THEY spend their lives making music and now they are using that passion to give others a head start in the business.
Dominic Sales and Phil Gregory met at Huddersfield University, have busy careers as professional musicians but have still found the time and energy to come up with a series of innovative music projects.
Both continue to work on tour with major shows and artists, Phil playing guitar and Dominic on percussion. They write music for film and tv and have set up a record label which is marked out by its backing for up-and-coming artists.
Together, Dom and Phil run Jellymould Music, based in Huddersfield and the umbrella name used for their composing and production work. Their input and influence spreads much wider than that.
Last summer, their record label, Jellymould Jazz backed Huddersfield jazz singer Ruby Wood as she toured and recorded her first album.
Now the label has been given Arts Council backing to develop and record three more artists over the next 18 months. They will work with Opera North Projects and Jazz Yorkshire.
“Jellymould Jazz is an artistic and financial support label for up-and-coming jazz artists,” said Phil. “We guide them through the process of rehearsing, recording, promoting and touring a live CD album and aim to bring the artist and jazz music to a wider audience.
“I don’t know of any other jazz label doing what we do in this country and this is such an exciting time,” he added.
For their next project, Jellymould Jazz has signed Afro-Cuban band Salerosa which features some of the finest Latin jazz musicians on the circuit: Chris Sykes (drums), Andrzej Baranek (piano), Sulene Fleming (vocals) Richard Hammond (bass), Pete Williams (congas) and Howard Jacobs (saxophone and percussion).
Salerosa’s debut album was recorded earlier this month at Seven Artspace in Chapel Allerton. The resulting CD is a mix of Latin favourites, salsa grooves, original work and chart toppers.
A second, more classically orientated recording project is likely to be in place by the end of the year with a third next year in partnership with Yorkshire Jazz.
It’s a remarkable achievement for a pair of young musicians who met when studying at Huddersfield University.
“I walked in on the first day and there was this chap playing piano,” said Phil.
That first meeting was in 1995 and today, their partnership drives an innovative business as well as their own careers.
Dominic from Herne Bay, Kent, trained as a percussionist and at 16 he was a finalist of the Young Jazz Musician of the Year. He plays regularly with the Orchestra of Opera North and has played on several West End tours. Before forming Jellymould, he was musical director and resident composer for tutti frutti Productions, a national touring theatre company.
Phil arrived in Huddersfield from Chester and trained on classical trumpet. He has worked as a songwriter for major record labels. His own album, Everybody’s Baby was released in 2002.
But artist development is at the root of the Jellymould philosophy. “There’s quite a lot of support for pop artists but felt there was nothing in similar vein for jazz artists.”