'What we play is Life' Louis Armstrong

Ursula Malewski - Course Director, Vocals
Jazz Vocalist. Trained as a chorister, studied classical piano, flute and recorder. Experienced and respected piano, recorder, music theory and vocal teacher. Active in music education for over 20 years.  Worked with some of the very best jazz professionals in the UK and performed in Europe and Canada.  Launched MEhr Clef in 2005 organizing, running and teaching jazz education courses and workshops with a particular passion for jazz education of young musicians.

Lee Gibson - Associate, Vocals  
Highly respected and accomplished teacher, vocalist and recording artist who performs with her own Small Band as well as Big Bands and Jazz Orchestras world-wide. Associate Professor at the Guildhall School of Music teaching post-graduate courses. Artist in residence at Leeds College of Music and guest lecturer at the University of Western Australia.  Holds master classes, seminars and workshops for Universities, Colleges and Schools.

Alan Barnes – Woodwind

Has been playing saxophones and woodwind professionally for over 25 years. Recorded prolifically both as side man and leader and has many compositions to his credit including "The Sherlock Holmes Suite" and "Songs For Unsung Heroes", a collaboration with playwright Alan Plater. Played and recorded with artists as diverse as Stan Tracey, Humphrey Lyttleton, Bjork, Brian Ferry, as well as The BBC Radio Orchestra and Big Band. Five times winner of British Jazz Awards. Works throughout Europe as well as America, Africa and Far East. A highly respected teacher of summer schools, workshops, and master classes.

Pete Churchill – Vocals and Piano
Pianist, singer/songwriter, composer/arranger, teacher, conductor. Musical Director for Mark Murphy. Highly respected accompanist of British Jazz Singers. Vocalist and founder of New London Jazz Voices. Works at numerous European Festivals – in recent years with Norma Winstone in the Kenny Wheeler Vocal Project and as conductor of Kenny Wheeler Big Band. Award winning writer of Musicals. Musical Director for ‘Five Guys named Moe’ (West End). Critically acclaimed album ‘The Bad and the Beautiful. Professor for Jazz studies at the Royal Academy and Guildhall School of Music. 

Paul Clarvis - Drums
Brings his unique style to all musical genres and has worked with musicians ranging from Mick Jagger, Nina Simone, Steve Swallow, Harrison Birtwhistle and John Dankworth to Paul McCartney, John Taylor and Moondog. Recorded with Gordon Beck; Brian Ferry; Marc Ribot; Sam Rivers; Richard Thompson; The Orb, John Adams; Michael Nyman; Loreena McKennitt; Mark Anthony Turnage and Michel Legrand. Works with many London orchestras, plays ethnic percussion on TV and film sessions, and was the late Leonard Bernstein's preferred percussionist in London. Chairman of the Percussion judges for the BBC Young Musician of the Year 2000-2001. Performed with many internationally renowned musicians including Nina Simone, Fred Hersch, Kenny Wheeler, Norma Winstone; Mose Allison and Herbie Hancock. Recorded with Mick Jagger, John Harle, Paul McCartney, Maurice Jarre, John Williams, Victoria Mullova, Elton John, Andy Sheppard, Stan Sulzmann, Sonia Slany and Elvis Costello. As one of the most requested session musicians, he has played on numerous films including Star Wars, Thunderbirds, The Passion, Troy, King Arthur, Kingdom of Heaven, Around the World in 80 Days, Alien v Predator, Lord of the Rings, Madgascar, On a Clear Day, Spy Games, Captain Corellis Mandolin, Shakespeare in Love, G.I.Jane, James Bond, Billy Elliot, Notting Hill, and many others. Leads an improvising trio "For All the Saints" with Stan Sulzmann and Tony Hymas.  Has travelled widely researching and studying music from other countries and is a Professor at the Royal Academy of Music, recently made an HonRAM. Has written "Global Heartbeat 1,2 and 3" on KPM, which is music of the world, "Drumming" and "Jazz notes" on West One, and "Shadow Soul", percussion based urban grooves, on KPM and recorded double album "Power Percussion" for KPM.

Jeff Clyne – Bass 
For over 30 years has worked and recorded with British and American Jazz Greats. Highly experienced, respected and sought after bass player and accompanist for singers. Plays at numerous European Jazz Festivals. Active in Jazz education for many years. Professor for Jazz at the Guildhall School of Music and Associate Professor at the Royal Academy of Music.

Jeff Clyne sadly passed away in November 2009 and is still very much missed by all. He was an important member of the team from the the very beginnings of MEhr Clef and it is very sad that a whole new generation of Jazz musician will never have the opportunity to benefit from his teaching, experience and wisdom.

Malcolm Edmonstone - Piano
Studied at The Guildhall School with Pete Churchill and Simon Purcell, attaining BA and MA. Active as a player, writer and arranger. Appeared on all major UK TV networks, wrote and performed original music for ITV drama ‘Taggart’, recorded with conductor Lorin Maazel, worked with Laurie Holloway on BBC1’s ‘Strictly Come Dancing.Toured with with Jacqui Dankworth and the late legendary Marion Montgomery. Worked with some of UK’s top Jazz instrumentalists including Steve Waterman, Stan Sulzman, Pete Hurt and Martin Hathaway. Deputy Head of Jazz at the Guildhall School of Music.

Martin France - Drums
An exceptional Jazz drummer who has been the rhythmic backbone on more than 60 albums as well as numerous film soundtracks. Worked with many of the world's finest musicians including John Taylor, Kenny Wheeler, Elvis Costello, Lee Konitz, Dave Holland, Maria Schneider, Gwylim Simcock, Iain Bellamy. His association with Django Bates led to many diverse projects away from the "jazz" environment they normally occupy with human chain and delightful precipice. These include film soundtracks, jazz theatre, cross cultural collaborations and recording projects involving orchestras such as the London Sinfonietta, BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra and ASKO ensemble in Amsterdam. Performed in all five continents including concerts and tours in over forty countries. Professor for Jazz at Royal Academy.

Mark Hodgson - Bass 
Originally played electric bass in funk and fusion bands, but aged eighteen was inspired to take up the double bass after seeing The Oscar Peterson Trio featuring Ray Brown. Moved to London in 1995 to study Double Bass and Electric Bass at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Based in Spain from late 1998 until 2002. Played and recorded with a wide range of musicians, from members of The Police and The Rolling Stones to Paul McCartney, Jamie Cullum, The London Symphony Orchestra and Electronica wizard Matthew Herbert. Worked with many jazz artists including Cedar Walton, Phil Woods, Steve Grossman, Randy Brecker, Larry Coryell, Kenny Wheeler and Greg Osby. Involved in a diverse range of projects, from film music to Hip Hop and R&B records, he has also been a regular member of Bill Bruford’s ‘Earthworks’, Billy Cobham’s ‘Art Of 5’, The Bill Charlap’s European Trio, Tim Garland’s 'Underground Orchestra', The Julian Joseph Trio featuring Mark Mondesir and a new band co led by pianist Jason Rebello and drummer Jeremy Stacey. Professor for Jazz at Birmingham Conservatoire.

Nikki Iles - Piano
Pianist, composer, arranger, teacher, performer of international repute and a major presence on the British Jazz scene. Highlights in the past years have included The Julian Arguelles Octet (Germany), The Perfect Houseplants (Milan), The Anglo Canadian Project, Kenny Wheeler and Stan Sulzmann (Jyvaskyla - Finland), Tony Coe, Mark Lockheart (Ronnie Scotts), Tina May (UK, USA and Japan), Norma Winstone. Recorded two CDs under her own name. Professor at the Royal Academy of Music and visiting professor at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Part of the team at The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. Developed an exciting series of graded ABRSM Jazz exam pieces.

Tina May - Vocals
Classically trained singer and actress. Wide experience of cabaret, club and concert singing. Highly versatile and experimental Jazz vocalist and recording artist. Respected lyricist and in demand as a teacher and clinician, both in Europe and the USA. Senior lecturer at conservatories including Trinity College of Music, Leeds College of Music, Birmingham Conservatory and Royal Academy of Music.

Mike Outram - Guitar
Studied at Leigh College Music Centre with Steve Willingham, Steve Berry, Gary Boyle and Mike Walker. Gained experience playing with many groups on the Manchester music scene including John Ellis Big Bang, Pocket Central, The Fresh Vibes, Amazonia and with Tim France and Andy Morel. Moved to London in 1998 and has played a key role in the UK based groups including Dave O'Higgins, Martin Speake, Tony Woods Project, Double Talk, Jacqui Dankworth and The Inner Noise. Worked with Herbie Mann, Carleen Anderson, Cinematic Orchestra, Tim Ries, Harvey Brough, Tim Whitehead, M.J. Cole, Nikki Iles, Stan Sulzmann, Photek, John Halliwell, Issie Barratt, Gwyneth Herbert and has played with guitarists Martin Taylor, Jim Mullen and John Etheridge.Toured internationally, recorded over 50 CDs for Universal, Sony, Candid records and others and won the 'Best Group in Europe' award with Grooveyard in Spain. Guitar Professor at Trinity College of Music, The Royal Academy of Music and Thames Valley University. Taught at Glamorgan and Burnley summer schools and has given numerous workshops and clinics internationally. Writes monthly column for Guitarist Magazine.

Richard Rozze - Guitar
Guitarist and composer. BA Hons Music (1st) followed by MA Hons Music at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Studied jazz, rock, classical, blues, and funk guitar under various teachers including John Parricelli, Dave Cliff, Colin Oxley and Jeff Alexander. Performed with a wide variety of musicians including Paul Booth (saxophone), Richard Bailey (drums), Victoria Newton (vocals), Dick Pearce (trumpet), Brendan Power (harmonica). Actively involved in music education, teaching guitar and lecturing Jazz and Popular Music at Canterbury Christ Church University.

Rick Simpson – Piano

Studied classical piano from the age of eight. At 15 joined the Durham County Big Band where he first came into contact with swing and jazz. Was offered the job of assistant piano and vocal tutor on the Burnley and Musicians Union Jazz Summer Schools at 16. Studied with Nikki Iles and Simon Purcell. BMus at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Parliamentary Award Winner 2008. Performed with Tim Garland, Mark Nightingale, Steve Waterman,  Lee Gibson, Jeff Clyne, Trevor Tomkins,Alan Barnes, Brigitte Beraha amongst others. Performed at the Ealing Jazz Festival, Maidstone Jazz Festival, Appleby Jazz Festival and venues including the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, 606 Club and The Sage Gateshead.

Stan Sulzmann - Saxophone, Flute
Without question one of the most highly respected musicians in the UK today. Admired by musicians and audiences for his instantly recognizable sound and boundless creative imagination and a source of inspiration to many of Britain’s emerging young musicians. Has been at the forefront of European contemporary jazz and sought by a host of discerning musicians including Gil Evans, Mike Gibbs, Clarke/Francy Boland and Michael Brecker. Constantly in demand as a guest soloist. Performed with bands across Europe including Hilversum Radio Orchestra, NDR Big Band (alongside Chet Baker), Hanover Radio Symphony Orchestra and New York Composers Orchestra. An accomplished and distinguished composer, internationally recognized for his writing talents.

Steve Waterman – Brass
Renowned as one of the top British Jazz trumpet players both at home and on the International scene. Began his career while studying at Trinity College Of Music, and since then has worked regularly on the British and European Jazz scene. Recorded four critically acclaimed CDs under own name. Co-wrote a highly acclaimed Jazz Trumpet tutor book with John O’Neil ‘The Jazz Method For Trumpet’, published by Schott & Co. Professor for Jazz trumpet at Trinity College of Music in London and visiting Jazz trumpet specialist at The Royal Northern College of Music and The Welsh College of Music And Drama. Teaches summer Jazz courses and has conducted numerous Trumpet master
classes and workshops of varying sizes in the UK, Spain, America, Finland, Latvia and Cuba.

Norma Winstone - Vocals
'Sets herself impossible standards and then surpasses them'
Most accomplished and respected vocalist, lyricist and teacher. Began her career singing Jazz standards, became involved in the avant garde movement, exploring the use of the voice in an experimental way. Worked extensively with many of the major European and American names. Together with John Taylor and Kenny Wheeler formed the group AZIMUTH, one of the most imaginatively conceived contemporary chamber Jazz groups. Recorded numerous CDs. A fine lyricist, most notably ‘The Peacocks’ and ‘Ladies In Mercedes’, which has become a standard. In 2001 won the title of Best Vocalist in the BBC Jazz Awards. 2007 awarded MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. 2009 Skoda Jazz Ahead Award for contribution to European jazz.