The Band

Meet our talented bunch of entertainers

Helen Firth – Lead vocals

Helen is a powerful vocalist from Halifax, West Yorkshire who began singing at a very young aged, starting out in amateur theatre and various bands. Having taken vocal training from various teachers, including the British Voice Association, Helen powers through big songs and teaches others to use their voices safely too. Having worked professionally for 10+years across a wide variety of venues, including a 12,000 strong stadium audience, Helen is a confident performer who works with great energy and passion. Other work includes working on the popular TV soap Emmerdale as a background artiste!

  1. Favourite place: St Marks Square, Venice
  2. Favourite food: Baked Camembert
  3. What annoys me: Middle lane hoggers!
  4. Life ambition: To travel the world and have no regrets.
  5. If I weren’t a musician: A Holiday Rep
  6. Best gig of your life: Progress Live Tour 2011, Take That in Manchester
  7. 3 random likes: green olives, a good brew, the sun
  8. 3 random dislikes: dirty cheap wine, the cold, poor hygiene
  9. Musical idol: Can’t decide so Beyonce, Jennifer Hudson and Freddie Mercury
  10. Party trick: I can take a video of my own vocal folds with an iPhone, better than the ones you get in an ENT laryngoscopy!
  11. Favourite piece of technology: iPhone

Danny Wares – Band Leader & Guitarist

Danny, a graduate of the jazz course at Leeds College of Music, is a multi instrumentalist playing drums, guitar, bass and saxophone to a high standard. Danny started playing music at age 9 and began performing with the youth bands at Rochdale Music Service performing in competitions in the UK and abroad. Danny’s working career as a musician began at the age of 14 and has gone on to perform all over the United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands in West-End Productions and various other orchestras and big bands. 2016 saw Danny working on tour with X-Factor finalist Ray Quinn playing lead guitar and backing vocals and this year worked as a resident musician on cruise ships.

 

  1. Favourite place: Stavsnger, Norway
  2. Favourite food: Poached salmon
  3. What annoys me: Laziness
  4. Life ambition: To live debt free
  5. If I weren’t a musician: Some boring office job
  6. Best gig of your life: (I’ve been to) PB Underground at Ronnie Scott’s
  7. 3 random likes: Dogs, Bread, Ginger beer
  8. 3 random dislikes: Long walks on the beach, Goldfish, Brussel sprouts
  9. Musical idol: Prince
  10. Party trick: Can make drinks disappear
  11. Favourite piece of technology: Logic

Joe Boyes – Keyboard player

Joe began playing piano at the age of 4 and studied with various teachers at the Blackburn School of Music before leaving at the age of 18 to study Jazz at Leeds College of Music, where he has now graduated. Joe is classically trained and completed his grade 8 by the age of 14 but is by no means a stranger to other genres! Joe joined the Lancashire Youth Jazz orchestra, receiving tutoring from prominent musicians and has been gigging from a young age. Now based in Leeds, Joe runs his own band, working on original material and plays keys for a variety of function bands and hopes to continue pursuing music in the years to come.

 

  1. Favourite place: Leeds
  2. Favourite food: Number 32
  3. What annoys me: People who don’t answer phones
  4. Life ambition: To own a house
  5. If I weren’t a musician: Something in Law
  6. Best gig: (I’ve been to) Aaron Parks – Howard Assembly Room
  7. 3 likes: Beer, Procrastinating, Warm places
  8. 3 dislikes: Dogs, Being ID’d constantly, Turbulent flights
  9. Musical idol: Bruno Mars
  10. Party trick: I can roll my eyes really sarcastically
  11. Fav tech: Smartphone

Andy Leggett –  Bassist

Andy Leggett is an electric and upright bassist originally from Haywards Heath, Sussex. Growing up in the small rural town of Ellesmere, Shropshire and starting lessons in electric bass around the age of 15, his tutors have included John Dover, Garry Jackson and Zoltan Dekany. Andy is currently living in Leeds, and having studied Jazz at Leeds College of Music, has now graduated. Performing regularly across the country and abroad at such venues as Lambeth palace, his main influences lie in various genres but most notably funk, disco, jazz and soul music. In particular his most influential artists/musicians include; James Jamerson, Bernard Edwards, Jaco Pastorius and Mark King.

 

  1. Favourite place: Having lunch on a bench overlooking the Verdon George in Southern France or being lost in a book
  2. Favourite food: Curry
  3. What annoys me: Trying to wrap Christmas presents neatly
  4. Life ambition: To own a Bakery in the south of France
  5. If I weren’t a musician: Baker or Carpenter
  6. Best gig of my life: Seeing George Clinton and Parliment Funkadelic in Leeds
  7. 3 random likes: Classic Cars, Pistachio Ice Cream, Sunsets
  8. 3 random dislikes: Babybell Cheese, Politics, Jars of pickles that don’t open
  9. Musical idol: Jaco Pastorius
  10. Party trick: Salsa Dancing
  11. Favourite piece of technology: The vegetable Spiraliser

Conor Magi – Drums

Conor Magi began playing the drums at the age of 14, initially self-tought until the age of 18 when he enrolled on the Jazz course at Leeds College of Music. During his time in Leeds Conor has taken guidance under his tutors Peter Fairclough and Dave Walsh. Since Graduating Conor has been engrossed into the Leeds music scene and has played with many up and coming talent and has toured around England and abroad. Conor’s influence lies mainly in Jazz, electronic and rock music, Musicians such as Mark Guiliana, Eric Harland and Avishai Cohen have been the main inspirations in molding the style of drumming that Conor has developed.

  1. Favourite place on earth: Dublin
  2. Favourite food: halloumi wrap
  3. What annoys me: people that talk too much
  4. Life ambition:  be comfortable and successful
  5. If I weren’t a musician: screwed !!
  6. Best gig of my life: Matt Corby at Camden
  7. 3 random likes: dogs, mountains, anime
  8. 3 random dislikes: cats, love island, mr blobby
  9. Musical idol: Mark Guiliana
  10. Party trick: can air drum like a nutter
  11. Favourite piece of technology: PlayStation

Laurie Covell – Saxophonist

Laurie began playing the saxophone when he was 9 going on to play in local jazz bands then the county big band. Laurie was playing in a number of different bands from jazz to reggae, and went on to play second tenor for the national youth jazz orchestra. Laurie left the south of England to study at the Leeds college of music where he runs the Leeds College Of Music SU big band which successfully gigs all over the North of England. Since being in Leeds Laurie has been heavily involved with projects and performs with various bands. Laurie’s jazz quartet recently featured in ‘Hunters Prayer’. Laurie is now a very well regarded saxophone player and is in great demand to work with a variety of bands.

 

  1. Favourite place: Cornwall
  2. Favourite Food: Victoria sponge
  3. What annoys me: Having to reply to messages all the time (jokes)
  4. Life ambition: To take Kate Middleton out for dinner and not let her go home
  5. If I weren’t a musician: Wind turbine/ ball boy at Wimbledon
  6. Best gig of my life: Board masters
  7. 3 random likes: Laughing cow triangles, Trees, Google maps
  8. 3 random dislikes: My internet history , Facebook messenger , Love island
  9. Musical idol: Nancy Wilson
  10. Party trick: Not over staying my welcome
  11. Favourite piece of technology: Wifi

Simon Dennis – Trumpet

Simon grew up in Jarrow and started playing trumpet age 11 after following his sister into brass playing. His fantastic teacher, Gordon Marshall, guided him through grades as well as introducing him to various styles such as pop and jazz. Simon left the North East to study music at the Leeds College of Music in 2011, before graduating in 2013. Since then he has settled in as a freelance player in Yorkshire playing a variety of gigs and shows both across the UK and abroad.

  1. Favourite place on earth: South Shields
  2. Favourite food: Steak
  3. What annoys me: Keyboard warriors
  4. Life ambition: Be good at the trumpet
  5. If you weren’t a musician, what would you be: A frustrated musician/airline pilot
  6. Best gig of my life: Vulfpeck, London 2016
  7. 3 random likes: Coffee, salsa (music), cars
  8. 3 random dislikes: Rain, being ill, mismatching socks
  9. Musical idol: Stevie Wonder
  10. Party trick: Being from Newcastle
  11. Favourite piece of technology: Macbook

Danny Barley – Trombone

Danny, a freelance trombonist from Hull but now based in Leeds. He picked up the trombone at the age of 8 and has since then toured up and down the country and Europe in and around his studies at Leeds College of Music, from which he has graduated. He is regularly seen playing in many of the local big bands as well as playing with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra. He has played in a variety of venues including The Royal Albert Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, The Cavern in Liverpool and has worked with a range of artists including The Specials and The Pigeon Detectives. He has also worked lightly in television resulting in some brief appearances on the BBC as well as filming the latest national advertising campaign for Yorkshire Tea.

 

  1. Favourite place: Torshavn, Faroe Islands
  2. Favourite food: Lobster
  3. What annoys me: A badly made Old Fashioned
  4. If I weren’t a musician: A chef
  5. Best gig: Chelyabinsk, Russia for a secret Russian organisation
  6. Likes: Campari, watches, flat whites
  7. Dislikes: Mornings
  8. Party trick: Solve a Rubik’s cube in under a minute