Band Members

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 Ian Davies

Leader / Bass Trombone

Ian started playing with brass bands at the age of 8. By his mid teens he had also started playing saxophone and had taught himself the trombone. He joined the Cornwall Youth Orchestra and was a founder member of Cornwall Youth Jazz Orchestra.

During his college years at Plymouth and Oxford he played with The Bodmin Band and Halls of Oxford Concert Brass.Since returning to Cornwall he has taught brass and sax and held positions with the John Austin Big Band, The Duchy Opera Orchestra, The Three Spires Orchestra and Cornish SaxPak.

Ian founded and conducted The Fascinating Rhythm Dance Orchestra for 13 years. He founded, directed and played the tuba with The Roaring 20’s. Ian directs big bands because he likes spending large amounts of money and has learnt to count to 4 from memory.


Pete Burton

Male Vocalist

Pete sang and played trumpet in the school jazz band in Penzance. He then sang and played Ukulele in the tweenstream weavers duo in the Penzance area in the 1980’s and in the Southside Stummers in Bristol in the 1990’s.

Over the past 15 years he has been the featured vocalist with The Fascinating Rhythm Dance Orchestra and the Roaring 20’s. He is also currently singing with Starlight, a locally based small band. 


Gerri Waite

Female Vocalist

Gerry started singing at the age of 13 with the local choral  society in Bude. She moved through local variety shows and eventually took up singing professionally. She fronted the 5 piece function band ‘Up 4 Grabs’ for a total of 12 years and has been doing this alongside her solo act since 1996.

Gerriadd not replace

Sarah Wearne-McDonough

Lead Alto Sax

Sarah started playing flute and the age of 11 and took up sax at the age of 15. She played with Helston School Jazz Orchestra, Cornwall Youth Jazz Orchestra and the Cornwall Youth Orchestra.

Sarah studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and went on to establish a career as a professional musician in the capital during which she played for many West End musicals and theatrical engagements.

Sarah toured the world with the sax quartet, The Jazzabelles.

On returning to Cornwall, Sarah has continued with her career as a freelance musician and teacher.


David White

2nd Alto Sax / Lead Clarinet

David White studied at the Royal Academy of Music with John Davis on clarinet and Sir John Dankworth on saxophone. He won the Geoffrey Hawkes Prize for clarinet, adjudicated by Jack Brymer and now returns to the Academy as an occasional examiner and adjudicator.

 As a soloist he has given first performances of several new works and has appeared as a featured soloist on albums by John Barry and Carl Davis.  

 He continues to perform with major symphony orchestras and is a member of the London Musicians Orchestra and saxophone group Saxpak, in which he plays the sopranino saxophone. They perform regularly both in Britain and abroad and have recently recorded a third C.D.

 David now lives in Cornwall and takes an active part in local music making. He is a founder member and artistic director of the Cornish Sinfonia and is proud to be principal clarinet in the Three Spires Orchestra.

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Carol Gasser

1st Tenor Sax

Carol started playing the clarinet and saxophone at the age of 15. By her late teens she had started playing professionally with the Ivy Benson all girl band. She performed with this band between 1966 and 1971 on both tenor and lead alto. Carol moved to Plymouth and started playing jazz around the clubs, eventually joining the Rod Mason Band. Since moving to Cornwall, Carol has worked as a freelance musician and has played with the John Austin Big Band, The Fascinating Rhythm Dance Orchestra, The Roaring 20’s and the Cornish SaxPak.


Laura Oliver

2nd Tenor Sax

Laura started off as a member of the award winning Helston School Jazz Orchestra. She then became the leader of the Cornwall Youth Wind Orchestra and played tenor sax in the Cornwall Youth Jazz Orchestra. Laura attended the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, has been a member of the Keith Tippetts student band and college big band.

After finishing her degree, Laura started teaching clarinet, saxophone and piano privately. She is now a coach for the Cornwall Youth Wind Orchestra. She also plays for several pit bands in local shows. She is simultaneously a member of St. Mary’s Sinfonia, Porthleven Philharmonic, Cornish All Stars Big Band and the Cornish SaxPak.

Laura has also played with the John Austin band and sung in the vocal quartet and has played as a guest soloist for many local choirs.


James Neale

Baritone Sax

James has worked in various music settings, ranging from small group saxophone quartets / septets, to musical pit work and Big Bands.

James has been a member of the Roaring 20’s and Cornish SaxPak.

James Neale

Ian Williams

Lead Trumpet

Ian started playing with Porthleven Town Band on cornet and soprano. He then moved on to trumpet, holding the lead trumpet seats with Helston School Jazz Orchestra and Cornwall Youth Jazz Orchestra.

Whilst studying at Salford University he held the lead trumpet seats with the Salford University Big Band and the Wigan Youth Big Band.

In recent years he has also held the lead trumpet seats for The John Austin Big Band, The Fascinating Rhythm Dance Orchestra and the Roaring 20’s.

Ian has also worked on cruise liners as a professional trumpet player.


Robin Pengilley

Second Trumpet

Robin is a freelance trumpet player based in the South West of the uk. Beginning his professional career in 2004, Robin works regularly in the south west and beyond as a session musician, jazz performer and lead trumpet. Graduating in 2010 from the University of Plymouthwith a degree in contemporary world jazz, Robin has studied trumpet with Noel Langley and Steve Waterman.

 Robin has worked or performed with the following:

 Newbury Jazz All-Stars, Barison’s Glen Miller Story, Soul Express Blues Brothers, Nighthawks big band, Tim Sutton, Stan Sulzman, Noel Langley, Carlton Big Band, RNP Jazz Orchestra, Eden Project, Pete Ibbetson, Gloweth Trio, EG Riely’s Rocking Soul, Troubador Studios, Big Milk Productions, Viv Rodd, Pete Kubrick Townsend, Three Spires Orchestra, NED Choral Society and more.


John Austin

Third Trumpet

John Austin is world famous in Cornwall

He has been the mainstay of the Cornish Jazz scene for many decades, running his own bands of various sizes and being instrumental in the founding of the Cornwall Youth Jazz Orchestra.

Prior to this, he played with:- The Royal Artillery Band (Woolwhich), The Pressed Steel Band, The Morris Motors Band, Various engagements in Mecca Ballrooms, Broadcasts of ‘Music while you work’ and also done some freelance work in London.

He was also a brass teacher with Cornwall LEA for many years and steered the Helston School Jazz Orchestra to resounding success.


Jane Marks

4th Trumpet

Jane started playing cornet with the Hayle and St. Erth Brass Band. She then moved onto trumpet and was taught by John Austin at Helston School and went on to play in his big band. She has played with The Cornwall Youth Brass Ensemble, Cornwall Youth Jazz Orchestra, The Cornwall Youth Brass Band and the Bob Peters Family Band.

After a break in playing she is now studying on the Jazz course at Truro College.

More recently she has been part of the trumpet section of the Fascinating rhythm Dance Orchestra.

She also currently plays with a number of bands including, Stable Minds, Heart and Soul, The Jazz Degree Big Band and Jazz by Degrees.


Eddie Gasser

Lead Trombone

Eddie joined the Royal Marine Band at 15 and played all over the world until he retired about 10 years ago. Since then he has been freelancing on Trombone around the South West. Eddie held the position of lead Trombone with the Fascinating Rhythm Dance Orchestra for most of its 15 year life span.

Eddie also regularly appears on lead Trombone with the John Austin Big Band.


Mike Savill

2nd Trombone            

Mike Saville began playing the trombone at the age of twelve. In 1991 he went to the Royal College of Music where he studied with, amongst others,  Peter Bassano, Arthur Wilson, Denis Wick, John Iveson, Tony Parsons and Sue Addison, graduating in 1995 with first class honours in his final recital.

Since leaving the RCM he has pursued a varied playing career performing professionally with the likes of the Gabrieli Consort, London Philharmonic, Glen Miller Orchestra, John Wilson Orchestra and many other orchestras, shows, big bands, recordings and tours in the West End, London and across the UK.

Mike recently left IBM where he had worked for the previous 10 years and now combines a busy playing, teaching and writing schedule with a position designing global IT outsourcing infrastructures for T-Systems.



Gareth Cotrell

3rd Trombone

Gareth is a very versatile musician playing trombone, euphonium, alto trombone, bass trombone and church organ.

Gareth started on cornet and held positions with Falmouth Town Band and St. Stithians Band. He then played trombone and BBb bass for Cambourne Town Band. He also played trumpet with the Skyliners Big Band. From 2004 to 2006 he was musical director of Pendennis Brass.

More recently Gareth has held the position of solo trombone with Lanner and District Silver Band.

Gareth was the member of the trombone section with the Fascinating Rhythm Dance Orchestra. Gareth is available for freelance trombone work and for conducting and band training duties. 


John James


John has played with various duos, trios and Big Bands locally and nationally. He has been based in Cornwall for many years. John also undertakes solo piano work, sometimes including vocals.

John has worked extensively all around the world on cruise ships.

John James

Sian Kelly

Bass guitar

Sian started out with Helston School Jazz Orchestra. She studied double bass at Cardiff university and The Royal Welsh Collage of Music and Drama. Since returning to Cornwall she has been involved with many local bands, including extensive work in pit bands for musical theatre. Sian currently co-fronts the covers band ‘Elementary Penguin’, which is available for booking at very reasonable rates.


Jamie Crowle


Jamie started playing guitar at the age of 13. He studied popular music at Truro College and went on to study on the Truro College Jazz Degree with Viv Rodd and Alan Thompson (Guitar Tutor). He has recently completed his PGCE and is now teaching guitar.

He gigs with a number of different types of bands including Jazz, Funk, Blues and Soul.


Robbie Brokenshire

Drum Kit

Robbie started playing with the Cornwall Youth Jazz Orchestra and The Helston School Jazz Orchestra. He attended Middlesex University and worked for 4 years in show bands on cruise ships travelling all over the world. He currently plays with various local bands and is often to be heard playing at the Falmouth Jazz nights. 


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