The Neil Maya Quartet was set up by Neil Maya and Tom Unwin in 2001, and since then the quartet has been delighting audiences with top level modern and contemporary jazz at many of the main jazz venues in the Southwest and beyond.
The quartet is led by Neil Maya on saxes. As a teenager Neil trained as a clarinettist at the Royal College of Music. He took up the sax when he was fifteen and got the jazz bug soon after. He has since studied jazz sax with a number of eminent players including Jean Toussaint and Richard Ingham. Neil moved to Devon in 2001. As well as playing with the quartet and taking freelance work, Neil now plays in a number of function bands. He also teaches instrumental music, runs a big band, and runs jazz workshops.
Tom Unwin is a highly accomplished pianist, composer and bandleader who is much sought after in the Southwest, where he has based himself since the early 90's. He has played with players such as Mark Nightingale, Scott Stroman, Jacqueline Dankworth and Pee Wee Ellis. Tom has also become heavily involved in composing over the last few years, including works for TV and film.
Kevin Sanders has been a professional bassist for over twenty years. In that time he has worked and recorded with some of the best musicians and soloists around from the finest of the British jazz scene. He has worked with the likes of singer Clare Teal and legendary saxophonist Pete King, and has recorded with musicians as diverse as the Levellers and multi award winning Korean pianist Ingrid Wu, as well as numerous BBC radio and television sessions. He is a veteran of over 4000 live performances.
Drummer Nick Carter graduated from Leeds College of Music in 1995 and then went on the road as a professional musician before permanently settling in Cornwall in 2001. Nick has since played with many different jazz outfits in the Southwest, including the Milverton/Dale Quartet, Louise Parker and the Neil Maya Quartet, and also two superb function bands. He has also played with notable international names such as The Osmonds, TM Stevens, Marco Mendoza, Jeff Berlin and Doug Wimbish as well as UK players including Alan Barnes, Lee Gibson and Derek Nash.
The Drat Pack
Ladies & Gentlemen we proudly present the coolest band in the land. Performing many of the greatest swing numbers of all time. If you want that classic swing thing made famous by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin & Sammy Davis Jnr., as well as several of the modern swing greats such as Robbie Williams, Michael Buble & Jamie Cullum, then The Drat Pack is the one for you. This is the band to make your feet tap and your hips sway!
Lush Life Dinner Jazz Duo, Trio and Quartet
Lush Life is perfect as background music through meals and fordrinks receptions, but can also play a more prominent roll if required. This saxophone led group play a sophisticated selection of jazz and swing standards made famous by jazz greats such as Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and the Dave Brubeck Quartet, and they also play many songs from the great song writers of the ‘30s to ’50s.
Solar Funky Music
Solar Funky Muisc is the hottest, most danceable and funky band in the South West, bringing together six of the region’s most able, experienced and versatile musicians who have been together for over five years. With a repertoire that ranges from seventies soul funk classics by artists such as James Brown, Stevie Wonder, The Jackson Five and Chic, to modern-day grooves by Amy Winehouse, Bruno Mars and Pharrell Williams, this is a band dedicated to dancing. In addition, this experienced band can provide chilled out grooves to relax your revellers before working them up into a frenzy of hot funk.
Below are some other bands that Neil Maya and various members of the Quartet are involved with....