Buster Birch has a degree in music from the University of London and a post-graduate diploma in jazz performance from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He also studied at the Drummers Collective in New York City and privately with Jim Chapin and Joe Morello (of The Dave Brubeck Quartet). He has been a freelance professional musician for over 25 years and has a wealth of experience in many different musical genres. He has performed at virtually every major concert hall and jazz club in London as well as major international festivals and toured in over 30 countries.
Much in demand as a jazz drummer, he has backed many of the UKs finest jazz musicians including Bobby Wellins, John Etheridge, Alan Barnes, Stan Sulzmann, Jim Mullen and Derek Nash. He has been a member of three different critically acclaimed “world music” groups all of which combine original compositions with their own traditional folk styles from Russia, Cuba and the Balkans. He has worked with world class orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, depped on west end shows and performed and recorded with commercial pop artists such as Lily Allen and Russell Watson. He appears as a side man on over 25 albums and has his own project “Buster plays Buster” which involves performing live with his quartet to the screening of two Buster Keaton movies, which he arranged and scored all of the music for.
He has a great deal of experience in music education, both as a percussion teacher and a lecturer. He was a professorial member of the jazz faculty at Trinity Conservatoire of Music for seven years and has been a visiting lecturer at The Royal Academy of Music, Middlesex University, The Guildhall School of Music & Drama and West Kent College. He has worked as a tutor on many community educational projects involving diverse groups including school children, adult learners and prison inmates for organisations such as the Olympics, LSO Discovery, English Touring Opera, BSO. He currently runs two regular jazz workshops and is also co-director of www.theoriginalukjazzsummerschool.co.uk, the UK's longest running jazz summer school.
James trained classically in Piano & Clarinet and studied in Jazz at University. After gaining a degree in Music he taught Jazz piano at Middlesex University for a further 7 years.
He has performed at Ronnie Scott’s, The London Palladium and worked with some of Britain’s greatest Jazz artists, including: Pete King, Alan Barnes, John Etheridge, Jim Mullen, Gerard Presencer, Stan Sulzmann, Derek Nash, Bobby Wellins, Rex Richardson, Mark Lockhart, Mick Hutton,Clark Tracey, London Musici, & Anita Wardell.
James is a busy freelance musician as well as arranger & composer and has arranged for Sky TV, The Sugababes UK no1 single and Dance Producer David Gray. James is regularly in demand as pianist/MD for Sinatra style “Rat Pack” band, leading London’s best session musicians (Paul Morgan, Mike Smith, Jay Craig, Alan Barnes, Graham Russell, Bob Sydor, etc).
Hailing originally from Montreal in Canada, Eric Guy did the rounds in rock bands as a teenager before enrolling in the Jazz program at Vanier college, where he studied electric and acoustic bass with session veteran Vic Angelillo, arranging with Christopher Smith and composition under Joe Sullivan.
He cut his teeth playing jazz around town with long-time friends and guitar virtuosos Jean-Sebastien Williams and Simon Angell (Patrick Watson), and the CJAD All-City Big Band under Denis Christiansen, amongst many others, and played in every musical situation available, from hip-hop to gypsy music, and everything in between. He also made a mark in the Hip-Hop/RnB session scene, notably with El Verso, whose singles have been getting massive airplay.
In the period between 2002 and 2007 Eric sailed the high seas for parts of the year, playing bass for the luxury cruise lines Celebrity and Crystal Cruises, culminating in his appointment as band master and musical director in 2006 on the Crystal Symphony.
All the while, he continued to study privately with the likes of Rufus Reid, David Friesen and UK electric bass virtuoso Janek Gwizdala. His growing interest in composition and orchestration led him to delve deeply in the music of Schoenberg, Shostakovich, Mingus, and countless others, as well as completing a MIDI orchestration course under Ben Newhouse at Berklee College of music.
Since moving to London in 2008, Eric Guy has been making his mark in both the Jazz and Pop scene, notably playing with Anton Browne, Mike Coates and Duncan Eagles in the jazz side of things, and with session ace Chris Madin (Strictly come dancing) and chart-topper DJ Ironik in the pop world.