The Band


Jane Hollingworth - Percussion and drums

Jane has been playing jazz drums in Cambridge and Colchester since 1998, specialises in Brazilian and Haitian percussion, teaches congas and has recently taken up the trombone so that she can do more in ska and afrobeat bands. She has also been congueira in the latin/world music ensemble Escucha!, has been percussionist and kit drummer in numerous jazz bands and is the house drummer at the Cambridge jazz jam, has her own band Iroko! playing afrobeat, world fusion and "anything with a good groove", based in Cambridge. Has led drum workshops since 1993, including in schools in Brazil, speaks Portuguese and loves the music of the northeast of Brazil and the west of Africa.

Alison Parkes - Vocals

Alison loves singing and has found her forte in jazz. Her first foray into jazz was at Dartington, Devon, under the wing of the late Lionel Grigson, jazz pianist, composer, writer and teacher who, in the 1980s, started the jazz course at the Guildhall School of Music. She later went on to study with Colchester vocal coach Deborah Winter and also London vocal coach Verona Chard. Alison says she is always listening and learning from other jazz singers, favourites being Anita O'Day and Nina Simone.

Nathan Swabey - Bass

Music has always been a big part of Nathan's life. Initially that was through classical music: at the age of 8 he started learning the violin and later piano, achieving grade 8 on the violin and playing piano at grade 8 level. Nathan played violin in many different orchestras while at school and college. At secondary school he got into guitar music and taught himself guitar and bass guitar. This led on to playing guitar in his church band. He discovered jazz in his early 20’s when he was asked to join Blue Town as their bass guitarist. One of Nathan's favourite bands is Snarky Puppy.


Andrew Keddie - Guitar

Like many guitarists who were teenagers in the 1970s, Andrew started playing rock and blues. As Andrew says, "Life were hard...chords were diminished..." He became interested in jazz in the 1980s with the relaunch of the Blue Note label and, in Britain, emerging artists such as Loose Tubes, Jazz Warriors, Courtney Pine and Andy Shepherd.  Andrew's first interests were Thelonius Monk and Kenny Burrell's "Midnight Blue" album. He played in the Mean Woman Blues Band and various jazz duos and drios, as well as the Horn Factory.  He also played in the world music group Escucha with John and Jane, before the three of them went on to form Blue Town. Since then he has enjoyed workshops with Tim Whitehead, Derek Nash, Nikki Iles, Phil Robson and Dominic Ashworth. He also plays with eastcoast rockabilly band Rockhouse.

John Clifton - Soprano and tenor saxes

John Clifton has loved jazz since his teens in the 1960’s when he haunted the record library in Sutton discovering the music of John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Paul Desmond, Miles Davis and others, memorising favourite solos and imagining what it would be like to improvise. It took a further 25 years before he dared to take the first steps to learn saxophone. Making up for lost time, he has since been immersing himself in music, sax playing and improvising studying with local reedsman Andy Brush. He played in the Colchester Latin band Escucha for around 10 years, then went on to found Blue Town with guitarist Andrew Keddie and drummer Jane Hollingworth in 2007. He started playing alto sax but now focuses on tenor and soprano saxes. His current favourite sax player is Joshua Redman.