The inimitable Jools Holland is heading Belfast-way with his fabulous Rhythm & Blues Orchestra featuring Gilson Lavis and guest vocalists Ruby Turner and Louise Marshall when the most distinguished musical maestro arrives for a concert at the Waterfront Hall on October 13.
Tickets for the musical extravaganza will go on sale on Wednesday November 30.
The incomparable Ruby Turner and Louise Marshall will join the uplifting party on vocals, together with the musicianship of the Rhythm & Blues Orchestra which features the drums of original Squeeze member Gilson Lavis. Jools will be performing tracks spanning his entire solo career as well as songs taken from his latest album Jools & Ruby.
Jools Holland OBE, who hails from Blackheath in South East London, was a born musician, playing piano fluently by the age of eight and playing in pubs in the East End Docks as a teen.
At the age of 15 Jools was introduced to Glenn Tilbrook and Chris Difford; together they formed Squeeze, and shortly afterwards they were joined by Gilson Lavis (who had already played with legends such as BB King, Chuck Berry and Max Wall), who still drums with Jools.
Up The Junction and Cool For Cats gave Squeeze meteoric success and their popularity rapidly extended to the US, where their tour included performances at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
In 1987 Jools formed The Jools Holland Big Band, comprising himself and Gilson Lavis. This has gradually developed into the current 20-piece Jools Holland and His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra, which consists of pianist, organist, drummer, three female vocalists, guitar, bass guitar, two tenor saxophones, two alto saxophones, baritone saxophone, three trumpets, and four trombones - a layered and complex wall of jubilant sound indeed.
Jools and his accompanying musicians play to audiences in excess of 300,000 each year.
As well as a rich variety of live performances, Jools has maintained a prolific recording career since signing to Warner Music in 1996, which includes the multi-million selling Jools Holland and Friends series. This has included a medley of performances with big name musical artists such as Sting, Chrissie Hynde, George Harrison, Norah Jones, Eric Clapton, David Gilmour, Bono, Joe Strummer, KT Tunstall, Robert Plant, Smokey Robinson, Ringo Starr, Peter Gabriel, Solomon Burke and many others.
Holland is a big fan of the cult 1960s TV show The Prisoner, and his inspiration for Helicon Mountain, the studio complex he designed and built, was Portmeirion, the setting for the series. Jools demonstrated his love of the series by starring in a spoof documentary, The Laughing Prisoner, with Stephen Fry, Terence Alexander and Hugh Laurie, in 1993.
Between 1988 and 1990, Jools performed in and co-hosted (with David Sanborn) two seasons of an acclaimed music performance programme, Night Music, on NBC.
After presenting two series of Juke Box Jury in 1989 and then 26 shows of The Happening in 1990, Jools was asked in 1992 to host a new music programme for BBC2, which combined his talent and experience as a musician with his skills as a TV presenter. This was Later...with Jools Holland. The show has reawakened the innovative spirit of The Tube, and will start its 46th series in April.
Jools’ achievements were formally recognized in June 2003, when he was awarded the OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
The 2004 UK tour kicked off with a star-studded concert at the historic Royal Albert Hall, donating all proceeds to the Teenage Cancer Trust. Later that year, he collaborated with Tom Jones on an album of traditional R&B music, Tom Jones & Jools Holland. The album, which was recorded at Jools’ Helicon Mountain studio with Laurie Latham, entered the UK Album Charts at Number 5.
In January 2005, Jools and his band performed with Eric Clapton as the headline act of the Tsunami Relief Concert in Cardiff.
In March 2007, Jools played two very special charity concerts, at Wells Cathedral and Rochester Cathedral, to raise funds for the upkeep of cathedrals throughout the British Isles and highlight the beauty of these historic buildings and the music within them.
Jools’ colourful autobiography, Barefaced Lies & Boogie-Woogie Boasts, hit the shelves on October 4, 2007 and 2009 saw the collaboration between Jools & his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra with Eddi Reader on tracks for the movie Me & Orson Welles, starring Claire Danes and Zac Efron. Jools and the Orchestra with Eddi Reader perform Let’s Pretend There’s A Moon, I Surrender Dear, and You Made Me Love You (I Didn’t Want To Do It) on the soundtrack album.
One of Jools’ personal 2010 highlights was the Sony Radio Academy Silver Award for Best Specialist Music Programme presented to his highly-acclaimed and eclectic BBC Radio 2 Show. That year also saw him clinch the Sony Gold award for Music Broadcaster Of The Year. A new studio album with the Rhythm & Blues Orchestra and hosting some very special guests, was released for December 2012.
The Golden Age Of Song is a collection of brand new recordings of classic songs and five live recordings from the BBC 2 TV Show ‘Jools’ Annual Hootenanny’.
It features performances by a glittering array of big name artists such as the late Amy Winehouse, Jessie J, Cee Lo Green, Florence Welch, Paul Weller, Paloma Faith, Lily Allen, Tom Jones, James Morrison, Paolo Nutini, Joss Stone, Mick Hucknall, Caro Emerald, Ruby Turner and Gregory Porter.
Jools and his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra returned in November 2014 with a brand new album, Sirens Of Song, and an elite gathering of world-class female artists. This album showcases Jools’ talent for artful and mesmeric collaboration and features duets with some of the most prominent female vocalists working today including Kylie, Emeli Sandé, Joss Stone, Laura Mvula, Imelda May, Melanie C, Eartha Kitt and Rumer.
n Jools Holland brings his acclaimed Rhythm & Blues Orchestra to the Waterfront, Belfast on Friday October 13, 2017.
Tickets go on sale on Wednesday November 30 at 9am from Ticketmaster outlets nationwide (call 0844 277 4455 or visit www.ticketmaster.ie) and directly from the Waterfront box office (on 02890 334455 or www.waterfront.co.uk).