“I first met Westley Joseph in September 2011 when he came to my place to play drums on various tracks for David ‘DaPaul’ Philip’s “Soulful Spirit” album. At the end of David’s session, I asked Westley to play drums on a version of “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay” that I was working on. Impressed with Westley’s professional approach, I have invited him to play on several of my tracks since that time, and he will be working as a regular guest with SunPalace from now on!” – Mike Collins
Westley Joseph started out at the tender age of four playing steel pans at Infant school, then at junior school he studied violin, reaching Grade 7 level by the age of 11. He continued studying music throughout his teens, learning lots more instruments along the way including bass guitar, clarinet and piano, but it was steel drums, and especially the drum kit to which he found himself continually being drawn!
Now a successful freelance musician based in London, Westley says “I enjoy playing in different contexts all the time. I love playing in a big band one night and then having to switch gears and play in a reggae band or a swingin’ jazz trio the next night.” And he has played in so many genres – especially Pop, Funk and Soul, Soca and Calypso, Reggae and African!
• Pop, Funk and Soul bands and artists Westley has worked with include Avery Sunshine, Loose Ends, Omar, Eric Roberson, Don E, Akala, Bashy, The Soothsayers, ‘The Streets’, Leo the Lion, The Mitchell Brothers, Sona Jobarteh, HKB FiNN, Mary Pearce (Primal Scream, Mica Paris, Beverly Knight), Imaani and Vanessa Haynes (Incognito), Louise Clare Marshall (Jools Holland), and Noel Mckoy to mention just a few.
• In Soca and Calypso, Westley has played alongside and recorded with Machel Montano, David Rudder, Alison Hinds, Superblue, Baron, Ronnie McIntosh, Iwer George, Shadow, The Mighty Sparrow, and Nigel & Marvin Lewis.
• In Reggae he has worked with Janet Kay, Carol Thompson, Caron Wheeler, Winston Reedy, Victor Romero Evans, Luciano, Lucky Dube, Errol Dunkley, Sylvia Tella, Horace Andy, Joy Mack and Cornell Campbell.
• In Jazz, Westley has performed or recorded with Courtney Pine, Ray Carless, Jason Yarde, Denys Baptiste, Nick Colionne, Marion Meadows, Joe Leader, Alan Weekes, and Julie Dexter.
• In African music, he has worked with Sona Jobarteh, Dele Sosimi, Geraldo Pino, Sonti Mndebele, Kologbo, Jah Lude and Natty.
© 2017 Mike Collins