top of page

The Jazz Kings  Band Bios

Jose McLaughlina.jpg

  King of Trumpet - Peter Uppman’s multi award-winning style is instantly  recognisable, receiving

receiving accolade after accolade for his work as a world-class trumpeter, singer, songwriter and entertainer.  A professional performer of more than 30 years, Peter has a massive repertoire encompassing all styles of jazz, rock, pop, country and Latin. He also possesses the unique ability to communicate with his audiences, utilising humour combined with superb musicianship. Having worked with dozens of internationally renowned artists, Peter has also been featured many times on national television, radio and media publications, with several of his albums selling via major outlets worldwide. He has also written and recorded many originals two of which are on the Jazz Kings' first album Out of Nowhere.

  King of Guitar - Gordon Matheson - originally from Glasgow he started playing guitar from the age of 12.  After studying with Trinity College London (based in Melbourne) he then continued with Pearl Rawlings where after 5 years he was offered a teaching position.  He also studied with jazz guitarist Bruce Clarke and took over his Berklee Ensemble Reading Classes for Guitarists.  

Gordon’s reputation as a gifted and talented guitarist launched a career which has spanned over 50 years performing with world class acts such as The Seekers, Liza Minnelli, Peter Allen, John Farnham, Tina Arena, Winifred Atwell and many others. He has also played in live musicals including the Rocky Horror Show, Hair, and Evita.  He is currently the guitarist for the Gold Coast Big Band and has a teaching studio in Southport (53a Nerang St (above Gold Coast Music)).

 King of Bass - John Conley  was born in Melbourne, and moved to Canberra where he studied classical guitar and played the double bass in the Canberra Youth Orchestra. In the early 70’s studied at the NSW Conservatorium of Music in the newly established Jazz Studies program with Don Burrows and George Golla.  John has played and recorded with many bands during this period including Winnifred Atwell, The Four Kinsmen, Errol Buddle and Col Nolan.   

In 1981 John became a member of the well-known Jazz Band Galapagos Duck playing bass and toured and recorded extensively with this band and is still a member. His extensive writing for the band includes the ballet ‘Austorizon’ for the Australian Dance Theatre and four songs nominated in the Jazz category of the APRA awards.  In 2000 John returned to the Conservatorium to study and received an honours degree in composition in 2004. He joined the Jazz Kings as bass player from the start and has returned after travelling extensively around Australia.


   King of Keys - Jose McLaughlin 

Jose McLaughlin is from Liverpool, England and is a former member of the world famous pop group Gerry and the Pacemakers, with whom he recorded and toured for many years.
Jose has lived in Australia for nearly 50 years and now calls the Gold Coast home. He has performed and recorded here and overseas with many International music stars including The Doobie Brothers, Thelma Houston, Chuck Berry, Peter Allen, Stan Getz, Blood Sweat and Tears, Jose Feliciano, Ronnie Scott and the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra.
Jose is also an award winning songwriter and producer. He composed the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games theme song 'Rise', which was recorded by Marcia Hines, and his history in the Australian music scene includes being a member of the groups Pantha, Daniel, Broderick Smith's Hired Hands, The Executives, Crossfire and many more. He has worked with many Australian jazz musicians including Vince Jones, James Morrison, Alan Lee, Brian Brown, John Sangster, Don Burrows and Bob Barnard. Jose has been a lecturer in jazz at Queensland Conservatorium of Music for the last 25 years

   King of Drums - Rodney Ford began his musical studies with the Trombone and Trumpet at school playing in wind ensembles at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music whilst taking lessons.  After school he joined the Army band on the trumpet and continued with his Conservatorium studies.  At the age of 20 Rodney changed to the clarinet in the Army Band, and a casual interest in drums became a serious study as he held down the drum chair in the 'Con Big Band ' and Jazz ensembles affiliated with the Jazz studies program at the Conservatorium.


After leaving the Army band the drum kit became Rodney's primary instrument and his affinity with this instrument lead to engagements with the theatre producers JC Williamson's. Rodney played drums for 'The Wiz', 'Man of La Mancha' and 'Chorus Line' among others.  Rodney is also a member of the well-known Jazz Band Galapagos Duck and toured and recorded extensively with this band. Rodney was the Jazz Kings' original drummer and returned 2021 to replace Richard Goldner who is taking leave to further his drumming career. 

bottom of page