This year at TEDGlobal, Thomas Dolby has assembled his own group of musicians to perform with him on stage:
In the late ’70s, bassist Matthew Seligman set the groove for British psychedelic guitar-pop group The Soft Boys. Then he rode the crest of the New Wave movement with the Thompson Twins in the early ’80s. He joined Thomas Dolby’s first touring band, and his bass work features on Dolby’s landmark album The Flat Earth. He’s played gigs and recorded with heavy hitters like David Bowie, Morrissey and Sinead O’Conner. Seligman swapped the world of music for law school in the ’90s and became a practicing civil lawyer in London. Not long ago he made his return to music with the temporary reunion of The Soft Boys, and other side projects like his band Snail.
Justin Hildreth played drums in London Pub Rock band, Roogalator in the late ’70s. He went on to record with Lene Lovich on her second album, Flex. He drummed on Thomas Dolby’s first album, The Golden Age of Wireless, and performed on US, European and world tours with Joan Armatrading, Nina Hagen, Lene Lovich, Thomas Dolby, and Thrashing Doves, to name a few. Currently Hildreth is a member of Blue Bishops, a UK rock and blues group. With the help of legends John Leckie and Stuart Epps, the band just released their first album, In the Red.
Kevin Armstrong played guitar on Thomas Dolby’s early albums in the ’80s. He was David Bowie’s musical director at Live Aid and worked on Bowie’s Tin Machine album and tour. He played on Iggy Pop’s Blah Blah Blah album, directing the touring band of ’86 and ’87 as well. He also played guitar for Prefab Sprout, and co-wrote songs and performed with Morrissey. After producing two hit albums for Keziah Jones, in the ’90s Armstrong founded a studio in London concentrating on composition and production for TV and films. He still regularly performs in Europe and the US, including as guitarist for Sinead O’Connor.
Mischievous and deeply original, accordionist Rachelle Garniez plays her own witty songs and gives a beautiful swing to the classics. Rachelle Garniez inhabits a skewed musical universe of accordions, ocarinas and women who growl like Tom Waits. Her brilliant playing has landed her gigs with musicians such as Rufus Wainwright and Dan Zanes, and she prowls around the neo-cabaret scene with her band the Fortunate Few. She’s also a musical co-director of the theatrical troupe The Citizens Band. Her latest album with the Fortunate Few is 2008’s The Melusine Years, and she recently recorded a single My House of Peace produced by Jack White and released on vinyl.
Aaron Jonah Lewis
Aaron Jonah Lewis started playing classical violin at a young age. Today he’s a multi-instrumentalist playing traditional and folk styles, especially bluegrass and old time. He’s taken first place in the Bluegrass Fiddle competition at the Galax Old Fiddlers Convention. He also plays banjo, mandolin, guitar and bass. Lewis’ interest in music is not limited to string instruments, however. On his album Sounds of Mount Desert Island, Lewis simply used a microphone to record nature’s rhythmic sounds at 32 different sites on Mount Desert Island, Maine, composing a “portrait-in-sound” of the landscape. Recently he recorded the album Phil’s Patio with Matt Ball.