John Cervantes is a London-based jazz pianist and composer. Whilst being a highly swinging pianist in the mainstream jazz tradition, his own music often explores classical and World music influences... in search of expressing those undefinable flashes of life, creation, emotion & passion that make music so powerful! He has performed at jazz festivals such as Cheltenham, Love Supreme, Glasgow, London; and can be heard regularly in the UK's foremost venues as a bandleader as well as an accompanist for singers, big bands, and instrumentalists.
John grew up in Leicester, and began listening to 'acid jazz' as a teenager. Whilst investigating the roots of acid jazz he discovered the name Herbie Hancock... which opened the door to exploring the wider history of jazz. In these pre-Spotify (et al.) days he followed the trail by reading jazz history books and connecting the dots album to album, one at a time.
He has a Bachelor of Music from The University of Manchester, and during his time in Manchester he accumulated the complete discography of Herbie, as well as discovering and immersing himself in the music of Chet Baker, Oscar Peterson, hard bop, bossa nova, and much more. He went on to receive a Masters of Arts in performance from the Royal Academy of Music, London. There, in addition to 'jazzers' and improvisers, he was surrounded by orchestral musicians, and he formed a large ensemble utilising a harpist and string players at the conservatoire. In 2009 he was awarded the Peter Whittingham Development Award which enabled him to record his jazz compositions written for 13-piece ensemble.
In 2014 he formed a flamenco-infused band, and with support from Arts Council England recorded Crossing The Threshold - an intoxicating mesh of handclaps, foot stamps, jazz harmony, improvisation, and dance.
In recent years he has had a busy schedule as a pianist for countless artists and projects, performing throughout Europe and touring the UK. He lives in West London with his wife and three young children.