Drummer / Singer / Composer
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‘A multi-instrumentalist of outstanding ability’ (Brighton Jazz Club)
‘At Times rising to an anthemic sense of pride’ (Stephen Graeme- Jazzwise)
‘Melodic, rhythmically powerful and full of energy, Jim Whyte’s Sonic Butterfly is one of the most refreshing bands on the Scottish jazz scene ’ (Jazz Aberdeen)
‘A great composer; writes fantastic tunes.. this is a really good record’ (BBC Radio Scotland)
Born in Dumbarton, Scotland in 1970, Jim Whyte’s musical interest never got fully underway until his Secondary School days, where he first indulged his passion for composition and songwriting. As a student of the Scottish jazz vibraphone and tenor sax player Jimmy Feighn, Jim began performing at the age of 16, as a tuned percussionist with the Clydebank Burgh Band; a championship Scottish brass band at the time.
In 1989 he began a degree course in music at Salford University. It was during this time that Jim decided to move away from orchestral percussion and concentrate on drum-kit.
Jim spent 5 years as a drummer on the jazz scene in Manchester, England, alongside contemporary drummers such as Dave Hassell, Steve Brown, Steve Gilbert, Luke Flowers (Cinematic Orchestra) and Andy Treacey (Faithless). And played with many of the top jazz musicians in the area, such as Mike Gorman (Boy George), Mike Outram (Carleen Anderson), John Ellis (Kirsty Almeida), Steve Berry (Loose Tubes), Stuart McCallum (Cinematic Orchestra) and legendary jazz guitarist Mike Walker.
In 1996 he moved to London, and was awarded a scholarship to attend the post-grad jazz course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. It was here that he had the opportunity to perform with great jazz musicians such as Kenny Wheeler, Carla Bley, John Taylor, and James Williams.
In 1998 Jim formed his own hybrid jazz/folk/rock quintet, which has featured legendary British jazz musicians such as saxophonists Stan Sulzman and BBC award winner Julian Seigal, virtuoso guitarist Mike Outram and Jim on drums, piano, guitar and vocals.
In 2006 on the Scottish scene in Glasgow, Jim formed his latest quintet ‘Sonic Butterfly’ and recorded the debut album with some of the finest young musicians on the Scottish jazz scene, including guitarist Kevin Mackenzie and pianist Tom Gibbs. During all this time, Jim was also very active as a singer/songwriter, writing mostly for guitar and voice and began performing them on the Glasgow singer/songwriter scene, as a way of developing his own sound on drums and in composition, and of which he still performs at present.
Jim lives In Brighton, East Sussex, and is currently involved in a number of musical projects, eg: the alternative jazz trio ‘Full Circle’, Afro/Jazz group ‘The London Bridge Ensemble’, Brighton based Indie band ‘The Miserable Rich’, electro/folk/rock group ‘Oddfellows Casino’, the reformed 1970′s prog rock band ‘Marsupilami’, his own Scots/Russian collaborated project ‘Under the Saltire’ and works on the Brighton music scene, as an in-demand jazz drummer and session musician, among various other projects, including his own group ‘Sonic Butterfly’.
On top of this, Jim is also the company director of Flip-The-Bird.Com; which manufactures Novelty Parking Ticket Holders for cars. He began this company in January of 2011 and has since been star featured in the June 2012 edition of Viz Magazine (issue 216). He has also starred as a comic actor, playing the role of Parking Enforcement Officer Derek R. Ronald, in Flip The Bird’s comedy advert for the internet: http://www.flip-the-bird.com/about.
Jim is also an accomplished writer and actor and has, as well as writing and acting in several of his own commercials for his company Flip The Bird, has worked as an actor for Driftwood Productions. (see links for Jim's past acting work)
In his career so far Jim has played and performed with many great jazz and musical names including; Scottish jazz legend Bobby Wellins, Nikki Iles, Dave O’Higgins, Frank Perowski (Liza Minelli), Brian Kellock, Liam Noble, Pete Wareham (Acoustic Ladyland), Keith Emerson (ELP), Dame Evelyn Glennie, Anita Wardell, Julian Arguelles, Mark Bassey, Guy Garvey (Elbow), Ryan Quigley Big Band, Stuart McCallum (Cinematic Orchestra), Grasscut (Ninja Tune), 1970′s Prog Rock band Marsupilami, as well as the great James Brown’s band, including performances on radio, television and at some of the finest venues and festivals across the country and around the world.
Jim currently plays on vintage Slingerland drums, and uses Zyldjian, Sabian and Istanbul cymbals, and Vic Firth sticks.
See more at: http://www.jimwhyte.com/blog/
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