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An essential reference guide for anyone sad enough to play "Six Degrees of Kirsty"

Connections: J is for ...

Ite Jerez. Connecting from 1989 to 1991.  Trumpet.

IteVeteran session musician, who played trumpet on My Affair, Halloween and My way home having previously played on David Byrne's Rei Momo and Uh-oh albums.  Some other credits - "Tshala Muana, the Zairean Queen of mutuashi, a traditional dance rhythm from her native Kasai region, has come out with a stunning album titled Mutuashi (Stern's). This is easily one of the best recording from Zaire in a long time. She achieves this rare feat by travelling back in time to the roots of Zairean rumba, in the early 1960s when Afro-Cuban son reigned supreme and groups like African Fiesta and OK Jazz were just beginning to emerge on the scene. On the first eight tracks, she is accompanied by a crack Zairean team. The Latino side of the equation is balanced by Pablo "Chino" Nunez (timbales) Papo Pepin (Congas), Leopoldo Pineda (trombone) and Ite Jerez & Bomberito Zarzuela (trumpet)."

 In 1996 A stunning looking project called Tito Puente & India With Special Guests The Count Basie Orchestra went Jazzin' featuring amongst others Dave Valentin and Milton Cardona in the core outfit plus the Tito Puente Latin Jazz Ensemble which included Jerez alongside Puente, Bobby Porcelli, Mario Rivera, Mitch Forhman,  Ray Vega, Sonny Bravo, John Benitez, Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez, Johnny Rodriguez, Jose Madera and Luisito Quintero.   Jerez also played with Tito Puente on other projects along with Sal Cuevas.  Other acts include "Escucha!", Victor Manuelle, Willie Amadeo and India (Dejate Amar) along with Marc Quiñones.   Finally, the band for Paul Simon's "Capeman" Broadway experience, in the company of Milton Cardona, Robby Ameen and musical director Oscar Hernandez.  He still works with Byrne, appearing on the Feelings album.

Joseph de Jesús Connecting from 1991 to 2000.  Trombone.

JoePuerto Rican trombone player, now living in England and a current member of Kirsty's impressive touring horn section; he also played on her Celestine track.  Joe played on David Byrne's Rei Momo and if I recall correctly with the Pretenders at some time.  A former player with Tito Puente & Ray Barretto, back in 1983 he recorded with Latin jazz great Daniel Ponce (New York Now).  

A decade later we found him playing with Shakatak on the Full circle album along with British percussionist Snowboy.    A top man on the English Latin/jazz scene, Snowboy is rated as one of the top conga players in the country.  "Snowboy is from Essex, an area which since the 50s, has been a residual sink hole home to all kinds of American black music right from r&b and soul to jazz.  Snowboy and his group the Latin Section have been around for about 10 years.  He has also produced about 15 singles, including one of my all-time faves, the 1991 El Nuevo Latino (Big Life 12"), which is one of the best big-thump percussion workouts of that decade. This tune tears along with scorching trombone from the Latin Section horn section leader, Joe De Jesús.  The full range and history of most the Latin/jazz movements since about 1943 are incorporated in the music. The playing is fantastic, horn man Joe de Jesús is on top form, punching over Snowboy's fluid percussion. If you like old-fashioned rip-roaring Latin jazz then this is certainly for you."  

The other top British conga player is Robin Jones - "Britain's ace percussionist is on the verge of receiving the accolades in his own right after years of performing and recording with major artistes such as Pet Shop Boys, Elton John, Phil Woods, Stan Getz and M-People - his album includes the track King Salsa Theme / Ache (Joe de Jesús)".  

In 1994, Joe was playing with Mistura, "a no-nonsense eight-piece band blending hot Latin rhythms with sophisticated jazz-based arrangements and soloing, led by Rowland Sutherland, a London flautist prominent on the young scene.   Particularly impressive."  Three years later, Joe played a festival in European tour in Nijmegan, Holland with Cubanismo! (including virtuoso Cuban pianist Alfredo Rodriguez).   Joe has also played with Alex Wilson.

More recently Joe played on the stunning album by Senegalese star Cheik Ndigël Lô, Bambay Gueej.  He also appears in top form on a 1999 12" jazz release by Gilad Atzmon & DJ Face called Juizz Muzic - the track Listen to Joe where "Incognito and Tito Puente's Nuyorican jazz trombone player, Joe de Jesús, sings the "jazz cat blues".  Trombone (Joe) and sax (Gilad) battle it out over Face's frothy cappucino beats, while Davide Mantovani locks down the groove on double bass with a B-line to die for, and Danny Raynaud adds the lushness with delicious Rhodes piano. 100% pure class!"  To add interest, the record features Ian Dury as a world weary narrator spinning anecdotes of John Coltrane and Charlie Mingus. 

Phil Johnstone  (1) Connecting in 1979.  Songwriter, Bass guitar.

Co-author of Until the night. He was part of the touring band in Ireland, along with Lu Edmonds, Terry Woods, Gavin Povey and Jon Moss.

Phill Jupitus Connecting in the 90s.  Video producer (and comedian).

phillBritish standup comedian (aka Porky the Poet) and producer of videos, Jupitus appeared in (and no doubt produced) Billy Bragg's Sexuality video along with Kirsty.  He also produced the video for the All I ever wanted video.  A former pupil of the suspiciously posh sounding Woolverstone Hall school he was born Phil Swann.  Nowadays he appears regularly on television, including BBC 1's Never Mind the Buzzcocks, a slightly lame scripted comedy show masquerading as a pop quiz (mind you it's better than A question of pop... and Kirsty appeared on both).

Here are some words of wisdom from the man himself:  "I come up with a lot of funny stuff just sitting in the car but then I just forget 'cos I don't write things down. I'm not doing it as material, I'm just being whimsical during the day and I think that when I actually do the gigs, I don't know, it's just very ordinary pedestrian stuff that I chat about, but I think that it's just the fact that I'm talking about it and putting a spin on it as I go, that's what I enjoy, just mucking around with very ordinary things, cos' I lead quite an ordinary life in the end."

"In the 80's there was a political group of pop stars called Red Wedge and at the time I was a polticial poet so I used to go and do gigs with them. I was in a group with Billy Bragg for a week called Riff Raff, I was a bass player. That just gives you an idea of how good a bass player I was, I was in the band for a week."  

"I really like doing this, when they asked me to do the Q Awards, I get to meet Keith Richards. I love all the side effects of doing this job Where I am now is a good place. It isn't just down to talent its also down to a lot of luck and I've been luckier than most and I'm always thankful for it.".  Phil Jupitus has a radio show on GLR (Greater London Radio - fervent supporters of Kirsty themselves), and comperes many charity shows, including the Ian Dury benefit in early 2000.  Phill was asked to speak at the public memorial service for Kirsty, where he poignantly pointed out that "he'd never even got her autograph" - proof that  her friends were fans too. Top man.

Performed Us Amazonians, My Affair and Mambo de la Luna in the live tribute concert, as well as compering the show

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