The Players

Deb Hutt (soprano/alto)


With over twenty years playing experience under her belt, Deb was one of the founder members of the National Saxophone Choir of Great Britain.  Performance highlights include the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (particularly a hug from the legendary Jim Bowen), the World Saxophone Congress and appearing (albeit briefly) on the BBC’s “Play it Again” series alongside Lord Robert Winston.  You will often find her indulging her love of jazz round the West Midlands area with the Jack Daniels Big Band and the Skyliners.  She also plays baritone with the Nottingham based nine-strong Equinox saxophone ensemble.

 

 

Kate O’Malley (alto/vocals)

Kate began her musical career as a classical clarinettist, studying performance at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama before going on to study for a PGCE. Kate is currently a peripatetic music teacher for Birmingham Music Service.

Kate’s performance experience varies from orchestral work, chamber music to theatre pit work, soul bands, and big bands.  Recent engagements have included a tour to New York with Birmingham Symphonic Winds performing at the prestigious Alice Tully Hall in the Lincoln Centre for the performing arts.  Kate also performs regularly with her soul band, The Atlantic Players. Gigs have included a slot on the tour of Memphis Legend Steve Cropper – former long time guitarist of Otis Reading, a Midlands gig supporting Geno Washington, and The Mostly Jazz Festival supporting Booker T and the MGs.

 

 

Helen Dean (Tenor)

As a music graduate from The University of Leeds Helen toured the Scottish Highlands with the Leeds University Symphony Orchestra as a soloist. Having qualified as a secondary school music teacher at the University of Leeds in 1999 Helen returned to Solihull to teach music. As well as devoting her daytime to the next generation of saxophonists, Helen remains committed to her own musical development. As a member of the National Saxophone Choir of Great Britain, Helen toured China giving a series of concerts.

 

 

 

Alison Bryant (alto/tenor/baritone)

For a long as she can remember Alison has played music, starting at primary school on recorder and singing in the choir. After a false start on ‘cello and trumpet, Alison saw the light and insisted on playing saxophone. Since then she has played in all manner of ensembles – wind bands, jazz bands, orchestras,  rock, pop, funk&soul, musicals, classical…the saxophone truly is the most versatile of instruments!

Music has taken Alison to so many places, throughout Europe and as far afield as Bangkok in Thailand.  Closer to home, she has had the opportunity to perform in some of the UK’s most prestigious venues, including the Royal Albert Hall, the Royal Festival Hall and Birmingham Symphony Hall.

Alison studied Music and French at the University of Hull and now plays in four groups – Giocoso, the Titanics Funk & Soul Band, the Jack Daniels Big Band and a classical wind quintet.

 

 

Abi Hill (alto/baritone)

As the fifth member of the quartet, Abi provides the flexibility to allow Giocoso to be available for more events throughout the year. Mainly to be seen and heard on baritone but these things are never set in stone.
With 20 years’ experience at last count, Abi has a broad range of experience from classical orchestras, musicals, big bands, soul bands and various concert ensembles. On her nights off you’ll find her playing with soul band Junction 2, Birmingham Symphonic Winds or the Jack Daniels big band.  Abi is also Giocoso’s undisputed cowbell expert.