The 10-15 piece Carlton Big Band was formed in 2001 by Elaine Davies who is the band’s musical director and is also lead tenor saxophone /vocalist in the band. All the musicians in the band are high quality, ‘the cream of the south west,’ and many of them are bandleaders themselves.
The front line of musicians is made up of four saxophones with lead alto legend, Terry Sloggett, Louise Bagley (alto sax) and Steve Bagley(baritone sax), Elaine Davies (lead tenor sax/vocals), and Andy Dore and Lez Shepherd on trombones.
The trumpet section is made up of 3/4 trumpets including lead trumpet Callam Dowd/Steve Williams, Ian Sothcott, Bob Cast, and the addition of Mike Cox when we have the larger band.
The rhythm section is made up of Tony Littlewood on keyboard, Bob Marks/Mike Issac on bass and Jim Newton on drums, making sure the band swings like mad, and enabling the band to be able to play various different styles. Also Tony on keyboard has a good steel drum effect for Tequila!
The Carlton Big Band play regularly at The Duke of Cornwall, Plymouth, 12-30 to 2-30pm (lunchtimes) on the last Sunday in the month in the winter months, and have played at various hotels and venues in the South West, including, The Pavilions, Plymouth, The Two Bridges Hotel Dartmoor, Saltram House, Tregenna Castle, St Ives, Bovey Castle, Okehampton, and wedding receptions and private functions are just as important in village halls as in castles or marquees.
Elaine is originally from The West Midlands where she got the bug for jazz from her teacher, Mike Burney, and enjoyed playing in MYJO led by Mike Beaumont, recording with Kenny Baker, and appearing on TV’s ‘Opportunity Knocks,’ the forerunner to Britain’s got Talent!
Instead of joining the Ivy Benson Band (for which she had passed the audition) she came to Plymouth, as she had accepted a head of music teaching job, but she joined the Algy Davies Sextet and played with many great musicians including Don Rendall and Dick Pearce.
Elaine has taught many young musicians and directed various youth bands, including, the Tamar Youth Jazz Orchestra, Plymouth College Swing Band, and Plymouth Youth Big Band.
A multi-instrumentalist she enjoys playing saxophone, flute, clarinet and sings jazz and opera and is also a talented artist and teacher.
She has always loved jazz, art and the sea, and living in the West Country keeps her happy and inspired. Elaine gigs as a soloist, or in her duo, trio, quartet, quintet, Carlton Swing Band, and Carlton Big Band, which keeps her busy a lot of the time, and she has been able to raise large amounts for charity, through band work over the years too.
(Andy Young Vocals)