Bios

WE HAVE BEEN FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO HAVE DIFFERENT MUSICIANS FROM THE LONDON JAZZ SCENE TAKE PART IN OUR HOUSE BAND… INTRODUCING THE GIRLS TO DIFFERENT INFLUENCES AND CONNECTIONS… HERE ARE SOME OF THEM…

Maddy Shaw (flutes)

Maddy Shaw is a flutist based in London focusing on jazz, funk and blues across the whole family of flutes: concert, alto, bass and piccolo flute. Maddy holds a performance ATCL (distinction) and LTCL diploma in jazz flute from Trinity College. She graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama at BMus level with Merit, and has been lucky enough to study with world class flutists: Gareth Lockrane, Rowland Sutherland, Joaquin Oliveros and ‘Magic’ Malik Mezzandri. She is the founder and Director of the Girl Plays Jazz project supporting girls and young women in jazz improvisation. Maddy plays with her quartet Felicidade, duo The Italian Job, Orquesta Estelar Cuban Big Band, and with other London-based jazz bands.  Maddy is qualified as a barrister and worked for 15 years in private practice and in central Government advising on practical policy and legal solutions for complex issues.

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Andy Ruiz Palma (guitar)

Andy is an acoustic and electric jazz guitarist who plays both lead and rhythm. He is the founder of the Bright Stars of Jazz which has its roots in Chicago and New Orleans jazz. He is part of the gypsy jazz project La Bouche Manouche playing tunes in the Hot Club style with a repertoire of swingtime jazz and French cafe music. A recent performance numbered over a million and half views on Youtube, and counting. Andy plays in modern jazz outfits including the flute-led Felicidade. He undertakes regular duo and trio work. He has experience running whole band workshops, and one to one tuition, including schools-based jazz workshops promoting jazz to children, and as part of the Girl Plays Jazz project.

Sophie Watson (alto sax)

Sophie is an Alto Saxophonist and Clarinettist, Sophie began her studies in music at a young age firstly gaining invaluable training at the City of Edinburgh Music School. Sophie most recently studied at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama gaining an Artist Masters degree in Jazz Saxophone. Sophie has performed professionally and worked as an educator in music for 9 years across London. Venues performed at include, Ronnie Scotts, The Albert Hall as part of the BBC Proms, The Barbican Hall, Vortex Jazz Club, Pizza Express Jazz Club, The Southbank Centre, The London Jazz Festival, Bestival.

Andy Asante (piano)

Andy is a exceptionally talented pianist on the London jazz scene – graduating in 2018 from the Guildhall Masters with a First, having spent 3 years studying with the acclaimed pianist Nikki Iles at Middlesex University.  He recent released his first album “Unknown” which was well received in the jazz press.

Amy Baldwin (double bass)

Amy Baldwin is a well-established bass player in London, playing regularly at Ronnie Scott’s, the 606 club and other well-known venues. She is an experienced educator – teaching at Camden School for Girls, Guildhall and Trinity conservatoires for their Girls in Jazz programmes since 2016. Amy has worked as our principal bass player in the GPJP house band for some time, and brings a wealth of experience for the benefit of the girls’ jazz education.

Cyro Zuzi (drums/percussion)

Cyro Zuzi is a Brazilian born, percussionist and drummer, who started his musical career more than 20 years ago, studying with one of the main Brazilian tutors Douglas Las Casas and Ramon Montagner. In Brazil he played in many rock bands around Sao Paulo, and in the year 2000 spent some time studying drums in Havana (Cuba), with the collaborator of Modern Drummer Magazine: Chuck Silverman among other Cuban teachers.

In the same year he took the 1st place in an important drum contest in Sao Paulo: Concurso de Bateristas do Vale do Paraiba. In 2007 moved to London, and started doing gigs and recording sessions with top musicians in UK, and TV sessions, and albums.

Cyro has been gigging and touring in many cities around UK, and played in some of the top music festivals – Cheltenham Jazz Fest, Secret Garden Party and Glastonbury, he has also toured in Argentina, Chile, Holland, France, Belgium, Spain, Portugal , Germany, and also other countries in Africa and Middle East.

…and we are grateful to additional support and participation from the following musicians who have supported our masterclasses and workshops: Sara McGuinness (Cuban pianist and bandleader), Jimmy Martinez (bass)  Shirley Smart (Cello, composer and bandleader) Irene Serra (vocals) Sam Every (drums) Asha Parkinson (sax) Cat Craig (piano) Chun Ting (double bass) Simone Miller (violin) Simon Rawlings (guitar) … and to many other musicians who have given us their time and support.

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