The Jive Aces

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The Jive Aces
Charity 08 01 web.jpg
The Jive Aces in concert
Background information
Origin Billericay, Essex, England
Genres Jive
Boogie Woogie
Years active 1989—present
Labels Right Recordings, Golden Age Recordings
Members Ian Clarkson – vocals, trumpet, ukulele
Ken Smith – double bass
Vince Hurley – piano
Peter Howell – drums
John Fordham – saxophone
Alex Douglas – trombone, washboard, bongos, blues harp, kazoo, spoons, vuvuzela

The Jive Aces are a six-piece UK based, high energy,[1][2] jive and swing band, formed in 1989.[3] They were the winners of BBC TV's Opportunity Knocks,[4] and Britain's Got Talent semi-finalists in 2012.[5][6] They have recorded singles and albums,[7] and have performed at numerous music festivals.[8][9]

The band is widely recognised as one of the top swing bands in the world,[10][11] something borne out by their extensive international travel (the band has performed in over 30 countries[12]). The June 2015 issue of "Vintage Rock" magazine described them as the "UK's number one jive and swing band"[13]" in a six page feature on the band titled "Leaders of the Pack".

They have received an award from Variety, the Children's Charity for their charity work,[14] and the City of Derry International Music Award in 2006.[15][16]


On 9 July 2010, the band headlined at the first ever swing dance at the Royal Albert Hall.[17] They played to approximately 1,400 dancers on the 5,000-square-foot (460 m2) dance floor, with support from the Back To Basie Orchestra and Top Shelf Jazz.[18] In late August 2010, the Jive Aces performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in a show tributing one of their musical heroes, Louis Prima.[19] In February 2011, after recording in Los Angeles, they toured the United States, including opening for legendary singer Keely Smith, the former wife of Louis Prima.[20] Keely Smith has also sung with the band on a number of occasions, including shows in Los Angeles, Palm Desert,[21] Phoenix and at the Edinburgh Fringe.[22] The band played London's famous jazz venue Ronnie Scotts for the first time in July 2011.[23] In Spring 2015, the band did their biggest tour to date, 6 weeks of major theatres around the US (mostly 1000-2000+ capacity).[24][25][26][27][28] The tour was a huge success,[29] with more major US tours to follow in Winter 2015 and 2016.[30][31]

Viral video "Bring Me Sunshine"[edit]

In March 2011 the band produced a YouTube video for their cover of the Morecambe and Wise theme song Bring Me Sunshine in a Louis Prima, jive style. It went on to win several awards at film festivals,[32][33] and a Silver Telly Award.[34] The video is noted for its uplifting quality and has even been prescribed by a US doctor for depression, as noted in national media.[35][36]

Britain's Got Talent[edit]

In January 2012 The Jive Aces auditioned for Britain's Got Talent, with the audition airing on week 6 on Saturday 28 April 2012,[37] performing the band's version of the Jungle Book classic, I Wanna Be Like You.[38][39][40] The band greatly impressed the judges, with Simon Cowell calling them "Absolutely brilliant"[41] and adding "That really put me in a good mood"! They went on to become the first live band to get through to the live semi-finals of BGT.[42]

Performing for HM The Queen[edit]

On 15 May 2012 the Jive Aces performed for HM the Queen & HRH Prince Philip on their visit to Bromley as part of her majesty's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.[43] The band also performed as part of the Jubilee celebration in Hyde Park,[44] featuring alongside other BGT acts. In 2013 the band played 4 shows at Buckingham Palace for The Coronation Festival,[45][46] the first ever public festival inside the grounds of the palace.[47]

Glastonbury 2015 and other festivals[edit]

In May 2015 it was announced that The Jive Aces would perform on the Avalon Stage at the world famous Glastonbury Festival.[48][49][50][51] This was the bands second appearance at Glastonbury, but their first on the Avalon Stage. The band's set was considered a highlight of this year's festival[52] and a short clip of a mid-set keyboard collapse and speedy recovery by pianist Hurley went viral with online features in the Mirror (who called Hurley "Brilliantly committed" and "a hero of Glastonbury")[53] and Telegraph,[54] and as far afield as Nigeria[55] and Singapore.[56]

The band has also appeared at numerous major festivals including Lovebox,[57] Montreux,[58] Hop Farm Festival,[59] Bearded Theory,[60] Ascona,[61] North Sea Jazz,[62] Jazz a Montauban,[63] Bansko Jazz[64] Cork Jazz,[65] Lunel Jazz,[66] Klaipeda Jazz,[67] Edinburgh Fringe,[68] Viva Las Vegas[69] and even as far afield as Thailand for the Bangkok Intl Festival of Dance & Music.[70]

The Jive Aces have also performed at many special events including the London Olympics at Trafalgar Square,[71][72] both Conservative Party and TUC Conferences and for a crowd of 15,000 at the "Moonwalk[73]" cancer charity fundraising walk in London.

The band has put on their own annual charity festival, "Summertime Swing[74]", in the grounds of Saint Hill Manor, East Grinstead, since 2004. The event has featured many well known jazz and roots performers including Keely Smith, Kenny Ball, Acker Bilk, Laurie London, Chas McDevitt and Ray Gelato. In the last 3 years alone the event has raised £17,000 for charities including The Not Forgotten Association.[75]

"Spread A Little Happiness" released[edit]

On 1 June 2015 the band released their ninth studio album "Spread A Little Happiness", featuring the single "La Dolce Vita",[76] "Smile", "L.O.V.E" and nine other tracks including five original songs.[77] This album, along with all of the bands releases since 2005, was recorded at Mad Hatter Studios[78] in Los Angeles, CA. Most of their recent recording projects have been done with Grammy winning mixer/engineers Brian Vibberts[79] and Buck Snow.[80]


The Jive Aces have featured many guest artists on their recordings, including Chick Corea,[81] Kenny Ball,[82] Mark Isham,[83] Ray Gelato,[84] Mr Acker Bilk,[85] Toni Elizabeth Prima,[86] The Satin Dollz,[87] The Flirtinis,[88] Rebecca Grant,[89] The Three Belles[90] and more.

In live performance the band has worked with Van Morrison,[91] Keely Smith,[92] John Travolta,[93] Kenny Ball[94] (with whom they worked extensively on the Jazz Meets Jive theatre tour 2010-12[95][96]) and since 2014 have been featuring West End star Cassidy Janson[97] (Wicked,[98] Avenue Q,[99] Dessa Rose,[100] etc.) as guest singer at many shows.

Original Songs[edit]

Although the band predominantly plays covers in their live performances, all members of the band have written songs for the bands studio albums. Some of the best known are "La Dolce Vita",[76] "Ukulele Swing[101]","Christmas Is Where You Are[102]" and "London Rhythm[101]", which was used as theme song for Jo Good's BBC Radio London show.[103] All of the band's albums feature some original tunes and the concept album "Amazing Adventures" (inspired by film noir and pulp fiction of the 40's & 50's) is entirely self penned.[104]

Promotion of Scientology[edit]

The band have been known to perform up to 300 times a year,[105] often promoting Scientology[106] or presenting an anti-drugs message.[107] They have been noted for their energetic and confident performances, which they attribute to "workable solutions found in Scientology religious principles".[108] The Jive Aces have supported the Church of Scientology's Say No To Drugs campaign since 1996,[109] performing to shoppers in city centres throughout the UK,[110][111][111][112] to give a message to young people[113] that it is "not cool to take drugs", through distribution of "Truth About Drugs" booklets[114] and collecting signatures on a petition asking MPs for more effective drug education in UK schools.[115]

In April 2012, the band lent their support to the Multi-Marathon for a Drug-Free UK, a 130-mile run organised by the Church of Scientology [3] from London to Brighton and back to promote a drug-free lifestyle, as it passed through Crawley, West Sussex.[116]


1992 Jumpin' with the Aces - album – Mumbo Jumbo (out of print)

1996 Our Kinda Jive[117] – album – JA Recordings

1997 Bolt from the Blue[118] – album – Right Recordings

1998 Planet Jive[119] – album – Right Recordings

2002 White Hot Christmas[120] – single – Right Recordings

2005 Life is a Game[121] – album – Right Recordings

2006 Singing In The Rain[122] - single – Right Recordings

2006 White Cliffs of Dover[123] – single – Right Recordings

2008 Recipe For Rhythm[124] – album – Right Recordings

2009 Dance All Night[125] – album – Right Recordings

2011 Bring Me Sunshine[126] – single – Golden Age Recordings

2011 Amazing Adventures[127] – album – Golden Age Recordings

2011 It’s Skiffle Time[128] – EP – Golden Age Recordings

2012 King of the Swingers: A Salute to Louis Prima[129][130][131] – album – Golden Age Recordings

2013 Christmas is Where You Are[132] – EP – Golden Age Recordings

2015 Spread A Little Happiness[77] – album – Golden Age Recordings

The band has also been featured on a number of compilation albums including:

Radio Modern - The ABC Of Swing, Bop 'N Roll[133] - EMI Belgium

House of Blues Swings[134] - House of Blues Records

Viva Las Vegas 15: The Sounds of Sin City[135] - Viva Las Vegas


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External links[edit]

Official website