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Regent will crown Jools swing king

PUBLISHED: 10:19 21 November 2001 | UPDATED: 10:53 03 March 2010

JULIAN Miles Holland showed an unusual flare for the piano from a very early age.

Picking up the basics of the blues from his uncle at the age of eight he started on the musical path which would lead him to fame and fortune.

By Jo Macdonald

JULIAN Miles Holland showed an unusual flare for the piano from a very early age.

Picking up the basics of the blues from his uncle at the age of eight he started on the musical path which would lead him to fame and fortune.

By the time he was 15 he had hooked up with Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook and formed Squeeze, going on to achieve huge success with hits like Cool For Cats and Up The Junction.

Today, Jools Holland, as he is known to the world, is one of Britain's most accomplished musicians and tonight at The Regent, Ipswich will once again be treated to a display of his stunning talent when he arrives in town for a performance with his R&B orchestra.

More than half a million people have paid to see Jools and his orchestra in the past six years and his concerts invariably sell out in a flash. His visit to the Regent theatre is no different with tickets selling out weeks ago.

The seeds of the Rhythm & Blues Orchestra were planted in 1985 when Jools and Squeeze's drummer, Gilson Lavis, started touring as a duo.

In the years that have passed the orchestra has grown into a 14-piece band playing all over Europe and annually filling the Albert Hall each Christmas.

In 1998 they played All You Need Is Love for the world leaders of the western world at the G8 conference in Holland.

As the sound of a trumpet introduction rang out, French president Jacque Chirac stood up, mistaking it for his country's national anthem. Tony Blair, Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin also rose to their feet, out of courtesy. To avoid embarrassment when it became clear the track was actually the Beatles' hit they continued dancing.

Jools' talents do not stem only as far as playing to audiences of all stature across the globe, however. He holds the unique status of performing with musicians who have achieved success in every decade of the 20th century, including Eric Clapton, BB King and Sting.

He has made numerous music programmes for television, such as The Tube, Later… and Hootenanny, is a published author and has made cameo appearances in Spice World and Hunting Venus.

Jools remains, however, first and foremost an accomplished pianist and his latest album release, Small Big World, is released two days before his performance in Ipswich.

Weblink: www.joolsholland.com

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