John A. Helliwell BIO & NEWS

John A. Helliwell BIO & NEWS


The showman
Birth date: February, 1945
Birth place: Todmorden, ENGLAND


From the JOHN HELLIWELL website :
I was born in Todmorden, West Yorkshire, England (U.F.O. centre of the U.K. ) in 1945 and grew up, rather sheltered from the big world, in the quite austere 1950s. I sang in the church choir and had piano lessons for a year at age nine.
After hearing Monty Sunshine play “Petite Fleur” with Chris Barber's Jazz Band, I was inspired, and saved up for two years to buy a clarinet for £15 when I was thirteen. I soon began to appreciate “modern” jazz and bought a saxophone two years later.
My inspirations then were Cannonball Adderley, Sonny Rollins, Miles Davis and Art Blakey.
When I left school I went to Birmingham to work as a computer programmer. There I played with various bands and groups including “The Dicemen” (we wore “Beatle” suits with trousers so tight we had to be lifted on to the stage) and “Jugs O'Henry” with whom I turned professional in 1965. “Jugs..” was short-lived, and, after putting an advertisement in the “Melody Maker” music weekly which read “Have sax, will travel”, I joined “The Alan Bown Set” with whom I spent six years.
We made several albums, played thousands of gigs, and had the singers Jess Roden, Gordon Neville and Robert Palmer.
Our music progressed (or regressed, depending on your point-of-view) from soul music to quite free jazzy rock, calling in on flower-power and psychedelia on the way.


Please read the interesting INTERVIEW I made to John in 2003 in Manchester, near his home.
Por favor, leer esta interesante ENTREVISTA que le hice a John en 2003 en Manchester, cerca de su casa.

John was (and still is) working for many projects over the years appart of Supertramp. Diana Ross or Pink Floyd for instance.
John was playing for Roger Hodgson in his live album "Rites of passage" in 1996.
John was also involved in the GAIA project (Alan Simon) in 2003/2004 together with Jesse Siebenberg (Supertramp) and Andrew Hodgson (Roger's son) among other artists. Within this project John was playing with Roger Hodgson again in Zurich, Art on Ice show in 2004. (See the Roger's tours section)
John was playing on 4 tracks for Excalibur II project , CD released year 2007.
John is the saxophone player during Tour Excalibur, the celtic Opera, 2009-2011 (see below) German Tour in 2010
John featuring Alan Parsons live Project at the Olympia in Paris, first of June 2010 (see below)
John was playing on several tracks for Excalibur III project, recorded in 2010 and released year 2011. German Tour in 2011
John was playing on several tracks for Excalibur IV project, recorded in 2016
John is collaborating in some projects by Alan Simon, and also playing with Leslie Mandolki (2018-2019 and more.....)
John announces a new album in May 2020: EVER OPEN DOOR
John announces a new album in Oct 2022: DON'T EVER LEAVE ME

But, a special musical project for John is his own jazz band, called "Creme Anglaise". Mark Hart (Supertramp) is collaborating also on this band. The band performed several shows until now and a CD was released in 2005.
Below you can read my report about the show in Giverny two years ago.


All Helliwell collaborations (source: The Dude and BIS)

1977 "Bad Reputation" Thin Lizzy
1979 "The Old Pals Act" Peter Bennett
1979 "Rendez Vous" Cano
1980 "Eastern Wind" Chris De Burgh
1981 "Deception Is An Art" Ali Thomson
1984 "Positif" Jean-Jacques Goldman
1986 "Giants In Our Own Room" Bob Siebenberg
1987 "A Momentary Lapse Of Reason" Pink Floyd
1989 "Show Of Hands" Show Of Hands
1989 "The Long Shot" Heads Up
1989 "Say Something Good" River City People
1990 "Shortshop" Sara Hickman
1991 "The Force Behind The Power" Diana Ross
1996 "Bang !" Andy Scott & Sax Assault
1997 "Rites Of Passage" Roger Hodgson
2003 "Gaïa" Alan Simon
2004 "River To The Sea" Simon Apple
2005 "Angola" Lulendo
2006 "Dreamscape" dB-Infusion
2007 "Excalibur II - The Celtic Ring" Alan Simon
2007 "Sax Of Gold" Andy Scott's SaxAssault
2010 "Excalibur III - The Origins" by Alan Simon
2010 " Island kids" Skilda
2012 "The Legends Tour" Alan Simon CANCELLED
2016 "Excalibur IV - "The Dark age of the Dragon" by Alan Simon
2018 "Rock Meets Classic" 
2018 "Big Band Supertramp" 
2019 Some Alan Simon projects and gigs, and Leslie Mandoki
2020 "Ever Open Door"  New album
2022 "Don't ever leave me"  New album


CREME ANGLAISE Show in GIVERNY, 11th September 2005

Last weekend I attended the show of Creme anglaise in Giverny, thanks to "mes amis" Fabrice, Jerome and Laurent. The show was great !!! Nice evening. We had fun and enjoyed good music, John described their music as "friendly jazz" during the show. He was even more joker and brightened up than the Supertramp's shows, even dancing from time to time :o) He enjoyed a lot, a lot of solos, and enjoying the solos of keyboards, drums, bass and drums, he was really happy.

John was wearing as usual, so when he was playing and even more speaking, it was like a show of Supertramp :o) and listening the voice of the Paris album again ....

He started the show speaking to the audience "english class....... repeat after me....... my tailor is rich :o)" and later........ "the tailor of Arthur (the keyboard player) is not rich !!! laughs...... He explained some changes in the line up of the band for that nigth, so the name of the band was "Creme Fresh" for that show :o)

Mark Hart was on stage too (he cames from LA just for the show and back home the next day) and he composed some of the songs. He even played "lullaby for Channing" (from his own album) and other great songs. Alan Simon and Lulano (Gaia Project) joined the band for the last track, amazing mix of etnic & jazz. It was a party.

Jazz is not the kind of music I like listening at home and driving, but I enjoy jazz LIVE due to the virtouos musicians, powerful sound and nice rythm. And some of the "sound" of Supertramp is floating in the air when John is playing his own personal style :o)

During the dinner we had fun, I was kidding him about his basic french on stage (like Roger) and John repeated for me the "mythic words" Bonsoir Paris, bienvenue a une soiree avec Supertramp !!!! - in perfect french :o)

Fabrice was helping him selling the first CD of the band during the concert and John felt happy after the first sales of his first own project !!! A big smile from ear to ear......

John will update his web site with info about the next shows soon, and also offering the new CD of Creme Anglaise. I asked to Mark and John about news from Rick, but no news at the moment. So, at the moment all members of Supertramp are doing their own projects (John & Mark, Carl & Cliff, Jesse & Bob)


GIVERNY 11 Septiembre 2005

El pasado fin de semana fuí al festival de Giverny en Paris gracias a mis amigos Fabrice, Jerome y Laurent (Logical Tramps). El show fué genial !!! Buena musica y muy divertido, agradable velada. John describió su musica como "friendly jazz" (jazz amigable) durante el show. En realidad es jazz, pero más bien alegre y marchoso, con algún toque (canción) triste por parte de Mark Hart, que incluso interpretó Lullaby for Channing de su ultimo disco. John estaba más suelto y dicharachero incluso que en los shows de Supertramp, bailando incluso de tanto en tanto, siempre bromista y dando la nota, y haciendo que la gente aplauda los solos de los demás musicos. Se notaba que disfrutaba un montón, estaba feliz. Comenzó el show diciendo: "english class....... repeat after me....... my tailor is rich :o)"
y luego........ "the tailor of Arthur (el teclista) is not rich !!! risas......

La verdad que tener a John tocando el saxo a dos metros delante tuyo y vestido como siempre, da una sensación de estar en un concierto de Supertramp ....... y cada vez que habla, parece que escuches el disco Paris .......

Luego en la cena nos reimos un montón y me dijo en perfecto francés sus "miticas palabras" que pronunció en Paris 1979: "Bonsoir Paris !!! Bienvenue a une soiree avec Supertramp !!!! "

Mark Hart tambien estaba allí como dije (vino expresamente de LA como ya hizo otras veces) y es el compositor de algunos de los temas. Alan Simon y Lulano (proyecto Gaia ) se unieron a la banda para la ultima canción, interesante fusión de etnica & jazz. Fué una fiesta.

El Jazz no es la clase de musica que escucho en casa o en el coche (me aburre....) pero en directo es otra cosa: notas el virtuosismo de los músicos en primera persona, el potente sonido de los altavoces, el ritmo rico en matices, etc.... Y algo del sonido Supertramp está flotando en el ambiente cuando John está tocando el saxo y clarinete con su personal estilo y colores :o)

John actualizará su web pronto pues hay más conciertos en la agenda. Y ofrecerá su CD en la web. Fabrice estuvo ayudando vendiendo el primer CD de la banda durante la velada, y John se puso contento cuando vió que se habían vendido los primeros CDs de su primer proyecto auténticamente suyo..... una sonrisa de oreja a oreja !

Pregunté a Mark y John sobre noticias de Rick, pero no tienen noticias de momento. Por eso, por el momento todos los miembros de Supertramp siguen con sus proyectos (John & Mark, Carl & Cliff, Jesse & Bob)


Photo with Creme Anglaise in London, winter 2004

** Interview APRIL 2009 **

Latest shows, 2009

John Helliwell and his jazz band called "Crème Anglaise"
are performing several shows in U.K. this month (March 2009):

March 7th - Halifax, W. Yorkshire, U.K. - Square Chapel - 7.30 pm.

March 18th - Settle, N. Yorkshire U.K. - The Victoria Hall - 8.00 pm.
March 19th - Settle, N. Yorkshire U.K. - The Victoria Hall - 8.00 pm.

In the summer 2009 John played with Alan Simon's Excaliburproject ( in Kaltenberg, near Munich, an Italian jazz tour with Raimondo Meli Lupi's Open Frontiers Quartet, and several concerts with Andy Scott's Sax Assault in the UK. John recorded some songs for a CD with Raimondo Meli Lupi (guitar) and Fausto Beccalossi (accordion) in Parma, Italy in early August.

John will join Leslie ManDoki's "Soulmates" in Berlin (August 28th) and Gyor, Hungary (August 29th) for concerts to celebrate the relase of the "Soulmates II" CD.


Latest shows, 2010

John will perform again with Alan Simon's Excaliburproject ( in January 2010, Excalibur II - The Celtic Ring

02/01/2010 - Bremen AWD Dome
04/01/2010 - Mannheim SAP Arena
07/01/2010 - Hamburg Colorline Arena
08/01/2010 - Leipzig Arena
09/01/2010 - Hannover TUI Arena
13/01/2010 - Munich Olympiahalle
16/01/2010 - Berlin Max-Schmeling-Halle
18/01/2010 - Cologne Lanxess Arena
19/01/2010 - Stuttgart Schleyerhalle
21/01/2010 - Zurich Hallenstadion
22/01/2010 - Oberhausen Arena
23/01/2010 - Frankfurt Festhalle
26/01/2010 - Nuremberg Arena Nürnberger Versicherung

 Show in Cologne January 18, please see my own REVIEW & PHOTOS


 Paris, June 1, 2010

 John featuring Alan Parsons Live Project at the Olympia. John perfomed 3 songs during the show.
Please see my own REVIEW & PHOTOS


Manchester, July 23, 2010

John Helliwell officially launching the jazz festival playing a melody of notes stuck to a stave by members of the audience. Funny !
John Helliwell hizo la presentación del festival interpretando una melodía de notas musicales que el público había escrito al azar.
See the VIDEO / Ver el VIDEO


Supertramp tour, September - November,  2010

John Helliwell joined his band mates for the "70-10" tour around Europe.


** Interview JULY 2010**   (Excalibur Trilogy journal)

** Interview OCTOBER 2010 **  (Classic Rock)

** Interview OCTOBER 2010 **  (Penny black music) 


Excalibur Live, 2011

John is performing again with Alan Simon's Excaliburproject ( in January 2011, Excalibur III - The origins

The tour dates of EXCALIBUR III:

14.01.2011 – Berlin, Max-Schmeling-Halle. See the VIDEO
15.01.2011 – Hannover, TUI-Arena
16.01.2011 – Dortmund, Westfalenhalle
24.03.2011 – Erfurt, Messehalle
26.03.2011 – Frankfurt, Festhalle


Excalibur Live, 2016

John is part again of the Excalibur project, The dark age of the Dragon, by Alan Simon. German tour in January 2016

See the tour dates of  EXCALIBUR Live 2016

See our Report (Berlin December 13th of December) 


Asfalto, 2017/2018

John has colaborated with the spanish band "Asfalto". He played 3 gigs in Madrid, Tarragona and Barcelona

See our Report (Barcelona 27th of January 2018) 


Rock Meets Classic, 2018

John is part of the Rock meets Classic tour 2018, with Jesse Siebenberg

See our Report (Zurich, April 9) 


Big Band Supertramp, 2018

John leads the epic Storyhouse big band for a set of special arrangements of Supertramp’s biggest and best songs.

See our Report (Chester, July 13) 





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