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Biography


Nic France started playing piano when he was 7 years old. He had a formal and fairly intense musical education as a cathedral chorister at Ely from the age of 7-12 and learnt to play the violin as well. Nic started playing drums at school when he was about 14 and played in a school band. In 1976 at the age of 19, he studied music, percussion, piano and singing at Cambridge College of Arts and Technology but he self self taught on kit. Whilst in Cambridge Nic played regularly at the Modern Jazz Club with fellow students Chucho Merchan and John Donaldson and had the great opportunity to play with some outstanding musicians such as Gordon Beck, Martin Taylor and Tony Coe.

In 1980 France moved to London to work as a freelance session drummer and started playing with Ian Carr's Nucleus. This lead to playing with many other established London based musicians including Ronnie Scott, John Taylor, Allan Holdsworth, Jim Mullen, Tim Whitehead and Bobby Wellins. International artists included Mose Allison, L. Shankar, Hank Crawford and David Fathead Newman and an appearance on BBC tv with Billy Cobham. Nic was a founder member of Loose Tubes alongside Django Bates, John Parricelli, Chris Batchelor, Mark Lockheart and Iain Ballamy.

By 1984 he had joined Working Week, toured Europe extensively and recorded 3 albums. In 1988/89 Nic had the great pleasure of playing drums and singing backing vocals with Bill Withers on two UK and European tours. From 1989-95 he played with Tanita Tikaram, involving several world tours and albums. From the mid 90's Nic France played with Antonio Forcione, Ian Shaw, Christie Hennessey and toured and recorded with Tim Garland's Lammas. In 2001/2 he had the good fortune to play with David Gilmour with guests Kate Bush, Bob Geldorf and Robert Wyatt, appearing on the David Gilmour Live DVD recorded at the Festival Hall. Nic played with Andy Sheppard, Nigel Kennedy and Barb Jungr over this period. He has been playing drums for Terry Callier since 2005, and currently performs with Mbawula a South African Township band, and Jazzinho a contemporary Brazilian band. In 2009 Nic played with the Charlie Haden Liberation Orchestra.

France teaches at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, Uppingham School and for the National Youth Jazz Collective courses and summer schools.