The Old Jelly Rollers is a traditional and second line jazz band formed to celebrate the centennial of the first ever jazz recording (1917). We comprise of musicians from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and following our visit to New Orleans, we aim to bring the music, culture and positive energy of the Crescent City to both the streets and clubs of London and to schools to inspire and educate young people about this rich musical tradition.
Meet the band
Louise Balkwill – Voice
Raised as a multi-instrumentalist by a family of orchestral musicians and music teachers, Louise started her musical journey on the violin, cello, double bass, flute and guitar before discovering her passion for jazz and singing.
Louise began her studies as a scholar at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in 2012 and has since established a growing international performance and teaching career.
Since moving to London, she has worked with esteemed musicians such as Pete Churchill, Liane Carroll, Claire Martin, Ian Shaw, Barry Green, Tina May, Anita Wardell, Trudy Kerr, Brigette Beraha, Malcolm Earle-Smith, Simon Purcell, and Nick Weldon to name a few.
Louise has performed in top venues all over London, such as Pizza Express Jazz Club, Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, The Archduke, Charlie Wright’s, Vortex Jazz Club and Oliver’s Jazz Bar, where she runs a weekly Monday night Jazz Singers’ Jam.
“Louise’s happiness on stage is contagious!” – Brigette Beraha
“A true new talent, shining right here…” – Ian Shaw
Visit her website at www.louisebalkwill.com
Johnny Woodham – Trumpet
Johnny Woodham studied at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and is currently working towards a Masters in Education and Performance at Trinity Laban, kindly supported by a Help Musicians UK Postgraduate Award.
Having studied with some of the UK’s finest musicians and educators, including Tommy Smith and Chris Batchelor, Johnny has played nationwide and internationally with a variety of musical outfits. Recently, in collaboration with fellow artists Bob Brown and Tine Scharffenberg, he has been working on ‘Zero’, a series of exhibitions/live improvised performances.
Johnny plays regularly at Oliver’s Jazz Bar either with the jam session house band or as part of The Louise Balkwill Quintet. He is currently composing for his new project, Lavaheads, a heavily rhythmic, dance influenced sextet.
Hannah Hever – Clarinet
From a young age, Hannah has always shown a passion for the arts; in particular for fine art, photography and of course, music. She was inspired to study music further after joining the National Youth Wind Orchestra, which she became leader of in 2013. She received a scholarship to join Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, where she is now in her third year, taught by Michael Whight and Joan Lluna.
In her first year at Trinity, she won both the Wilfred Hambleton Clarinet Competition, and the Harold Clarke Woodwind Competition, and was further awarded the college clarinet award, and the John Barbirolli Foundation Scholarship by the Royal Philharmonic Society.
Alongside studying classically, Hannah is also exploring her interest in jazz, currently studying with Mick Foster. As well as playing in ‘The Old Jelly Rollers‘, and a Klezmer group also formed at Trinity Laban, she is the bass clarinetist in ‘Stompys Playground‘, a band performing covers of electronic dance music for a reduced orchestral set up.
Laura Impallomeni – Trombone
Laura has recently moved to London and started studying towards an MMus in jazz Trombone at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.
Her musical journey has been somewhat unconventional, as she did not pick up the trombone until she was 28 years old whilst living abroad in Granada, Spain.
However, she quickly built a relationship with the instrument and decided to move home to seek professional expert tuition at the end of 2011. Upon arrival she began regular lessons with renowned jazz trombonist Mark Bassey, and reputable jazz educator and alto saxophonist Geoff Simkins.
Laura plays in a plethora of diverse projects, from swing to jive, reggae, afro beat and Latin music, as well as various experimental music projects. She regularly performs with these bands all over the country.
Laura has a keen interest in New Orleans music, where the trombone holds a particularly stylised voice for this genre. It is an interest that she is excited to explore with greater depth whilst in New Orleans with The Old Jelly Rollers.
Martin Lee Thomson – Sousaphone / Euphonium / Tuba
Adam Chinery – Banjo
Originally from Essex, Adam began playing professionally at the age of 14 with his father’s dance band. He very quickly found himself in high demand, performing regularly around East Anglia. In 2015, Adam moved to East London after earning a place to study guitar on the jazz course at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.
Since moving to the capital, Adam has been involved in an array of exciting projects including work in the film and TV industries, over 50 professional theatre productions and regular jazz performances in some of London’s most renowned venues such as Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, the Barbican and The Royal Albert Hall.
A former member of the internationally renowned National Youth Jazz Orchestra, Adam has been involved in projects such as filming for the BBC’s “Back in time for Dinner”. He was one of only two successful musicians from the UK to earn the privilege of studying with internationally acclaimed artists Robin Eubanks, Stefon Harris and David Sanchez when elected by the National Youth Jazz Orchestra to audition for the Brubeck Summer Jazz Colony in California.
From his home studio in London, Adam has recorded and produced backing tracks for shows, theatre groups, solo artists, choirs and holiday parks and has also been featured on TV and audio books, including the 2016 Motion Picture “A United Kingdom” alongside Michelle Gayle. His collaborative and accompanist career boasts names such as the UK’s best selling classical artist, Russell Watson.
Tom Wright – Drums
Tom is the son and grandson of a drummer. His grandfather was a snare drummer in the Royal Airforce, and at the age of seven his father got hold of a second hand junior kit for him to start practicing on. After some years of playing along to his parents’ eclectic record collection, from Louis Armstrong to Led Zeppelin, Tom received lessons from jazz drummer Lizy Exell.
After playing with county orchestras, show bands and local jazz musicians in his teenage years, Tom went to study for an Arts degree at Exeter University where he was the Musical Director of the university’s jazz orchestra and performed with Craig Milverton (UK jazz pianist of the year 2010), Pete Canter and Sarah Jory. It was during his years in Exeter that Tom’s love for New Orleans music really started to develop.
In the practice room and on the bandstand the ‘New Orleans feeling’ became an ever increasing and important part of Tom’s musical vocabulary. Now studying for a Masters of Music at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Tom performs regularly in London and is currently writing a dissertation on the music and life of New Orleans drummer, Shannon Powell.