RHYTHM SECTION
Arranger/Piano
Bass
Drums
Guitar
Tabla
Andrea Vicari
Geoff Gascoyne
Marc Parnell
Jonathan Brotoeff
Nilz Gulhain
HORNS
Trumpet
Trombone
Saxophone
Rory Simmons
Malcolm Earle Smith
Duncan Eagles
VOCALS
Rapper
Backing Vocals
Jahaziel
Simon King, TJ Cole, Sherelle MaKenzie
ABOUT JOHN...
“My mum was a jazz singer and I can remember as early as age five hearing her sing and play piano at home. In retrospect I wholly loved what she was about – someone who brought light into the world through song and art. I guess that something musical was being formed from an early age, which now has become a compulsion“.

So, for someone with a jazz-singing Mum who ‘discovered his voice’ at church, John Heavens’ heart & soul have come full circle. Once a Business Trainer, the day-job felt like a strait-jacket so he made a break for freedom. He took a risk and left secure paid work to get formal voice training and pursue his passion for music. ‘Monday on Freedom Street’ on his Big City Calling album explores jobs that provide income, but do not satisfy the soul. This sentiment has been a theme running throughout John’s musical journey, an expression of John’s view of the world through lyrics and song.

John covered a repertoire of pop, soul, blues and funk before studying at Trinity College of Music, Greenwich, UK, where he was trained and coached by world-class jazz vocalists Anita Wardell, Trudy Kerr and later Jacqueline Dankworth. He absorbed a broad spectrum of jazz music including Duke Ellington's ‘Sacred Concert’ suite, which tells a biblical story.

His journey in many ways is unremarkable, attending school and leaving at 17 to sweep floors in a locksmiths shop in the world-renowned university city of Cambridge (UK) where John grew up. His father Gerry was a staunch Catholic, insisting that week-by-week John and his sisters attend the local church. “That’s perhaps where the break for freedom first emerged,” jokes John. “I remember being dropped off at Sunday school with my youngest sister, waiting for my dad’s car to turn the corner and then going fishing instead”.

After a spell in the corporate world as marketing executive, John was invited to join a management training organisation where he was coached and trained by a selection of world-class business trainers. Throughout this time John was ‘moonlighting ‘and crafting his music and attending a local church where gospel music was part of the culture. “This period really was the start of me shaping my voice and defining my musical identity. For me it was a relatively safe place to experiment with my voice and together with the time at Music College I have arrived at what I’m about musically - someone who views the world, draws ideas for compositions and expresses freedom through music.

 
     


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