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Lee Sankey took up the harmonica when he was 18, playing in local groups whilst studying design at university in the Midlands. In 1993 he won the National Harmonica League Blues Harmonica Championship, leading to a sponsorship deal from Hohner and appearances on several radio shows and blues festivals. He is now based back in London.
Lee plays guitar as well as harmonica, and has at least three main drivers in addition to mastering the diatonic and chromatic harmonicas. He wants people to write more new material rather than just covering old material - his shows consist mainly of original songs written by himself. He wants to keep his music fresh and contemporary, and new influences such as hip hop are being blended into the jazz, soul, and blues he grew up with. Finally he loves playing live.
He developed his technique and interests with help from Paul Lamb. Other inspirational figures included Kim Wilson, Little Walter, Sonny Terry, William Clarke and Sonny Boy Williamson. Following a Canadian tour with Alannah Miles and Nine Below Zero. Lee finally formed his own group playing original music and he has appeared at the 100 Club in Oxford Street, and later at Britains premier jazz club, Ronnie Scotts, in London's Soho. He now performs in major venues in the UK and mainland Europe. Where space permits he performs with the full seven piece Lee Sankey Group. Lead guitar, bass and drums are augmented with a versatile horn trio. Dave Migden provides the soulful vocals. The result is an exciting musical experience packed full of new and varied material with exciting contributions from a group of talented soloists. For me it has the raw power and sophistication of a blend of Ray Charles at Newport with Blood Sweat and Tears. Lee also still performs in a duo with Ian Siegel and you may see him in local jams, alone or with the group's guitarist Matt Schofield.
The group's first CD is My day is just beginning (LSCD1), and they have released a second "EP" CD entitled She is not alone (LSCD2). You can buy both online from Redlick Records, or from the main London record shops. Click here to listen to mp3 sound files from the CD.
You can read a more detailed biography on Lee's web siteLinks to other pages about Lee Sankey
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