was born in London in 1958, and as a young boy showed an unusual flare
for the piano. By the time he was eight he had picked up the rudiments
of boogie woogie and blues piano from a musical uncle. He went on to study
harmony and music theory at school, and by his teens he was playing in
various pubs and clubs in south London and the East End.
When he was 15 he
met up with Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook and together
they formed Squeeze. With hits like Cool For Cats and Up
The Junction, Squeeze achieved spectacular success. In 1990,
Jools sowed the seeds of the Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, when he and Gilson
Lavis (Squeeze's drummer) began touring as a duo. It has evolved into
a powerful and disciplined 12-piece band. As well as playing in venues
from Canterbury Cathedral and Kew Gardens to the Glastonbury Festival,
the Rhythm and Blues Orchestra has made numerous television appearances,
including regularly featuring on Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush on
Channel 4, and the riotous New Year’s Eve Hootenanny for BBC TWO.
career began in the early Eighties when he made a documentary about his
friends The Police, in Montserrat. This led to him being chosen
as the presenter of the Friday night music programme, The Tube.
Reflecting his love for the roots of American music, Jools made two documentary
films, Walking To New Orleans and Mr Roadrunner, which explored
the music personalities of New Orleans, Memphis and Nashville. In 1988,
he wrote a six-part series with Rowland Rivron, called The Groovy
Fellas, about a Martian visiting Earth. He then moved to New York
to join saxophonist David Sanborn as a presenter on Sunday Night,
a network NBC music show. Back in Britain, Jools hosted two series of
Juke Box Jury for the BBC, and 1992 saw the advent of Later
With Jools Holland, which BBC TWO invited him to host.
Over the years Jools
has performed and recorded with some of the most talented musicians and
songwriters in the world, a list which extends from Eric Clapton, Sting,
Luther Vandross and B B King, to Dr John, Paul Weller
and George Harrison.
Jool’s unique combination
of gifted musician and articulate and intelligent interviewer saw him
being invited by The Beatles to conduct the interviews for their award-winning
Anthology television series.
His broad knowledge
of music and musicians has also enabled him to make broadcasts for the
BBC World Service, BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 3, and Jazz FM.