Jive Aces

Jive Aces

The Jive Aces are the UK’s top Jive & Swing band. Together for over a decade, this extremely popular six piece group have performed at thousands of festivals, theatres and events throughout the UK, Europe and USA, as well as Japan, Israel and the Caribbean, 30 countries in all.

Biography Testimonials


The Jive Aces are the UK’s top Jive & Swing band. Together for over a decade, this extremely popular six piece group have performed at thousands of festivals, theatres and events throughout the UK, Europe and USA, as well as Japan, Israel and the Caribbean, 30 countries in all. The Jive Aces are renowned for their high energy Jump Jive music (the exciting sound where Swing meets Rock ‘n Roll) and spectacular stage show.

They combine a mixture of fresh arrangements of swing/Jive/R&B classics – songs made famous by such greats as Louis Prima, Cab Calloway, Bobby Darin, Louis Armstrong, Dean Martin, Big Joe Turner and Sammy Davis Jnr – along with a selection of superb swinging originals taken from their studio albums.

The Jive Aces have worked with many of the top names in the business, including John Travolta, Status Quo, Isaac Hayes, Van Morrison, Count Basie Orchestra, Keely Smith, Priscilla Presley, Buddy Greco, Kirstie Allie, Kenny Ball, Chuck Berry, Tony Christie and Lee Evans to name just a few.

The band has performed at countless major events including: “In Full Swing” at The Royal Albert Hall (when they headlined the iconic venue’s first ever swing dance); The Berkeley Square Ball; Glastonbury Festival; The London Season; Montreux Jazz Festival (5 times); Lovebox Festival; The Royal Ballet’s 50th Anniversary; North Sea Jazz Festival; World Swing Dance Championships (Oslo and New York); Grand Order of Water Rats Annual Ball (3 times); Society of Distinguished Songwriters Ladies Night (twice); City of London Festival; The Ryder Cup; Cannes Film Festival (official party); Cork Jazz Festival; Conservative Party Conference (twice); Society of Distinguished Songwriters and have performed for HRH Prince Philip at The World Pony Carriage Championships.

The Jive Aces were the recipients of the prestigious “City of Derry International Music Award” for 2006, previous recipients being Van Morrison and Jools Holland. They also received in 2008 a special award from the Variety Club of Great Britain for their contributions to entertainment and charity.

The band has been featured on literally hundreds of TV and radio shows, most recently they are featured playing live every Wednesday night on BBC Radio London’s “Late Nights” show with Jo Good. Other appearances include CNN; ABC’s “Good Morning Los Angeles”; Channel 4’s “Holy Smoke”; BBC Radio 2; DNA Stories; Wakey, Wakey Campers; JazzFM; “A Swingin’ Christmas” (one-hour PBS Special); an eight week residency the hit Italian show “Niente Popo Dimenoche”; BBC1 TV for “Children in Need”, and many more.

The band has released six studio albums and one compilation on Right Recordings. Their latest “Recipe for Rhythm” features guest appearances from Chick Corea, Mark Isham, Mr Acker Bilk, Toni Elizabeth Prima and others and is produced by three-time Grammy award winner, Emmanuele Ruffinengo.

With their high energy music, bright stage suits, wild stage show, irresistible humor and sheer professionalism, the Jive Aces will quickly get any audience on their feet – or dancing in their seat! Each and every show is guaranteed to go with a swing!

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“These professional young musicians came on cold to an early evening audience and were simply sensational. The Jive Aces manage great freshness yet maintain an authentic accurate sound. Full Marks.”
The Stage

“Now back by popular demand for an incredible fourth consecutive year at Montreux Jazz Festival, their explosive live shows have become legendary”
Montreux Jazz Festival

“I wanted to take a few minutes to write a note of personal thanks for the amazing contribution you made to the Children In Need event on Friday. I was extraordinarily impressed not just by the professionalism which you exuded on the night, but also by the willingness to work within the often very strange demands of television. I’m not sure if you have had the chance to see the result on television, but you looked and sounded great.”
Executive Editor, BBC East

“The acclaimed, energetic swing music stage show.”
The Guardian

“THE JIVE ACES entertained 200 delegates from all over the world at the Welcome Party that kicked off the Variety Children’s Charity Annual 5-day International Convention held in May at The Royal Lancaster Hotel, London. As usual, the band was fantastic and provided the Convention with a sensational opening.”
Tony Hatch – songwriting legend and Variety Club member

“Life Is a Game by The Jive Aces has the most important ingredients: It is musically brilliant, it is great to listen to, songwriting is exceptional, the arrangements of the covers are superb. The Jive Aces really are a band of very talented musicians. The album gives loads of joy and pleasure.”
Albums of the year, BBC Radio 2 website

“Opening up with The Jive Aces, the energy level quickly soars through the roof as the band starts stomping with some infectious, high-speed swing music that parallels the energy of 50’s rock ‘n’ roll with all the silk and glamour of 40’s swing. Truly modern, and making no claims otherwise, the band seems to be on a caffeine high as they shoot and dance around the notes with such clarity. I’ll give it an A.”
In Music we Trust – CD review

“The Jive Aces are the most dynamic and talented band I’ve seen in many years…and the ONLY ones I have ever seen with the energy and magic on stage of my parents, Louis Prima and Keely Smith, had during their shows. I am a HUGE fan.”
Toni Elizabeth Prima

“As Duke Ellington put it, “It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.” Well these boys mean plenty because they swing a whole lot better than most people I’ve heard. Their enthusiasm and their talent are obvious when you listen to their music; it’s infectious, uplifting and a marvelous reminder of the era of jiving and swing. Listening to their music makes me want to get up on the floor, so come on everyone – Let’s Dance!”
Len Goodman – “Strictly Come Dancing” and “Dancing with the Stars”

“Boundlessly enjoyable, brilliantly entertaining, and with enough energy to light up London, the UK’s top jive and swing band create electrifying sounds.”
National Theatre

“Swing kings, The Jive Aces, have been playing to sell-out crowds all across Scotland.”
The Scottish Sun

“The Jive Aces album features some horn and piano solos that made my ears pick up real pretty and their charts are uniformly punchy and clever. The band demonstrates throughout that they know their s**t!”
Orange County Weekly

“If you wanted an excuse to take your mind off your troubles for a couple of hours on Friday night, this show was just the ticket. Their performance was one of the most energetic I’ve seen at the Grand and their enthusiasm was much appreciated by the audience.

Particularly impressive were the pianist, Vince Hurley, whose boogie-woogie playing was amazing; and the jiving ‘cleaners’ who joined the band in the second half and received a standing ovation from some audience members. Another showstopping moment came when the drummer Peter Howell played the double bass with his fluorescent drum sticks. I suppose you had to be there! The band’s repertoire was extensive and featured lots of top-tapping classics. The audience were more than amply rewarded and if their comments after the show were any measure, they’d be delighted to welcome them to Lancaster again – once they’ve got their breath back.”
Lancaster Grand

“With matching yellow zoot suits that even the late George Melly might have considered too daring, the Jive Aces are one of the Fringe’s most eye-catching turns. They’re also one of the most professional. Pausing only to introduce the next number with well-rehearsed mischief, the sextet breeze through swing, jive and boogie-woogie favourites with style, panache and smiling enthusiasm. They also know how to get an audience involved, ending the first half with all the portable instruments blowing heartily up in the bleachers and encouraging everyone on to their feet at every opportunity. Mind you, whenever special guests the Jiving Lindy Hoppers appeared, the dancing quality soared into another, unattainable league. A good night out…”
Rob Adams, Glasgow Herald – Review for sold-out show at Edinburgh Fringe

“Play just one track from this CD and it will tell you all you need to know about this jumping jiving band. The track I’m referring to is Three Cats Called Louis, a tune about Prima, Jordan and Armstrong and it signifies the importance of these individuals in the history of music. The Jive Aces are obviously greatly influenced by this trio as well as all things rhythmic but their music doesn’t just hark back to the glory days of jump blues. These guys know how to entertain and make their music relevant and contemporary especially when they are dealing with current issues (Only Mugs Take Drugs). This music is timeless because it makes you feel good and gets to your rhythm bone. Their interpretation of such standards as Singin’ in the Rain, White Cliffs of Dover and Louis’ Wonderful World, display the band’s talent in re-energising well worn favorites. Their own compositions are well constructed with good lyrics and great melodies. This is one CD that has stayed on my system since I received it for review. Quality jump, jive and boogie.”
David Land – Jazz Journal – CD review for “Life is a Game”

“Coming up trumps…Solo or in the pack, the Jive-age showmen are aces all!

The Jive Aces are a six piece outfit fronted brilliantly by lead vocalist Ian Clarkson, who also doubled on trumpet. You need an over-the-top front man to make this work and Ian Clarkson’s repartee was as important as his big, versatile voice. They burst on to stage, identical in bright yellow zoot suits. From then on it was non-stop, high-energy fun, with hardly a break between numbers, the whole band projecting bags of show-biz personality.

Their repertoire was surprisingly big on pop songs of the era, but with interesting arrangements, providing lots of colour tone, lead vocals always a big feature. While there were the expected jive numbers like Shake, Rattle and Roll and In the Mood, we also got Buona Sera with a fast sizzling tenor sax solo, Beyond the Sea, delivered in a convincing Bobby Darin style, Love Me or Leave Me, the first time I have heard this put to a jive beat with some great jazzy scat singing and Volare presented as the Italian national anthem.

This band works because important, well-rehearsed factors gel: high levels of musicianship, one wonderfully creative sax solo after another from “Big” John Fordham; the featured boogie piano-playing and simultaneous dancing of “the Professor”; a good sound balance delivered at the right volume, including on-board mikes on the horns, allowing for lots of stage interaction from the whole band; showmanship; terrific vocals and an entertaining choice of material. A huge encore brought them back for Big Noise from Winnetka, with the dancing Jivettes making for a real show-biz finale.”
Gavin Wilkinson – Newbury News (Review for Newbury Spring Festival appearance)

“Following their blistering debut at the Kitsch Lounge Riot @ Pigalle in October, the hardest working Swing band in showbiz, The Jive Aces, return. Inspired by the Rat Pack, the Jive Aces will take you on a journey of Vegas Cool. Having worked with Van Morrison and John Travolta the Jive Aces are the party band of the rich and famous.”
Kitsch Lounge Riot

“The Jive Aces are one of the hardest-working bands in show business today, performing over 300 concerts a year in up to 25 countries. They’ve played at the Olympic Games celebrations in Atlanta and are very popular in Hollywood where they are the band of choice at celebrity parties. If you like foot-tapping, swinging, spirit-raising festival fun, there’s none better music-wise than The Jive Aces, returning to the Guinness Jazz Festival by public demand – pure entertainment!”
Cork Jazz Festival

“The UK-based six-piece play storming jazz and swing!”
View London

“A big thank you to you all for a fantastic show on Saturday! The audience loved you. Percentage wise there must have been 80% of them dancing. I’ve never seen anything like that at our events!”
Manager – CT3 Events (organiser of large music events in Kent)

“I love the Jive Aces. Slick, energetic and entertaining, an asset to any event”
John Miller – Bandleader & nephew of Glenn Miller

“The Jive Aces dazzled us with colour, energy, warmth and musicality. What more could you ask for on the prime night of our weekend conference? And to add to that they engaged with the audience in an inimitable fashion. I don’t think Maria will forget her ‘personal serenade’ in a hurry! Wonderful entertainers – professional to the core. You electrified us. Thank you.”
Robin Chawner – National Conference Organiser for Toastmasters UK

“No visit to the City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival would be complete without seeing The Jive Aces. You won’t be able to sit still as this dynamic group sets the room on fire with a fantastic range of boogie, swing, jive and rock ‘n’ roll. Wearing their trademark yellow suits, The Jive Aces don’t just play jazz they LIVE it!! It’s hard not to be infected by The Jive Aces enthusiasm. So, if you’re looking for a night of fun, laughter and high octane music look no further – mellow yellow it ain’t!”
City of Derry Jazz & Big Band Festival

“Opening up with The Jive Aces, the energy level quickly soars through the roof as the band starts stomping with some infectious, high-speed swing music that parallels the energy of 50’s rock ‘n’ roll with all the silk and glamour of 40’s swing. Truly modern, and making no claims otherwise, the band seems to be on a caffeine high as they shoot and dance around the notes with such clarity. I’ll give it an A.”
In Music we Trust

“These six guys are top musicians and brilliant performers. Regularly played by me on BBC Southern Counties, this music will get your feet tapping.”
BBC Southern Counties

“The boys dress in electric blue suits and generate more energy than a splitting atom!”
The Gazette

“The Jive Aces were definitely the most exciting act to play at our 2003 festival. They came onstage at 7.30pm on a Sunday evening & absolutely blew the house away. They were the first band I booked for 2004!”
Great British Rhythm & Blues Festival

“The must see show of the (City of Derry Jazz and Big Band) Festival.”
The Derry News

“Easily one of the best hot, young, swing bands from Europe, that’s taking America by storm!”
Swingtime magazine

“The Jive Aces, back at the Chichester festival by popular demand, put the cherry on the festival with their fantastic mix of jazz, swing & jump jive. Their performance, as slick and exciting as ever, put the large crowd under the Jive Aces spell. The Jive Aces ooze talent, presentation and professionalism, obviously honed during their recent world tour. More than a band – a performance to grace any stage.”
Chichester Real Ale, Jazz & Blues Festival

“The Jive Aces played a wonderful performance in Tarragona International Dixieland Festival. They played for two hours with a lot of energy: they are like gunpowder! The crowd danced since the show began and the theatre became a total fiesta. They were ideal for our festival.”
Tarragonna International Festival

“The night would not have been the same without the fantastic experience that was the Jive Aces. They rocked onto the stage in yellow suits and slicked back hair. In no time the hall was transformed into a jiving, cavorting, dance floor with everyone exhilarated by the entertaining physical stunts and extraordinary playing of the pianist. The night flew by and in no time we were wishing that the encores would go on till morning. They are truly wonderful performers. Not to be missed!”
University College, Durham

“A tour de force. One of the most professional acts we have ever booked.

Everyone was on their feet jiving! Absolutely brilliant.”
Blues Autour du Zinc

“The Jive Aces are really spectacular, not only clowning about and putting on a real show, but their musicianship is rock solid, they cover everything from Joe Houston to Louis Prima via Joe Turner. I strongly suggest you get to see them if you can. We saw them at the Great British R&B Festival & were all knocked out.”
Blues & Rhythm Magazine

“Their sound and style is infectious. When I saw the reaction from the audience last year I just had to sign them up for an evening show in 2006. Their bright costumes and lively, energetic nature on stage makes the whole performance incredibly good fun. It’s the perfect combination for a good night out”
War and Peace Show

“The more than 11,000 strong audience were electrified by the Jive Aces performance in Klaipeda’s Theatre Square. It was an amazing and unforgettable show. The musicians used all the space of the whole square and involved the whole audience with their show. The biggest surprise for me was that in all of these moments of fantastic show, no matter where they were – on the stage, in the audience or climbing up the lighting rig – all the musicians of The Jive Aces played to the highest professional level. That’s really fantastic and beyond belief! And for the first time in history of eleven years of the Klaipeda Jazz Festival we have made the decision to invite the same group next year – The Jive Aces.”
Founder – Klaipeda Jazz Festival

“There was vitality in the upbeat jazzy tunes and rock ‘n’ roll beats. There was no warming up for these guys – they were rockin’ and so was the crowd. The Jive Aces hold a fierce grip of the roots of swing and jive, yet allow people like myself to thoroughly enjoy the music and atmosphere in a modern time and setting.”
Wokingham Times

“The band plays together with precision and feeling. Indeed the Jive Aces are one of the most popular bands on the modern jive circuit.”
The Musician

“Superb Musicians, superb Music, superb suits, just simply a superb performance. So good that I have already booked them for June 2005 Lichfield Jazz & Blues Festival what better recommendation than that? For promoters they’re an easy band to work with fully professional in their approach – excellent publicity materials and marketing.”
Lichfield Fuse Festival

“A great band with a jumping hot sound which went down a storm”
Hartlepool Maritime Festival

“One of the busiest and liveliest bands on the circuit and without doubt the UK’s number one jive and swing band.”
Henley Festival

“The Jive Aces cruise into town next week on a tidal wave of adulation and rave reviews.”
Evening Mail

“The Jive Aces are truly global performers with massive success across Europe. They have also managed to “break” America and deliver their eclectic style to an enormous audience in the States. With a lively blend of vocals, brass and piano the Jive Aces are always a favourite with audiences as they combine superb musical talent, an excellent repertoire and wonderful stage presence to their performance.”
Southport Evening Mail

“Whenever they play, their stylishly cut suits and eye catching ties, coupled with a breathtaking show, never fail to get across to the audience the feeling that a class act is in progress.”
Berwick Advertiser

“The Jive Aces have masterfully played their wonderful music at the Royal National Theatre’s summer festival, “Watch This Space”, for 3 years running. Each time they came up with a riveting musical show, exciting the crowds into fun and dancing from the first tune to the last. Always efficient and punctual they are great to work with.”
Royal National Theatre

“The Jive Aces first performance at the Southport International Jazz Festival was a resounding success, with a packed venue jumping in rhythm to their unique style. They were an absolute pleasure to work with and we look forward to welcoming them back to Southport in the future.”
Southport Jazz Festival

“I operate the largest swing dance classes and dances on the East Coast of America www.gottaswing.com. We have over 120 live music nights each year. Having hired bands from Los Angeles to London, from big band to combo, no single band is requested for a repeat performance as often as the Jive Aces. From a promoter’s perspective, they are very professional, very easy to work with and they work to put on a great show. From a dancer’s perspective, they have a limitless repertoire of classic jump tunes that are all danceable. From a non dancers perspective, their show is boundless energy that makes you wish you could dance and is terrific fun to just watch for the sheer joy the boys exhibit. Unlike many contemporary bands which just play music, the Jive Aces put on a killer show which infects the crowd with their enthusiasm.”

“They always draw a big crowd, and they put on one hell of a show. These boys will swing your socks off!”
Atomic Magazine

“The Jive Aces, hands down, give the greatest show I’ve ever seen at a swing dance club! As a club producer for the past seven years, I can say that there is no other band that consistently gives its all to the dancers and audience. No matter how many times I see or book this band, they are full of the ultimate performance energy. They literally jump onto the dance floor, and play their instruments right amidst the dancing foray, elevating the evening to a fever pitch of excitement. I have seen otherwise calm and collected persons go absolutely abandoned with joy as a result of these talented and charismatic fellows. I would like to say further, that, as a promoter, they are an absolute pleasure with whom to work; they are professional to the maximum and have never caused me a worry or even the slightest problem. In addition to all their other great qualities, they have the ability to make each person (myself included) feel that he or she is a special friend. If you want the best show possible get the Jive Aces!”
Rusty Frank, “The Rhythm Club”, Los Angeles

“The Jive Aces always put on a great show which makes the best of contact with the audience”
Silda Jazz

“They give the best jive and swing show around and really do live up to their reputation as the UK’s No. 1 jive & swing band.”
Simon Selmon, Founder London Swing Dance Society

“The Jive Aces – Recipe for Rhythm ****

Imagine the point where swing meets rock ’n’ roll and you’ve something of the measure of the infectious, high-energy sounds of The Jive Aces.

Their distinctive jump jive fusion salutes the golden age of the big bands, takes in rhythm and blues, adds a dash of boogie-woogie and stirs in lashings of good humour and feelgood factor.

Curiously, despite echoes of the Second World War – evident in Vince Hurley’s tribute to The Few and the choice of We’ll Meet Again as the closing track (featuring a guest appearance by Acker Bilk) – the music sounds fresh and contemporary, making this one of those albums that you can play at a party and please just about everyone.

Look out too for the festive single White Hot Christmas.”
Daily Echo

“Swing maestros show they hold all the aces.

For anyone who has not experienced the Jive Aces in full flow you don’t know what you’re missing. With their distinctive yellow suits and their array of styles, they have to be heard to be believed.

The group employ a unique mix of swing and jive, with musical influences from Elvis Presley to Bill Haley. And they delivered what they do every year – a great show. From the outset they had the audience in the palm of their hand, with lead singer Ian Clarkson showing he really knows how to wow a crowd. Rarely did the beat drop as Clarkson took fans through their repertoire. The venue for this year’s opener was well chosen. The Gweedore offers a good size area but with the intimate atmosphere reminiscent of those jazz clubs of yesteryear. The sheer energy of the performance from the Jive Aces guaranteed an unforgettable night.”
Belfast Telegraph

Edfringe 2010 ***** (highest possible rating)

“As August comes to a close, awards are distributed, flyers are swept away and the students remove their makeup and head back to university, it’s good to end on a high note.

Which is why you should make your way to City Edinburgh posthaste to catch the short run of the Jive Aces. Resplendent in yellow zoot suits, this sextet radiate energy and positivity.

2010 would have been Louis Prima’s 100th birthday so this show is an affectionate tribute to that great man and his wife and musical partner, Keely Smith. Most of the songs were performed by Prima, but a few have a more tenuous link and the band have “Prima-rised” them – a process that works surprisingly well with everything from “Singing in the Rain” to “Bring Me Sunshine”. Their energetic rendition of “Jump, Jive an’ Wail” seems to get the entire venue on its feet. The Jive Aces have obviously been at this awhile and their performance is polished and professional, but without sacrificing soul in the process. Their onstage antics as well as their musical ability mean they are hugely charismatic performers and consummate showmen. Extra spectacle is provided by the swing dancers who are in abundant attendance and make the most of the rather small dance floor provided. As much as the audience enjoy all this, the undoubted highlight of the evening is the encore. With some coaxing, the Jive Aces are joined by Keely Smith herself for a duet on “That Ol’ Black Magic”. It is indeed a magic moment, and the perfect note on which to close the Fringe.”
Julie Dawson – Edinburgh Spotlight

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Jive Aces

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