Ben Donnelly – Saxophones / Composer
Ben is a British/Irish musician, playing saxophones, bassoon, clarinet and piano. Based in
London, he has performed all over the UK, Europe and even in the Middle East. Having graduated from the University of Surrey’s Tonmeister Course in Music and Sound Recording, Ben has a background in the professional audio industry, as well as qualified teacher status and 3 years classroom teaching experience teaching music and maths to pupils aged 11 to adult.
Awarded the MCPS Joyce Dixey prize for composition while a student at the University of Surrey, Ben has continued working as a composer, writing for a variety of ensembles including Wind Quintet, Latin Church Choir and of course Big Band. Two examples of his Big Band output can be heard on LJC’s 2007 Album ”Dark Humour”, while he made his contribution “Boss” to the One Minute Wonders project the previous year, published by Cadenza Music and recorded by classical pianist Clive Williamson. Ben continues to write for Big Band prolifically and his compositions are often performed across London by the Hot Orange Big Band. Ben’s biggest project so far has been Joe Francis‘s 2011 album Where Do I Go From Here on which Ben was Arranger and Musical Director.
Graduating from the University of Nottingham, Penny originally trained as a classical soprano, but has found no difficulty in the transition from Handel and Schubert to the vibrant worlds of pop, jazz, funk and soul.
While born and raised in Hertfordshire she is no stranger to the London scene thanks to work with her former band the trip-hop outfit Nano.
Thomas Dortel - Drums
He currently plays drums (covers and originals) and just joined “Platonic Curry”1997 – “Frogscream” – Rock covers – Evreux. Played at the Rouen Music Festival in June 1997 2004/05 – “Frogspoon” – Pop covers – Paris. Co-founded with friends and colleagues. Live performance and studio recording (on Roland TD6) 2006 – “Apples, Oranges and Lager” – Rock covers. Live performance in Hammersmith 2007 – “Drafft” – Rock covers – London 2008 – Damian Bell – Original Pop – London. Played for the release Damian Bell studio album 2009/10 – Founded and managed “HotIgloo” – London. Live performances in Wimbledon and Kilburn. 2010 – “Life and Death/David Halpern” – Original Pop – London. Live at the East Village 2011 – “Platonic Curry” with Ben Donnelly
As well as our regular members, we call on the services of the following fine musicians:
Steve Pigott – Guitar
Manolo Polidario – Guitar
Jamie Leeming – Guitar
Daniel Dibdin – Keys
Dave Clement-Smith – Keys
Simon Heeley - Keys
Cai Marle-Garcia – Bass
Geoff Threadgold – Bass
Simon Paton – Bass
Charlie Pyne – Bass
Vince Dunn – Drums