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 & Percussion: Bob Airzee
Bob depped on drums for several years before joining Horn Factory on percussion and has recently taken over the role of Musical Director. 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.
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: Charlotte Beattie
Charlotte Beattie is a professional musician, enjoying working in many different areas from choral leadership, teaching, composing to performance. Charlotte began playing the saxophone at the age of 11 with the Suffolk County Music Service. She later went on to learn clarinet, flute and Harp and can regularly be found playing all over Essex and Suffolk. It was in 2004 when she joined SYJO that her passion for jazz was ignited; it was here that Charlotte was introduced to the Baritone saxophone. Not long after she began sitting in for horn factory on any saxophone she could and built up a love for the style and the band. Last year she joined permanently, playing the luscious sounds of the baritone sax.
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: Chris Neary
Chris Neary started playing brass instruments at the age of 8 on Euphonium in Trowbridge & District Youth Brass Band and began learning the Trombone as a second study soon after taking his grade 8 Euphonium.
During Secondary School Chris was a member of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain, National Children’s Wind Ensemble and has performed as a soloist at the Royal Festival Hall.
Having completed a PGCE with Specialist Instrumental Teaching following his undergraduate degree at the RNCM, he began work freelancing and teaching as a peripatetic music teacher but year later he was offered the opportunity of living and working in India at Pathways World School as a music teacher – the first ever instrumental brass teacher to be employed by the school. On his return from India, Chris moved to Ipswich to work for Suffolk County Music Service and has lived there ever since. When not teaching music he enjoys playing at every available opportunity – as a trombonist/singer with the function band Turntable, as a freelance trombone player around East Anglia, and, of course, tazzing out the juicy low notes on bass trombone in Horn Factory!
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.
Drumkit: Gerry Gillings
A native of Ipswich, Gerry started playing the side drum early in life in the Boy’s Brigade. His Father was a dance band drummer in the 30s and that interest led Gerry to an appreciation of the pre-war big bands, in particular, Benny Goodman with the legendary Gene Krupa on drums. When he left school he got his first drum kit and alongside training as an architect, played in a variety of local bands, as well as a top rank ballroom dance band. Upon his arrival in ‘Mid-Life’, he decided a change of direction was called for and took up teaching the drums and percussion full-time. He now shares this vocation with playing for Horn Factory, many other local bands, as well as being a regular in the theatre pits of Suffolk! He says that next time around he’s going to be a Piccolo player…