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Kit Packham

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About Kit

Kit was once dubbed "the Louis Jordan de nos jours". Most at home with swinging jazz, R&B or rock'n'roll but also blues, rock or "other"!
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Kit Packham is the leader of 7-piece jive and swing band One Jump Ahead which he started in 1984. He also performs solo with backing tracks and in a duo format with either piano/keyboard or guitar. He has a nice line in humorous re-written lyrics to jazz standards from the Great American Songbook and a good collection of his own material, much of which also has wry humour. Kit sang lead vocals and played harmonica with a rock'n'roll band in his teens, and with a similar outfit at college, taking up the sax soon afterwards and playing with a progressive rock band and a couple of rhythm & blues bands. He then spent several years with a doo-wop style rock'n'roll band, an AOR band and a New Wave band before playing in Baghdad, Iraq, with a showband for 3 months. He joined another rock'n'roll band for a year on his return and began playing with a big band around this time. In 1984 he formed his own band but continued to play with a big band and other "pick-up" gigs. He joined cult band "Wolfie Witcher's Brew" a couple of years later, staying with them until they split up after a decade or so, and continuing to gig with his own band alongside. Over the years Kit has also played with Frankie Ford, Screaming Lord Sutch, Ray Davies, Otis Grand, Ray Gelato, Barb Jungr, The Guvnors, Dr JJ’s blues Band, Doc Cox (aka Ivor Biggun), Wee Willie Harris, Heinz, Billie Davies and Johnny Legend amongst many others. He has also been an occasional music journalist, Musicians Union activist, community radio DJ and an enthusiastic jive dancer.

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5 out of 5
7 verified reviews
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Kit's Reviews

From Encore customers:

Sally K
4 months ago
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5 out of 5

Kit was so great, he arrived on time looking amazing in his ‘zoot suit’ and played a great set of war time and 1950s/60s songs for my mum’s 90th birthday. He was so friendly and put us all at ease straight away. The sax was a great addition and we had a lot of fun singing along and dancing. Would absolutely recommend and would rebook.

Reply from Kit
4 months ago

Thanks Sally! It may have been a small party but it was certainly a good one! I'm so glad that everyone enjoyed themselves. You and your family were very welcoming and helpful and it was a pleasure to bring some live music this landmark occasion. I would be more than happy to perform for you again in the future.

Danielle S
1 year ago
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5 out of 5

Kit was amazing and a perfect fit for our 50s themed family dinner party! The added bonus of the sax in instrumentals made it extra special. He kindly obliged to wear his zoot suit to fit the theme. We worked together before to create the playlist that would be most suited to my dads taste, he replied quickly and efficiently, suggesting alternatives and making a backing track for any he couldn’t do to be played in between. Great night, highly recommend and just a really lovely guy! Thank you very much ☺️

Reply from Kit
1 year ago

Thanks Danielle! It may only have been a small party but it was a great one, too! All our careful planning paid off and it certainly seemed to me that everyone had a good time. I appreciated how welcome you and your family made me and would be very happy to entertain you again whenever a suitable occasion comes around.

Jenna A
1 year ago
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5 out of 5

Wonderful! Thank you Kit! Our party was a huge success and I had lots of compliments on the fantastic music. Would highly recommend.

Reply from Kit
1 year ago

Thanks Jenna! Brilliant party and you and your family were most welcoming and helpful to me. I think your Dad was quite moved by all the trouble you'd gone to. Happy to play for you again any time!

Jon T
2 years ago
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5 out of 5

Kit did a brilliant job playing for my Father's memorial service, learning all the songs i required. He was punctual, proffessional and efficient in sound checking and setting up and played well. I thoroughly recommend him. Nice bloke, versatile, reliable and accommodating. Thanks Kit!

Reply from Kit
1 year ago

Thanks for the great review, Jon. I wish I'd known your father as he sounded like a great character. I hope I helped make his memorial the special occasion he deserved.

Read all 7 reviews

From other customers:

Caley H
8 years ago

Thank you so much for making our NYE celebrations extra special. An absolute gem of a band and would highly recommend.

Sutton C
7 years ago

Kit was excellent and captured the mood of the evening really well. He got all the ladies singing and dancing and was definitely a big hit with them! I would definitely recommend Kit for a such social event. A fabulous musician and singer.

Read all 3 reviews
Encore badges
10 gigs
Experienced: 10 bookings through Encore
Saved the day!
Booked for an Encore gig with less than 24 hours’ notice
8th Anniversary
This act has been working with Encore for over 8 years
Member of the Encore community forum

Kit's Song list

AN EXAMPLE OF ONE VARIED SET. Scroll down for genres/themes lists under JAZZ, ...1960s POP/ROCK. 1950s and OTHER "OLDIES"
I Wish I Knew How it Would Feel To Be Free (Film 2017 theme)
Come Fly With Me
A Whiter Shade of Pale
Wake Up Little Susie
Thank Heaven For Little Girls
We Have All the Time in the World
Stranger on the Shore
As Time Goes By
Cry Me a River
Treat Me Nice
It's Now or Never
Twenty Flight Rock
Jailhouse Rock
You Never Can Tell
Stand By Me
True Love
When You Wish Upon a Star
Sunny Afternoon
Twistin' the Night Away
Hi Ho Silver Lining
A Nightingale Sang in Berkely Square.
After You've Gone
Java Jive
Out of Nowhere
St Thomas
Blue Bossa
Body & Soul
My Romance
There Will Never Be Another You
Girl Talk
Lullaby of Birdland
Tenor Madness
Jersey Bounce
Stompin' at the Savoy
Embraceable You
Dont Get Around Much Any More
Lover Man
Everything Happens to Me
In a Mellow Tone
Georgia On My Mind
Girl From Ipanema
Night & Day
I Can't Get Started
Watermelon Man
Green Dolphin Street
Tea For Two
My Little Suede Shoes
Have You Met Miss Jones
Don't Blame Me
When You Wish Upon a Star
Song For My Father
These Foolish Things
Button Up Your Overcoat
Pick Yourself Up
As Time Goes By
Jeepers Creepers
All of Me
On a Slow Boat to China
My Baby Just Cares For Me
When You're Smiling
The Lady Is a Tramp
Ain't Misbehavin'
Sweet Lorraine
Autumn Leaves
Put On a Happy Face
I Wanna Be Like You
I Can't Give You Anything But Love.
1960s POP/ROCK
Yeh Yeh
Treat Me Nice
Living Doll
Ain't That a Kick in the Head
Save the Last Dance for Me
Red Red Wine
Brown Eyed Girl
Sweet Caroline
Return to Sender
Here Comes the Sun
A Message to You Rudy
Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini
Bring Me Sunshine
House of the Rising Sun
Glad All Over
Sunny Afternoon
Under the Boardwalk
Honky Tonk Women
Knock On Wood
Yellow Submarine
Shaking All Over
My Old Man's a Dustman
I'm a Believer
What a Wonderful World
It's Now or Never
Teddy Bear
From Russia With Love
Moon River
Summer Holiday
Stand By Me
Hi Ho Silver Lining
Need Your Love So Bad
That'll Be the Day
Singin' the Blues
Twenty Flight Rock
See You Later Alligator
Teenager In Love
Chantilly Lace
Buona Sera
Your Cheatin' Heart
Beyond the Sea
Blue Moon
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
Come Fly With Me
New York New York
Chattanooga Choo Choo
Baby Face
The White Cliffs of Dover
We'll Meet Again
Bye Bye Blackbird
When You're Smiling
You Are My Sunshine
On a Slow Boat to China
These Foolish Things
They Can't Take That Away From Me
Run Rabbit Run
Underneath the Arches
True Love
Pennsylvania 6-5000
As Time Goes By
Sweet Lorraine
It's a Long Way to Tipperary
When I'm Cleaning Windows
Choo Choo Ch'Boogie
Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens
Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby
Java Jive
Moonlight Becomes You
Baker Street
I Do Like to Be Beside the Seaside
Let's Do It

Kit's Prices

Note: prices may vary based on travel distance. For an exact quote, click “Check availability”.

Standard Prices
Performance durationPrice
Short performance (up to 15 min)£100
Up to 1 hour£200
Up to 2 hours£250
Up to 3 hours£300
Customer questions

What do your clients love most about your performances?

Professional standard of performance, approach and conduct but friendly and helpful.

Which venues have you performed at in the past?

Barbican Centre; Royal Festival Hall; Queen Elizabeth Hall; Vortex Jazz Bar; Olympia Exhibition Hall; Cafe Royal; Langham Hilton; Waldorf Hotel; 100 Club; Mean Fiddler; Hurlingham Club; Goodwood House; Berkely Castle; Belvoir Castle; Eltham Palace; Belfast Opera House; Fairfield Halls; Highclere Castle.

Which artists have you been most influenced by?

Louis Jordan, Ray Charles, Chuck Berry, Mose Allison, Georgie Fame, Big Joe Turner, Rolling Stones, Animals (Eric Burdon), Eddie Cochran, Elvis Presley....most of the jazz and blues greats and also 1960s pop/rock.

What is the most high profile gig you've performed?

Difficult to answer - one person's high profile may not be another's - so here are a few: TV appearance on Blue Peter, Barbican Easter Jazz Festival, London post-premiere party for Aardman Animations' Chicken Run film.

What if my timings change after I've booked you?

I always try my best to be flexible both before and during an event. Just let me know of any changes and 9 times out of 10 they can be accommodated without any fuss.

Can you provide an iPod/DJ service before and between your sets?

I can always provide recorded music between my sets free of charge. If you have your own playlists on iPod, laptop, phone or similar, I can play them through my PA system for you.

How much time do you need to set up?

For solo bookings about 30 minutes in most cases. For small audiences it could be as quick as 15 minutes. My full 7-piece band needs 1 - 1.5 hours.

Can I pick the pieces you play from the set list?

You're welcome to request anything from my repertoire, specific songs or a general guide towards mood or genres but it's usually best not to try and "micro-manage" the music. I have many years experience of what works but I'll gladly discuss your ideas and work with them wherever possible.

Do you bring all the equipment you need to perform?

Yes indeed! All you need to provide is the space for me to perform and a source of mains electricity at that spot. (Even the electricity may not be necessary in certain cases!)

Can you learn specific pieces before the event?

If a song isn't included in my song list there may still be a chance I already know it. If there is a particular song you'd like me to learn I'm happy to do this given reasonable notice. There may be an additional fee for this depending on the circumstances.
Swing, 1930s era music, 1940s era music, 1950s era music, 1960s era music, Jazz, Blues, Cabaret, Dixieland, Latin jazz, Postmodern jukebox jazz, Modern jazz, Easy listening, Light music, Originals, Pop, Acoustic, Covers, Americana, Motown, R&B, Vintage, Tribute, Soul, Rock, Rock 'n' Roll, Ska, Skiffle, 1920s era music, 1970s era music, Folk, Folk rock, Pop rock, Bossa nova, Film / TV music, Musical theatre, Electro-Swing, Country, Gypsy jazz, Ragtime, Disco, Funk, Funk rock, Top 40, Latin, Reggae, Salsa, Classic rock
See all genres
Event types:
Private event, Wedding, Wedding proposal, Funeral / Memorial service, Church service, Hotel / Restaurant event, Bar / Club / Venue event, Corporate event, Charity event, Concert, Recording session, Theatre / Show, Cruise, Burns night, Birthday party, Christmas party, New Year's Eve
See all event types
Other skills:
Arranger, Composer, Lyricist, Songwriter, Producer, Actor, Dancer, Musical comedy, Fluent improviser, Fluent sight-reader, MC, Instrumental teaching, Theory teaching
See all skills