Photography: Malcolm Thomson


Stuart Johnson: Biography.

'The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time' : James Taylor.

June 2013. With Chameleon.  Photography Paolo Cesano

What follows is an indulgent resumé spanning over five decades and some 5000 gigs , variously as performer, promoter and producer.

Studies clarinet from age ten. Takes up saxophone and flute in mid-teens.

January 1972: Whilst in upper sixth-form plays with Evan Parker at the legendary Little Theatre Club in St. Martin's Lane, then the hub of London's avant-garde scene. Very much in avant-garde-avant-practised mode back then!

1972-7: As a student plays in a variety of commercial and straight musical contexts throughout the UK, including work with composer Dame Elisabeth Lutyens whilst at the University of York.

Late 70s:  Teaches in schools and further education colleges.

1977: Helps form a musicians' co-operative in his native North-East England, building a partnership with the ill-fated London and Edinburgh-based Jazz Centre Society. Through them works with and presents leading musicians from Europe and the United States, including John Surman, Barre Phillips, Albert Mangelsdorff  and Zbigniew Namyslowski.

1978: Deps with 'Swift', winners of the 1977 Greater London  Arts Association Young Jazz  Musicians' Award .

August 1979: Attends Wavendon Summer School, studying with Tony Coe, Mike Gibbs and Don Rendell. 

1980-83. Regular cabaret engagements with bandleaders Eric Delaney and Ray McVay, as well as frequent deps in the 'official' Glenn Miller Orchestra. 

August 1981: Tours south-west England with The Memos, a band made up largely of senior officers of the North-West Regional Arts Board, of whom Stuart is not one, and drummer Tim Franks. Stuart & Tim go their separate ways, and finally work together regularly 25 years later, to their mutual delight.

The Memos, somewhere in Devon. A long lost image, unearthed in 2018. L to R: Jonathan Hyams, Tim Franks, Sally Robins, Liz Mayne, SJ, Pete (driver/roadie), Paul Robinson. Photograph taken by missing band member Julie Ward, many years later to become a Member of the European Parliament (Lab).

April 1982: Forms fusion band Chameleon, which will work for the next 33 years, featuring many leading UK players.

Mid-1980s: Continuing a weird trajectory - see The Memos, above - works with a blues band whose pianist goes on to be a minister in the UK Labour government in the early 21st century. Not too hard to work out who that might be.eDovecalven Runs the band for the next eleven years.

September 1986: Chameleon commissioned to record composer Paul Robinson's score for 'Dinosaur of Weltschmerz', a David Glass Mime production.  Show opens 1987  London Mime Festival to critical acclaim before touring South America, China and Mongolia.

July 1987: Works in France with Chameleon, appearing at the prestigious Vienne Jazz  Festival on a bill which includes Chick Corea, Michael Brecker, John Scofield, Stan Getz, Sarah Vaughan, Cab Calloway, Manhattan Transfer and the MJQ.

October 1987: Chameleon's first tour of English small-scale venues.

August 1988: Composes music for the finale of the first Stockton Riverside International Festival, performing it live with pianist Race Newton.

October-November 1988: Chameleon undertakes what was then the largest ever tour of Ireland by a contemporary jazz group. Principal appearances at Cork Jazz Festival and Wexford Opera Festival Fringe, plus shows in Dublin, Belfast, Limerick, Galway, Waterford, Coleraine and Enniskillen.

November 1988-January 1991: Works as commissioned composer/MD/performer with Cleveland Theatre Company (ITC) on three productions; 'Beauty and the Beast' (1988-9), 'Gawain and the Green Knight' (1989-90) and 'Hiawatha' (1990-91). Shows tour a combined 150 venues to good reviews.

December 1988: MDs premiere of Graham Fitkin's 'Cud' for jazz orchestra, conducted by the composer.

Throughout 1989: Jazz Animateur, Mid-Northumberland Arts/Northern Arts.

October-November 1989: Chameleon outstrips all previous achievements with a massively ambitious European Tour, at the time the largest self-managed venture of its type to emanate from the UK. On the road for six weeks and 8000 miles, performing in England, Wales, Ulster, Eire, Sweden and Germany. Highlights include appearances alongside acts as diverse as Steps Ahead, Bill Frisell and the Ulster Orchestra, the recording of a live album during a broadcast  for Swedish State Radio from Umea Jazz Festival, and being in Germany the night the Berlin Wall came down.

July 1990: Appointed Music Officer for Dovecot Arts Centre. Maintains this work until venue closure for National Lottery Arts Fund redevelopment, December 1996.

August '90,'91,'92,'93,'94,'95,'96: Music co-ordinator and key member of the production team for Stockton Riverside International Festival as it becomes established as one of Europe's leading street theatre/new circus/world music events.

September 1990: Works in USA and Canada with Native American/First Nations performers and Phoenix Dance founder member Merville Jones in preparation for the highly successful 'Hiawatha' project. (Touring UK Dec. 1990-Feb. 1991)

September 1990: Tales from the Hudson

October 1990-July 1994: Visiting lecturer, Music Dept., Wakefield College.

November 1990: MDs 1990 Cleveland Music Festival Commission 'Frameworks', composer Bob Peacock. Tours N. England including Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.

February-August 1991: Composes for and MD's Cleveland Theatre Company's critically acclaimed outdoor production of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' . Show wins 1991 Northern Electric Performing Arts Award.

August 1991: Guest appearance with Toronto's outrageous Shuffle Demons.

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November 1991:'Serious Grooves'; four week Chameleon UK tour.

February-March 1992: Collaborative projects with Barbara Thompson and Django Bates.

April 1992: Workshop at Kokuma Dance, Birmingham, with Weather Report/Steps Ahead drummer  Peter Erskine.

June 1992: Co-ordinates contract, tax, visa and work permit documentation for the Home Office on behalf of all overseas companies appearing in the European Arts Festival occasioned by the UK's Presidency of the European Union.

July 1992: Stage manages 'Fire, Water & Rhythm' outdoor event for Birmingham City Council.

August 1992: Re-arranges the whole of Gilbert & Sullivan's 'Pirates of Penzance' for piano and brass trio for Cleveland Theatre Company's follow-up promenade show.

January 1993: Participant at MIDEM, Cannes, working for The Complete Record Company, leading UK distibutor of jazz and classical recordings.

February 1993: Middle-scale rep. revival of 'Hiawatha'.

July 1993: Invited by Northern Arts to join Performing Arts Advisory Panel.

1994: Contributor, British Jazz Musicians' Guide, 3rd. edition.  

February 1994: Commissioned by Northern Arts to prepare a summary paper on jazz in the North of England as part of its major review of music policy.

March 1994: Writes extensive score for 14-piece band for premiere performances of new staged adaptation of Tolkien's 'Hobbit', Forum Theatre, Billingham. Run sells out.

May 1994: Co-opted on to Yorkshire/Humberside/Northern Arts joint jazz advisory committee.

June 1994: Commissions new work for big band from John Surman, 'The Inheritance', with funding from Northern Arts. Premiere March 1995.

September 1994: Judge, 1994 Tyne-Tees Television/Northern Electric Performing Arts Awards.

October 1994: Invited speaker at Non-Pop 94, the UK's first national conference for all non-mainstream contemporary musics, held at the Anvil in Basingstoke.

December 1994: Cabaret work with Max Bygraves.

March 1995: Invited by Arts Council of England to join its national panel of advisors for music.

March 1995: Produces major music and comedy event for Durham City Arts Trust to co-incide with the World Cross-Country Championships taking place in the city.

April 1995: Guest appearance with top UK roots/reggae act Edward II.

July 1995: Fronts acoustic quartet at Ghent Festival, Belgium, as part of a major cultural exchange between Flanders and Northumbria. Produces project in conjunction with sponsors and the British Council.

August 1995: Fronts acoustic quartet in Vancouver, BC, featuring ex-k.d. lang & Frank Sinatra sidemen.

November 1995: Big band collaboration with Don Weller Quartet. (2nd perf. 'Pennine Suite').

December 1995: Riverside Festival wins 1995 Northern Electric Creative Arts Award.  Melvyn Bragg presents £4000 prize on TV special.

February 1996: Invited to join 'Voice of the North', the new contemporary big band directed by Canadian arranger-composer John Warren.

July 1996: Baritone sax on Robson & Jerome concert video 'Joking Apart' (BMG), released November 1996 featuring the No. 1 single, a cover of the Jimmy Ruffin classic 'What Becomes of the Broken-Hearted?'

October 1996: Part of  the team which wins a £6.25m National Lottery bid for 'Arc', the new multi-arts venue in Stockton-on-Tees, opened 1999.

October 1996: Chameleon premieres new work for and with David Massingham Dance, one of Britain's most successful contemporary companies.

December 1996:Commissioned by Yorkshire-Humberside Arts and Northern Arts to submit an application to the Arts Council of England's A4E lottery scheme on behalf of a major contemporary music education project.

December 1996-January 1997:Four weeks in the pantomime pit for impresario Peter Duncan.

February 1997: 'Iduna & the Golden Apples', workshop production, York Theatre Royal.

February 1997: Producer for innovative collaboration between Kathryn Tickell and John Surman. Part of a long-standing relationship with Serious, Britain's leading producers of cutting-edge contemporary music. Premieres summer 1997 to critical acclaim.

February 1997: Makes BBC TV 'Match of the Day' debut - leading terrace band for team sponsors Cellnet at Middlesbrough-Newcastle English Premiership derby!

April 1997: Becomes a  director of Voice of the North Ltd., the company formed to advance the big band project (see above)

June 1997: Baritone sax on VOTN gigs with Andy Sheppard.

July-August 1997: Works with Dodgy Clutch Theatre Company as commissioned composer/performer for 'Street of the Moon', a mixed-media tableau staged on the River Tees over five nights to celebrate the 10th Stockton Riverside International Festival.

August 1997: Stands down as MD for Windjammer rehearsal big band after eleven years, just as it is awarded £3000 from the National Lottery Arts Fund towards an Afro-Cuban project.

September 1997: Starts working as a primary school music co-ordinator in a social priority area in East Middlesbrough. Re-acquaints himself with the recorder! Contract ends March, 1998.

October 1997: Starts working as a visiting lecturer on Music and Communication Arts degree courses at the University College of Ripon & York St. John (University of Leeds)..

January 1998: 'Street of the Moon' invited to tender as opening event, 1998 Tour de France.

April 1998: Renews association with Cleveland Theatre Company, writing music for 'Bedtime Stories', touring May & June, then in rep. winter 1998-9.

May 1998: Tenor sax with The Drifters, Muscat, Oman.

June 1998: Builds animated junk percussion sculptures and leads community music workshops as part of a carnival project on the Ragworth estate in Teesside.

June 1998: Has new academic course approved for inclusion as second year option UCRYSJ, 1998-9: 'Western Popular Music since 1945'.

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July 1998: Baritone sax/bass clarinet with VOTN in reconstruction of Duke Ellington suites, Harrogate International Festival. MD Tommy Smith. Tours in 1999.

July 1998: Invited to submit franchise proposals to produce a state-of-the-art contemporary music season 1999-2000 for Arc, the North-East's new venue.

August 1998: Impromptu appearance with Audio Gruppe, Berlin-based dance company renowned for its electronic costumes and  live sampling performances.

October 1998: Runs  workshop programme for Access to Music, the Leicester-based company specialising in training experienced musicians to work in schools.

October 1998: Consultancy work for ILAM (UK Institute of Leisure & Amenity Management).

October 1998:  Appointed Music Officer for  Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal, in the English Lake District as the venue nears completion of a £3.5m refit.

November 1998: Another gig for 35,000 at Riverside Stadium, this time with the Ripon Saxophone Quartet at the Middlesbrough vs West Ham English Premiership game. 'Nice one!' (Ian Wright)

February 1999: Panellist, Musicalliance '99, Barbican, London.

April, 1999: 'Bedtime Stories', two-week run, Kidzstuff Theatre, Wellington, New Zealand.

June, 1999: 'Bedtime Stories', National Theatre, London.

July, 1999: Woodwind soloist in first performance of John Surman's Mercury Award-nominated cantata 'Proverbs & Songs' (ECM) not given by the composer!

October 1999: Delegate, World Music Expo (Womex), Berlin.

November 1999: Produces UK tour for American saxophonist Carlos Ward.

January 2000: Invited to join the board of Cumbria Arts in Education.

February 2000: Panellist, Modal 2000, Sheffield.

April 2000: Repertory revival of 'Hiawatha', Haymarket Theatre, Basingstoke.

April 2000: Tenor dep with 'Nearly Dan', UK-based Steely Dan tribute band.

February 2001:  Tenor & soprano sax, one-off Miles Davis tribute project , featuring Miles' biographer  Ian Carr, trumpet; Jon Thorne, bass; Gerry Richardson, keyboards; Paul Smith, drums &  Malcolm MacFarlane, guitar. 

February 2001: Panellist, Modal 2001, Sheffield.

March 2001: Produces UK tour for Canadian pianist Andy Milne. (Steve Coleman's Five Elements/Ravi Coltrane)

April 2001: Produces UK tour for ex-Miles Davis guitarist Mike Stern.

April 2001: Becomes Company Secretary, Voice of the North Ltd.

April 2001: Writes music for 'A Family Cookbook', a children's show about step-relationships, with script by Mike Kenny. CTC Theatre touring production, UK Summer 2001.

June 2001: Appointed Higher Education Development Officer for The Sage Gateshead, the North of England's new world-class concert and music education facility, designed by Foster Partners, opening winter 2004-5. Takes up three-year contract, funded by the Higher Education Council for England (HEFCE) and based in the Music Department at Newcastle University, in late August 2001.

November 2001: Guest lecturer, BMus Jazz, Rock & Commercial Music, Newcastle College. Ongoing.

November 2001: Reforms saxophone quartet, now known as The Northumbria Saxophone Quartet, featuring some of  Northern England's finest and most experienced players-- Steven Ross, Baritone; Lewis Watson, Tenor; Garry Linsley, Alto; Stuart Johnson, Soprano.

November 2001: Speaker, 'Creative Sparks', Scottish national conference on arts & education, Aberdeen. 

February 2002: Appointed external examiner, University of Sunderland, Performing Arts Foundation Course.

March 2002: Voice of the North Ltd awarded £20k Regional Arts Lottery Grant to manage Anglo-Indian collaborative music project.

October 2002: Saxophone workshops and masterclasses with NSQ.

October-November 2002: New UK touring production of 'A Family Cookbook'.

January 2003: Takes part in the first ever live performance at The Sage Gateshead.......on the roof! With concertina virtuoso Alistair Anderson and Richard Martin, Principal Trumpet, Northern Sinfonia, plays Britten's 'Fanfare for St Edmundsbury' in driving rain at the building's topping-out ceremony.

January 2003: Invited to make a presentation to senior civil servants at DCMS on his current work linking university musician training to the changing landscape of professional music. A surprise guest at the seminar is HRH Prince Edward, who is in the department shadowing the Minister and Minister of State.

May 2003: Study visit to USA and Canada as part of work for The Sage Gateshead. Includes time at The Banff Centre, Alberta during the annual International Jazz Workshop, working with administration staff and visiting faculty, led by Dave Douglas. 

May 2003: Helps fix debut UK tour for pianist David Restivo, Canadian Young Jazz Musician of the Year.

June 2003:  Invited to join the newly-constituted board of Arc, Stockton-on-Tees. Accepts.

June 2003: Invited to join the Council of The Finnish Institute, London. Accepts

Sept 2003: ESRC PhD non-academic supervisor, Dept Sociology & Social Policy, University of Newcastle, with Prof. Jane Wheelock & Dr Susan Baines. 3-year project examining the economic status and livelihoods of musicians in the North of England.

Oct 2003: Commences occasional instrumental tutorial work (reeds) with BMus Folk & Traditional Music students, University of Newcastle.

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April 2004: A celebration for Race Newton (1927-2003), Easter Sunday. With Andy Watson, guitar, Roy Babbington, bass, Dave Ritchie, drums.

May 2004: Speaker, Trans-European Creative Music Organisers' seminar, Bath International Festival, UK.

June 2004: Speaker, Economic & Social Research Council conference on collaborative research, University of Newcastle.

September 2004: Ongoing work helping to re-establish Zeffirelli's, Ambleside, as a leading venue for contemporary jazz.

September 2004: Begins administrative work for Musikè, an annual international summer school for young professional recitalists, directed by pianist-conductor Jean-Bernard Pommier. Maintains work until project ends in 2009.

October 2004: Commissioned to write a development report for Appleby Jazz Festival, which helps to secure its short-term future.

October 2004: Begins collaboration with saxophonist-composer Tim Garland on 'If the Sea Replied', an innovative touring production and recording (Sirocco SJL 1031, 2005) devised partly to coincide with 'SeaBritain 2005', a year-long celebration of all things maritime.

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December 2004. Northumbria Saxophone Quartet sells out two shows at The Sage Gateshead.

January 2005: Makes a modest contribution  to a successful £4.5m bid to establish a multi-institutional Centre for Excellence for the Teaching and Learning of Music in the North-East of England's six universities.

February 2005: Advisory panel member, Music Leader regional programme, Youth Music.

April 2005: Contributes a couple of paragraphs to the biography of Eric Delaney.

June 2005: External assessor,  Performing Arts Management foundation degree validation procedure, University of Teesside.

July 2005: Appointed external evaluator for 'Ignite', a joint professional development initiative for teachers and musicians in the Tees Valley, supported  by The PRS Foundation, Guildhall, Creative Partnerships, EMI Music Sound Foundation and the Learning and Skills Council. Project runs until March 2006.

July 2005: Stage Manager, Appleby Jazz Festival.

August 2005: Italian television debut.

September 2005: In the first eight  months of 2005, secures over £150,000  in grant aid, sponsorship and other funding for clients and project partners.

September 2005: Selected as a producer for the Arts Council of England's Contemporary Music Network, 2006-7.

October 2005: At rehearsal with Elliott Randall (Steely Dan)

November 2005: Fixes, produces and manages an eleven date British tour for legendary US jazz quartet The Yellowjackets in association with Axis Management, Los Angeles, ESIP & Heads Up Records.

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November 2005: With the Yellowjackets: Marcus Baylor, Russell Ferrante, Bob Mintzer, Jimmy Haslip. (See below, July 2016 :))

January 2006: Invited to join Steering Group for Arts Council England (North-West) jazz development project, NWJazzworks.

April 2006: Chameleon resident musicians at British Palliative Care Congress, Sheffield. A first for jazz and neuropharmacology?

Autumn 2006: Deps with'How Sweet It Is'  fifteen-piece touring revue.

February 2007: Co-ordinates and produces Sound 07,  the annual festival of student music-making sponsored by six northern English universities, staged at the Sage Gateshead. Helped to develop this event from its beginnings in 2003, and remained producer on an ongoing basis, working on it for the ninth and final time in 2012.

March 2007: Proposes, commissions, co-ordinates,  produces, fixes and fundraises for the  Momentum  Project tour of England for Arts Council England/Contemporary Music Network. And drives the 'bus......

March 2007: With Momentum. Graham Fitkin; Richard Bissill; John Patitucci; Tim Garland; Joe Locke; Geoffrey Keezer; Neil Percy; Noel Langley; Phil Todd.

......and the band on stage.

(Photography: Nadja von Massow)

April 2007: Chameleon celebrates its twenty-fifth birthday.

July 2007: Sideman (soprano, tenor & baritone saxophones) in company band for the UK premier performance  in Newcastle of 'Naumachia', by renowned Catalan street-theatre company La Fura Dels Baus. Watch it here and here

La Fura Dels Baus. Rehearsal on River Tyne.

October 2007: Consultancy for King's Place, the new London venue opening October 2008.

December 2007: After a few years of occasional deps,  joins Gerry Richardson's Big Idea, thus becoming a permanent member of a  superb nine-piece Hammond-led band looking for gigs in an increasingly tough and depressed market. Check the band out; it's great - and available; Sting guests on the latest album, and once in a blue moon on a gig.  Some recent reviews here and here,and see below, April 2010

December 2007: Northumbria Saxophone Quartet  works with special guest John Helliwell, saxophonist with rock legends Supertramp.

December 2007: NSQ: Sue Ferris, John Helliwell, Garry Linsley: Stuart Johnson.

January 2008: Event producer & fixer, Music Learning Live 2008 National Festival of Music Education , a highly successful three-day event at the cutting edge of current practice within and outside the mainstream, involving many of the UK's leading figures. Re-engaged to produce the event in March 2009 at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester. Review

May 2008:  In the horn section for Alistair Anderson's band in a special concert to celebrate his 60th birthday,  featuring a host of special guests including Richard Thompson, Martin Simpson & Kathryn Tickell. Some vids here.

September 2008: Sideman (baritone saxophone) and fixer for company band for the world premiere performances in Liverpool of 'Les Mecaniques Savants' by the extraordinary French engineering/street-theatre company La Machine, produced by Artichoke. One of the landmark events staged as part of Liverpool's year as European Capital of Culture 2008, over 250,000 people line the city's streets to experience the spectacle over five days, including in excess of 60,000 for the finale. The show receives almost universal acclaim from the public, the city authorities, regional,  national and international media. ' A bad day for shopping, a great day for art': Lyn Gardner, 'The Guardian'. Simply Google for more features, reviews, blogs and thousands of images, videos and comments. And here's a splendid comic strip

September 2008: La Machine rehearsal at Cammell Laird shipyard, Birkenhead.

Photography; Des Alcock..

December 2008: Premiere broadcast, on Christmas Day, of 50 minute TV documentary 'Spider in The City - La Machine in Liverpool' , directed by John Wyver, produced by Illuminations.

January 2009: Advisory work for Manchester Jazz Festival.

March 2009:  Event producer & fixer,Music Learning Live 2009 National Festival of Music Education  at  RNCM Manchester; a further highly successful event at the cutting edge of current practice within and outside the mainstream, involving many of the UK's leading figures. Re-engaged to produce the event in 2010

March 2009: Thirteen years on from the last studio album, Chameleon  finally starts the next one. It may take some time.

April-May 2009: Chairs three one-day professional development seminars for jazz musicians in Manchester. Project managed by Arts Council England (North-West) jazz development project, NWJazzworks, and presented by  a dozen key individuals from across the UK.

July 2009: With Gerry Richardson's Big Idea, Manchester Jazz Festival.


November 2009: Nominated & elected chair, NorthWest Jazzworks Steering Group.

February 2010: Rejoins French company  La Machine for their show 'Les Resonateurs: Fanfire' at Showzam10 Festival, Blackpool, UK. Probably the most dangerous and bizarre playing experience of Stuart's career,  with the possible exception of the last time he worked with the same company in September 2008 -  see photos above. The show definitely wins a dubious carbon footprint award as musicians accompany a giant fire-organ which consumes over a ton of propane in an hour. Watch it here.


(Cold) February 2010; Warming up in a Blackpool cul-de-sac.

Photography; Steve Chadwick. 

February 2010: For the third and final time produces the national Music Learning Live conference, again at RNCM Manchester.

April 2010: Great  review by Phil Johnson (no relation!)  in 'The Independent' of Gerry Richardson's Big Idea gig at Gateshead International Jazz Festival on March 27th;

'The most purely enjoyable experience of an outstanding weekend in Gateshead came immediately after Ekaya, [Abdullah Ibrahim] when the local band Gerry Richardson's Big Idea played a late night, club-setting show. Richardson is a Hammond organist, singer and composer who played with Sting's pre-Police group, Last Exit, and his nonet is the most rollicking jazz-soul ensemble imaginable, like a Geordie riposte to Tower of Power.

They're all good, these musicians, but Richardson's organ playing, drummer Paul Smith, and – best of all – an absolutely extraordinary guitarist named Rod Sinclair, were so on-the-money they made you laugh out loud with delight. Like the Sage and this excellent festival, they deserve to be celebrated.'

Read the original  here; 

October 2010: The Big Idea works with Sting in a one-off invitation concert sandwiched between two nights on his 'Symphonicities' world tour. Here's a little memento. 

And here are the pics.  All images below copyright Mark Savage and used here with all appropriate permissions. 

The Big Idea with Sting.  SJ in the shadows on the extreme right.


Gerry and the brass section.


The saxophone section - you might recognise them from the Northumbria Saxophone Quartet picture further up the page.


Vocal trio with Jo Lawry, Sting's backing singer, covering Bill Withers' 'Friend of Mine'



The chief collaborators........January 2011;

January 2011: Spends the month in South India, along the way receiving instruction in carnatic instrumental technique from Sri T.S. Seshadri in Madanapalle, Andhra Pradesh.

August 2011: Spontaneous reaction to a sequence found on a synthesiser :)

April 2012; Chameleon celebrates its 30th birthday; L to r: Dave Turner, Gary Boyle, Tim Franks, Stuart Johnson, Avril Greenhow Parker. Dates here.


September 2012; Without question the best jazz venue name on the planet. Half Moon Bay, California.


And a colossal spelling mistake :)

December 2012; New Gerry Richardson's Big Idea album,  'So Many Reasons'. Launch gig videos here


January 2013: Invited to serve as an interim board member for Jazz North, the new Arts Council England-funded body representing the music across the whole of Northern England, whilst it is formally constituted and begins its programme of work, underwritten until 2015. Stands down in September 2013 as the Board's working status is established and new members join.

October 2013-April 2014: Co-ordinates Professional Studies programme for final year BMus students at Sage Gateshead.

March 2014: Produces four-day residential programme for established professional musicians on behalf of Jazz North.

February 2015: After 33 years, Chameleon winds up as a regular working unit, though it may occasionally reform in response to special requests and commissions.

November 2015:

A helpful review

July 2016. Eleven years on. With the Yellowjackets again. Perfect!

September 2017: One of these chaps played Woodstock in 1969. One of them is Robin Williamson.

October 2017. Surprise guest vocalist.

November 2018: Becomes an old age pensioner (! ;)!)

May 2019. Re-united in a tent. Northumbria Saxophone Quartet.

June 2019. And another joyful reunion. Yellowjackets.

January 2021: Still sitting it out, like we all are......

March 2021: .......then moving just a bit. By coincidence, on the first anniversary of pandemic lockdown in the UK, this emerged;

Hats off to everyone involved, especially Gerry, who wrote the music, and Rod, who did all the production. But also to the players who, like me, had to figure out how this whole online recording thing works, then do it. Old dogs, new tricks :)MM

February 2022After 18 years and close to 1000 gigs, retires from work as freelance contemporary jazz programmer for Zeffirelli's, in the English Lake District, as the venue begins to recover from the pandemic. 

November 2023: After a couple of years of medical adventures, thankfully survived, and a house move to Northumberland, makes it to 70. Celebrates in Milan with the Yellowjackets. How else!?:). Looking forward to 2024 and beyond with the Crusaders tribute project  and some other new stuff.

May 2024:  New video from Groove Crusade. Watch it here


Throughout his career Stuart  has maintained a wide range of projects, including soundtrack, theatre and concert work with Chameleon and others; recitals with Northumbria Saxophone Quartet &  with pianist Avril Greenhow Parker, and high quality covers projects - Frank Zappa, Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis, James Taylor, Horace Silver; The Crusaders.  Corporate hospitality and function performances.

Some musicians and ensembles with whom Stuart has worked, variously as promoter, producer or player.

Pat Metheny, John McLaughlin, Sting, Bill Frisell, Mike Stern, Ralph Towner, Allan Holdsworth, Nguyên Lê, Larry Coryell, Richard Thompson,John Williams, Northern Sinfonia, Alan Hacker, Trio Mediaeval, Jocelyn Pook, Steve Howe, Andy Summers, Pierre Bensusan, Isaac Guillory, Gary Boyle, Roy Ayers, Stefan Grossman, Wayne Krantz, Mitch Stein, Alex de Grassi, U. Shrinivas, Billy Cobham, Peter Erskine, Paul Motian, Alex Acuna, Keith Carlock, Don Alias, Nana Vasconcelos, Richie Morales, William Kennedy, Marcus Baylor, Robbie Ameen, Adam Nussbaum, Giovanni Hidalgo, Zakir Hussain, Bill Stewart, Icebreaker, Eliane Elias, Joey Baron, Dirty Dozen, Kimmo Pohjonen, Altan, Joe Locke, Bill Bruford, Gary Husband, Clarence Penn, Greg Hutchinson, Jon Hiseman, Stu Martin, Brice Wassy, Barre Phillips, John Patitucci, Dave Holland, James Genus, Jimmy Haslip, Marc Johnson, Carlos Benavent, Peter Washington, Larry Grenadier, Eberhard Weber, Lincoln Goines, Dane Alderson, Steve Swallow, Danny Thompson, Steve Rodby, Steve Berry, Jah Wobble, Bill Laswell, Ira Coleman, Tim Lefebvre, Darryl Hall, Howard Levy, George Brooks, Russell Ferrante, Gil Goldstein, John Taylor, Paul McCandless, Geoffrey Keezer, Michael Brecker, Bob Mintzer, Randy Brecker, John Surman, Tim Garland, Renaud Garcia-Fons, Carlos Ward, Don Byron, Elliott Randall, Graham Fitkin, Ryoji Ikeda, Klezmatics, Brodsky Quartet, Smith Quartet,  Allegri Quartet, Martin Simpson, Gwilym Simcock, Andy Sheppard, Vijay Ghate, Hariprasad Chaurasia, Maraca Valle, Michel Portal, Stan Sulzmann, Michael Riessler, Tommy Smith, Zbigniew Namyslowski, Marty Ehrlich, Manickam Yogeswaran, Otomo Yoshihide, Albert Mangelsdorff,  Bobo Stenson, Arild Andersen, Palle Danielsson, Skuli Sverisson, Didier Malherbe, Dave Kikoski,  Orlando Poleo, Bob Franceschini, Giovanni Mirabassi, Harold Budd, Marc Copland, Seamus Blake, Junior Mance, John Helliwell, Malcolm Macfarlane, Alistair Anderson, Michel Godard, Judith WeirSir Roger Norrington, Jean-Bernard Pommier, Bruno Pasquier, Christoph Richter, Olga Martinova, Maurice Bourgue, Tamas Ungar, Sir Bob Geldof, Antonello Salis, Django Bates,  Barbara Thompson, Norma Waterson, Olodum, Vin Garbutt, Scanner, Richard Galliano, Aly Bain, Adrian Legg, Kathryn Tickell, John Renbourn,  Dominic Miller, Yat Kha, Erik Truffaz, Robin Eubanks, Curtis Fowlkes, Dave Swarbrick, Terrance Simien, Geno Delafose, Steve Riley, Willem Breuker, Gianluigi Trovesi, Ian Carr, Tarika, Junior Delgado, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Mike Heron, Rizwan Muazzam Qawwali, Ron Miles, Eddie Palmieri, Don Grolnick, Drew Gress, Chucho Valdes, Eyvind Kang, Stan Tracey, Jason Rebello, Sergei Kuryhokin, Andy Milne, Ronu Majumdar, Harvey Wainapel, John Kirkpatrick, Dave Restivo, Rory Block, Stephen Fearing, Robert Plant, Martin Carthy, Pip Pyle, Loudon Wainwright III, Jo Lawry, Sainkho Namtchylak, Fairport Convention, Richard Sinclair, Clive Gregson, Phil Miller, John Etheridge, Edward II, Mansour Seck, Snowboy, June Tabor, Aki Nawaz, Wayne Gorbea, Vocal Sampling, Robin Williamson ……be glad, for the song has no ending.


The 1974, 2006 & 2017 versions :)