The Dave Hankin Big Band

Directed by Gordon Carter

About The Band

Playing to packed-out theatre audiences, The Dave Hankin Big Band has risen to become the South West's premier Jazz Orchestra.

Featuring high-quality musicianship, and performing a diverse repertoire from Glenn Miller to Maynard Ferguson - all of Dave's very own arrangements - including themed concerts celebrating the Magic of the Movies, Frank Sinatra and Michael Buble. The Dave Hankin Big Band is a feast for music lovers.

The Dave Hankin Band was formed in November 2007, made up from some of the finest musicians in the area. Five of the original members remain to this day. They began regularly meeting at rehearsals to work on Dave's library of personally-crafted arrangements. The full-size, 17 piece line-up, plus the captivating vocals of Bern Stewart, were soon branching out from the local venues and jazz clubs, and began performing at festivals such as the Looe Festival, The Dart Music Festival, and the Boringdon Hotel Jazz and Ale Festival.

Along the way, the band have had the pleasure of sharing the stage with some of the biggest names in British jazz, with the likes of Gordon Campbell (trombone), Bruce Adams (trumpet) and Alan Barnes (saxophone) joining them for special concerts.

In 2015, Dave put together a programme of music to present "Frank Sinatra - The Centennial Celebration". The success of this show, with standing ovations and rave reviews, propelled the band into the production of further themed shows in subsequent years: "The Magic of Michael Buble" and "The Magic of Glenn Miller", each meeting with similar results.

Now developing quite a following, these shows have played to sold-out theatres across the region, including Sterts Arts Centre (Liskeard), The Flavel Arts Centre (Dartmouth), The Wharf (Tavistock) , Tacchi-Morris (Taunton), The Palace Theatre (Paignton), and The Watermark (Ivybridge)

There are more in the offing, including a series of concerts entitled "In Full Swing". Although retired from acting as band leader, Dave is hard at work arranging new programmes to delight the eagerly awaiting audiences, so stay in touch by joining the Mailing List and you will be kept informed of all the exciting upcoming events.

Event Schedule

Listed below are our forthcoming public performances

Friday, 19th July


The Flavel, Dartmouth

Flavel Place



Friday, 20th September


Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre

School Road

Monkton Heathfield



Friday, 11th October


The Watermark

Erme Court

Leonards Road


PL21 0SZ


Click on the play icons below to hear excepts of the Band.

Ain't That A Kick In The Head

American Patrol

Crazy Little Thing Called Love

La Mer

Me And Mrs Jones

Opus #1

Meet The Band

Gordon 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.

Gordon Carter

Alto Sax

Born in Torpoint in 1952, and a professional musician since 1977, Marius was originally a brass player but changed to reeds due to lip problems. Flute soon followed with clarinet coming in from 1990 due to necessary doubles.

Studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama from 1983-84 with Lionel Grigson, Dave Watts and Scott Stroman, attaining an Advanced Certificate in Jazz and Popular Music.

From 1994 up to the present teachings as well as gigs and concerts, recitals, Street Music, Cabernet performances and recording sessions.

Studied privately with Don Rendell, Tony Coe, Bill Skeet and George Coleman.

Marius Rudnick

Alto Sax

Neil Maya studied at the Royal College of Music Junior department and then later with Jean Toussainte and Richard Ingham. Since moving to Devon in 2001 Neil has become a very established musician on the Southwest jazz circuit performing regularly on soprano, alto and tenor saxes and clarinet.

Neil plays with a number of groups throughout the southwest and also runs a number of bands including the Drat Pack and his own quartet the Neil Maya Quartet. The Neil Maya Quartet has played to much critical acclaim all over the Southwest with a number of his own compositions, reworks of standards and has now developed the Brubeck Project, 1959 the Golden Year of Jazz, the Jazz Funk Emporium and more recently his cartoon jazz project.

Neil also teaches and runs jazz workshops including the East Prawle Jazz Weekendas and MDs the South Devon Big Band.

Neil Maya

Tenor Sax

Having studied at school as a choirister and classical flautist playing around the world and winning National Festival of Youth music two years on the trot with the Kent Youth Symphonic Wind Band, he was gigging regularly from 13 years old in Kent orchestras and music societies and busking in the south east.

He took up the saxophone at 19 years old on joining the Royal Marines Band Service and won the prestigious Cassel prize Bronze Medal from the Worshipful Company of Musicians.

He has played in major venues around the world and since leaving the services diversified playing in many varied genres with bands from South East to the South West, Alka Salsa, Joey The Lips, Soul Station, Duende- latin /dance/fusion, Sam Eliot Big Band, AJ's Big Band, Tour De Force, Vuka- Afro dance fusion and shows, seasoned function bands, and guesting for EMS Orchestra, session work. He teaches part time in the Exeter area after gaining his Certificate of teaching from ABRSM a few years ago.

Chris Bundy

Tenor Sax

Dave spent 28 years with the Royal Marines Band Service and played principle clarinet with the major staff bands.

He has performed in some of the most prestigious venues around the world.

Since retiring Dave has been a teacher and free-lance player and is delighted to be playing with the big band.

Dave Lambert

Baritone Sax

Gavin has been a professional musician for over 40 years, a career that has taken him all over the world and been able to perform with some of the most famous names in the Show business!!

Film credits include Bugsy Malone, Dance with a Stranger, Rough Cut and La Vie en Rose.

He has toured and recorded with Dame Shirley Bassey, Petula Clark, Jack Jones, Matt Monro, Cliff Richard, Bon Jovi, Phil Collins, George Harrison, BBC Radio Orchestra and Big Band, Birmingham Royal Ballet, was a founder member of The Echoes of Ellington Orchestra and also spent 5 years with the Syd Lawrence Orchestra.

He has played in the orchestras of over 100 different musicals, including West Side Story, On The Town, Little Shop of Horrors, Kiss me Kate, City of Angels, Crazy for You, Starlight Express, Pajama Game, Sinatra, Legally Blond, Book of Mormons, and has been lead trumpet for the past 5 years at the London Palladium for their panto seasons.

Gavin Mallet


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

Graham performs professionally across the country with bands such as the Ray McVay Glenn Miller Orchestra and the Back to Bacharach tour, whilst performing more locally as a jazz soloist with AJ’s Big Band and the Swing Machine Jazz Orchestra. In addition to jazz, his trumpet session work is featured on a number of house, garage and rock music CD releases.

Having been a performing member of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO), Graham is now Conductor of the Devon Youth Jazz Orchestra 1 (DYJO1) which, under his leadership, has performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival on a number of occasions (most recently in 2017) and the Royal Albert Hall. Graham is passionate about jazz education and, with the team at DYJO, won the Will Michael Special Diploma for Jazz Education for a number of consecutive years.

Graham Hutton


Robin works in a diverse range of musical styles and ensembles. As a freelance musician, Robin has played on a wide variety of Sessions, Touring Shows, Soundtracks and TV work and is at home equally as a lead or section player.

As a Jazz musician, Robin has been involved with a number of contemporary ensembles, big bands and small group jazz including his own quartet. Robin studied classical trumpet with Philippe Schartz and Tim Carleston, and while obtaining a degree in Jazz from the University of Plymouth in 2010, studied Commercial and Jazz Trumpet with Noel Langley and Steve Waterman.

The following is a selection of artists, groups and companies Robin has performed with: Viv Rodd, Peter Ibbetson, Gareth Lee, Noel Langley, Newbury Jazz All Stars, Ed Leaker, Tim Greenhalgh, Tim Carleston, The Eden Project, Swing Machine Jazz Orchestra, Jim Carey, UK Blues Brothers Tribute, Jon Fox FOXMEDIA and many more.

Robin Pengilley


Mike first started played jazz in the early eighties with the "Devon Youth Jazz Orchestra".

Whilst at University in London he played with the "National Youth Jazz Orchestra" and the "City Lit Big Band" under the direction of Kathy Stobart.

Since returning to Devon, Mike has played with numerous bands and has performed at the London Jazz Festival and at Ronnie Scott's with Mike Westbrook.

He is currently lead trumpet with the "Mike Westbrook Big Band" and is the only trumpet in Mike's "Very Small Brass Band".

Mike is recording an album called "The Sensitive Side of Mike Brewer" but, as yet, hasn't found anything to put on it!

Mike Brewer


Andy Dore


Martin Sanders


Les started his musical journey as a youngster playing for the local brass bands in Ramsgate in Kent. Being only 11 miles away from the Royal Marines School of Music Les auditioned and was accepted at the tender age of 15 where he spent 3 years training and learning to perform in Concert Band, Orchestra, Marching Band and Big Band and smaller ensembles. During this time he had the opportunity to watch and meet such Big Band greats as Buddy Rich and Stan Kenton. Les’ love for Big Band music was then set.

During his time in the Royal Marines Band Service Les served in a number of the West Country bands and settled in Dartmouth. In 1992 he became the Bandmaster onboard HMS Invincible during which time the ship was deployed to the Orient for 9 months. Les has been lucky enough to visit and play in 38 different countries.

He then returned to Dartmouth and has, since that time, played in a number of the West Country Big Bands.

Les Sheppard


Originally from Glasgow, Ken has held the Bass Trombone chair in a range of big bands, brass bands and orchestras across the UK, performing in many top venues including the Royal Albert Hall.

He has also had the opportunity to play in many major music events both in bands and as a soloist and performed alongside some of the country’s finest brass players. He has recorded on a number of TV and Radio programmes together with various CD’s including recently a double album with the Mike Westbrook Uncommon Orchestra.

Ken has lived in Devon for over 34 years and in his day job is a property professional with responsibility for the development and management of the estate portfolio of the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service based just outside of Exeter.

Ken Cassidy

Bass Trombone

Gav Martin was born in Croydon and was introduced to music by very supportive parents (both were former choristers). He studied to play the piano and trumpet from an early age, passing all classical grades on piano and a few on trumpet but was also introduced to Trad Jazz by his father.

Gav then joined the Royal Marines Band Service serving 27 years and retiring as a Warrant Officer Bandmaster First Class.

He is currently the Head of Music at Lipson Cooperative Academy and also enjoys acting as the MD to Wranglers Theatre Company.

Gav plays on the jazz circuit and is currently the pianist for the Martin Dale Quartet, lead vocalist in his own successful function band and of course the pianist in the Dave Hankin Big Band.

Gav Martin




Born and bred in the South West to a musical family, Liam dabbled with Tenor Horn and Cornet in his childhood before settling on Electric Bass (in his not too distant adolescence), and later Double Bass and Guitar. He completed his undergraduate music degree at Plymouth University in 2017 with first class honours, and qualified as a secondary school music teacher in 2018.

Though currently working in education full time, he has built up a range of local gigging experience in the Jazz, Funk and pop idioms. From 2015 until 2019 Liam was a member of the University of Plymouth Big Band, playing a range of gigs both locally and regionally, such as in the 'Battle of the Big Bands' annual competition and across Plymouth, as well as taking part in workshops with Pete Long, Ed Leaker, Neil Maya and the Royal Marines Band Service. This involvement extended to being the Chairman of the band in an award-winning 2016-17, where he oversaw its running and organisation of its gigs, activities and committee.

Liam Harvey


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 has attended many drum camps, including the 'Ultimate Drum Experience' and, for the last three years, the 'Freddie Gee' drum week.

Andy now plays in two local big bands and occasionally for 'Jessica and the Rabbits' and is also available as a freelance musician.

Dusty Miller


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.

Bern Stewart


Contact Us

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