The City Bells


Click on a sax in the picture on the right to find out more about each member of The City Bells.

Ellie Steemson - Soprano

Ellie is a versatile saxophonist and performer. With an eclectic background, she is involved in a variety of projects which aim to cross traditional boundaries between musical genres.

Ellie is particularly keen to promote new music and has worked alongside emerging composers on a number of projects in London and abroad. She often performs original material as part of a duo with pianist Edward Pick, and with percussionist Caz Wolfson in their ensemble Joiette.

In November of 2007, Ellie gave the UK premiere of Mike Mower's Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Wind Orchestra with the Guildhall Symphonic Wind Ensemble.

She has also performed solo, chamber and large ensemble works in venues including the Barbican, LSO St Luke's and the Wigmore Hall.

Chez Taylor-Francis - Alto

Doubling sax with flute and clarinet has led Chez to play such main stages as Lovebox (Hackney, London), Newton's Nation (Bathurst, Australia), Alliance Francaise (Zambia, Africa) and many more. Her performances have been acclaimed by the likes of The British Arts Council, The BBC and Sony Music.

On her home turf, Chez has also acquired quite a few letters after her name, including DipABRSM Teaching alongside a Licentiate in Performance from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. Proving to be somewhat of a qualification junkie, she is now preparing to sit her Fellowship Diploma in Musical Performance.

Polished, unique and dependable saxophonist Chez Taylor-Francis is quickly becoming a prominent female artist on the London jazz and pop scene.

Simon Hendry - Tenor

Simon started playing music aged five and braved his first saxophone four years later. Through his teens, Simon studied jazz with Katie Brown and was the leader of the Delice Saxophone Quartet, winners of the 2005 Under-21 National Saxophone Quartet competition.

When not indulging in his study of physics at Edinburgh University, Simon served as both president and musical director extraordinaire of the Edinburgh University Jazz Orchestra and is now lead alto of the University of London Union Big Band.

Simon is both a freelance musician and sound engineer and has been fortunate to work alongside some first class acts in both London and Scotland including Pendulum, Alistair McGowan, We Are Scientists, Futureheads and Belle & Sebastian.

Rob Downing - Baritone

Rob attended the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and attained a BMus(Hons) degree under the direction of reputable saxophonists Christian Forshaw, John Harle and Martin Hathaway.

He is the quartet's epic multi-instrumentalist, doubling on flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon and piano. This love of instruments has made him much in demand for show and session playing.

Rob plays with numerous soul and function bands, leads his own jazz trio and is the saxophonist/bass clarinettist for the Essex Sinfonia. His teaching work for the London borough of Barking and Dagenham includes workshop leading, wider opportunities whole class tuition and African drumming alongside standard woodwind peripatetic teaching.

As a composer/arranger, Rob has contributed countless charts to The City Bells pad and continues to expand the group's repertoire list with more classics topped with his signature "Downing" style.

The City Bells - Bio The City Bells - Ellie The City Bells - Chez The City Bells - Simon The City Bells - Rob