Roan Kearsey-Lawson MA, MA, BA Hons, MISM

Composer & Musician Classical, Jazz, World, Theatre & Pop Genres - International performer on Vibraphone, Marimba, Timpani, Piano, Drum Kit, Latin & Orchestral Percussion

Roan Kearsey-Lawson General Career

Recent Activity 

Recent Biographical Information:  2013 to 2014: Performances: Roan Kearsey-Lawson has recently performed for BBC1 TV in a theatre show backing Comedians where he performed on Vibes, played live on BBC TV and was Musical Director for the event.  During 2014 performances include the Ealing Jazz Festival, Pizza Express, Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham, and a tour of Scandinavia.  Recordings:  Roan has just released his album ‘Presence in Mind’.  He has also recorded for a pop band who are popular in the USA and has recently recorded for a Swedish Blues Band in Stockholm.  He currently working on 2 more pop recordings in 2014.  Composing:  Roan has been commissioned to write and arrange for a string quartet for the next album of pop band Groovy Uncle.  He is also working on a four movement Chamber Music Suite; Finchcocks Suite (a place where he regularly performs with the World’s Oldest Piano maker, Broadwood & Sons).

Roan in Teenage Years

Roan started to learn the piano at Age 13.  Inspired to take up the Drums at 14 after hearing Ronnie Verrell in a concert (drummer from Ted Heath and Animal in the Muppets).  By age 16 he was playing drums and being paid in Theatres and Shows.  At 17 he took up the Xylophone and was Grade 8 standard in 1 year.  At 18 was invited to teach drums in several schools plus played drums professionally for a dance band and tradition jazz band in London.  At 19 Roan received drum lessons from Paul Clarvis and others (see education for more).

Roan from Age 20 to 26

Roan studied Marimba at University and funded his way through his first 2 university degrees playing gigs on Drum Kit and teaching, including holding a post at Cobham Hall Independent Girls School (a 17th Century school in Kent) and even tried teaching full time to  classes in Secondary School.  Gigs included Southwalk Festival in London and De la War Pavillion in Bexhill.  It was during these years that Roan performed across the South East as a drummer performing trad & modern jazz, rock, pop, shows, barn dance, folk, Oom Pah band, classical orchestras, wind bands and brass bands.  He played everywhere in numerous theatres and even including on the TV filmed from a traffic island for the London Marathon.  Roan also made his first recording on drums in Wandsworth Recording studio's in London in a trad Jazz Band. 

Roan from Age 26 to 29

At age 26 Roan bought a 1950's Degan vibraphone using every last penny to get it, with £10 left to his name to pay for fuel to collect it!  Surprisingly this was the first time Roan had ever touched a Vibraphone but he did not play it for another year.  At that time although a seasoned jazz drummer Roan had never improvised or tried jazz on any tuned instrument.  So Roan bought a book of chords and taught himself how to play jazz on the piano.  Then a year later at age 27 he applied this knowledge of jazz piano and his classical skills on the Marimba to Jazz Vibes.  Roan started by playing along to the Humphrey Lyttleton BBC 2 Radio Show on Monday nights and joining a local band to practice improvising and a local big band to improve chord reading.  At the same time Roan started his 3rd Degree at King's College London and started a Floristry Business for his mother, which led to him starting KLMusic Services in the same year (now KLMusicGroup).  As commercial work took off Roan performed his first ever paid gig on vibes at age 28.  During that year and just 1 year after starting to play the vibes, Roan backed Don Rendell, Tony Coe, Jimmy Hastings and Januzs Carmello and performed live on BBC Radio.  Don Rendell after the first gig with Roan quoted him as 'brilliant'.  

Roan from age 29 to 36

It was at this time that Roan stopped teaching in schools and ran two jazz clubs for 2 hotels in Kent, but when funding was pulled he decided to start a club in Rochester, Kent (www.144club.co.uk which is still running today).  Since that time he only teaches from his home studio and continues to performed with dozens of greats in venues and festivals across the SE of England.  He also worked with Guildhall Jazz Summer School lecturer and published composer John Myhill in the Modern Jazz Trio producing a CD and performing at venues and festivals in London and the 'SE of England such as the Royal Albert Hall.  In 2008 Roan ran a jazz club in Maidstone, and in 2009 he was asked by a Brewery Company to provide the jazz for the Maritime Beer and Jazz Festival.  In 2010 took over the whole festival which became the Maritime Jazz Festival .  During this period RKL also performed in Blew Tubes Brass band and in the Hoffen Fahrts German Oom Pah band.  This was a comedy music show in London (3 gigs per weekend) for the German Brewery Company Pauliner - where he developed playing the piano and drums at the same time ! (a band which has taken him around the country with gigs).  Roan also performed for the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.

Roan from age 37 to Present

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Other Biography:  Roan has run a floristry business, he has also been a manager for his local council running after school clubs and summer holiday clubs, and manages property.