Ian first began to play drums at the age of 9, inspired by his two uncles who also play drums, Steve and Carl Palmer.
He spent many years under the tutelage of Malcolm Garrett who he truly believes is one of the finest drummers ever. Malcolm can be found honing the skills of many fine, young drummers at Birmingham Conservatoire, one of the UK’s leading music schools.
Ian’s formative years were spent as drummer with the Midlands Youth Jazz Orchestra (MYJO) under the direction of Dr John Ruddick MBE. John Ruddick developed the talents of many young musicians including drummers Pete Cater, Neil Bullock and the late Chris Dagley. Other notable ex-members include Mark Nightingale, the Arguelles brothers and Martin Williams. Ian performed all around the world with this group, including appearances at the Montreaux Jazz Festival, the International Association of Jazz Educators’ Conference in Toronto and a concert at Disneyland, Orlando. MYJO were prolific winners of the BBC Big Band competition. He won two awards as a young member of this group; the Kenny Clare award and the Musicians’ Union Young Musician of the Year.
In the early 1990s, Ian started his own contemporary jazz quintet along with trumpeter Guy Barker, saxophonist Dave O’Higgins, pianist David Newton and bassist Alec Dankworth. They played many shows around the UK and recorded at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London.
During his formative years as a musician in the 90’s Ian was fortunate to study with the great drummer Joe Morello in New York. To this day, Joe is regarded as one of the world’s finest technical virtuosos in the art of drumming.
Back in the UK, Ian continued as a sideman in many groups and ensembles and have had the opportunity to perform with many notable instrumentalists and writers including but not limited to Randy Brecker, Ray Russell, Martin Taylor, Mo Foster, Johnny Thirkell, Mike Clark, Bobby Shew, Rob McConnell, Georgie Fame, Alan Price, Gerard Kenny, Leo Sayer, Roy Wood, Salena Jones, Nigel Kennedy, The Climax Blues Band, Jane McDonald, Stedman Pearson and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO).
He played in saxophonist Alan Skidmore’s jazz group for a few years and appeared on three albums on ITM Records; Live at the Berlin Philharmonic Hall (along with Georgie Fame), Impressions of Coltrane and a double album Naima featured myself on one side and the legendary British drummer Tony Levin on the other. This turned out to be Tony’s last ever recording.
In addition to this work, Ian co-founded the hugely successful series of concerts ‘The World’s Greatest Drummer’ in honour of the man known by this title, Buddy Rich. These shows were originally the brainchild of his friend, the late Jon Brookes of British band The Charlatans and Ian himself. Premiering in 2007, these concerts have featured some of the world’s most famous drummers including Steve Gadd, Steve Smith, Keith Carlock & Benny Greb.
Ian is based in London and aside from music he has two other passions, aviation and running.