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I began my musical career like so many internationally renowned singers, as head chorister at my local church, a role I took very seriously - maybe too seriously (like most middle management!). My voice didn’t break until I was fourteen and a half, so I was able to broaden my secular horizons and break into the world of musical theatre playing Lionel Bart’s Oliver when I was just a lad 12, and the Mayor Munchkin a year later - some would say, the highlight of my career! Between then and now, I’ve also played grown-up characters like Lt. Cable (South Pacific), Curly (Oklahoma), Billy Bigelow (Carousel), The American (Chess), Frank (Merrily We Roll Along) and Frederic (Pirates of Penzance) to name just a few - we are talking over 25 years here, and I’ve been busy.
I've performed in mainstream theatres across the South Coast, and in London's prestigious Royal Albert Hall, The Savoy Theatre and The Royal Festival Hall, touring with Hinge & Bracket and The Best of Broadway.
I'm also a member of the close-harmony cabaret group First Night, who work extensively around my home county of Sussex but also travel to other counties if they’ll have us - we’ve made it to Wales for heavens sake! We were privileged to perform at celebrations honouring the late Sir Harry Secombe and also the acclaimed drama critic Jack Tinker. Corporate functions are our bag, but we’ll do weddings, funerals and Bar-mitzvahs if the money’s right.
I own a fully equipped Mac-based digital recording studio, Now Look Hear, that I use to produce and arrange work for my own projects as well as local (and sometimes, not so local) artists. I'm delighted to have the opportunity to use the facility to its full potential for the recording of Remember! Remember! - even if it has taken rather too long.
It is in my role as a composer that I find the most satisfaction. I have been writing and arranging music for 15 years, producing my own album Resolution and co-writing and producing many others. The musical The Promised Land co-written with Jasper and Robert in 1996 was a landmark for me, as it was the first live performance of my work. However, I've since enjoyed this pleasure regularly, not least in having my song Forever performed in front of 5000 people and sung by a cast of over 200 in the Brighton Cares 2000 charity concert.
I’m married to the very lovely Dr Katie and have two wonderful and exuberant little boys, who between them keep me smiling and on my toes.
A few examples:
1 Forever: The winning song from a contest of local writers. Not many entered, but the standard was high!
2 Morning People: A nothing sort of song, with trashy lyrics - but catchy and fun.
3 At The Zoo: Part of a project to set music to the words of A.A.Milne’s poems When We Were Very Young.
4 Community@Brighton: A short commission for The University of Brighton’s online social network - yes, that’s me singing!
5 I Balli del Piccione: Haydn-esque string quartet... Well, a string quartet anyway, trying to sound a bit like Haydn – or Mozart – but not Piatt.
6 An American Trilogy: You may recognise this as an Elvis Presley number. But as it was made famous when I was only 2, I can hardly pass it off as my own.
7 Music of The Night: My party piece. I’ve been singing it at gigs for about as long as Michael Crawford has, but it does go down well.
8 Ol Man River: Another favourite, not least because it shows off my range. I still get tingles when I sing the last bit.
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Jasper Kent - Robert Starr