Swing 39

Members

Gary Leport

Lead Guitar

Gary has played the guitar from the age of 15.

First recording for the legendary Joe Meek, later forming the Five Dimensions with Rod Stewart. The group went on to play for Chuck Berry and other major American Blues artistes.

Over the last twelve years Gary has turned to jazz. He performed in Chicago for the Bix Beiderbeck Festival and has also performed at London's famous 100 Club.

Gary remains enthusiastically committed to the music of Django Reinhardt and the Hot Club of France.

Simon Newton

Rhythm Guitar (Summer 2005 →)

Simon's early guitar playing was influenced by 60's super groups Cream, The Moody Blues and Colosseum. Since his teens he has regularly played and recorded with rock, blues and soul bands such as Crossfire, Funhouse, Blu Funk and Fair Warning.

After hearing Django Reinhardt on an old LP, Simon became interested in jazz guitar. He attended the Keech School of Music in Hull where he was mentored by revered jazz guitarists John Ethridge and Adrian Ingram. Soon after, Simon discovered Southern Jazz Guitar Society in his hometown, Romsey, and has participated in concerts, taught and organised jazz workshops. He also joined the IBM Big Band.

In 1999 Simon studied jazz full time at Chichester College and fell under the influence and breathtaking style of Tuck Andres (guitarist, USA jazz duo Tuck and Patti). He also formed a duo with singer Camilla Nowell and recorded a CD of jazz standards. Following this he made a CD "Painting Tunes" with Brazilian singer Tereza Rachel, demonstrating his finger style jazz accompaniment and melodic soloing skills.

Simon is a freelance guitar and vocal harmony teacher, and performs solo gigs as a guitarist/vocalist. He enjoys arranging jazz guitar solos and composing classical music.

Gillian Tolliday

Violin

Violin teacher by day, jazzer by night Gillian graduated in music at Southampton University and obtained violin diplomas at Trinity College London. As a classical violinist she has led the Grainger String Quartet for the last six years. As a freelance viola player she performs with Quartetto Concertante and The Stromenti String Quartet (led by Jack Maguire co-leader of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra).

Her interest in playing without 'dots' began in the early 90s with the formation of "Corks Crew" an Irish band also "Treadmill" playing American, Scottish and English Dance music.

In the mid-90s the wild harmonies and cool charm of jazz drew her. She joined the Colin Collins Quintet and played at regular venues in Portsmouth.

The move to Django gypsy and swing jazz has come in more recently after meeting the blindingly fast and intricate sounds of Gary Leport.

Gill often guests for the Woodsiders Barn Dance & Ceilidh Band.

Nick Dyer

Double Bass (Spring 2004 →)

Nick has played the double bass since the age of seven. He grew up playing for local orchestras ending up as principal bass in the Southampton Youth Orchestra. He took up jazz at university, playing for many bands including the Cambridge University Jazz Orchestra.

Since leaving university and returning to Hampshire, he has become involved in several musical projects, including an a capella quintet called Live Noise, a three piece indie covers band called Ten Hairy Penguins and Swing 39 of course.

He still plays classical bass, mainly with the City of Southampton Orchestra. He is also a member of a choir of ex-members of Peterhouse Chapel Choir called Voces Petrensium.

Keith Kensley

Rhythm Guitar (until Summer 2005)

Rock-steady rhythm guitarist Keith Kensley started playing guitar at an early age. In his teens, in addition to playing in rock and pop bans, he discovered the music of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grapelli, together with a wide spectrum of other music, from Bossa Nova through to heavy rock. He was a full time professional musician in the early 70s with respected and versatile London Band "Moonlight", but retired early from the music business following several tours of Germany and the UK.

He rediscovered jazz guitar in the 90s and worked hard on the Django style to become rhythm guitarist with Swing 39.

Keith left the band in Summer 2005.

Ray Hincks

Double Bass (until 2004)

Ray started playing the guitar aged 13, and then played in dance bands until taking up the trombone aged 16. He joined the RAF at 18, playing the trombone in bands until demob, then playing in bands around the Midlands.

Ray also played in pit orchestras for pantomimes and Billy Smart's Circus and for Gilbert and Sullivan's light operas and modern musicals. After the demise of the big bands Ray took up playing the double bass and later the bass guitar.

Ray left the band in Spring 2004.