A short biography of Samuel C. Lees
Samuel C Lees has worked as a professional guitarist and musician since the age of sixteen. He took up the guitar at the age of thirteen and took lessons from both Maurizio Melle and Pete Bocking learning and appreciating all styles of music and guitar techniques. With influences as broad as Yngwie J Malmsteen and Django Reindhardt with a brush of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Samuel became one of the finalists in the first ever Young Guitarist of the year finals at London's Olympia.
It wasn't long after this that Samuel was asked to joint welsh drummer Ray Phillip�s version of Six Ton Budgie. Samuel toured extensively with Ray until he was 20 he then proceeded to play in many different genres and demo for companies such as Fender Gibson, Marshall, and G&L Guitars.
Whilst Samuel was demoing for these companies he met drummer Steve Washington (Texas, Take That). In 1996 Samuel & Steve recorded The Washington Lees Experiment album - a fusion of jazz, rock, and blues. The album received a great critical response world-wide picking up fans in Japan, Europe, USA and Austrailia. The band unfortunately split after musical differences but is still remembered fondly by many.
After the break up of WLE, Samuel formed the Samuel C Lees Band with old friends Adam Ogiliev and Andy Perfect. The trio recorded the album BiGG MaNN for Blues Matters Records and toured with artists such as Robben Ford, Walter Trout, Joe Bonnamassa and Jonny Winter. At the end of two years with this line up Samuel took a break to concentrate on his family and reassess what it was he wanted in music.
Samuel was tired of working and not feeling at home and that he was not experiencing music how he felt he should be. After a brief time-out and the birth of his daughter Evie, Samuel's wife Jennifer came home with a Django Reinhardt CD and it was then that Samuel realised that his home was in Gypsy Jazz. Samuel had always learnt and loved Gypsy Jazz from his days with both Pete Bocking and Maurizio Melle. Samuel had also done gigs with friends performing acoustic sets playing Django�s songs and other gypsy jazz classics.
Samuel was asked to play the Lift Global acoustic festival and recruited old friend Graham Kidd to play rhythm and from there the Samuel C Lees Quartet was born with the inclusion of Grant Kershaw on drums who now plays for Diagram of the Heart, and Samuel's brother Joe on bass. Over time the group has evolved in to a more traditional line up of either Trio or Quartet with Paul Woolliscroft taking over from Graham Kidd on rhythm Samuel�s talented wife Jennifer supplying vocals and also writing original songs in a Gypsy Jazz style