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Chris Hodgkins – Director, Jazz Services & Professional Musician – MusicTank

Chris Hodgkins - Director, Jazz Services & Professional Musician

Chris Hodgkins has been the Director of Jazz Services, the national organisation funded by Arts Council England to provide services in information, touring, education, communications and publishing to the UK jazz community, for over 21 years.

He was raised in Cardiff, and in 1974 co-founded the Welsh Jazz Festival with Geoff Palser. He was instrumental, four years later, in establishing the Welsh Jazz Society with David Greensmith.  As a professional trumpeter, Chris has toured the UK and Europe – also appearing at the Sacramento Jazz Festival in the States – and The Chris Hodgkins Band made a name for itself supporting the likes of Buddy Tate, Humphrey Lyttelton, Kathy Stobart, Bud Freeman and Wild Bill Davison.  Chris relocated to London in the early-80s and, in a change of direction, began his award-winning administrative career.

Jazz ServicesIn 2002, he was presented with the prestigious Services to Jazz Award at the BBC Jazz Awards.  In 2005, Jazz Services won the Best Website category in the first Parliamentary Jazz Awards; Chris was made a Fellow of The Chartered Institute of Marketing the same year.

Chris fronts two outfits: Chris Hodgkins Trio, featuring Alison Rayner on double bass and Max Brittain on guitar, and Chris Hodgkins Quartet, the same line-up with the addition of Diane McLoughlin on soprano/alto sax.  In 2005, Chris Hodgkins Trio released ‘Present Continuous’; ‘Future Continuous’ followed a year later.  Chris Hodgkins Trio plays a mix of mainstream and swing, its repertoire consisting of little-known standards, bebop standards, tunes from the great American Song Book and original compositions.

Chris’ most ambitious project to date is the album Boswell’s London Journal, a suite of 15 tunes co-composed by Chris Hodgkins and Eddie Harvey (who also did the arrangements). James Boswell, best known as the biographer of Dr Samuel Johnson, kept a daily diary between the years 1762 and 1763; this account of a very different London to today, as seen through the eyes of a 22 year old Scot, provides the inspiration for the album.