Jazz a la Carte



An experienced jazz pianist, composer and arranger, bandleader James Hayes has played in many London venues with vocal and instrumental duos, trios, quartets and big bands. He's also an active session keyboard player, currently playing with smooth jazz group Andrea Terrano Band, 70's disco band Streetlife and RnB bands Soul Train and Mission Impossible.

An engineer by trade, James has studied Jazz piano in Paris with Jeff Gardner for two years. After a short career in the financial industry, he decided to become a full-time musician in 2001. He then enroled on Mark Bassey's composition course at the City Lit and the Jamey Aebersold summer school with pianist Phil de Greg and sax player Frank Griffith. Since James has been playing in many venues with some of the most talented artists in the UK.

"James' piano playing straddles the musical worlds of bebop, modern jazz and funk. Inspired by the playing of Herbie Hancock, Bill Evans and Lyle Mays, he specialises in tasty chord comping, slinky vamps and slick horn-like soloing. He reacts instinctively to any sounds around him, and is a skilled accompanist and arranger."

Matt Phillips - Music Journalist


Starting from piano solo, Jazz a la Carte can feature as many musicians and instruments as you want including: Guitar, double bass, drums, male or female vocalist, saxophone, trumpet, clarinet, flute and violin.

All the musicians are profesional jazz musicians with very good playing skills, vast musical knowledge and reliability. Some of them are even leaders in their own right, playing in jazz clubs within small ensembles and big bands.

In past years, we have answered some special requests such as providing a Trad-jazz Trio (piano, bass and guitar) for the Henley Regatta, Swinging Tentet (3 saxes, trumpet, trombone, vocals and rhythm section) for the Imperial War Museum and a clarinet-led Quintet for a birthday party.


Vocalists Janine Jackson and

Bryan Thorne

Matt Hugues and James at Pembroke Lodge