Ash Denver - Vocals
Ash was born in Birmingham to a musical family and much to his parents disappointment, showed no interest in music despite receiving various instruments every Christmas. He discovered his love of singing and performance while studying drama at university in Leicester, being involved in theatre productions where the arts are well supported, gave him the encouragement to take this path as a career. Under the guidance of Alan Greenwood, Ash took his first job in a show team at a holiday park in Devon and has since gone on to develop his own cabaret, performing songs from 50's to present day at holiday parks, hotels and venues around the UK. Last summer he had a very enjoyable season with Thomsons performing to guests at their hotels in Europe and on returning home appeared at a show case where he was spotted by Lee Beards who asked him to audition for this exciting new show. Ash is delighted to be a part of the team and to have the opportunity to perform along side such talented musicians.
Lucy Harvey -Vocals
Lucy is no stranger to the entertainments industry. Having been a successful solo cabaret artist since 2009, she started her training at 18 working as a holiday park entertainer moving on to become an entertainments manager with a prestigious UK holiday company. She has spent several years working abroad in bands and show teams as a lead vocalist. Her studies reflect her passion for the arts and music, having completed a course in Musical Theatre at Bristol Academy of Performing Arts, and a degree at Dartington College of Arts gaining a 2:1 in Performance/Writing BA (hons).
Lucy has been playing the saxophone since the age of 11 and passed her grade 8 Trinity Guildhall Jazz saxophone exam with distinction. She is a keen improviser and good at sight reading, and regularly deps for a few local bands.
Lucy’s cabaret brings something extra special to the stage. With a mixture of soulful sax and vivacious vocals, Lucy is guaranteed to leave them wanting more.
John Harper (Rhythm Guitar)
John's first group, Blue Pity, only ever staged two 'gigs' - one in 1968 and the other in 1969! (obviously a very serious band!!). However, since then he has performed innumerable shows all over the country and abroad, playing rhythm or bass guitar in several groups including Blue Eclipse (1970s) (we think Blue is John's favourite colour), Split Decision (1980s and 1990s) and The very successful Bootleg Shadows (2000s). John has shared the stage with such pop luminaries as The Fortunes, Tony Christie, The Searchers, The Ivy League, Mungo Jerry, Wayne Fontana, The Rockin' Berries, Freddie and The Dreamers to name but a few. He has also supported some comedy greats in his musical career - Bobby Davro, Stan Boardman, George Roper, Billy Pearce and Jim Bowen.
John has enjoyed a parallel career in journalism - interviewing the like of Ken Dodd, Helen Shapiro, Bill Haley's Comets, Edwin Starr, Larry Grayson and Sir Richard Attenborough - as well as acting in a number of theatrical plays and musicals including 'Oh What a Lovely War' (1977), 'Godspell' (1981), 'Sailor Beware' (1983), 'Trinity Tales' (1985) and 'Move Over Mrs Markham' (1985).
You could say John has pretty much done it all!
Robert Schmuck (Keyboards)
Robert began learning flute and guitar from a young age before moving on to piano at 12 years old. By 13 he played his first professional gig in his hometown of Scarborough, North Yorkshire and has been a dynamic part of the local music scene ever since. He has gained experience in a range of styles, playing in big bands, musical orchestras and rock bands, as well as solo performances. He currently plays bass in The Sam Jewison Trio, a jazz collective, whilst predominantly playing alongside his brother Alastair James, in The Alastair James Trio.
Now aged twenty one, Robert has played a wide variety of venues throughout the UK, including Camden’s Roundhouse, supporting Natasha Bedingfield, Nicole Sherzinger and P.P. Arnold. He has also performed for Sir Alan Ayckbourn at his private 75th birthday celebration, as well as performing at private events in and around London, in venues such as the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel.
Holly Reynolds -Vocals
Since graduating from LIPA (Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts) with an honours degree in Music, Holly has been involved in a number of different productions. Holly began her career in music as a solo singer/guitarist and supported artists such as Boo Hewerdine, Sandi Thom and John Power. In 2013, she was cast as Peter Pan and reprised this role in a sell out tour in 2015. Holly has also played Elsa, Sleeping Beauty, Pinocchio and numerous other children's theatre characters in tours with Starbright Entertainments and Stage and Production House. One of these tours included working with Starlight Children’s Charity, performing in children's hospices across the country; Holly says this was one of the most rewarding and emotional experiences of her life.
Holly is very involved with theatre in education. Working with Take a Hint Theatre Company, she has performed in hundreds of schools and delivers workshops supporting the shows she performs in. Weekends are a busy time for Holly too - she performs with Victoria Francis Productions in venues across the north of the country delivering Motown and classic hits from 50's to the present day. As the Angelettes trio, they were voted Best Female Vocal Trio.
Holly is absolutely thrilled to be involved with Rock and Roll Back the Years and is so excited to be working with such a talented cast!
Gemma Samuels -Vocals
Gemma is a hertfordshire based singer, who has been performing since she was a child. Since training in Classical and contemporary voice, Gemma has been singing at events throughout the country and overseas as a solo artist for the last 10 years, she has performed at many venues, including Claridge's Hotel, Wellington Barracks, HMS Wellington, Woburn Abbey, Luton Hoo & Brocket Hall to name but a few.
Gemma has been in popular touring shows such as "West End in Concert" and "Bobby Socks and Blue Jeans" a show that took her to the London Palladium. She is delighted to be part of the original cast of Rock and Roll back the years.
As well as Rock and roll back the years, you can currently see Gemma performing one of her many acts at corporate and charity events nationwide, including headlining the "Disco Inferno" 70's Nights at the Watford Colosseum and Dartford Orchard theatre. For More information please visit www.gemmasamuels.com or follow on twitter @gemmasamuels.
Lee Beards (Drums)
Lee's first professional engagement was at the age of 16 in 1983 in a Hotel band in North Africa. Coming home after 6 months, Lee went straight into the Holiday Park scene doing numerous summer seasons and winter cruise contracts. During the mid nineties Lee set up a Sound equipment hire and Flight case manufacturing business which sadly left very little time for playing and he finally hung up his sticks in 1998. Playing very occasionally Lee was asked to play on a show as a dep which led to a chance meeting with Jason and John, who ironically were both booked as deps as well. Having clicked straight away as players it seemed a logical step to pursue something that could let them carry on from this chance meeting. ........and here we are.
Jason Ward Lead Guitarist
Like Lee, Jason’s first professional gig was at the tender age of 16, but in the exotic town of Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire. Since then, a career of playing for a living for many different acts in many different situations and educating the guitarist’s of the future has ensued.
That chance dep gig with Lee and John really was just that, but along with Chris too, Jason alleges that he’s very lucky to be playing with such good musicians that he calls his friends (because he doesn’t have any others!). A very talented guitarist, and very modest too!
Chris Lea (Bass Guitar)
Chris has been playing bass guitar for 35 years. He is currently based in Scarborough in North Yorkshire playing upright bass for ‘The Sultans of Thwing’ fronted by ex- David Bowie guitarist and collaborator John Hutch Hutchinson, and also with The Alastair James Trio, led by Alastair James, a highly talented local singer songwriter. He plays bass guitar with ‘The Unkempt’ a band featuring multi-talented, ex-Chris Rea musician Dave Kemp on saxophone and various appearances at festivals and venues with ‘The Tom Townsend Blues Band’.
Chris has also been touring with successful theatre show ‘Bobby Socks & Blue Jeans’ a 50’s and 60’s review between 2012-2015. Prior to this and living in London, Chris played bass with soul/hip hop artist Martine Girault as part of her live band and has also worked with many artists in studio sessions and live shows during the last 20 years.