Frankly Jazz is a Northern UK-based group comprising a jazz singer, double bass and piano. We have performed in a variety of venues across England including Castle Howard, Wynyard Hall, Ripley Castle, The Royal Hall in Harrogate, The Sage Gateshead and many more. We are available for hire for any function no matter what the size! Meet the band members…
John Pope – Bass
After completing a Masters in Music at Newcastle University, John has become a lecturer and all round cool guy about campus. He is a well-known, versatile and fine local musician with a great knowledge of music of all shapes and sizes. His musicianship and outstanding bass playing has found him work playing in many jazz groups. However, he is as much at home with many other genres including soul, hip hop and free jazz. John is a fine composer and improviser and has run projects such as the Improvisers Orchestra of the North (ION) based at the Sage, which displayed an incredible performance at the Gateshead Jazz Festival. He has had many other performances at the Sage, including the Sage International Jazz Festival with Frankly Jazz and Frozen Sight music project with Paul Smith and Peter Brewis (Field Music/Maximo Park) which was broadcast live on BBC 6 Music. He has also played with jazz legend Roy Williams (trombone), folk star Pete Cooper and he has even been seen on stage supporting The Brand New Heavies.
Johnny Tunnard – Piano
Johnny started playing piano from an early age and became involved with jazz over 10 years ago. He was brought up in a family steeped in music (his Great Aunt being classical pianist and BBC accompanist, Viola Tunnard and the famous artist John Tunnard – who, besides painting, was a well-known jazz musician in the 1920s!)
He studied music at Newcastle University from 2006 under jazz organist, Gerry Richardson and UK award- winning jazz composer and saxophonist Tim Garland. Johnny has also had the pleasure of learning with the Professor of Jazz studies at the Guildhall, Pete Churchill.
During his time in the North East, Johnny played in many jazz groups including his own sextet ‘Orjazzm’, The Johnny Tunnard Trio and the ‘Boogaloo Allstars’ – the headlining act for ‘Beatniks Boogaloo’- a series of concerts held to promote jazz to the younger generation. In 2009, he co-founded Frankly Jazz with vocalist Marcus. His noted performances to date include performing in the world premier of a Jazz Mass composed by Pete King with the Peter King Quartet, appearances on Absolute Radio (formerly Virgin Radio) and at The Sage International Jazz Festival.
Marcus Groundwater- Vocals
After attending University, Marcus worked in Dallas where, whilst working in telecommunications, he spent his evenings singing in the jazz clubs of Deep Ellum with among others the David Geller Quartet. After returning to the UK and 5 years in London, Marcus returned to his birth place, North Yorkshire, and took up singing once more – soon making an impression on the local jazz scene.
In 2009, he founded Frankly Jazz with pianist Johnny Tunnard and began to gain a vast repertoire from Sinatra to Presley. He has become a true improviser with his voice and brings a fresh, natural and innovative take on great jazz tunes new and old.
Read more on Marcus’ Myspace.
Chris Harrison- Drums
Chris started playing Drums when he was 4 years old. He was raised in a musical family and is also a pianist. He is currently in his final year of a Degree in Music at Salford University where he has trained with the renowned drum tutor, Dave Hassell.
Chris plays with many bands ranging in genre from Jazz and Latin to Rock and Blues. He often plays in productions including Carousel, Oliver and Les Misérables and is also the drummer of choice for James Loynes, the popular vocal coach and choir leader.
Chris has been playing in bands for over ten years, starting off in his Dad’s Jazz band at age 12 and over the years he has played to audiences of thousands.
He is also a keen composer and arranger and is currently studying under internationally renowned arranger and composer Robin Dewhurst and Dan Price, the composer in residence for the Black Dyke Mills band.
Jonny Faull- Sax
Jonny Faull is an in demand professional saxophonist based in Leeds and London. Jonny graduated from Leeds College of Music in 2011 with a BA (hons) in Jazz Performance having studied under internationally-recognised musicians such as Joel Purnell, Mark Donlon (pianist for Maceo Parker) and Jim Corry (saxophonist for Corrine Bailey-Rae & Jamiroquai).
Jonny is currently lead saxophonist for the UK touring ‘Rat Pack Vegas Spectacular’ show which performs regularly in many of the country’s largest theatres such as Wimbledon New Theatre, Liverpool Empire, Manchester Palace and Edinburgh Playhouse and has performed abroad at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.
Jonny has also performed with an eclectic mix of Northern-based bands including the Jonny Faull Quartet, Ben Lowman’s Django Project (gypsy jazz), Doncaster Jazz Orchestra (regional big band), Al Wood Nine (sax-lead jazz nonet), The 45s (instrumental funk) and Dancing Years (vocal indie folk band). With these bands and others, Jonny has performed at the Cheltenham International Jazz Festival, Igan International Jazz Festival, Sauerland-Herbst Festival in Germany and in many of the UK’s jazz and funk clubs.When not gigging, Jonny is also a saxophone, flute and clarinet tutor for schools in Leeds, York and Doncaster as well as being involved in ‘Improwise’ workshops for business management providing ‘an insight into the art of transformational leadership from the world of jazz and improvisation.