazz), Sahil also hosts a monthly jam night at Harlem Soul bar and restaurant as well as a fortnightly residency singing and leading a four-piece band.
With a range of inspirations including Prince, Joni Mitchell, Chick Corea, and Chaka Khan, Sahil enjoys a busy schedule playing in a variety of styles while writing for and producing other singers.
He is always looking for more collaborations and very much looks forward to the upcoming gigs with the Mike McEvoy Band.
JALEESA GERMERTS (DRUMS)
Jaleesa moved from Amsterdam to London in 2012 to study music and dived head-first into the city’s music scene.
Within the first eighteen months, she joined a drumline and performed as part of the opening ceremony of UEFA championship’s final.
Since then she has completed her Masters at the University of West London and her Bachelor of Music (Hons) with the London Centre of Contemporary Music.
Jaleesa has grown into a sought after musician and has played drums on George Ezra’s hit single ‘shotgun’ and sessions for various artists such as Brian Eno, Max Milner (The Voice semi-finalist) and Petite Noir.
TOM WALSH (TRUMPET)
Tom Walsh is a graduate of the Jazz Course at the Royal Academy Of Music with 1st Class Honours where he was the inaugural recipient of the Humphrey Lyttelton Jazz Prize, the Wolfson Prize and the Alumni Development Award.
He has worked alongside international jazz luminaries such as Benny Golson, Branford Marsalis, Kurt Elling, Bob Mintzer and Mike Stern.
He played lead trumpet with the WDR Big Band & Vince Mendoza in addition to performing with many of the UK's top big bands including: The BBC Big Band, and The Ronnie Scott's Jazz Orchestra, Tom has played and recorded with the likes of Van Morrison, Blur, Mark Knopfler, Jessie J, Gary Barlow and Shirley Bassey.
In February 2014 Tom co-produced and played a series of concerts with Al Jarreau at London's famous Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club.
PAUL BOOTH (SAXOPHONE)
Paul Booth is an award-winning saxophonist and in demand solo artist. He is also a ‘first call’ sideman for many big names in both jazz and popular music worlds.
His ability to blend into any musical surrounding has seen him work with a variety of well-known artists including Steve Winwood, the BBC Big Band, Michael Janisch Quintet, Ryan Quigley Quinet, and has performed with Carlos Santana, Steely Dan, Eric Clapton, The Allman Brothers, Basia, Ingrid Jensen, Matt Bianco, Eddie Henderson, Alex Wilson, Roberto Pla, Snowboy.
Paul runs several groups including a quartet with Steve Hamilton, Ernesto Simpson and Michael Janisch and a world music group called ‘Patchwork Project’ featuring Victoria Newton, Giorgio Serci, Ernesto Simpson, Davide Mantovani & Satin Singh.
Paul also performs in a trio with Ross Stanley & Andrew Bain and is the musical director of the London based world music big band the Bansangu Orchestra.
ELLIOT PEEK (BASS)
Elliott started playing bass at the age of 15 heavily influenced by rock and blues music.
Playing for hours and hours at a time when he probably should have been doing homework.
Now his main influences come from funk and soul with James Brown being his favourite artist he tries to work that inspiration into his playing, although anything with a dirty groove tends to be on his radar no matter the musical style.
With a love of performing on stage comes a dedication to the craft and a commitment to the sound of the band and Elliott has plenty of that.
PAST BAND MEMBERS
RICHARD BAILEY (DRUMS)
Guyanese-born Richard Bailey started his drumming career in Trinidad at the age of nine, sitting in with his elder brother Robert's band. His first notable gig was with Johnny Nash at age 15.
By age 18 he had recorded Jeff Beck's biggest selling album Blow By Blow to critical acclaim and appeared on the film soundtrack Tommy alongside Pete Townsend, Phil Chen and Roger Daltrey.
The next decade saw many recordings and tours varying in style from Rock to Reggae to Jazz to Pop and Latin including two world tours with Billy Ocean and Basia.
Richard occupied the drum seat with the excellent British acid jazz/rock/soul fusion collective Incognito for 15 years and has been an integral part of Steve Winwood's touring band, performing on his two important return-to-form recordings, 2003's About Time and last year's Nine Lives.
JOHN ‘JT’ THOMPSON (BASS)
John Thompson is a London based producer-musician who has made a name for himself as a highly sought after bass guitarist.
Over the years John has acquired an impressive and lengthy list of recording and live touring credits, working with Pop, Soul and Soul-Jazz artistes at the highest international level, including Shola Ama, Eternal, Omar, Lucie Silvas, Soul II Soul, Spice Girls, Gwen Guthrie, Carleen Anderson, Leon Ware, Will Young, Girls Aloud, Natalie Cole, Amy Winehouse, D’Angelo, Shiro Sagisu, and Les Nubians. John's bass playing can also be heard on the movie soundtrack to Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason.
Most recently John performed live shows with USA artists Tito Jackson and Joyce Sims and has been the first call bassist for soul legend Jocelyn Brown since 2011.
FREDDIE GAVITA (TRUMPET & FLUGELHORN)
Freddie began playing trumpet at seven, learning with Norfolk jazz legend Dave Amis. He went on to study at Royal Academy of Music graduating in 2008.
A stalwart of NYJO from 2004-7, Freddie has been a fixture on the British big-band scene playing with many of the top bands including the Stan Sulzmann Big Band, Laurence Cottle Big Band, Dankworth Million Dollar Big Band, Syd Lawrence Orchestra and Ronnie Scott's Jazz Orchestra.
Freddie also runs his own big band and his own quartet with long-standing accomplices Kit Downes, Calum Gourlay and James Maddren. He is also a part of Fletch's Brew, one the UK's hardest hitting Jazz/Rock/Fusion bands.
Freddie has won many prizes and awards, including the British Jazz Award for Rising Star in 2008, the BBC Maida Vale Session of the Year in 2010, and the Future Inns Jazz Award 2010.
KARL VANDEN BOSSCHE (PERCUSSION)
Karl Vanden Bossche was born in London after his family moved from Ghana in the early sixties. Early on Karl showed a talent and motivation for music.
In his late teens Karl was inspired by DJ Sylvester Tenkorang who introduced him to Latin jazz and Salsa and around this time he joined his first band, Phase 1, a band inspired by the music of artists such as Level 42, Morrissey Mullen, Breakfast Band and Light of the World. During this period Karl went through an intense period of study, putting in the hours necessary to master his craft.
Karl is now one of the leading percussionists in Europe and has performed with an extensive list of artists including David Sanborn, Incognito, Brand New Heavies, John Martin, Des’ree, Simply Red, Joss Stone, Sade, Basia, Blur, Natasha Bedingfield, Steve Winwood, Gorillaz, Mark Ronson, Jon Lucien, Frank McComb, and Nigel Kennedy.
MILES BOULD (PERCUSSION/DRUMS)
From the age of 12, after several years of playing various instruments, Miles finally settled on percussion. Miles was given a set of congas by the great trumpet legend Dizzy Gillespie who was a family friend and had spotted Miles passion for hitting things.
His first break came age 17 when he played on a recording by Robert Palmer. This was followed by session work for an extensive list of successful artists including Nigel Kennedy, Julia Fordham, Billy Ocean, Sting, Michael Jackson, Seal, Beyonce, TinaTurner, Laurence Cottle Big band, Joan Armatrading, John Martyn, Steps Ahead, Level 42, Incognito, and Michael Buble. He has aslo acted in the role of MD for Shaun Escoffery and recorded a duo album with the guitarist Dominic Miller for ECM.
Miles has his own band called USONiC co-founded with long time friend and writing partner Scott Firth (John Martyn, PiL). Their album, EVOLUTION, was nominated for best jazz album at the MOBO awards in 2011 and featured Scott Henderson (guitar) and Scott Kinsey (keyboards) from Tribal Tech.