The Neil Maya Quartet - one of the Southwest's most exciting and talented bands aiming to find new sounds within jazz whilst staying accessible to the public. The Quartet play contemporary modern, playing their own material and innovative re-workings of jazz standards. They also perform tribute gigs for artists such as Clifford Brown, Horace Silver & Herbie Hancock, as well as the Brubeck project.
The Drat Pack - the coolest band in the land, performing many of the greatest numbers of all time, including classic swing numbers made famous by Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, as well as other styles including motown, soul, funk, latin, blues and up-to-date pop. The Drat Pack is led by Adam Moran on vocals - one of the leading swing singers in the South West.
Lush Life Dinner Jazz Duo, Trio and Quartet - 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. They play many songs from the great writers of the 30's to 50's and can also play a selection of classical music.
Neil has been playing music for most of his life. Neil has been lucky enough to have had a few years where he's been able to do some quite serious woodshedding (practice). Neil is currently based in Ashburton, Devon.
Neil plays soprano, alto and tenor saxes and clarinet (both Bb and A). Neil reads well, plays by ear and improvises. He is available for session work and is used to working in recording studios. Neil is also available for any kind of depping work. In recent times Neil has also played for Bristol's Agent Funk and works regularly with the Exeter Blue Lion Band. Neil is experienced playing in various genres including classical, jazz, soul, motown, funk, latin, pop and others. Kit wise Neil has his own wireless bug mic for sax and wireless IEMs.
Neil plays in a number of groups (see below), some of which he runs, and is very experienced at running music for events - please get in touch if you would like more information. To check out Neil's public gigs click here. You can view his availability here.
Solar Funky Music - this six piece band brings together some of the most established musicians playing in the Westcountry and beyond. With a repertoire that ranges from seventies soul funk classics by James Brown, Stevie Wonder, The Jackson Five and Bill Withers to modern classic artists such as Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake, Cee Lo Green and Amy Winehouse, this is a band dedicated to dancing.
True Brass - Started in 2014 this is a 7 piece band in the New Orleans Brass Band vein (so brass, saxes and drums playing funky vibes). Up to now I've also done all the arrangements for True Brass as well. This is a band set to hit the festival circuit and more in the very near future, playing covers of well known tunes from soul, motown, funk, disco, rock, pop, hip hop and grunge!
Sunsplash - The ‘Sunsplash’ quartet plays township jazz. Pianist Philip Clouts has assembled a programme which features music from the greats of South Africa.The band features saxophonist Neil Maya, who was praised by the Teignmouth Jazz Festival for his “electrifying performance with crisp melody lines and improvisation,” plus Ben Taylor on bass and Coach York on drums.
Neil Maya Quartet: The Brubeck Project - Is a project started in 2016 by the quartet to celebrate the works of the Dave Brubeck quartet. Comprising some of the finest musicians in the South West the band authentically reproduces the best known Dave Brubeck recordings such as ‘It’s a Raggy Waltz' The Duke, Unsquare Dance, Blue rondo Ala Turk and of course ‘Take 5’. The project normally features pianist Matt Carter, Nick Carter on drums, Kevin Sanders on double Bass and Neil himself on saxophones.
The Jazz Ninjas - The jazz Ninjas are a trio fronted by the fabulous Adam Moran on vocals with Neil Maya on saxes and excellent pianists Matt Carter, James Clemas, Craig Milverton, Tom Unwin, Gav Martin. The band plays jazz and swing standards, sometimes playing tunes outside of those styles. On a gig who knows what will happen but it will be of excellent quality and a whole
heap of jollity.
1959 is often considered an extremely influential year in the development of modern jazz with a number of new sub genres within jazz coming to the fore in this year. 1959 spawned some of jazz’s finest albums of all times including of course Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue and Dave Brubeck’s Time Out.
The concept of creating a performance focusing on the music of this seminal year has been developing for Neil over the last couple of years. This is due in part due to his interest in the music of Dave Brubeck due to the band’s very successful Brubeck Project. Neil also has come to realise he has a real affinity with the ‘50s approach to jazz of which 1959 seems, to Neil, to reach a high point. With Gav Martin on piano, Kev Sanders Bass and Preston Prince Drums.
Jazz Funk Emporium
The Jazz Funk Emporium began in 2019, working with some of the finest musicians with a slant and interest towards jazz funk in the Southwest. It’s a band dedicated to the funkier side of life. Neil has had an interest in Jazz Funk for a long time particularly being a huge fan of funk saxophonists such as Maceo Parker and Michael Brecker but also influenced by Herbie Hancock’s Headhunters and also the James Taylor Quartet (JTQ). This band also includes keyboards and vocal effects from Tom Ball, electric bass from Tom Drewett and adds Jesse Molins on guitar to the mix.
I joined Zum Zum in 2019. Run by Richie Dickson on percusiion with Martin Jenkins on piano and Jim Rintoul this band plays some of the most exciting Cuban and Brazilian Latin Jazz out there. It's a flexible sized group depending on venue. Expect a lot more from this excting group.
All Jazzed Up plays at, what is probably, the most successful jazz night in the Southwest at the Ocean in Exmouth regularly attracting over 150 people to one of its Thursdays nights. Fronted by fantastic male vocalist James Billington this band plays the best in swing and jazz and more. As well as the Thursday nights the band plays numerous functions and other public gigs.
I have the pleasure in being the main saxophonist with the 5 piece version and regularly dep for the 7 piece show band.
I am Musical Director for the South Devon Big Band, a classic big band, which was started in 2013. I also play solo clarinet in the band. The band plays a mix of classic and more modern big band classics. The band often plays for Lindy Hoppers and also gives concerts too often in aid of charity. For more information check out the band website.