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Sheffield’s King of Swing

John Naylor

Band leader, rhythm guitarist, lead vocals and composer of beautiful songs

John Naylor is one of the founding members of The Dizzy Club and is the driving force behind the Dizzies.


John was first taught the piano at the age of eight and took up the guitar four years later. Educated at Birkdale in Sheffield.


"In my teens I could not help but listen to every style of music and was particularly influenced by the Northern Soul played at many of the All Nighters dotted around the north of England.

The music coming over from Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia and New York was something else. It had the blues, jazz, country and swing influences in abundance which created even more curiosities for me. The classical strings of Anthony and the Imperials drew me to classical music. The complex arrangements of Ramsey Lewis's Motown work blew my mind.

This eventually made me look into the varieties offered by the Jazz singers, and I was nineteen when I truly became under the influence of the greatest singer that has ever been. Miss Ella Fitzgerald.

My curiosity was a little dulled in my twenties because I took up a career in business and that removed me from the performance arena until I decided to pack it all in to become a musician.

I then found myself studying the songwriters of the great jazz era of the twenties, thirties and forties and quickly realised the genius of songwrtiters like Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Rodgers & Hart and was completely enchanted by the poetry and by the supremely written melodies which accompanied those fantastic lyrics.

My favourite composer of them all is Irving Berlin primarily because he could write a song for any mood and in many styles.”

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