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About Us

We play extremely chilled, original jazz inspired by the intense beauty and stillness of the Sinai Desert, which meets the Red Sea. 

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James Tolhurst.
Composer, Guitar & Trumpet.

Hello and welcome to Red Sea.

Since the mid 90’s my music, environmental and community activism have gone hand in hand. I cut my teeth as a musician round the fire pits on the Newbury bypass and other environmental protests through the 90’s and 2000’s.

Now, more than ever, we need to re-connect with nature to find new, and old, sustainable ways of working and living. I believe a more peaceful, harmonious, community-based way of
life is possible and many tools to make this a reality already exist.

These tunes are my attempt to capture and describe the beauty, peace and depth of the natural world around us. They are an exploration of the understanding that we are a
part of nature. It's a part of us, a truth reflected in the deep historic connections between nature music, art, culture and language (so many metaphors!).

I couldn't have written these songs without the wonderful musicians I have the joy of working with. They breathe life into the music and without them, there would be no Red Sea.

James has played music in hospitals on critical care, stroke and dementia wards, taught privately in schools and has been gigging for over 20 years in jazz, reggae, folk and world music bands.


Bex Derry, vocals.

Bex is classically trained, but decided to move into musical theatre before training at the Guildford’s Academy of Contemporary Music.
She works on a Nottingham community garden that provides a safe green space for vulnerable people.

"A perfect song for today like today" - Verity Cowley BBC Radio Nottingham

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Andrew "Woody" Wood, drums.

Woody's established himself as one of the most in-demand drummers in the East Midlands both on stage and in the studio.
He's travelled Europe playing in intimate jazz gigs in Spain, Andorra, Germany and Poland and of course our national treasure, the Royal Albert Hall.
His current project, a celebration of the music of George Gershwin with the Andrew Wood Trio, is proof of his knowledge and success.
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Andy Tytherleigh, double bass.

We're not exaggerating when we say Andy is one of the busiest bass players in the East Midlands.
Andy has toured the globe and was nominated for Best Production at the 2014 Vimeo Awards in New York. Presently, he's a resident artist with Origamibiro at Denovali Records in Berlin.

“A unique blend of chilled electric guitars, female vocals and jazz of past, present and future.” – NUSIC

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Rachael Johnson, piano.

An up and coming Jazz Pianist in the UK and currently performing
throughout the country as a solo pianist and band leader.
Rachel has performed with great jazz musicians such as Andy Cleyndert and Gilad Atzmon and was a pupil of renowned
piano players Gareth Williams and Nikki Iles.
She has performed with her own trio in Copenhagen Jazz festival and with The Mathew Herbert big band at North Sea Jazz festival. 
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Rob Coates, guitar.

Rob has been gigging nationally for many years now playing with red hot Gypsy Jazz bands Manieres des Bohemiens and Swing Gitan.
Rob spends a lot of his time jamming in his personal studio, making electronic music and playing the Oud.
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