Nic France born: 30/03/1956
I have always loved music for as long as I can remember, listening and playing.
I started playing piano when I was 7 years old. I had a formal and fairly intense musical education as a cathedral chorister at Ely from the age of 7-12 and learnt to play the violin as well. I started playing drums at school when I was about 14 and played in a school band. In 1976 at the age of 19, I studied music, percussion, piano and singing at Cambridge College of Arts and Technology but I am self taught on kit. Whilst in Cambridge I played regularly at the Modern Jazz Club with fellow students Chucho Merchan and John Donaldson and had the great opportunity to play with some outstanding musicians such as Gordon Beck, Martin Taylor and Tony Coe.
In 1980 I moved to London to work as a freelance session drummer and started playing with Ian Carr's Nucleus. This lead to playing with many other established London based musicians including Ronnie Scott, John Taylor, Allan Holdsworth, Jim Mullen, Tim Whitehead and Bobby Wellins. International artists included Mose Allison, L. Shankar, Hank Crawford and David Fathead Newman and an appearance on BBC tv with Billy Cobham. I was a founder member of Loose Tubes alongside Django Bates, John Parricelli, Chris Batchelor , Mark Lockheart and Iain Ballamy.
By 1984 I had joined Working Week, toured Europe extensively and recorded 3 albums. In 1988/89 I had the great pleasure of playing drums and singing backing vocals with Bill Withers on two UK and European tours. From 1989-95 I played with Tanita Tikaram, involving several world tours and albums. From the mid 90's I played with Antonio Forcione, Ian Shaw, Christie Hennessey and toured and recorded with Tim Garland's Lammas. In 2001/2 I had the good fortune to play with David Gilmour with guests Kate Bush, Bob Geldorf and Robert Wyatt, appearing on the David Gilmour Live DVD recorded at the Festival Hall. I played with Andy Sheppard, Nigel Kennedy and Barb Jungr over this period. With Andy Sheppard I played with Rita Marcotulli and Anders Jormin. I played drums for Terry Callier from 2005-2010. I played with Mbawula a South African Township band, and Jazzinho a contemporary Brazilian band. In 2009 I played with the Charlie Haden Liberation Orchestra I have also recorded and toured with the NDR Big Band, one tour with Norma Winstone. I have played for the Birmingham Royal Ballet since 2009.
Since 2011 I have been playing for Charlie Wood & Jacqui Dankworth. In January 2015 I have been playing with Theo Travis' Double Talk with Mike Outram and Pete Whitaker. In December 2015 I started playing with Soft Machine covering for the great John Marshall. Also since the summer of 2015 I have been playing with Noel McCalla (singer with Manfred Mann & Morrisey Mullen).
I teach at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, Uppingham School and for the National Youth Jazz Collective courses and summer schools. At the NYJC summer school I have also had the pleasure of playing with Dave Holland & Mike Walker.