The French Boogie Woogie Boys (FR)

Christophe and Bruno, aka the French Boogie Woogie Boys have been playing together for over fifteen years, inspired by the “two piano” stylings of Albert Ammons and Pete Johnson. Bruno Duyé was sixteen and on vacation in Laroquebrou, when he was bitten by the boogie woogie bug and he has been playing this great music ever since.

Meanwhile, when Christophe Benz was finishing a classical music course, the two met and forged a partnership that was to endure and grow. The French Boogie Boys will play two sets at the festival, the first on Saturday lunchtime at the Boogie Woogie Barbeque at Harts of Stur and also on Sunday lunchtime at our ‘Boeuf Boogie-on’ at the Swan Inn.

Bic & Simone Graham (UK)

Lindy Hop dancers, Bic and Simone Brown met on a crowded dance floor and soon found a common passion for the dance that first brought them together. Their love for the dance has taken them to many places such as New York, China, Sweden, Barcelona and Bali to experience the various local scenes and the best teachers around the world. 2012 saw a succession of first place positions in competitions all over the UK and 1st and 2nd place at major French camps.

Bic and Simone run weekly classes on the South Coast as well as many events in the UK and abroad. They have been invited to teach at various camps and workshops around the UK, and at this year’s festival will run a Lindy Hop Workshop at the Chivrick Room at the Exchange on Saturday afternoon. Bic and Simone love sharing their passion for the dance and hope to encourage you to come along and join them.


Hamish Maxwell (UK)

Hamish is a blues singer in the mould of blues “shouter”, Big Joe Turner and has performed with legends of the International music scene over many decades. He was a good friend and indeed best man for the late Ian “Stu” Stewart, the piano player for the Rolling Stones.

He first appeared at the UK Boogie Woogie Festival in 2011, journeying from his home in Dorset to see what all the fuss was about. He made an impromptu performance of “Roll ‘em Pete”, accompanied by Patrick Smet at Caffe Espresso and has been a festival and boogie club favourite ever since! Hamish is one of our special guest musicians this year and will play at a selection of events throughout the weekend.


Dan Ward and Colin Elliott are Nobody’s Business!

Dan plays guitar and was influenced by blues masters such as Big Bill Broonzy, Blind Gary Davis, Lightnin’ Hopkins and Lonnie Johnson as well as contemporary artists such as Eric Bibb.

Colin acquired his first harmonica in the late 60’s, influenced initially by Bob Dylan and later from a radio programme featuring Sonny Boy Williamson. A chance meeting between Colin and Dan enabled the two to try playing a variety of material together, culminating in a gig at a local venue. Since then the duo have gone from strength to strength and have recently released their second album, “Easy”.

Make it your business to see Nobody’s Business at the Saturday Matinee, featuring Julian Phillips.


Julian Phillips (UK)

In 2005, Julian Phillips had a notion to create a festival of Boogie Woogie music in the small Dorset town of Fontmell Magna. He and other founder members brought together pianists from the UK and Europe and so the UK Boogie Woogie Festival was born.

Julian began playing at the age of ten but he was 14 before he became aware of boogie woogie. Julian began to teach himself how to play, listening to and interpreting the music of Jimmy Yancey, Montana Taylor, Leroy Carr, “Cripple” Clarence Lofton and Clarence “Pinetop” Smith. A feature of the festival is Julian playing his accordion, an instrument that blends seamlessly with the swing and rhythm of the music.

In addition to the annual festival in July, Julian, together with other members of the UK Boogie Woogie Club, present a monthly Club Night, showcasing local musical talent, both young and old! Club nights are held on the first Monday each month – why not come along?

His love and knowledge of the music is infectious and whether playing solo or performing with other musicians, his enjoyment of the music shines through. Julian has played in concerts and festivals in Europe and America and is highly esteemed by his fellow players. As a teacher, Julian has inspired many young people to follow his example and many of them will be playing during the festival, a tribute to his talent, enthusiasm and love of boogie woogie.

Big John Carter (UK)

Since attending his first UK Boogie Woogie festival, Big John has travelled more widely in Europe and always enjoys the opportunity to play boogie woogie with like-minded players. Always down to earth, Big John is very knowledgeable about the music he loves to listen to and perform.



Patrick Smet (Belgium)

Patrick Smet is a stalwart of the UK Boogie Woogie Festival “family”, having attended the event since its beginning in 2005. He has played in almost every corner of Sturminster Newton since then and this year presents the Masterclass at St Mary’s Church on Saturday.

Patrick’s love of listening to blues and boogie woogie soon developed in a passion to play this music himself…he knows the value of practice and rehearsal and will stress this importance and provide valuable tips for those attending. He will talk about his influences and share his fascinating journey from being an amateur player.

Patrick retired from his full-time teaching career in 2008, providing the opportunity to develop his style by attending concerts and festivals and also hosting fellow players at his home. He has not only developed his style of playing but also his performance. He can be energetic, sombre, humorous and he is also an excellent accompanist.

Patrick has played in festivals in his native Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Laroquebrou in France, the UK festival, as well as further afield in America.


Izi Onslow (UK)

Based in Dorset, Izi has been singing classically since she was eleven but didn’t discover Boogie and Blues until much later. This occurred thanks to Julian Phillips and Big John Carter, who introduced her to (amongst others) the music of Ella Mae Morse, Ann Cole and Ruth Durand, and since then Izi hasn’t looked back.

Izi has performed at numerous events and festivals both in the UK and abroad, and has had the opportunity to meet and perform with some of the top musicians on the international blues scene including Carl ‘Sonny’ Leyland, Jo Schumacher, Christian Bleiming and Laura B’s Band, amongst others. In addition to her performing, Izi made her debut as joint compere at last year’s festival and will be once more sharing introductions with fellow compere, Rhiannon Phillips.

Izi’s education in Boogie and Blues continues to expand. Drawing influences from a broad range of artists from Ruth Brown to Little Sylvia, she is swiftly developing a style that is entirely her own.

Claire Hamlin (UK)

Claire was originally inspired to play by the 50's rock and roll greats: Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis and Fats Domino. The mystery of where it had all began soon compelled her to seek out the roots of this music, discovering the raw, addictive sounds of the 1930’s masters, Pete Johnson and Albert Ammons, lead to an on-going passion for piano boogie woogie, reflected in every gig.

As pianist with jump jive and rock n’ roll bands including The Alabama Slammers, The Alleycats and The Slammers Maximum Jive Band, Claire has played clubs and festivals all over Europe. She currently appears with roots boogie blues combo Booga Red, as well as backing many of the original 50's British rock and roll pioneers at the Tales from the Woods Heritage Shows in London. Since last year, Claire has recorded and produced her first solo cd, “Elbows Going Crazy”. Copies of the cd will be available at the festival and the proceeds will be donated to Broomfield Hospital Cancer Care Unit.

Claire first attended the UK Boogie Woogie Festival in 2013 and has been a regular performer since then. This year, Claire will play at the delightful setting of Sturminster Mill on Saturday morning, together with some friends….

Jelly Germain (Cameroun)

Jelly Germain is no stranger to the UK Boogie Woogie Festival. He is an internationally recognised tap dancer, performer and choreographer, whose interpretations of the music have always wowed festival audiences. He has danced in many well-known shows such as “Sophisticated Lady”, “Riverdance”, “A Night at the Cotton Club” and “Black & Blue”, as well as his own creations, “Mr Bojangles” and “Harlem Swing”.

Jelly continues to tour worldwide, from Holland to China and the USA, either as a solo performer or with his dance partner, Caroline Podetti. Together they have established Compagnie Showtime Dance 20’s, focusing on the decade rich in showmanship, music and elegance.

Jelly’s energy and enthusiasm is infectious and he continues to teach and inspire youngsters to share his passion for dance in France and all over Europe. Jelly and Caroline will host Tap Dance Workshops on Saturday at the Chivrick Room in the Exchange and will feature in the Speakeasy concert at the Stour View Centre Hall on Friday and at the Stour Hall at the Exchange on Saturday night.