John Anthony Helliwell (born 15 February 1945) is an English musician and the saxophonist and occasional keyboardist, woodwind player, and background vocalist for the rock band Supertramp. He also served as an MC during the band's concerts, talking and making jokes to the audience between songs.
Helliwell played with The Alan Bown Set, replacing Dave Green when he joined in January 1966, before joining Supertramp in 1973 along with bassist Dougie Thomson, who convinced Helliwell to make the move. In 2004, Helliwell formed the band Crème Anglaise with Mark Hart, who had joined Supertramp in 1985. This group recorded their eponymous debut album in 2005.
In 1987 Helliwell played on Pink Floyd's album A Momentary Lapse of Reason; his name was misspelled as "Halliwell". This was after Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour had played on Supertramp's album Brother Where You Bound. Helliwell also played on French singer Jean-Jacques Goldman's 1985 album Positif, and clarinet on Sara Hickman's 1990 album Shortstop.
During a professional lull in the 1990s, Helliwell began studying for a music degree at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, but he discontinued his studies to join Supertramp on tour when Some Things Never Change was released. In 2004 he contributed saxophone work on the Simon Apple album River to the Sea.
Helliwell contributed clarinet to The Pineapple Thief's song "Fend For Yourself" from their Your Wilderness album which was released in 2016.
Helliwell fronts the Super Big Tramp Band, which has a jazz big band line-up of trumpets, trombones, saxophones and rhythm section. It plays versions of Supertramp tunes, arranged by members of the band, with no vocals, but with Helliwell as the chief soloist. The band first played in Manchester in June 2013. In 2019 the band played at the Manchester Jazz Festival in May and was scheduled to play in Hull and Hamburg later in the year.
In October 2020, Helliwell released Ever Open Door, a CD album of ballads with Helliwell on saxophone and clarinet, with a string quartet and Hammond organ.
Dutch double bassist, composer and producer Jasper Somsen (1973) graduated in both Jazz and Classical double bass. He is an open minded versatile musician. Best known as a Jazz musician his field of interest and expertise also includes cross overs to classical, pop, world and film music and theater productions.
Jasper has collaborated with some of the very best musicians on the international jazz scene including Peter Erskine, Enrico Pieranunzi, Joey Calderazzo, Jeff Ballard, John Beasley, Jean-Michel Pilc, Eric Marienthal, Bob Sheppard, Seamus Blake, Jorge Rossy, Kendrick Scott, Justin Faulkner, André Ceccarelli, Gary Husband, Gabriele Mirabassi and Paolo Fresu.
Besides a performer and composer, Jasper Somsen is a Challenge Records artist and a renowned studio producer. Jasper performs world wide and can be heard on more than 45 albums, video and film music scores. Outside a busy playing and studio producing schedule he is an educator at the ArtEZ University of the Arts, Arnhem (NL) and the general director of the foundation Cultural City of Wageningen, in his hometown.