Jools Holland is arguably the most popular pianist and band leader in the UK. In 1987, Jools formed The Jools Holland Big Band comprising entirely of himself and Gilson Lavis. This has gradually metamorphosed into the current 18-piece Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, with Jools and Gilson still working together. They now play an average of 100 live shows a year, touring Britain and the world to audiences of 500,000.
As well as the formidable live performances, Jools has maintained a prolific recording career since signing to Warners and has released numerous albums since then. His double platinum album Small World, Big Band featured 22 guest artists, including Eric Clapton, Mica Paris, David Gilmour, Taj Mahal, and George Harrison. More Friends, is a similar collaboration between Jools, the Rhythm and Blues Orchestra and 22 more guests, including George Benson, Jeff Beck, Ray Davies, Dionne Warwick, Norah Jones, Robert Plant, Bryan Ferry, Chrissie Hynde, Tom Jones, Jimmy Cliff, and many others. Altogether, Jools has sold millions of albums across his varied career.
Jools’ career as a television presenter has run parallel to his musical career. He started in the early eighties when he interviewed the Police for a documentary made while recording at George Martin’s Montserrat studio. Soon after, Jools auditioned to become co-presenter with Paula Yates of The Tube, which was granted almost immediate cult status, discovering a whole new generation of musicians and comedians.
In two subsequent documentaries, Jools unearthed some of the roots of American music, which led him to talk to and play with many of his heroes, including Fats Domino, Dr. John, and Lee Dorsey. Other television programmes include: Name That Tune; Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush; Beatroute; Jools Meets The Saint; and, Jools’ History Of The Piano. He also conducted the interviews for the definitive Beatles Anthology, and the Rolling Stones Biography.
He has since made the 50th series of Later…with Jools Holland, a new series of his Radio 2 show, and charity engagements that included Comic Relief and the Tsunami Appeal at the Cardiff Millennium Stadium with Eric Clapton. Jools Holland Big Band is an outstanding live show for elite and prestigious corporate events.