About Robin

Robin Sunflower started playing the harmonica in the 80s, joining the legendary blues act Victor Brox and the Blues Train, gigging extensively throughout the UK. In the early 90s he made the transition to chromatic harmonica after hearing the amazing playing of Toots Thielemans.

His next project was “The Identical Twins” – an avant garde jazz-tinged comedy folk duo who made veggie rasher muffins, gazpacho and popcorn as part of an interactive stage show.   In 1997 he put together a 6 piece band for a 1 off stint at the Edinburgh Festival. The Woodbank Streetband went on to play 5 years running at Edinburgh, 4 years at Marlborough Jazz Festival, twice at Solfest, Castlebar Blues Festival (Ireland) and gigs in France from Tours to Bordeaux.

A personnel change a few years ago saw Woodbank become The Robin Sunflower Band.  2016 will see Robin’s band clocking up a 15 year resident slot at top Manchester club Big Hands.This year’s band features Dan Broad (guitar-Happy Mondays), Iain Mellor (Drums-Global Grooves) and occasional guests…John Ellis (keys-Baked A La Ska,Lily Allen,Tom Jones).Guest bass players including Matt Owens(baked A La Ska) in June, Danny Blomeley(Kyla Brox Band/ ex-Woodbank Streetband) in july…The Big Hands band is never the same twice(well hardly ever)

Robin has increasingly been invited to guest/session with other acts. Notable gigs include: Castle Howard banqueting hall with John Heliwell (Supertramp), Glastonbury Festival World Jazz Stage with Suns of Arqa, Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall with Kirsty Almeida, support to Elbow with Indigo Jones.

Since 1999 Robin has also run a weekly night (Quack) currently at The White House, Stalybridge (Monday) and Beer Traders, Marple (Tuesday). The night consists of an invited guest playing a 40 minute set from 9pm, followed by an hour or so of open mic. The guest returns for a shorter closing set around 11pm. Robin plays with all the invited guests and some of the open mic contributors too.

“Baked a la Ska” is Robin’s latest band. The line-up of this football team sized super-group reading like a who’s who of the North West jazz scene. Their ska versions of 70s & 80s pop classics have resulted in packed dance floors at Manchester’s Band on the Wall, Kendal Calling festival and Liverpool’s Mathew Street fest.To date they have released four albums: Baked A LA Ska; Just Deserts; Gas Mark 3-The Slow Burner; Ska of Wonder (Christmas album).

A chance meeting at the Big Hands residency has resulted in Robin working with comedian Sophie Willan (2015 Magners new comedy award winner, BBC new comedy awards finalist)…Check out “The Wiggle Song”- More to come:)

2016 will see the 5th anniversary tour of the Toots Thielemans Birthday Tribute Band.This band re-forms at the end of April each year for one week only to play music from Toots’ repertoire (Midnight Cowboy, Bluesette…) Toots’ first major gigs were with Benny Goodman in 1949. He went on to play with George Shearing,Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock, Bill Evans, Jaco Pastorius, Oscar Peterson and pop acts such as Paul Simon, Billy Joel and Julian Lennon. A man at the top of his game for over six decades. He retired from public performance aged 91 in 2013.

2015 saw Robin playing sessions for all manner of recording projects from spaghetti western library music to trance groove dance music (with Balaphonic) to dub reggae with Bakery Studio (expect a harmonica dub album in 2016 with Al “Breadwinner” Monkey). Other exciting recording projects are being planned for 2016 – Listen to this space!

Gigs

Date Band/Artist City Venue Country
Tour: Quack-Open mic & Guest.
15 Aug 22 Johnny Harper Stalybridge, Manchester White House UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: Free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: Water Street.
16 Aug 22 Johnny Harper Marple, Stockport Beer Traders UK
Time: 8:30pm. Admission: Free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: 113 Stockport rd. Seasoned entertainer, may play rock hits, Irish folk and originals.
22 Aug 22 Zoe Kyoti Stalybridge, Manchester White House UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: Free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: Water Street.
23 Aug 22 Zoe Kyoti Marple, Stockport Beer Traders UK
Time: 8:30pm. Admission: Free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: 113 Stockport rd. Bossas and other cool vibes, perfect music for a heatwave.
26 Aug 22 The Sunflower Ingram Quartet Todmorden, Yorkshire 3 wise monkeys UK
Time: 8:30pm. Admission: Free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: 15 Water st. Jazz guitar quartet featuring Adrian Ingram
28 Aug 22 The Sunflower Ingram Quartet Stockport The Railway, UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: Free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: Heaton Norris. Featuring jazz guitar Adrian Ingram
Tour: Quack-Open mic & Guest.
29 Aug 22 Stevie Wonder Stalybridge, Manchester White House UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: Free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: Water Street.
30 Aug 22 Stevie Wonder Marple, Stockport Beer Traders UK
Time: 8:30pm. Admission: Free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: 113 Stockport rd. (To be confirmed, does anyone have his number?)
31 Aug 22 The Robin Sunflower Band Manchester Big Hands UK
Time: 10:00pm. Admission: Free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Freewheeling good time music
Tour: Quack-Open mic & Guest.
05 Sep 22 George King Stalybridge, Manchester White House UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: Free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: Water Street.
06 Sep 22 George King Marple, Stockport Beer Traders UK
Time: 8:30pm. Admission: Free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: 113 Stockport rd. Piano and vocals, plays jazz, swing and my favourite things.
12 Sep 22 Jake Poole Stalybridge, Manchester White House UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: Free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: Water Street.
13 Sep 22 Jake Poole Marple, Stockport Beer Traders UK
Time: 8:30pm. Admission: Free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: 113 Stockport rd. Bluesy singer and guitarist from local band The Rye.
19 Sep 22 Linda Jennings Stalybridge, Manchester White House UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: Free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: Water Street.
20 Sep 22 Linda Jennings Marple, Stockport Beer Traders UK
Time: 8:30pm. Admission: Free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: 113 Stockport rd. Vocalist and guitarist delivers jazzy pop and poppy jazz, as seen on the Lorraine Kelly Show.
26 Sep 22 Claire Mooney Stalybridge, Manchester White House UK
Time: 9:00pm. Admission: Free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: Water Street.
27 Sep 22 Claire Mooney Marple, Stockport Beer Traders UK
Time: 8:30pm. Admission: Free. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: 113 Stockport rd. Manchester’s finest political singer/songwriter, recently nominated (along with Lorraine Kelly) for the Lifetime Achiever Award at The National Diversity Awards 2022 in association with @itvnews.
Tour: SKALLOWEEN
29 Oct 22 Baked A-La-Ska Liverpool Liverpool Philharmonic Theatre UK
Time: 7:00pm. Admission: £15?. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: Hope Street.
Tour: Ska of Wonder
20 Dec 22 Baked A-La-Ska Liverpool Liverpool Philharmonic Theatre UK
Time: 7:00pm. Admission: £15?. Age restrictions: All Ages/Licensed. Address: Hope Street.

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Get in Touch

You can get in touch with Robin by calling him or emailing him on:

 

07747 117 698

 

Or drop in to one of his gigs and say hello!