Featured Band The Jive Aces
The Jive Aces
Together for over a decade, this extremely popular six piece group of London lads have performed at thousands of festivals, theatres and events throughout the UK, Europe and USA, as well as Japan, Israel, South Africa, Morrocco and the Caribbean, 30 countries in all. The Jive Aces are renowned for their high energy Jump Jive music (the exciting sound where Swing meets Rock ‘n Roll) and spectacular stage show.
Lead singer Ian Clarkson took time out from his busy tour schedule to talk us about his colourful band and his ukuleles of course …..
What style of music do you like to play the most?
We love to play most “roots” music from jazz and blues to jive, swing and early rock n roll. It’s difficult to say which we enjoy most as they all cross over but generally the happy, upbeat fun stuff is our thing
What or who influences the band the most?
Originally as teenagers we were all into Elvis and more R&R, then we moved further back into jazz and swing and Louis Prima is one of our biggest influences.
Where have you travelled?
All over the world. We have always played in Europe but through our Bring Me Sunshine music video on YouTube we have now played everywhere from Morocco, Bulgaria and Serbia to Russia and now we have an American agent booking us more theatre tours in the U.S.
What type of ukulele do you play and why did you choose that one?
I mainly play Kala. I started with Mahalo and Makala sopranos and when we filmed the Sunshine video I used the now ‘iconic’ yellow dolphin Makala. After it went viral Kala, who make them, contacted me and they made me a yellow concert uke which I use on stage. I can’t stop getting new ones though. The Kala ukes are very good quality and value for money so I have a few. I also have a special uke made by Taylor guitars which a great friend gave me.
Do you ever meet up or play with other artists?
We often meet up and play with other artists at festivals, for instance we played with Van Morrison at the Montreaux Jazz Festival. Also, we often invite musicians and singers to guest and perform with us.
What are your plans for the future?
We are currently on tour, actually, we’re constantly on tour… heading to the Edinburgh Fringe and then another tour in the USA in November. This tour is for our new album ‘Spread a Little Happiness’ and we have another single and music video from the album coming out in September, for the beautiful Charlie Chaplin song, Smile (I use another yellow Kala soprano in this but a higher range model).
We are aiming to continue with more music videos and also black and white vids named ‘soundies’ after the name for the earliest video juke box vids from the 1940s – we did one recently for Ukulele Swing and we will be doing more of those. We have a couple of ukulele festival gigs in the pipeline too.
You can see our constant tour dates on our website at www.jiveaces.com