Welcome to my Mike Kemp Music website.
With the absence of live gigs in lockdown on Saturday January 2nd 2021 I started a YouTube Channel called Mike Kemp’s Garage Jazz.
It presents me playing straight ahead piano jazzf featuring music from Music from the swing era, jazz standards, stage & screen musicals, bossa novas, the occasional original, The Great American Song Book Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Loesser & Lowe, Harold Arlen, Rodgers & Hammerstein… the list goes on and on.
The Channel is called Garage Jazz because these videos show me playing electric piano along with double bass and drum tracks I’ve made myself using the GarageBand App. From time to time guest instrumentalists and vocalists will appear. Please take a look at it and, while you are checking it out, please subscribe, like and leave comment. Here’s a link:
When live gigs start up again I expect to carry on as before the crisis. So I anticipate leading my trio, freelancing extensively, gigs with singer Kat Pagett, The Geoff Tooley Trio, Miss Songbird, The Annie Davies Jazz Quartet, The Great Central Big Band, The Sticky Wickett Swing Band, Spicy Jazz and a last Wednesday of the month residency at The Karmana Restaurant in Northampton.
I have also been invited to join Harlem, the 1930s style 12 piece band that used to be led by the late great trombonist Paul Munnery, now reconstituted under the leadership of another renowned trombonist Bob Hunt. Bob has been given the Harlem library by Paul’s daughter Sarah. This wonderful project is waiting for the Covid lockdown to end. Anyway, this is something else to look forward to.
You can book me to play on your gig so phone for a chat: 07966527803
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.
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.
My first broadcast took place on BBC radio in May1967 with the Trevor Jones Jazzmen, a recording of that broadcast resides in the British Library Sound Archives.
Other bands I’ve played with include The Terry Lightfoot Jazzband, The Pasadena Roof Orchestra, The Sticky Wicket Big Swing Band, The MillionAirs Big Band, Bob Kerr’s Whoopee Band, The Pete Allen Jazz Band, The Benny Green Quartet, The Alan Elsdon Jazz Band, Steve Lane‘s Red Hot Peppers, and The Chez Chesterman 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”.