Jay Rayner – Piano
Jay is an award-winning writer, journalist and broadcaster with a fine collection of floral shirts. He has written on everything from crime and politics, through cinema and theatre to the visual arts, but is best known as restaurant critic for the Observer. For a while he was a sex columnist for Cosmopolitan; he also once got himself completely waxed in the name of journalism. He only mentions this because it hurt. Jay is a former Young Journalist of the Year, Critic of the Year and Restaurant Critic of the Year, though not all in the same year. In the 2014 British Press Awards he was shortlisted for both Critic of the Year and Specialist Journalist of the Year. Somehow he has also found time to write four novels and three works of non-fiction. His latest book is A Greedy Man In A Hungry World: How (almost) everything you thought you knew about food is wrong. He chair’s BBC Radio 4’s The Kitchen Cabinet, and is a regular on British television, where he is familiar as a judge on Masterchef and, since 2009, as the resident food experts on The One Show. He likes pig.
Robert Rickenberg, Bass
A graduate of the Guildhall School of Music, Robert has been an established bassist for almost twenty-five years. He came to prominence with the Sheena Davis Group and the great American saxophonist Spike Robinson. With his “stalwart support & top-notch solos” (Allaboutjazz-US) Robert has played alongside numerous British & American jazz greats including Danny Gottlieb (Pat Metheny Group), Will Gaines & Mark Murphy. He has also played and recorded for a wide range of projects outside the jazz field including David Bedella (Jerry Springer-The Opera), pop divas Kylie & Dannii Minogue, Westlife, the Fun Lovin’ Criminals, opera singer Kim Criswell, comedians Punt & Dennis, composer Howard Blake (The Snowman), and is the bass tutor at Tring Park School and Brunel University.
Dave Lewis, Sax
An alumni of the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Dave Lewis has played and recorded with John Martyn, Lamont Dozier, Jim Mullen, Bryan Ferry, Joan Armatrading, Tommy Chase, John Mayall, Eric Clapton and the Blockheads. He now leads his own hard grooving ensemble, 1Up.
Pat Gordon-Smith, Voice
Singer with the Jay Rayner Quartet since its inception, Pat Gordon-Smith has trained with the likes of Liane Carroll and Clare Foster, and has performed everywhere from the Crazy Coqs, to King’s Place, and at numerous festivals from Cockermouth, to Bury St Edmunds.