- Gwyn Jay Allen
Gwyn Jay Allen is a British
jazz musicianand actor.
He was born in
Loughboroughto Sierra Leonese immigrants, but lived for 18 years in Freetownbefore moving back to England. Early in his career he played the guitar and sang at Tube stations. In 1992 he landed a job at the London Hilton on Park Lane, playing percussion and singing backing vocals. In 1997 he was one of the finalists on the ITVtalent show " Stars in Their Eyes", where he impersonated Louis Armstrong. Allen has toured with the groups The Sound of the Platters and The Jazz Quarterbacks. He has also played the part of Cab Callowayin a 1996/1997 West End production of the musical " The Blues Brothers" which also toured the UK. In 1999, during a visit to Sierra Leone, he was held hostage for one day by one of the warring parts in a Sierra Leone civil war. Allen was recommended to fellow Britons Basement Jaxxby a recording studio he had worked for, which led to recording several songs with them, live performances and eventually a solo single released in 2000 through Basement Jaxx's label, Atlantic Jaxx. In 2002 he was the opening actfor American gospel singer Kirk Franklinat a concert Franklin held at Royal Albert Hall. Allen has also produced a live recording CD together with his band called "I Love Louis". The recording session took place at the Dorchester Hotelin London, where his band had played for many years. Allen has also written a musical together with Clarke Peterscalled "Satchmo", choreographed and played the lead in "Strangers", and produced and co-written " Less Stife More Life". He has worked as a session vocalist and percussionist for Sony Music, Virgin Recordsand Real World Music. As a television actor he has been on " EastEnders", " The Bill", " Men Behaving Badly" and "Casualty". Currently he combines his day-time job as an interior decoratorand architectwith occasional performances. Allen is married and has two sons.
*cite web |url= http://www.crossrhythms.co.uk/articles/music/basement_jaxx_to_bible_tracts/8170 |title= Basement Jaxx to Bible tracts |accessdate= 2006-10-01 |author= Rimmer, Mike |date= 2002-09-01 |publisher= Cross Rhythms
*cite web |url= http://www.homemademusic.org/gwyn.htm|title= Gwyn Jay Allen|accessdate= 2006-10-01|publisher= Homemade Music
*cite web |url= http://www.garyparkes.com/singers/gwyn_j_allen.htm|title= Gwyn Jay Allen|accessdate= 2006-10-01|publisher= Gary Parkes Music
*cite web |url= http://www.gwynjayallen.com/theperformer.html|title= The performer: the music|accessdate= 2006-10-01
*cite web |url= http://www.gwynjayallen.com/satchmo.html |title= The performer: Satchmo |accessdate= 2006-10-01
*cite web |url= http://www.angelfire.com/il/BluesBros/castpast.html#ga | title= Casts of the Past: Gwyn Jay Allen| accessdate= 2006-10-01
* [http://www.gwynjayallen.com Gwyn Jay Allen official web site]
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