Since 1998, Horn Factory has been bringing together some of the top musicians in the area to create our own brand of fast moving, hard hitting, foot tapping contemporary jazz.
Musical Director: James Symington
James has an excellent reputation as an all-round musician specialising in Big Band, Jazz and commercial music. He has worked with modern Jazz legends such as Pete Letanka, Natalie Williams, Ray Simmons, Pete Long, Mike Lovatt, Gordan Campbell and Matt Skelton.
As a young student, James was accepted into Junior Trinity College of Music where he studied trumpet with Andy Hendrie (BBC Philharmonic Orchestra) and worked with the likes of Mick Foster, Barry Graham, Andrew Morley and Oren Marshall. Whilst at Junior Trinity, James was awarded the Phillip Jones brass prize for the best brass performer 2010 as well as the Chappell Composition prize for the best young composer.
In 2010 James was accepted into Cardiff University and was awarded a degree in Music (BMus hons). During his time in University, James set up and led a professional 10-piece function band and in his final year, was chosen to lead the Cardiff University Big Band. As their musical director James took the band to BBC Hoddinott Hall in the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay. At the Great Northern Big Band Festival, under leadership from James, the big band took home several prizes.
Since his undergraduate studies, James joined the British Army and is now in The Band of The Parachute Regiment as a trumpet player and vocalist. In his short time in the military, James has had the opportunity to travel to Canada, Germany, France, Georgia, Bangladesh and most recently Albania and Montenegro. His passion for big band playing and close links to music in and around Suffolk led him to secure the role of musical director with Horn Factory.
Lead Alto: Gilly Burgoyne
Gilly’s musical career started aged 9, learning classical clarinet in her native Essex, attending classes with the Essex Music Service. At King John School, her inspirational Music Teacher, handed her an alto sax asking “Can you learn to play this over the weekend”? The learning continues…. Joining the Ivy Benson All Girl Showband aged 15, and forsaking a more traditional musical education, she has continued to play professionally touring the UK, Europe and Scandinavia, including playing flute with NYJO. After a career in the NHS, Gilly plays and teaches, is an active Board member with NYJO, working on education, equality and health related issues in jazz, an MU member once again, promoting interest in jazz gigs, as well as writing for Grapevine magazine under the name of The Jazz Riff. You can read a full interview here.
Alto: Lynsey Welham
Having always wanted to play Saxophone, Lynsey got her opportunity when her parents and Grandad bought her an Alto Sax for her 12th birthday. Lynsey had lessons at school and soon joined the school Swing Band and then SYJO where she got her first taste of playing in concerts. Although playing piano from the age of 6, Lynsey had always wanted to be part of a band so was delighted when she also deputised with Swing Machine. Lynsey has also played with Stacks of Sax (8 piece Sax group) and Glenn Hurst Big Band over the years at various functions including weddings, 40’s dances and Street Fayres. In March 2015, Lynsey welcomed the challenge of joining Horn Factory. Lynsey enjoys playing 40’s music, familiar tunes and really enjoys the modern jazz sound of Horn Factory.
Lead Tenor: Jonathan Farnhill
Jonathan joined Horn Factory in 1996. He started his musical career at the age of 8 on the clarinet, and progressed to the tenor sax in his teens, playing in the King’s Lynn festival and with local Big Bands. At University, Jonathan formed his own trad band and was a regular performer on the Leeds Jazz scene. Returning to East Anglia, Jon has played with several trad, swing and big bands, and now enjoys playing regularly with Horn Factory.
Tenor: Mark Usher
Although always a jazz lover, Mark came late to jazz playing. His musical education was limited to learning to read music and play the recorder (then performing in a consort) when he married a musician. Little more happened musically until his wife presented him with a tenor sax as a “mid-life” birthday present! Largely self-taught and without the benefit of formal musical training, Mark says “It’s been a fantastic privilege and huge fun to have been a member of HF for over 10 years, playing exciting repertoire with some great musicians”.
Baritone: Mark Leah
Born in Sheffield, Mark is a classically-trained singer and organist. He currently plays organ at Tollesbury, Salcott, and Tolleshunt D’Arcy churches. He has always been a lover of jazz, swing and blues music, having been brought up to the sounds of Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holliday, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Buddy Rich (to name but a few).
In January 2015, on a whim, he purchased an alto sax and began to take lessons. After a while, he purchased a tenor and, finally, a baritone saxophone. He instantly loved playing the “bari”, falling in love with its deep, lush tones, and has been very fortunate to play with some amazing musicians who have helped him to progress rapidly.
He is currently a member of the Essential Sounds Big Band and also plays occasionally with Swing Machine and with the Galaxy Big Band. Mark was delighted when, in November 2018, he was asked to join Horn Factory. He is very much enjoying playing their particular brand of contemporary jazz.
Lead Trumpet: Richard Steward
Richard started out playing cornet at the age of 9. After playing in several local brass and wind bands, he switched to trumpet and joined the Suffolk Youth Jazz Orchestra (SYJO). When he no longer fitted the description of ‘youth’, he left SYJO and helped form Horn Factory in 1996. Richard also plays lead trumpet in Swing Machine, as well as deputising in several other local bands from time to time.
Second Trumpet: Ian Buzer
Ian began playing the trumpet while still at school, spending many of his weekends marching round a cold damp field with a local marching band. One day at his local library he found a vinyl LP with a picture of a trumpet on the cover and decided to borrow it. The weird 80’s jazz rock sounds of “The Man with the Horn” by Miles Davis started a love of jazz and improvisation that has stayed with him ever since. After a few years living in France, Ian moved to Suffolk in 2009 where he can now be found playing at a number of local workshops, jam sessions and small jazz groups. Ian joined Horn Factory on second trumpet in 2013. You can read a full interview here.
Trumpet: Steve Stone
(ed: when I first asked Steve for his biog, he said there was nothing clean enough to include…. ahem!) back in the early 1970s, a young Steve really wanted to play the saxophone, but his parents bought him a trumpet, as a sax was too expensive… Steve started playing in his high school marching band and then played in many Brass Bands, taking part in contests, and also at the Albert Hall with Clacton Co-op Brass Band. Steve previously played with SYJO and Pale Moon, before joining Horn Factory when it started in 1996.
Trumpet: John “Shep” Burch
Shep started playing trumpet at the age of 9 at school. At 11, he switched to cornet and played in brass bands until the mid 1990s. During the early eighties, Shep was a road manager for a heavy rock band and also, occasionally, played drums with them. Shep returned to playing trumpet again and joined Horn Factory at its inception in 1996. Shep also plays with the local soul band, ‘Souled As Seen’ and also is involved with relief tour management, helping from time to time with national and international acts.
Trumpet: Roger Morfey
Roger was late for his first ever rehearsal, in the local village silver band. But with the cornets already taken he luckily nabbed the nice flugelhorn. Trumpet at school and RSM exams led to a big band blooding in the Berkshire YJO under Pat Kelly. Following a guitar-induced sabbatical, Roger returned to the trumpet in soul and salsa bands in Oxford. He played Sinatra backings in a London swing orchestra for many years and benefited from jazz workshops and sitting in with other London big bands. Since being in East Anglia, Roger has played with a number of bands and enjoyed his first Horn Factory outing at the Fleece jazz club in 2016. His musical inspirations include the trumpet player big band leaders Thad Jones, Don Ellis and Dizzy Gillespie.
Lead Trombone: Paul Little
Paul graduated from the Royal Northern College of Music in 1995. Whilst there, he gained a vast array of performance experience in both Classical and Jazz settings, being engaged in professional show work and performing with a range of well known and highly regarded Jazz musicians including; Andy Sheppard, Guy Barker, Lew Tabakin and Mike Gibbs.
Paul returned to London in 1996 and completed a post graduate certificate in Jazz and Popular music at Goldsmiths College, continuing to perform in a range of jazz settings.
In 2003, Paul gained a Masters Degree in music from Middlesex University,and whilst there, undertook some lecturing at undergraduate level on the compositional techniques of Charles Mingus.
Paul joined Horn Factory in 2011.
Trombone: Andy Shipp
Andy originates from the Fens where he started playing trombone at the age of 12 under the guidance of Lyndsay Shilling, After gaining a thorough grounding in brass bands, Andy moved into the world of big bands and orchestras, regularly being seen playing for local shows. Moving to Suffolk in the late eighties, Andy has played with various bands and can regularly be seen depping across the county and beyond. As well as playing with Horn Factory, he is currently lead trombone with Essential Sounds Big Band, a member of Six Appeal (a 6 piece), and bass trombone with Ipswich & Norwich Coop Brass Band. Read a full interview with Andy here.
Trombone: Steve Ball
Steve started playing the trombone at the age of eleven; like many long-term relationships it started by chance, it was the only instrument left in the music department. Despite being taught initially by a school brass teacher who knew little about the trombone Steve made progress, passed some Associated Board Grades, and played in the school dance band and orchestra. In his late teens Steve had lessons with Eric Crees, a trombone player in the London Symphony Orchestra, which made a huge difference.
After moving to Suffolk in 1988 Steve spent many years playing in the Ipswich Orchestral Society symphony orchestra, until 2011 when he decided to jump ship and join the Horn Factory instead, a decision he is very glad to have made as the music is great and the other band members not bad either.
Steve’s other interests include walking, gardening, sailing, photography, and family life. In his spare time he is a GP.
Bass Trombone: David Turnage
Dave started his musical journey on the recorder at a very young age. After failing to make headway on the piano, he was given the trombone that his grandfather had used in his army banding career. Dave still has the trombone although he hasn’t used it since the 1970s! His first trombone solo, Asleep in the Deep, was with his primary school orchestra aged 10 or 11.
After joining a brass band in his early teens, to develop playing stamina and sight reading, he was given a bass trombone and a short while later aged about 14, he recorded a bass trombone solo with the band for Radio Medway. He subsequently played and toured with various youth orchestras, brass ensembles and wind bands in Bexley, Bromley and Essex until leaving the area to study Engineering at Bristol University. On his return from university he started a career in radar system design which provided many travel opportunities and some spare time to continue with trombone playing in Essex and Suffolk based brass bands, big bands and orchestras.
30 years later, Dave now has left his professional engineering career behind, to focus on classic car restoration, worldwide travel with his wife Jane and, of course, bass trombone playing in various local ensembles. He first deputised with Horn Factory in 2017 and was very pleased to be able to take up a full position with Horn Factory in summer 2018.
Piano: Keith Monk
Keith Monk has a wealth of musical experience gained both as an accomplished soloist working all over the world, as a band leader, or as musical director accompanying some of Britain’s most famous singing stars. From classical to rock, from ‘pop’ to jazz, Keith’s talents have been in constant demand for perhaps more years than he would care to remember!.
During the ‘swinging 60’s’ and 70’s, Keith could be regularly seen on the U.K. stage and TV accompanying such household names as Frankie Vaughan, Roy Castle, The Platters, Gene Pitney, Joe Longthorne, Peter’s & Lee. The Krankies, not forgetting the Wurzels on the “Combine Harvester” LP which went to number 1 in the album charts!! He was personal musical director for the 5 Dallas Boys and Craig Douglas. Pianist/Organist with the Eric Delaney Band for 2 years.
Keith has recently returned to the UK from Spain, where he has been living and working for the last 10 years.
Guitar: Tamas Farkas
Tamas started playing the guitar in 1982 and went on to study at the Jazz Conservatoire in Budapest where he graduated in 1992. Since then he has been playing and teaching professionally, in recent years in Ipswich Suffolk. In addition to Horn Factory he plays with Morphology, Weird Rare Animal, Jazz Bazaar, Parker Project, The Interceptors and Red Cadillac trio. His main influences are Charlie Parker, George Benson and Wes Montgomery.
Bass: Mike Tatt
In primary school Mike played the obligatory recorder, and then in his first year at secondary school took up the euphonium. In his second year, Mike transitioned to bass trombone and tuba under brass teacher Maurice Gee, joining the LB Hillingdon Schools Symphony Orchestra and LBH Schools Big Band.
In that same year, the school choir performed that Swingle Singers version of Bach’s Air on a G String, and a volunteer was asked for to learn the double bass part to accompany it. Mike volunteered. The performance was a disaster, but spurred him on to get some string bass lessons.
By age 15yrs, Mike had played his first semi pro gigs on both bass trombone and bass guitar. By age 16yrs he had played bass trombone/ tuba in the West End and shook hands with Frank Rosolino (clang!).
Mike went on to study music at The Colchester Institute, where he co- founded the Colchester Institute Jazz Orchestra and the Colchester Climbing Club. Mike then went on to teach brass in the Lake District, where he founded the Cumbria Youth Jazz Orchestra, designing and running a residential combined Jazz and outdoor activities course. He then moved south and taught brass and directed the Buckinghamshire County Youth Jazz Orchestra. Mike now teaches brass in Suffolk, and continues to perform on lower brass and string basses.
Drums: Bob Airzee
Bob depped on drums for some time before joining Horn Factory full time on percussion. Having spent a number of years as Musical Director of the band he has now returned to playing the drums.
He is a peripatetic drum teacher in Suffolk and Essex, though before that was in the army for 24 years reaching the rank of Band Sergeant Major in the 1st Bn Royal Anglian Regiment. Bob’s passion is Jazz and Swing. He is also the drummer and musical director of Swing Machine: an 18 piece swing band based in Ipswich.