The Penguin Cafe Orchestra
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MEMBERS OF THE PENGUIN CAFE ORCHESTRA

Drawing on a wide range of musical disciplines, from classical to country, the hallmark of Simon Jeffes’ music has been a tightly controlled and paradoxical mix of freedom and perfection. This has called for highly trained, but innovative musicians. Members of the Orchestra have included:

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BARBARA BOLTE – Oboe

Born in Canada. Studied with Heinz Hollinger and a former member of the Ensemble Intercontemporain, Barbara has played a wide variety of classical music ranging from West End shows and ballet to Covent Garden and the BBC. She is currently working in Canada.


STEPHEN FLETCHER – Piano

Stephen has been a member of the Penguin Café Orchestra since 1988. As a keyboard player he has worked with many artists including Paul Brady, Murray Head and Bob Geldof. He is also a writer, composer (Boy George and Murray Head) and producer. As a member of Bardo he represented the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest of 1982 and as an actor toured in many productions. He is currently working with Paul Brady and on solo projects.


SIMON JEFFES – Composer/various instruments

After training as a classical guitarist he played in experimental groups, particularly the Omega Players. Early on as a composer he found himself parting ways with established avant-garde in search of his own solution to the problems and puzzles of being a composer here and now. After exploring the ambience of rock and ethnic music he formed The Penguin Café Orchestra in 1973 which by its nature freed him (to some extent) from the constraints and assumptions which go with part of a particular music "culture".

Apart from his work with the Orchestra he has worked with a weird range of artists including Camel, Caravan, 101ers, Sex Pistols/Malcolm McLaren, Andre Gregory, Twyla Tharp, Mort Shuman, David Sylvian, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Baaba Maal (for whom he composed three string arrangements).

In 1988 the Ballet, "Still Life at the Penguin Café" choreographed by David Bintley and for which Jeffes orchestrated eight of his Penguin Café Orchestra pieces for the Opera House Orchestra, was first performed by the Royal Ballet at Covent Garden, where it continues to be featured regularly.


HELEN LIEBMANN – Cello

Studied at the Royal Academy of Music. Has played with numerous ensembles. Is a practicing music therapist and freelance cellist. She was a founder member of the Penguin Café Orchestra in 1973.


BOB LOVEDAY – Violin

Joined the Penguin Café Orchestra in 1985.

Has recorded with PCO, Jeff Beck, Van Morrison, Bob Geldof, Paul McCartney, Paul Young, Paul Carrack, George Fenton, Kirsty McColl, Louden Wainwright III, Dave Edmonds, Wes McGhee, EKO, Danny Thompson, Tim Renwick, and many others.

Has performed with PCO, Bob Geldof, Garth Brooks, Randy Travis, Mary Coughlan, Matraca Berg, Richard Thompson, Maria McKee, Joe Ely and others.

Has performed live (TV comedy) on Alexei Sayle Show, French & Saunders Show, Fry & Laurie, Rory McGrath & Phil Pipe (Death by Country), Ben Elton and (TV comedy sountracks) on Benny Hill, The Comic Strip Presents, Simon Brint, Tracy Ullman, Lenny Henry, Jane Horrocks, Josie Lawrence, Mary Whitehouse Experience, Kiss Me Kate, Fast Show, Not the 9 o’clock News, Spitting Image and others,


PETER MCGOWAN – Violin

Has played with the Penguin Café Orchestra since 1989. He is a violinist, composer and teacher whose career has spanned classical orchestras including The Royal Philharmonic and The London Sinfonietta, scores for The Balanescu Quartet and Royal Ballet and creative music education for The Royal Opera. He is currently co-director of Serenata Music Education, teaches the violin and is training as a music therapist.


JENNIFER MAIDMAN– Percussion/Bass

Jennifer Maidman is a producer, writer and instrumentalist currently based in London. Her career in music began in the early 1970s as a bass player. After a year signed to Phonogram Jenifer had a successful stint as a recording engineer working with Marc Bolan and T Rex, Steve Marriot and Jeff Beck. She moved into the session field as a musician, mainly specializing in bass but also playing guitar, keyboards, drums and percussion recording and touring with artists including Joan Armatrading, Gerry Rafferty, Shakespears Sister, Murray Head, David Sylvian, George Clinton, Boy George, The Proclaimers. She collaborated co-writing songs for Boy George and on a project with Guesch Patti.

Jenniferhas produced albums by Paul Brady, Murray Head, Annie Whiehead and the Dutch/African band Pili Pili amongst others. She has performed with the Penguin Café Orchestra since 1985. While on tour with PCO she met her partner Annie Whitehead.

Jennifer and Annie, together with Harry Beckett and Liam Genockey formed "Rude" – a jazz/funk/rock/ska improvisation project. Recently Jennifer has worked on a project based on the music of Robert Wyatt. She is currently recording and touring with Paul Brady.


STEVE NYE

In 1972 Steve met up with Simon Jeffes and the Penguin Café Orchestra was formed with Steve subsequently playing keyboards on and co-producing five PCO albums, as well as touring worldwide.

Steve began his recording career as an assistant engineer at George Martin’s AIR Studios in London in 1971. Having worked with such artists as Deep Purple, Procol Harum, Roxy Music, Wings and Stevie Wonder he went on to engineer several albums with producer Chris Thomas, such as "Siren" (Roxy Music), "Let’s Stick Together" (Bryan Ferry), "Pretenders" (The Pretenders) and "Broken Glass" (Pete Townsend). During this period he worked with many different artists covering a wide range of music from Frank Zappa to Ryuichi Sakamoto and Karlheinz Stockhausen.

Inspired with the experience obtained by working with various producers including Chris Thomas, George Martin, Rupert Hine and Leiber & Stoller, Steve made the transition to production, producing albums such as "In Your Mind" (Bryan Ferry), "Tin Drum" (Japan), "Brilliant Trees", "Gone To Earth" and "Secrets of the Beehive" (David Sylvian), "Mummer" (XTC), "Macalla" (Clannad), "The Walk" (The Cure) and "Storyville" (Robbie Robertson) for which he received a Grammy nomination for Best Engineered Album. He also mixed "The Last Emperor" album for Sakamoto which won an Oscar for Best Soundtrack.


NEIL RENNIE – Ukelele

Ukelele-player and poet, author of the Cargo, he is a lecturer in English at the University of London. He has played with the Penguin Café Orchestra since 1975.


GEOFFREY RICHARDSON – Viola

After graduating from Winchester School of Art in 1972, Geoffrey joined the progressive rock group Caravan and is still touring and making albums with them. In 1976 he joined the Penguin Café Orchestra and played on all subsequent albums. As a session player he has appeared on more than 120 records as a viola player and multi-instrumentalist.

Live and on record he has played with, amongst others, Quantum Jump, Rupert Hine, Murray Head, Paul Brady, Bob Geldof and in France with Renaud and Elsa.

Geoffrey has a solo album "Viola Mon Amour", two albums with his good friend Jim Leverton and has been a visiting lecturer in Fine Art and Music at Canterbury College, Winchester School of Art and South Kent College.


JULIO SEGOVIA – Percussion

Born in Argentina he moved to Spain playing with groups tending towards Southern American ethnic and Latin music. Then to Germany where his interest towards free music led him as a singer and percussionist in the Candela group (playing salsa and fusion). He then moved to London where he played with the Hinkley Heroes Band and met the Penguin Café Orchestra.

Currently living in Italy he has been working on music for films and TV and playing in different bands of pop, Latin and Mediterranean music. He is involved in teaching percussion and is singer, percussionist and songwriter with Segovia Acoustic Band.


JILL STREATER – Oboe

A BMUS degree was followed by studies with Heinz Hollinger in Germany. After an extended world tour with French singer Charles Aznavour, she returned to classical orchestra work concluding with the ABC in Australia. Since her return to the UK her main involvement has been with music preparation, particularly in the areas of theatre, TV and film.


ANNIE WHITEHEAD – Trombone

Has played trombone with Chris MacGregor’s Brotherhood of Breath, Working Week, Abdullah Ibrahim, Carla Bley and James ‘Blood’ Ulmer and in various groups led by John Stevens.

She is also well known for her work with various pop and rock artists including Elvis Costello, Jah Wobble, Robert Wyatt, Bananarama, the Frank Chickens and Joe Jackson. With the horn section, The Kick Horns, she has done session work with Gabrielle, The Spice Girls, Blur, Boyzone, Eddie Reader and Dr John amongst others.

In 1991 Annie joined the Penguin Café Orchestra where she met her partner and musican collaborator Ian Maidman. Their first project together was the free-funk ensemble "Rude". Since then they have recorded 3 albums for Annie’s own band "Annie Whitehead Experience".

 
 
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