Since his departure from the 1980s British rock band Squeeze, singer and keyboard player Jools Holland has been involved in several music and media enterprises. For the past 20 years, he's been the host of a popular U.K. television program, and has been recording and touring with his own big band orchestra. His latest album, More Friends, includes an all-star roster of international guest artists.
Singer, songwriter and keyboard player Jools Holland grew up playing boogie woogie and blues piano. By the time he reached his teens, he was performing in the pubs and clubs of London.
In the mid-1970s, when he was only 16 years old, Jools joined up with Squeeze, who went on to sell millions of albums in the U.S. and U.K. Jools left the group in the mid-1980s to form a big band, which has evolved into the 18-piece ensemble, Jools Holland & His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra.
Jools and his group have just released a new album called More Friends, which features an impressive list of guest vocalists and musicians. One cut on the CD is Let The Boogie Woogie Roll, featuring former Led Zeppelin frontman, Robert Plant. Jools is also joined by Sam Moore of the legendary soul duo Sam and Dave, Bryan Ferry of Roxy Music, pop crooner Tom Jones, guitarist Jeff Beck, U2's Bono, Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders, Ray Davies of The Kinks, jazzman George Benson, reggae star Jimmy Cliff and others. Jools was also able to record one last time with soul singer Edwin Starr, who died in April of this year.
Over the years, Jools Holland has performed with some of the most talented musicians and songwriters in the world. He met many of them by hosting the BBC Television programs The Tube and Later … with Jools Holland, that features performances and conversations with stars and up-and-coming artists, and is now starting its 21st series.
Also an acclaimed actor, film producer, radio presenter and author, Jools was chosen to conduct the interviews for The Beatles' award-winning Anthology television series. Jools and his band are currently on an extensive tour of the U.K.