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Ian BatemanIn January this year (2017) Ian celebrated 41 years as a professional musician. 2003 became a turning point in Ian's career when he joined Acker Bilk and his Paramount Jazz Band. This combined with the meteoric rise in popularity of the Back To Basie Orchestra, with whom Ian is the featured jazz soloist, has put Ian at the forefront of British jazz.

These days, Ian is making headway with some bands of his own. The Bone Supremacy, Frank & JJ Tribute, Bateman Brothers and Kick Ass Brass are all progressing well.

Back in January 1977 Ian made his stage debut at his local theatre in Swindon, England (where he still lives) when he joined the National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Great Britain (NYJO). Ian went on to make numerous European tours with NYJO and played in nearly every theatre in the UK. It was NYJO's heyday during Ian's tenure - having performed in the 1977 Royal Command Performance for HRH the Queen Mother. This show was transmitted to the biggest worldwide live television audience ever at that time and no sooner had the curtains gone down, then NYJO were in massive demand and Ian was in there throughout.

During his time with NYJO, Ian played alongside current jazz stars such as Guy Barker, Jay Craig, Graham Ward, Dave Bishop, Chris Hunter and Jamie Talbot. He played with Phil Woods, Louis Bellson, Clark Terry, Slide Hampton and even Frankie Vaughan! NYJO played at many festivals around Europe and shared the stage many times with the great jazz stars such as Buddy Rich, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Lionel Hampton, Joe Pass, Mike Brecker and so many others.

In a national orchestra full of the country's most talented young jazz musicians, Ian shone through as a featured jazz soloist. This was thanks to his pre-NYJO years when he played improvised jazz with local jazz groups in the West of England. After 3 years with NYJO, Ian was invited to join the Pete Allen Jazz Band. Pete's Band was knocking on the doors of the UK's top traditional bands such as Kenny Ball, Chris Barber, Terry Lightfoot and Acker Bilk - all Ian's boyhood heroes! Ian spent 8 years with Pete Allen making a name for himself in the UK and Europe and making many TV and Radio appearances.

Ian then had a spell as a freelance jazz musician, when he turned to playing bebop and mainstream jazz. He performed with such notables as Al Grey, Art Themen, Don Weller, Gene Connors and Barbara Thompson amongst many others.

In 1992, he got the call from Rod Mason's Hot Five in Germany. Ian spent 2 years with Rod, playing classic hot jazz in the style of Louis Armstrong's famous group of the same name where he was called upon to emulate the great Kid Ory. Ian frequently makes trips to appear with Rod's Band in Europe.

Ian was always a great fan however of Trummy Young and after a brief spell with Pete Allen again, Ian was invited to join the Terry Lightfoot Jazz Band in 1995 where he was able to play in the Trummy style. At this time, Terry also engaged pianist Craig Milverton and Drummer Nick Millward from Pete's Band - now recognised along with Ian as a major part of the future of jazz in the Great Britain. All three are now great friends and often perform together. Craig now plays with Digby Fairweather's Half Dozen - with whom Ian spent a couple of years recently and Nick with Kenny Ball & his Jazzmen Andy Cooper's Euro Top 8 Band - another of Ian's regular bands.

Nick joined Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen in 1998 and three years later Ian was asked to join them for a 4 month period whilst Trombonist John Bennett took a sabbatical after over 40 years of constant touring! During his time with Kenny Ball, Ian established a couple of 'firsts' in his career. Not only did he perform at the Royal Festival Hall for the first time, but he also played in Berlin for the first time … then went there again 2 weeks later!!!

In October 2001 Ian was asked to be the featured soloist in a new Big Band called 'Back To Basie', a chair distinguished by the great Al Grey in the original Count Basie Orchestra. There is currently a very strong rise in the popularity of Big Bands in the UK and 'Back To Basie' are on the crest of this wave - assuring Ian of a very bright future in British Jazz.

In August 2003 Ian joined one of the top British Jazz Bands of all time, Acker Bilk and his Paramount Jazz Band. It doesn't get much better for a British jazz musician! This lasted up until Acker's retirement in June 2014.

Apart from his regular dates with The Bateman Brothers Jazz Band and Back To Basie, Ian can often seen and heard performing with The Pasadena Roof Orchestra, Sticky Wicket's Little Big Band, Andy Cooper's Euro Top 8 Band, Tony Jacobs and his Cream Crackers and Pete Long's Big Bands as well as his own Quartet. During one week in 2003, Ian set what must surely be a record - he performed in concert with 8 of the top bands!! During 2004, Ian added the Dutch Swing College Band to this illustrious list.

Recognition has also come from across the pond for Ian. He changed styles again and joined the Los Angeles based Leslie Paula Salsa band for a European tour in June 2004. They returned in December 2004 to play at the Pizza Express in London's Soho and some other major venues in the UK. In March 2005 new heights were reached when Leslie sold out Ronnie Scotts for a whole week, with Ian again called up. With all the talent available to them in Los Angeles - the heart of Latin Salsa, it was a great honour for Ian to be asked to play for them at Ronnie Scotts.

Ian is also well known in jazz circles as the man who does web sites! Through his jazz connections, he has designed most of the top UK jazz groups' and musicians' web sites.

Ian has performed professional engagements with the following (please excuse the sublime to the ridiculous !!)):

Clark Terry
Jamie Cullum
Acker Bilk
Nat Gonella
Jackie Dankworth
Leslie Paula
Rossano Sportiello
Kenny Ball
Terry Lightfoot
Humphrey Lyttelton
Chris Barber
Rod Mason
Dutch Swing College Band
Dan Barrett
Randy Sandke
Jake Hanna
George Masso
Roy Williams
Dave Green
Craig Milverton
Bob Monkhouse
Victoria Wood
Ken Peplowski
Digby Fairweather
Richard Shelton
Pete Allen
Enrico Tomasso
Jimmy Tarbuck
Butch Miles
Scott Robinson
Guy Barker
Alec Dankworth
Scott Hamilton
Alan Barnes
Bruce Adams
Andy Cooper
Pascal Michaux
Johnny Barnes
Mike Cotton
Allan Ganley
Chris Flory
Karen Sharp
Vic Damone
Tommy Burton
Beryl Bryden
Neville Dickie
Bucky Pizzarelli
Frankie Vaughn Bernie Clifton Tom O'Connor Jimmy Tarbuck
Duke Heitger Sir John Dankworth Tina May Jacqui Hicks
Tony Coe Paul Lacey Andy Dickens Mrs Mills (only joking...)
Antti Sarpilla Rosanno Sportiello Mark Shane Henning Gailing
Bryan Ferry Bobby Shew Pee Wee Ellis Fred Wesley