Dominic is a autodidact musician from Salisbury now based in London who started playing the sax at the age of 13. With his ability on the whole family of saxophones and distinctive sound Dom has gained a great reputation for his captivating and soulful performances. Playing in original bands around the south of England and London, covering Blues, funk, Soul, Rock 'N' Roll, Afro/Latin jazz, fusion, prog, experimental & folk music etc.
Dom decided to go to blues jams around Salisbury and at age 17 and started to play and improvise blues music! This gave him a new enthusiasm for the instrument and brought back self-belief, despite facing more than his fair share of nepotism even then.. Dom was then lucky enough to get involved playing a few gigs with his father’s band. This gave him a fundamental understanding of how to perform in front of a crowd and helped improve his improvisational skills playing rock and blues music.
A quiet time musically came when Dom completed a Honours Degree in Strategic Business at the University of Gloucestershire over 4 years, with no music scene then (bar a solitary open mike) until the final year where he found some musicians to form a band with called "Deflate the Ego" who played a surprising number of gigs. Dom was able to hone skills on the guitar during this period (albeit bedroom playing), attended jams back in Salisbury and played the odd gig. At age 22 after completing the degree Dom knew that his interests lay in music and although this was a difficult decision, with no financial cushion and having not even a GCSE in music. He joined a function band in Bristol called "Dysfunktional" where he played all around the country, performing weddings and functions. Over 5 years this taught Dom to perform in many different environments musically and in front of many different crowds. Learning hundreds of horn parts by memory. Providing all the gear (PA) for the band, Dom honed his skills in sound engineering and gained considerable skills in the operation of live PA engineering, where the sound had to be perfect for every situation.
In 2013 age 25 Dom being influenced by bands such as Pink Floyd and porcupine tree and various experimental bands has recorded with some world class musicians including (Jimmy Keegan-drummer from "Spock’s Beard" and Colin Edwin-bass player of "Porcupine tree") under the project name of "Dancing for Architecture". Formed by Matthew Richards the musically adventurous and unique prog/experimental album "Morphology" received hugely positive feedback which ft myself on soprano, alto, tenor & baritone saxophones!
In 2014 having never really played jazz before Dom decided to learn the American songbook by memory. Dom has put the blues into the framework of jazz music creating a unique style. That same year Dom guested at the late night show at Ronnie Scott's and amazed the audience and the fellow musicians on the soprano sax playing Blue Train by "John Coltrane", which was only the second ever jazz jam he'd been to, the first being at the Bristol jazz and Blues Festival. He repeated this process several times on soprano and baritone saxophones and various times since causing a sensational reaction with the audience each time.
In 2015 age 28 after experiencing the somewhat insular and hostile musical environment of Bristol Dom took a risk by moving to London whilst acquiring a job at the most famous saxophone store in the world Sax.co.uk, which had many applicants for the opening of the new store. Whilst at this job Dom used his in-depth knowledge of the saxophone, including mouthpiece design and sound, to write highly respected reviews for Sax.co.uk.
Since then Dom has created a massive impression on the music scene in London and made his own way by honing his skills and organically playing with many different great players and bands. In 2016 Dom played at "Africa on the Square "with his Afro/Latin band "Nelson & Friends" to an audience of 30,000 people who were captivated by an original tune "Zimu Wangu".
Dom plays the whole range of saxophones, but has discovered a natural affinity with the extreme registers of the saxophone range; the Soprano and Baritone sax and more recently the Bass Clarinet. Dom has a strong blues sound embedded into all his saxophones and sounds like himself. However, within the overall blues sound on all his horns he has also created a individual and separate sound to each instrument, which you can relate towards certain players for a rough sound guide.
Baritone sax: Dom has created a big, rich, dark, bluesy sound reminiscent of the late Hamiet Bluiette with a more modern edge to the tone, however with a smooth clear tone when playing ballads. Within a matter of weeks of picking up the baritone sax Dom could play the altissimo register with particular ease and astonished audiences with this ability and his sound. Dom has acquired a chromatic range of over 5 octaves on the horn, surprisingly not having started playing the baritone until late 2010!
Tenor sax: Dom has created a Sound very reminiscent of the 60's Rock'n'Roll and 70's funk/soul players: and whilst playing in a Rock'n'Roll band called "The Second Sons", the son of the legendary late great Bobby Keys (saxophonist) Jesse Keys watched a gig and was reduced to tears of joy as the sound reminded him of his father, playing a solo which Bobby Keys himself actually recorded with the band.
Alto Sax: Dom has created a vintage tone reminiscent of the vintage crisp sound of Charlie Parker combined with the bright punchy, modern sound of Gerald Albright. Dom uses a Trevor James Signature Custom Raw.
Soprano sax: Dom has created a beautiful sound reminiscent of Andy Sheppard (a big influence) but with a Celtic edge to the tone and has a four octave range. Dom has osmosed the Celtic folk sound onto the soprano by playing gigs with English/Irish folk musician Tim Madden, performing and recording folk/blues originals and standards at local gigs in the Salisbury area.. Dom has a recognisable and individual style and puts his unique voice down to performing at blues jams and being influenced and listening to blues players such as BB King, Eric Clapton, Rory Gallagher, and of course feeling the blues, rather than trying to copy other jazz saxophonists structured techniques over the years. Also by not being able to go down the standard classical to jazz route that is so often the case. Dom is also an accomplished guitarist and finds that playing the guitar enhances his saxophone language helping him find out new phrasing patterns and an expanded use of chordal frameworks for improvising over.
Dom in late 2020 recorded with one of the UK's leading and most respected blues musicians "Katie Bradley" https://katiebradley.co.uk/playing all the horns and bass clarinet on the album "Soho Heart" co-written with guitarist "Pete Farrugia". It was released in December and has already had a huge amount of airplay, been featured in the top of the IBBA charts and had stunning feedback and reviews in the UK and internationally!
In addition to this Dom also recorded a single with Isobel Thatcher's band in between lockdowns in 2020 titled "Walking down the Tracks" which incredibly featured 3 family members plus a close family friend Chris Williams on drums. It featured myself on bass clarinet and got immediate airplay by several major radio stations such as "Country Hits Radio", was featured as "Track of the week" by "Blues and Roots Radio" followed by some raving reviews and feedback.
In 2021 "More than Words" another track recorded in 2019 by Isobel Thatcher ft myself on tenor saxophone reached the final category of the "Blues & Roots Radio International song contest" with entries topping 25000!
A few of the venues Dom has played include: The Hard Rock Café, (London), Africa On The Square (2016), Africa Summer Festival 2017, Journeys International Festival 2018, 02 Islington, The Hard Rock Café London (Back Room Bar), Ronnie Scott's (late night show), Ain't Nothing But, The Troy Bar, The Pelton Arms, The Waldorf Hotel London, The Courtyard Theatre Hoxton, The Bedford, The Groucho Club, The Hospital Club, The Half Moon Putney, Rich Mix, The Spice Of Life, The Luna Lounge, Koko, Lost Rivers Elephant, St. Martins Hotel (blind spot bar), Bernie Arts Grant Centre Theatre, Bar 91 (Brick Lane), The A-Train jazz club Berlin, The Spice of Life-Soho, The Water Rats, The Monarch, The Bb Bar Berlin, Artliners, The Fiddlers Elbow, Hootenannies, Ronnie Scott's, The Isle of White festival, Swanage blues Festival, Slim Jim's, The Vortex, Hackney Empire (stage 3 Bar), The blues Kitchen (Camden & Shoreditch), Cardiff Town Hall, The Colston Hall, The Jazz Cafe, BIC, The Old Duke, Camden Assembly, The Troubadour, Hawkfest (Hawkeaster) ect
Dom has played with some of the very finest players in the UK and internationally including: The Drezone, Rick Leon James, David Mrakpor, Aidan Connell, Isobel Thatcher, Tom Thatcher, Nelson Artivia, Katie Bradley, Dennis Greaves (nine below zero) Jim Ferrie, Andy Sheppard, Jelly Kebba Susso, Michael Barnes, Williams Cumberbache, Pete Farrugia, Jimmy Keegan, Colin Edwin, Matthew Richards, Felix Pierre, Barry Barnes, Mark Skerrit, Tim Madden, Michael Wedgwood etc.
Plus many top musicians he has jammed in the presence of!