featuring IRENE MARTIN

This highly entertaining quintet presents jazz standards, classic Latin grooves & blues with their own brand of vibrancy, humour and most importantly with a whole lot of swing!

Entertainment is strictly the name of the game and wherever they perform, the response is the same – a great reaction from both jazz buffs and newcomers to the music. Much of this is due to the varied programme of generally well known tunes but always with a few surprises thrown in.

The considerable talent and wealth of experience of the instrumentalists, combined with the outstanding vocals of Irene Martin produce performances which are acclaimed by their highly appreciative audiences.

Irene’s style encompasses the feeling of Billie Holiday with the smoothness of Julie London, topped off with the sassiness of Peggy Lee. This superb combination is complemented by the tenor sax of Louis Noble and outstanding keyboard of Colin Gibson.

Burt Donns' harmonious bass lines provide the anchor and Benn Pollards' fluent drumming as well as Tony Tuckers' smooth trumpet style completes the line-up.

Check out the band biogs...

A sampler CD is available on request but you may find it more convenient to listen to the tracks below...

1. I wished on the moon

2. Crazy he calls me

3. Fly me to the moon

4. Cry me a river

5. Boy from Ipanema

6. East of the sun

7. All of me (instrumental)

please note: above sample tracks will open into a new window as a windows media audio file (WMA)



SO WHAT NOW featuring Irene Martin are specialists in providing sophisticated jazz for parties, weddings and corporate events. An extensive repertoire includes a mixture of instrumental and vocal swing and Latin tunes from past and present, structured to suit your requirements. The style & tempo of the tunes are such that they appeal to dancers as well as those who prefer to just sit back and relax to smooth sounds.

Please contact:

Louis Noble
6 Westminster Close, Wrexham LL12 7AY
Telephone: 01978 312443 - Mobile: 07812 833068

Free Guestbook from Bravenet Free Guestbook from Bravenet

TRIOjazz - click here!

If the full quintet is too large for your function then can we recommend TRIOjazz, a similar blend of music!


Louis Noble
and band leader

Louis Noble

Every band needs a leader and this dubious task falls to Louis. In truth, he revels in it and it comes naturally to him. His other passion apart from music is fishing and invariably ends up as association secretary, editor or whatever.

Living in Wrexham and regularly supporting events of the North Wales Jazz Society, I suppose it is natural that he is a committee member and as such, supports Trefor Owen & Maureen Hopkins as they regularly present top class jazz in the area.

 Before mentioning Louis’ actual playing there is one more organizational feat to mention and that is the Jam Session held monthly at Alexander’s. Now in it’s seventh year it came about in a strange way. The current band So What Now is a reincarnation of the original So What which unfortunately had to stop playing. Louis, deciding against starting another band, thought he would concentrate his playing at various jam sessions in whatever towns they existed. The problem he soon found was, that apart from a couple of “off the wall“ Manchester sessions, none existed so what was he to do?

You guessed it – start his own, and this is what he did with the cooperation of Alexander’s and it has become a rallying point for local musicians.

So that’s the organizer but what about the musician ?…….

Starting in his youth, Louis has been involved in various band situations and started in blues bands as vocalist/ harmonica player.In the early 60’s when pop changed to soul, he became a self taught sax player in a large soul band. A lengthy break then followed until he took up his horn again to play in a Manchester based band which only played charity but all this did was to rekindle the flame of regular gigging and the search was on.

To cut a long story short, he joined the legendary Zoot Serious & the Bellyful of Bop on alto sax where he spent a very happy 9 years, playing “rampant rhythm & blues with soul”.

With a long interest in jazz and blues it was natural to want to play jazz sax so he attended courses at Arden College in Manchester and having gained a grounding, formed the original So What with a class colleague “ to allow further learning”. Further learning be damned – let’s get some gigs was the cry and the rest is history.

After the eventual break up, the need for a band still lurked within Louis so out of the friends who helped him with the jam sessions was born So What Now. Within the band he gets great satisfaction from playing the classic standards and admits that he is totally committed to developing a similar sound and style to his idols Lester Young and Dexter Gordon.

Email Louis

Benn Pollard

Benn Pollard

Benn began playing the drums at the age of 13 after starting his GCSE in music and deciding that classical piano and the electric guitar weren’t for him!

His first live gigs were with his secondary school brass band in Stockport, whom he joined shortly after taking up the instrument, and with some friends from school who he formed a covers band with. Upon completing his music GCSE, he went to college to study Music Technology in Marple, which is where he gained his first experience of studio recording.

Once Benn completed his college studies, he decided to continue with a music education and accepted a place to study on the very first year of a Popular Music course at The Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. During this period he became involved in various live events and projects, playing various open day events, course showcases, and many large and smaller venues around the UK such as ‘Music Live’ at The Birmingham National Exhibition Centre, Manchester Academy, Manchester Club Academy and The Royal Northern College of Music itself.

Over the last 8 years of playing live, Benn has recorded, gigged and toured with many groups and artists covering various styles and genres,playing  both original material and covers, including Folk, Jazz, Rock, Pop, Funk, R’n’B, Latin and many more. In keeping with his love of 60s and 70s soul music, Benn was the first drummer to play with a live band inside the legendary Twisted Wheel soul club in Manchester since closure in 1971, the previous band being The Spencer Davis Group!


Colin Gibson

Colin Gibson

Colin has a wealth of experience and this is invaluable to the band. In his formative years he reached an advanced stage in Trinity College music but had to put this aside as it interfered with school work.

His first introduction to jazz was in the late 1940’s, playing regularly in small groups with stars of the day. Early 1950’s saw him playing trombone for almost 3 years with the Chester Orchestral Society, an instrument he subsequently took into the RAF military band. A spell on piano in the RAF dance band was terminated due to a posting but picked up his playing career again in the mid 1950’s, playing sometimes 6 nights a week at major ballrooms in the Crewe and Cheshire area.

This continued into the mid 60’s when he spent almost 4 years in a jazz trio, backing nationally known artists. This was followed by a lengthy residency at the Chester Grosvenor ballroom and restaurant.

Colin’s professional career then took over until the late 80’s although he found time to play with the Radio Denmark big band at the Tivoli Gardens Jazz Centre,Copenhagen !

On picking up his playing seriously again, the next 20 years saw periods playing with the big bands of Bill Basie, Allan Lloyd, Merseyside and Freddie Smith. He also played with many smaller groups in the same period.

All in all then, what a varied and interesting career during which so many skills were developed, so evident in So What Now performances today.

Email Colin

Burt Donn
Bass Guitar

Burt Donn

Burt learned to play six string guitar at the age of 25, later moving onto first upright bass then bass guitar. Much of his playing  centred around Liverpool and on one of his regular gigs at Peel Hall Labour Club,was often visited by Gerry Marsden of Gerry and the Pacemakers. Gerry was always asking Burt for playing tips and on meeting years later said to him, “ so you’re the guy who made me rich”.

One of the loves of Burt’s life was his Gibson L4C for which he paid the princely sum of £125 but today would be worth thousands – wish I still had it, he says !

Before  involvement with other bands he formed his own and played residencies at The Latin Quarter, (the first Liverpool club to have a glass dance floor), Robley’s Royal restaurant, The La Bussola, Grosvenor Arms (Pulford), Cabin Club, Corinthian Club, Pink Parrot Club, The Blue Angel and the Harlequin Ballroom.

Also a big band man, he’s enjoyed playing with Bill Gregson’s Band at the Tower Ballroom (New Brighton), The Orrell Park Ballroom (L’Pool) with the Johnny (fingers) Jones orchestra, Freddie Smith’s Big band (Victoria Hotel,New Brighton) and Frddie Corbett’s Band at Reeces ballroom.

He’s also had experience backing stars of the day such as Faith Brown, singer with Johnny Jones and Ken Dodd, singer/comedian. Burt has also been involved in recording sessions at Granada TV studios with Johnny Hilton, Amos Smith and Bob Duffy – doing jingles for television.

Obviously a hugely experienced player, Burt creates a really solid foundation to So What Now – invaluable ! 

Email Burt

Irene Martin

Irene Martin

Born into a singing family, Irene grew up in the Shropshire Hills listening to her parents singing all the wonderful old standards. Her mother had sung alongside Rose Brennan in Dublin before settling in England.

From a tender age, Irene was performing publicly with her sister, appearing on the BBC programme "Hometown" with Cliff Michelmore in the late 1970's which led to recordings in London.

Singing continued to be part of her life whilst studying in York. She played an active part in the Jazz scene there before moving to South America, where she lived for 20 years. In between work and family she continued singing publicly wherever possible, featuring as a guest vocalist at the 1998 Orinoco Jazz Festival in Venezuela.

On returning to the UK she joined the local music circuit in Chester and is currently resident vocalist with the Wall City Jazz Band at The Mill Hotel.

Irene also works with various trios and pianists and has established an impressive reputation as a solo artist. She has been a guest vocalist with the Bryan Jones Big Band, appearing in Chester, Telford and Nantwich and with the Archie Cottrell Trio in the West Midlands.

Constantly in demand, her collaboration with So What Now represents an exciting project.

As a solo performer, Irene specialises in contributing to your celebration (be it weddings, anniversaries or birthdays) by designing a programme based on your song choice - telling your life or love story through your favourite jazz sounds!

As if her obvious success as a vocalist isn't enough, Irene is also a guitarist and song writer. Her first CD entitled "Little Things Mean a Lot" is dedicated to her mother and 20% of the proceeds go to the Hospice of the Good Shepherd in Chester.

Tony Tucker






Tony Tucker

We are delighted that Tony has recently joined the band and this gives the classic line-up of trumpet and tenor sax a’la Miles Davis and John Coltrane.

Starting as a 10 year old with the Salvation Army band, he discovered jazz and other vices as a teenager, this set the course for a thriving musical career. During the next few years he spent time playing with local dance bands, amongst them the notable Lex Holcroft jump and mainstream band.

A spell of illness unfortunately interrupted his playing but thankfully he was able to resume and in recent years has held a resident chair with the Merseyside Big band and Bill Basey’s popular 9 piece outfit, in addition to other North West bands.

His smooth style and well constructed solos are a pleasure to listen to and his contribution to So What Now is immeasurable.

We have a new sampler CD, available on request.