I started playing at the age of 10 and grew up in South Wales where there wasn't much to do; except practice and work on the family farm. 

I began having drum lessons at 11 and had a great teacher who is still my biggest inspiration - Peter James. He was a professional player in the late 50s / early 60s and really sparked my enthusiasm for early rock 'n' roll and jazz.

From there, I attended the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama Junior Conservatoire in 2008  before moving to study at Leeds College of Music in 2010. I studied Popular Music in Leeds and travelled to Salford fortnightly for lessons with the legendary Dave Hassell. During this time I was also principle drummer for the National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Wales and graduated with a 1st class Honours Degree.

While at Uni, I backed Olly Murs, Clare Teal, Gregory Porter and Pee Wee Elis (James Brown's Saxophonist) at a concert in Leeds Town Hall which was broadcast live on BBC Radio 2. 

Since graduating, I have been working as a freelance musician playing pre 60s music; rock 'n' roll, swing, jump jive and early jazz. I also spend time transcribing old tunes from some of my favourite players (Gene Krupa, Baby Dodds, Zutty Singleton, Papa Jo Jones, Buddy Rich, Chick Webb) which has helped me develop stylistically into the player I am today. 

The washboard came along in 2013 after I was asked if I'd learn to play one for a gig. I bought one, figured out how to play it and it's been in regular use ever since. I must say I like how compact it is and how little time it takes to pack down!

In 2014, I started having tap dancing lessons. This was always something that I wanted to do, but there weren't any teachers near to my home in South Wales! Many of my favourite drummers, and in fact general entertainers from the 1920s - 50s, were able to tap dance so it has always been an ambition of mine and I look forward to continuing my skills.

Since 2014 I continue to be a professional musician, averaging 240 gigs a year. Some high lights have been travelling all over the UK and Europe playing original music as well as keeping specialist 1920s, 30s and 40s art forms alive. 

Playing theatres with The Pasadena Roof Orchestra and a headline, sold out show at Ronnie Scotts with Ray Gelato are things I'm particularly proud of. 

Much more recent information about my gigging life is documented on my social media platforms.

© 2013 JACK AMBLIN
 

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