ABOUT US
JOHN COKER
MUSIC ARRANGER & BASS PLAYER

John is originally from New Zealand and picked up the guitar at a young age as his first instrument before moving over to the bass.  In New Zealand he worked as a Radio Producer before being asked to join the band with Ricky May as a bass player in Australia in 1970.  John jumped at this opportunity and left NZ to follow his dream of being a Professional Musician and moved to Australia which he has since called home.

 

John played bass in Ricky May's band for 2 years in Surfers Paradise.  He then moved to Sydney and worked around the hotels and clubs circuit. He played on two Daly Wilson Big Band albums and co-led the house band at Rooty Hill RSL for three years.

 

In 1978 he joined Marcia Hines band and toured extensively with her before joining Jon English and Baxter Funt Band. After that he went on to form Jon English and The Foster Brothers. He was with Jon for eight years in total and the last three years as Musical Director. The band toured Scandinavia twice with Jon and they were voted the best touring act in 1983.   The band made numerous trips around Australia and New Zealand filling up venues around the country and growing a fan base along the way.  The band also toured Australia as a support act  for Chicago & Thin Lizzy,  The band played at various festivals and made several appearances on Hey Hey It's Saturday, The Don Lane Show, AFL & Rugby League Grand Final and performed at one of the biggest concerts of it's time.  The Concert of the Decade in 1979.  Click below for a sneak look.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MacQL1Cxef8

 

Also during his time with Jon he played bass on four of Jon's albums, Beating The Boards, Calm Before the Storm, English History and Some People. He also co-wrote several of the songs including material from Jon's rock opera 'Paris'.  John played bass as part of the orchestra of Pirates of Penzance  that starred Jon English and Simon Gallagher.  

John completed both the jazz and arranging courses at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and has prepared arrangements for many TV and cabaret acts for over 15 years. He has backed many international artists and worked at the famous Bourbon and Beefsteak Bar for fourteen years. whilst also performing on the Sydney Showboat.  John worked extensively as a session musician and worked on various albums in the studio. In the 80's John toured with Julie Anthony around the country and  toured internationally playing at the Celtic Festival in Lorient and the World Expo in Japan and China.  He has also recorded with artists like Slim Dusty & Graeme Connors.  

When John isn't writing charts he is still in high demand as a bass player and still currently performing around the country in various tribute bands both with international and national acts .   Some of the many artists he has worked with around Sydney are acts with Marty Rhone, Eddie Youngblood, (Elvis Show), Deane Bourne (Roy Orbison), Bobby Bruce (Canadian Neil Diamond). Maureen Elkner (Dusty Springfield), Joey Fimmano, Rod Caudill (USA Rod Stewart), Blues Brothers (USA), Cookie Watson (USA Tina Turner) Elton Jack, Jeff Duff, Jimmy Mann (AUS Billy Joel), plus many others.


 

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