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Biographies

Peter Riley

Peter’s knowledge of Music Hall and Bing Crosby songs was formed on his Grandmother’s knee. In the late 80’s he appeared at the first Burnley Blues Festival, and in the pubs of Oldham and Manchester began to learn stagecraft.

As front-man and main songwriter with The Winchesters, Peter showed up at lots of festivals and on Primetime TV. Forming The Swing Commanders, he wanted a musically versatile, visual and energetic band. His dream came true!

Peter also performs in swing trio THE GELATOS and his glam rock band THE GLAMTASTIC 4 where he can be seen wearing some daring and skimpy little numbers….!

Claire Victoria Roberts

Claire is a PhD student within the music department of Bangor University. Committed to a number of areas of musical practice, Claire began her studies in growing up in South West Wales, winning prizes both as a singer and violinist at the Rotary Young Musician as well at the National Urdd Eisteddfod. She went on to undertake a music degree at Oxford University, followed by a Master of Music degree in violin performance at the Royal Northern College of Music. Now focusing on music writing, Claire has embarked on a composition research degree at Bangor.

She maintains an active freelance career as a performer, from local orchestras and chamber groups to electric violin shows. As a session musician she has recorded for BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge and performed on X Factor live shows.

Dan Smith

Dan studied popular music and recording at Salford University and spent time after graduating playing in pit orchestras for theatre productions as a session guitarist. Shows including Billy Elliot, Hairspray, The Wiz, West Side Story, and most recently a production of Pink Floyd’s The Wall.

Dan has travelled the world for some years working as a show band guitarist on cruise ships for Carnival, Princess and Celebrity Cruises. Whilst on board he spent every day playing with, and learning from some of the best musicians in the world as well as backing high profile acts from the West end, Broadway and other areas of the entertainment industry.

Now back on solid ground, Dan delivers a bi weekly live Web stream with the well known Tom Quale and also has his own guitar tuition youtube channel called Beyond the lick.

Dan’s wide knowledge of different musical styles makes him an accomplished and versatile musician which comes in handy with The Swing Commanders where he juggles Swing, Western Swing, Jazz and Country effortlessly! Look out also for his handkerchief tricks…..!

Siena Lloyd

Before joining the Swing Commanders, Siena, a professional actress, could be found on our screens, appearing in Channel 4’s, Hollyoaks among other things, or touring UK Theatres in productions such as The Blonde Bombshells of 1943, Oh! What a Lovely War, and HEIDI – A Goats tale, so it’s only natural that she would add a touch of “drama” to the band!

Siena also runs an educational theatre company called ARTFUL PLAYGROUND which delivers theatre and music workshops, courses and classes to children. Siena has written two children’s books for one of the musical projects which can be found on shop shelves in Manchester!

As the Musical Director of The Swing Commanders, Siena is responsible for the band’s musical arrangements. She plays the saxophone, clarinet, piano, double bass,and the accordian in the band so Siena has her work cut out for her. However she still finds time to do the styling and presentation, CD/DVD cover design, and the band’s social and online networking!

Siena also plays in swing trio THE GELATOS alongside Peter!

Stuart Smith

Having spent most of his professional musical career on the UK jazz circuit playing alongside some of the best performers of jazz (John Hallam, Jamie Brownfield, Tom Kincaid, Amy Roberts, Jeff Barnhart (USA), Spatz Langham, Matthias Seuffurt (GER) and Duke Heitger USA), Stuart jazzes up the Swing Commanders with his special beats and pieces!

Stuart has appeared at many of the UK Jazz Festivals including the Keswick Jazz festival, Upton Jazz Festival, Dove Holes, Bude Jazz Festival and the Edinburgh Jazz festival. Stuart has toured Europe countless times drumming all over Denmark, Holland and Germany. One of his highlights was performing at the legendary Dresden Dixieland Jazz Festival.

Stuart has also played with Martin Bennett’s Old Green River Band – a band which favours the sounds of New Orleans and the blues of Chicago, Small Weller, and The Manchester School of Samba.
Being a vintage car enthusiast Stuart also makes himself useful when it comes to our old van – usually pushing it!