Meet the band
The Neil Maya Quartet has become regular feature at Teignmouth Jazz and Blues Festival. This year we were all very excited about his new project, 1959 The Golden Year of Jazz and we weren’t disappointed!
The band played to a packed room, all of whom were engrossed in the music and Neil’s chatty explanations ahead of each number.
The musicianship and enthusiasm of Neil’s band is as good as you will hear anywhere. If you get the chance to see this great band in action, be sure not to miss it, you won’t be disappointed.”
Sarah & Neil Whitmore, Teignmouth Jazz & Blues Club, Nov 2018
Woolacombe was pleased to welcome you to our village hall for your 1959 performance on 25th Jan.
To my knowledge this was the first “modern Jazz” night held in Woolacombe. As a Beaford promoter I know how difficult it can be to attract sufficient audience numbers to create a good atmosphere and send folk home with happy memories of “a great night out”. You certainly achieved that , musicianship was spell binding and many compliments have been received all enthusing about their experience.
Peter Little, Beaford Arts, Feb 19
"Neil's passion is 1950's jazz and his quartet do it so well. The passion comes through in the performance and the audience feel it too, loving every minute right through to the final encore."
David Walden Fougou Jazz, Torbay Feb 2019
"Exceeded anything we could have hoped for. A superb evening of jazz. Anyone who loves jazz should go and see this."
Calstock Arts April 2019
"Neil Maya once again turns his impeccable talent to reinterpreting the music of 1959"
Ian Roberts Teignmouth Jazz Nov 2018
The Neil Maya Quartet launched this project in November 2018 at the Teignmouth Jazz Festival with Neil on saxes, Gav Martin on keys, Kev Sanders on double bass and Preston Prince on drums.
1959 is often considered an extremely influential year in the development of modern jazz with a number of new sub genres within jazz coming to the fore in this year. 1959 spawned some of jazz’s finest albums of all times including of course Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue and Dave Brubeck’s Time Out.
The concept of creating a performance focusing on the music of this seminal year has been developing for Neil over the last couple of years. This is due in part due to his interest in the music of Dave Brubeck due to the band’s very successful Brubeck Project. Neil also has come to realise he has a real affinity with the ‘50s approach to jazz of which 1959 seems, to Neil, to reach a high point. As a jazz educator Neil is also interested in the different approaches to improvisation that the new compositions in 1959 introduced.
The project is now in its second year with a number of shows already planned or in the pipeline
To see all the Neil Maya Quartet's gigs including for the 1959 project check out the band's gig diary
*Sometimes due to busy jazz musicians' diary limitations other excellent musicians step in instead
Band leader Neil has been playing professionally for over 25 years working with the quartet and other bands throughout the southwest playing jazz, jazz funk, soul, motown, latin jazz and african Jazz with some of the region's finest.
Kevin has been a proffesional bassist for over 30 years and has gigged and recorded with many of the best musicians and soloist around including Alan Barnes, Art Themen, Clare Teal and Tina May. As well as numerous BBC radio and TV sessions he's played well over 4000 live performances.
Gav Martin, born to a musical family of choristers, joined the Royal Marines Band Service in 1980 age 16 travelling the world for 27 years until 2009. Among other projects Gav now has a thriving career as one of the Southwest’s go to jazz pianists. As well as playing on Neil’s projects Gav has also worked with saxophonist Martin Dale and also many jazz greats such as Jim Mullen, Derek Nash, Alan Barnes & Mark Nightingale
Originally from New Zealand, now resides in the southwest, having lived in London for 5 years, playing with James Hunter, Bap Kennedy and Paul Pace, and then Brighton playing with Doctor Feelgood among others, also playing for tours and also on Cruise Ships. Preston ran a music school and also BIMM further and higher education. Preston now works with some of the leading jazz musicians in Devon.