Founders

Ivan “Chuck” Chandler

Ivan “Chuck” Chandler started piano lessons at the age of 8 and 10 years later was playing in blues and soul bands in Streatham and Croydon.
After two years as a Music Librarian for the BBC and playing weekend gigs with the Rockhouse Band at legendary clubs such as the Flamingo and the Cromwellian, Ivan was asked to audition as pianist for Dusty Springfield. He got the job on the spot and, now as a professional musician, was very soon also pianist and organist for Lulu, Cat Stevens and Kiki Dee.

In 1969, he began a career in music publishing that spanned twenty years working for CBS, Elton John’s Rocket Music Company, Paramount Pictures and Motown International. However, he never stopped gigging and played keyboards for Johnny Johnson and the Bandwagon (“Breaking Down The Walls Of Heartache”), Motown legends The Marvelettes and even “Wonder Woman” Linda Carter.

Ivan formed Jazz/Latin Group ICQ in 1980 and, after 8 years of success with 12″ dance hits, Radio 1 and Capital Radio sessions and accolades from Pete Tong, Chris Brown and Greg Edwards, decided to get back to the blues with RUNNING BLUE, a four piece featuring Ian Whitmore (of Violinski), drummer Chris Wyles and record producer Kipper (who nicknamed him “Chuck”!).

After all those adventures, Ivan’s musical collaboration with guitarist Jonathan Macdonald resulted in an explosive mix of ’60s Soul, Jazz, Rock & Blues, namely Chuck Chandler and the Go Go Five – and still amazing audiences 12 years later!

Jonathan “JMac” MacDonald

Jonathan MacDonald started piano lessons at the age of 5, adding guitar, violin and drums soon after. As a teenager, he played in several local bands in Camberley, Surrey. One band, Watch The Turtle, came very close to a major record deal and was managed by Deep Purple’s management for a short time.

By the age of 20, he was a session player at BBC Maida Vale and a regular guitarist at the Acid Jazz jam nights at the Camden Jazz Cafe. It was here that Jonathan started playing with members of the Brand New Heavies, Guru’s Jazzmatazz, Jamiroquai and Mother Earth, culminating in a performance at Finsbury Park in front of 90,000 people, as part of the ‘super-group’ called Inner Colours, featuring the top musicians from many famous bands.

Soon after, Jonathan was picked by Woody (the drummer from Madness) to go on tour with a new lineup and during that time he did session work for numerous chart-topping artists in London.

Following a move to the retail side of the industry, along with being a senior advisor to the UK Government on Music Education, Jonathan was voted in as the Chairman of the retail component of the Music Industries Association. Over his tenure, he enabled a growth in retail turnover and was awarded the highest accolade in the industry.

From here, Jonathan set up a Sky TV channel to teach music, helped Ministry of Sound become a digital record label and developed strategies for the largest companies and brands in the world.

Despite this, Jonathan still counts meeting Chuck Chandler as the crowning moment of his entire musical career and is deeply honoured to get to ‘play’ with him on a regular basis.