The Dave Hankin Small Big Band only uses professional musicians – players who rely on their musicianship to pay their mortgages!



Dave Hankin
Name: Dave Hankin
Instrument: Trombone & Band Leader

Glasgow born Dave Hankin became a professional musician in 1983 when he worked in Singapore and Malaysia, after which he went on to become a Musical Director working in London.

As an accomplished arranger, Dave's orchestrations have been performed by, among others, Urbie Green, Jiggs Whigham, Don Lusher and Roy Williams. His music has been broadcast on radio and television and his arrangements have been performed by the BBC Big Band.

As a trombonist he has played with stars such as Matt Munro, Jack Parnell, Kenny Baker, Peter King, Don Lusher and the BBC Scottish Radio Orchestra.

Dave moved to Plymouth in 2006 where he now owns a hotel. He also runs his own music publishing business ~ Dynamic Music Publications ~ which specialises in trombone ensemble music.



Bern Stewart
Name: Bern Stewart
Instrument: Vocals




Bern Stewart is one of the most accomplished and sought after Big Band/Session singers around. His versatility has been his hallmark over the years.

His singing career started with a song written and performed in the Royal Albert Hall at the tender age of 16, from there Bern went on to work for organisations such as the Top Rank Organisation and Associated Television (ATV). He has been employed by the music profession as a front line session singer and also as a mentor to vocal contestants on several National TV talent contests.

Never losing his roots, (born in SE Cornwall,) Bern has used his talents with many of the South West’s leading bands. including the Dance Band section of the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines and the legendary Russ Thomas Showband.




Gordon Carter
Name: Gordon Carter
Instrument: Alto Saxophone

Gordon Carter has been playing the saxophone and clarinet from the age of eleven. After a success at a Butlins holiday camp playing Rock Around the Clock on the recorder, he decided a professional career was the way forward for him.

Upon leaving school Gordon joined the world renowned Royal Marines Band Service. After only 5 months he won the prestigious Silver Medal for performance, awarded by the Worshipful Company of Musicians in the Cassel Prize competition.

Gordon is still serving in the Band Service and has done since 1982. His career has seen him travel the globe performing in some of the world’s most famous venues, many times as a soloist.

A recent move to the Royal Marines School of Music as the saxophone instructor gave Gordon a real enthusiasm for teaching. It was while serving here that Gordon was awarded the Certificate of Teaching by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.




Paul Daff
Name: Paul Daff
Instrument: Tenor Saxophone




Exmouth based Paul joined the Royal Marines Band Service in 1991 as a Saxophonist, playing in concert venues across the United States, Australia and Europe.

His passion is Big Band playing and in September 2009 Paul undertook a 6 month posting to Naples, Italy where he held the lead tenor saxophone chair with the US Naval Forces Europe Big Band, touring Italy extensively.

Paul has played in various show bands thoughout the southcoast and has his own quartet and enjoys playing mainstream Jazz.

His influences are Sonny Rollins and Dexter Gordon.

He also plays clarinet and flute.




Callam Dowd
Name: Callam Dowd
Instrument: Trumpet

Plymouth born Callam Dowd has been privileged to participate in local, regional and national musical performances.

His Big Band interest developed whilst acting as lead trumpet for the "berks bucks and oxfordshire big band" (BBO) during 2001-2003.

Featuring solo performances on television programmes such as the BBC's Song of Praise and performing in award winning musicals such as "korzak", Callam can now be found supporting local amateur theatrical societies throughout Plymouth and Devon.




Graham Hutton
Name: Graham Hutton
Instrument: Trumpet




Based in Exeter, Graham is one of the ‘in demand’ trumpet players across the region; specialising in the Jazz and Big Band idioms but also performing in a diverse range of other settings.

Graham has performed professionally across the country with bands such as the Ray McVay Glenn Miller Orchestra and the Squadronaires whilst performing more locally with AJ’s Big Band.

Graham is a founder member of Timewasters, a seven piece modern jazz fusion group which is a regular fixture on the jazz festival circuit.

His trumpet session work is featured on a number of house, garage and rock music CD releases as well as Timewasters own recording “Welcome to Wasteland”.

Having been a performing member of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO), Graham is now Conductor of the Devon Youth Jazz Orchestra 1 (DYJO1).




Gav Martin
Name: Gav Martin
Instrument: Keyboards

Gavin has been fortunate enough to have been involved in many styles of music and jazz has always been close to his heart; as his father regularly encouraged him to sit in with the local traditional jazz band on trumpet during his early ‘teens’.

It was during this period that he passed his Grade 8 in classical pianoforte and successfully auditioned for the Royal Marines Band Service. This career has seen the making of him as he has benefited from a multitude of experiences as a performer, arranger, and composer and for the last ten years, Warrant Officer First Class Bandmaster and conductor.

After 28 years of service Gavin has now an additional rewarding career as a classroom music teacher.




Mike Issac
Name: Mike Issac
Instrument: Bass Guitar




Plymouth based Mike graduated with an honours degree at Salford University in 1990 during which he won the runner-up award in the prestigeous John Lennon songwriting competition.

Since returning to Plymouth, Mike has become the leading bass guitar teacher in the area and continues with his freelance work. He has formed 2 of his own bands ~ Funk Consortium and Fourjazz. Mike has recorded numerous albums including a solo album Sunrisin'.




Andy Miller
Name: Andy Miller
Instrument: Drums

At the tender age of 16 Andy joined the Royal Marines Band Service and started the long road to become an accomplished musician. He took a keen interest in playing big band music from the start and continues this today. He has performed at the Royal Albert Hall, Plymouth Theatre Royal & Wembley to name but a few.

Towards the end of his service career he was the Percussion Instructor in the RMBS and continued teaching when he left the service in 1997. He was the first percussionist to attend the CT course run by the ABRSM.

He still attends drum clinics (he hopes to get better soon) and in 2009 attended the "Ultimate Drum Week" in London where he learned from & played with Steve Smith and Ralph Salmins.

Andy ran his own band "Moonlight" until recently and is at present playing in a covers band "DeciBelle" and working as a freelance drummer in the West Country.

Copyright © 2010 Dave Hankin · All rights reserved

The Dave Hankin Big Band