Soon after starting on vibes I was a founder member of jump/jive band “The Chevalier Brothers” & had a successful time in the 1980’s touring Europe extensively along with many gigs in the UK & trips to the USA & Japan. For a brief period we were darlings of the UK rock press but outside the UK we were known on the jazz scene playing at numerous jazz festivals including Montreux, North Sea & others in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Belgium & France.
The Chevalier Brothers split up in 1988 & immediately I was offered work by pop band Fairground Attraction. I had played on their original demos before they got their record deal & then played on their first album. The album & their first single ‘Perfect’ went to Number One on the pop charts. I was with the band until they imploded in 1989 & then, with the money that I’d earnt from working with them, I paid for the recording of my first album.
Acid Jazz Records agreed to release it & that started a 5 year collaboration that produced 4 albums – two latin jazz albums by the Beaujolais Band – ‘Mind How You Go’ (1990) & ‘Talk, Talk & More Talk’ (1993) & two soul jazz albums by Vibraphonic – ‘Vibraphonic’ (1993) & ‘Vibraphonic 2’ (1995). I got dropped by Acid Jazz Records in 1995 which I’m sure has nothing to do with the fact that at the time I was giving the label a lot of grief over the £7,500 they’d owed me for some time. They had zero interest in whether one of their successful artists was able to pay his bills or not…… Then it turned out that Hollywood Records in LA were interested in Vibraphonic so I signed to them in 1996. Hollywood Records is the audio arm of Disney so I was signed to Disney & used to get cheques with Mickey Mouse on! In 1996 they released ‘A Vibraphonic Christmas’ (their idea, not mine) & then in 1997 they released ‘On A Roll’. Just as ‘On A Roll’ was being released Hollywood sacked their MD & as a result no funds were made available for promotion & marketing. When there’s no promotion no-one knows an album is out so not surprisingly it didn’t sell well. Six months later Hollywood hired a new MD who looked at sales & got rid of me. That’s the music business for you……
"Vibraphonist and composer Roger Beaujolais has appeared frequently on the Jazzmann web pages as both leader and sideman. A professional musician for over thirty years he is a spectacular vibes soloist and a highly popular figure on the UK jazz scene, loved by fellow musicians and audiences alike." JazzMann
Tickets: £12 (£10 Concessions)
Line Up: Roger Beaujolais - Vibs, Dave Newton - piano, Paul Jefferies - double bass & Kevin O'Rourke - drums.