Jools Holland is a musical genius, but not only that, he is the master of showcasing music from all different walks of life.
Jools promotes emerging talent, with firmly established talent and integrates the two together to form a musical masterpiece every year since 1992. His shows ‘Later … with Jools Holland’, and the famous annual Hootenanny are an eclectic blend of the most successful artists throughout the year and accomplished artists of all time, put in a room together to perform live in front of each other.
To provide some context on the man that is Jools Holland, we must first delve into his childhood. Jools Holland’s parents had married very young at the age of just 21, after his father’s national service in the RAF. His father, who had an immense passion for the creative arts read voraciously, loved abstract paintings, and jazz music. However, through their financial instability, Jools’ father had to pursue a career in jobs like mini cabbing and cheffing, instead of pursuing his creative talent in being an arts writer.
Jools’ background may have seen him drift naturally to the creative arts, but it wasn’t till his parent’s divorce when he went to live with his Grandfather and Grandmother who owned a grand piano where Jools started to showcase his own talent. Holland always talks extremely highly of his grandparents, stating they were like something out of the Noël Coward play ‘This Happy Breed’ and how magical it was to hear them sing music-hall songs. Holland believes that that music is a therapeutic, healing phenomenon, something which Jools found extremely comforting during his parent’s divorce. It was during this era of living with his grandparents that truly ignited his passion for music.
Holland’s upbringing was a pivotal step towards his global success, his upbringing brought him the pleasures of sociability, as his grandparents often hosted a variety of different people venturing in and out of his house. Musicians of all kinds would come and go due to his uncle being in a semi-professional band known as The Planets. Jools’ uncle was actually the person to teach him the iconic Boogie Woogie on the piano, which has become Jools trademark song on the piano. Holland explains his upbringing and his sociability skills have been critical in his line of work, allowing him to build rapport with many different types of people when out on the road, and when conversing with a diverse range of artists when presenting his shows.
Moreover, as a bandleader, Jools tries to pass on the same family values that he grew up with: help people, hang on to your sense of humour, be tolerant, and keep your judgments to yourself. Skills that have established Jools as one of the most well-respected musicians and host of musicians in Europe.
His magical fingers and wonderful presenting skills make him the man we all know today, but there is a lot more to the man than what lies behind the piano. Jools was an original member of the band Squeeze playing on the keys. Squeeze were incredibly successful during the 1970s and 80s, and achieved millions of record sales. Following his exit from the band, Jools pursued a solo career. Jools Holland worked with many artists, including some of the biggest names in music history. Artists such as Sting, Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, George Harrison, David Gilmour, Magazine, and Bono, all whilst hosting an array of the most incredible talent all over the world on his prestigious shows.
In the U.K. we pass far too many judgements on people of different classes, and people we deem lesser than ourselves. Jools Holland has met everyone from every walk of life, but he is the perfect example of someone who believes everyone from every walk of life should be treated equally and with the same amount of respect as the next person. This may be why Jools has had such a brilliant career, and his TV shows are some of the best around. We could all learn a thing or two from Jools Holland’s outlook on life.
‘Later … with Jools Holland’ returns this evening. Tune into BBC Two, at 10:00pm to for his new series. The first episode features Arlo Parks who recently released her astonishing debut album ‘Collapsed In Sunbeams’. It will be a fascinating watch.