The Jazz Kings  Band Bios


  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 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 and vocals - Col Atkinson originally from the UK started his professional life as a musician for many years on passenger liners including the Shaw Saville Line, Union Castle Line and P & O.   He has also played in many theatre productions such as South Pacific, My Fair Lady and Jesus Christ Super Star. He extensively worked the Sydney club circuit and backed stars including Kamal, Kerry Anne Kennelly and many many times with Galapagos Duck. 


Locally, he was the bass player in both the Michael Buble Tribute Show and the Robbie Williams Tribute Show.  Col is currently the secretary and Entertainments Director of the Gold Coast City Jazz Club (GCCJC) and is also the principal bass player in the Gold Coast Big Band.


  King of Guitar - 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.


  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 has returned as Richard is taking leave to further his drumming career. (Richard will substitute if needed).