Welcome to my Mike Kemp Music website. My diary is looking pretty good with gigs for The Mike Kemp Trio, Singer Kat Pagett, The Great Central Big Band and Spicy Jazz.
I’m a straight-ahead jazz pianist, and have played at Festivals and clubs over Europe, Morocco, Scandinavia and the USA.
My repertoire is mostly drawn from what has become known as The Great American Songbook, ie Cole Porter, Harry Warren, George Gershwin etc.
I’m also a composer and arranger with albums to my credit. Although I work comfortably in settings from solo to big band I’m probably best known these days for leading my classic New York trio line-up of piano, double bass and drums.
Whether delivering up-tempo swing, gentle ballads or Latin American my aim is always, always to be melodic.
I started learning my craft in home town Coventry jazz clubs and dance bands before travelling around France, Germany, Spain and Morocco to play for the American military firstly with The Doug Richford Quartet.
Making my first BBC radio broadcast in 1967 with the Trevor Jones Jazzmen, a recording of that broadcast resides in the British Library Sound Archives.
I went on to Manchester based The MillionAirs Big Band, backing cabaret aboard QE2, Bob Kerr’s Whoopee Band, Pete Allen’s Jazz Band and the Benny Green Quartet. I’ve played with the bands of Alan Elsdon, Steve Lane, Brian White, Alan Gresty, Terry Lightfoot, The Pasadena Roof Orchestra and The Sticky Wickett Big Swing Band.
My trio played to great acclaim at the Culture Centre in Chicago.
Oscar Peterson was a fan remarking, “Mike has a beautiful way with ballads”.