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Cluskey/Hopkins Jazz Band

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 The long established Cluskey Hopkins Band, has, for many years, presented a programme of polished Dixieland and Mainstream jazz. Based in Ireland and led by drummer Des Hopkins. Des together with his brother Billy, and long time friend Barry Cluskey formed the band in the early eighties having a long association with Guinness, as the original Guinness Jazzband.

Drummer Des Hopkins long regarded as an exponent of the great Gene Krupa earned his experience in the jazz world playing with Dixieland bands in the UK during the great trad jazz boom of the sixties. Following with many years on the Showband scene in Ireland. He now runs his own successful entertainment agency DH Entertainment in Clane Co Kildare supplying bands, jazz bands, and classical musicians for corporate and wedding entertainment.

The Cluskey Hopkins Band have over the years accompanied many international jazz big names including US clarinet legend Peanuts Hucko, George Melly and Johnny Dankworth. For international Festivals the band comprises of four top UK musicians. Paul Hart violin and piano, a graduate of The UK National Youth Jazz Orchestra and former Cleo Laine accompanist was also a member of the group “sky”. In his autobiography “Jazz in Revolution” John Dankworth describes Paul as “the nearest thing to my conception of a genius among all the musicians with whom I have worked”. Paul is a leading contemporary musician, composer and arranger. His involvement in TV and film music included themes and scores for series such as “Tomorrow’s World” and “The Franchise Affair”. Paul had worked with The Cluskey Hopkins Band on festivals since 1985. The magnificent trumpet playing of Mike Henry, formally with the Pasedena Roof Orchestra, is regarded as one of London’s foremost sessionmen. Mike has been with The Cluskey Hopkins Band since 1985. Bob Hunt trombone, is a lecturer, and expert on the works of Duke Ellington, and is leader of the UK Duke Ellington Orchestra.
Bob and Mike are currently working with The Big Chris Barber Band. The line up is completed by Birmingham based Brian Mellor, playing guitar and banjo.

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