Billy Thompson – Violin
After reaching the final of the Young Jazz Musician of the Year competitions in both ‘96 & ’98, Billy became an integral member of seminal English Jazz/Rock outfit Barbara Thompson’s Paraphernalia with Jon Hiseman on drums. Billy has headlined twice at Ronnie Scott’s with Paraphernalia and toured Europe extensively featuring on 5 albums. 2008 also saw a tour of Japan with these incredible musicians.
Performing in the Gypsy Jazz or ‘Hot Club’ style, Billy has performed with international guitarists Gary Potter, John Etheridge, Lollo Meier, Andreas Oberg, Martyn Taylor and Howard Alden amongst others… It is since moving to North Wales that Billy began performing with musicians Andy Mackenzie, Eryl Jones and Greg Robley
It is through his performances with Mike Westbrook’s Glad Day that Billy met the wonderful accordionist Karen Street.
Ivor Aldred – Harmonica
Ivor is an outstanding harmonica player. His main work to date has been with Big Jo Bone touring up and down the UK. Ivor features on Bluesy Isaac (track 7) on Billy Thompson Gypsy Style – The Eberle Sessions CD. Isaac is Ivor’s son who is learning the violin from Billy. Ivor also features on a new album by singer/songwriter Gavin Crisfield.
Neil Browning – Guitar/Accordion
Neil Browning has always been a multi instrumentalist, interested in a wide variety of musical genres. He has composed television music for S4C, and played both on – and off-stage – in touring drama productions for several theatre companies. Professional performing engagements have included: lute, recorders and crumhorn in medieval quartet Dragonsfire; electric guitar in folk-rock band Bluehorses; traditional button accordion,
bouzouki, and tenor banjo in Band Y Braichmelyn; trumpet and piano accordion in Afro-Latin grooves outfit Banda Bacana; and keyboards/guitar in covers band Big Mirror. Neil can now also be found playing guitar (and occasional piano accordion) with Billy Thompson Gypsy Style.
Eryl Jones – Guitar/Mandolin/Vocals
Multi instrumentalist Eryl has always had an eclectic taste in music which has led him to be involved in many musical projects in the past, embracing such styles as Rock, Blues, Bluegrass and most recently Gypsy jazz… With TV commissions performances, and festival appearances to his credit, Eryl brings variety to any performance, with his Guitar, Banjo, Mandolin and Vocal skills. The Eryl Jones Band performs a variety of music from Tom Waits to his own original material. Eryl has also been an integral member of Billy Thompson Gypsy Style since its inception.
Greg Robley – Bass
Professional musician for 26 years, session musician performing at wide variety of venues in both the UK and abroad. One of the most versatile and affable musicians around. Greg has performed at the Cork Jazz Festival and Chateauneuf du Faou with Andy Mackenzie.
Greg appears on the latest Billy Thompson Gypsy Style studio album and is also a fine pianist and guitarist.
Other Musicians who appear with Billy Thompson Gypsy Style on occasion…
Karen Street – Accordion
One of the UK’s most well known and respected accordionists Karen has played with Phil Robson, Stan Sulzman, Nikki Iles, Tina May, Tim Garland, Mike Westbrook and Martin Taylor. Other credits include, Grace Jones, Ute Lemper, Martha Wainwright and Sir Willard White. Karen also plays for Ballet Rambert and the Welsh National Opera. Karen is featured throughout the Billy Thompson Gypsy Style studio album – The Eberle Sessions – and can frequently be seen live with the band.
Andy Mackenzie – Guitar/Banjo Guitar
Andy has been a leading freelance guitarist for over 30 years. His love of Django Reinhardt’s music has led him to become one of the early leaders of the recent gypsy jazz revival. Widely respected as both performer and teacher of this style. Andy has headlined the Samois festival as a member of John Jorgenson’s band in addition to recreating this unique music for film and TV. Andy has been an integral member of Billy Thompson Gypsy Style since the start, performing throughout the UK and playing on both the live album and the latest Billy Thompson Gypsy Style studio album – The Eberle Sessions.
John Wheatcroft – Guitar
John leads a busy double-life as an artist and an educator. He has performed with artists as diverse as Billy Cobham, Frank Gambale, Mike Clark and Bill Summers (The Headhunters), Carl Verheyen (Supertramp), Ralph Salmins, Paul Elliott, Keith Carlock and Laurence Cottle. John has toured the world with both Carl Palmer (ELP) and John Jorgenson (Elton John/ Hellecasters) and he is a regular contributor to Guitar Techniques UK, along with contributing numerous lessons for Guitarist UK, Guitar Part (France) and Guitar World (USA).
John plays on three tracks on the Billy Thompson Gypsy Style – The Eberle Sessions CD. A must hear as they say…