Jeff Wayne was born in Forest Hills, New York and discovered early in his life two passions that have remained with him – music and tennis. He took classical, and later, jazz piano lessons from the age of five and taught tennis by his father Jerry – a former college player turned singer, actor, writer, and theatrical producer, who played romantic gambler Sky Masterson in the original West End musical production of ‘Guys and Dolls’, bringing the Wayne family to the UK.
Four years later they returned to New York – Jeff graduated Stephen Halsey Jr. High then attended Forest Hills High for one year (including playing for its tennis team), before moving to California. Jeff graduated Grant High School, then Los Angeles Valley College with a journalism degree before switching to music. He also captained and played No 1 for their tennis teams, and played keyboards in local bands and coached tennis to support himself through those years.
In 1966 Jerry offered Jeff the opportunity to compose the score for his then upcoming West End musical ‘Two Cities’ based on Charles Dickens ‘A Tale Of Two Cities’ which ran at London's Palace Theatre winning for Edward Woodward the Evening Standard Award (now the Oliviers) for Best Male Performance in a Musical for 1968-69. Returning to the UK, Jeff’s musical career truly began.
Since the late 1960’s, Jeff has become an award winning composer, arranger, conductor and producer of music for just about every medium – film, television, records, a West End musical, advertising and interactive projects. He has produced a diverse range of artists and had his work recorded by – Richard Burton, The Who. Anthony Hopkins Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Catherine Zeta Jones, The London Symphony Orchestra and Choir (as well as conducting at the Royal Albert Hall) Justin Hayward, David Essex (US #1 Rock On), Apollo 440, Human League, DJ Zube, Acker Bilk, Tony Christie, Orbital, Todd Terry, N-Trance, Dario G, Sakin & Friends, Tilt, Hybrid, and more recently Croatian piano virtuoso Maksim, and the unique 5 piece girl band Wild, both on EMI Classics. His music has also been performed to by gymnasts, jugglers, dancers, ice skaters, magicians, fire-eaters and animals!
In 1978, Jeff’s Musical Version of ‘The War Of The Worlds’ was released achieving international success, including worldwide hit singles ‘The Eve Of The War’ and ‘Forever Autumn’. It has also won two Ivor Novello Awards along with The Best Recording in Science Fiction and Fantasy, (the judges included Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, and Alfred Hitchcock).
In the summer of 2005 following over a year’s work remixing (stereo and surround sound), repackaging and remastering, The War of The World’s was re-released in the UK and Internationally. The album became one of the big hits of the year occupying 10 consecutive weeks in the Top 10 of the UK Album charts. The new release pushed sales to 3 million double albums in the UK, and approaching 14 million world-wide. It is now in the upper ends of the all-time best selling list since charts began, as well as amongst the elite of the longest running albums in chart history approaching, as of this writing, 300 weeks.
In April 2006 Jeff begins a 14 date sold out concert tour of the UK that takes in the Royal Albert Hall and the newly refurbished Wembley Arena. Jeff will be conducting the Black Smoke Band and the 48 piece ULLAdubULLA strings. Guest artists will be portraying the same roles as those created for the original album along with a ‘special’ appearance of Richard Burton recreating his role as The Journalist.
Jeff’s long held interests in subjects relating to Good over Evil, Master over Slave, have been expressed in his musical works “The War of The Worlds’ and ‘Spartacus’, and his journalism training and love of documentaries has led him and his company – the Jeff Wayne Music Group - into newer arenas including book publishing and television production.
His first television series – The Book Of Tennis Chronicles, began broadcasting worldwide in 2005 (distributed by Fox Sports) and parallels the lives and tribulations of the greatest tennis players, and events, set against the most dramatic and quirky moments in world history, starting in 1877 and up to present time. Jeff created and produced the 8 half-hours series as well as scoring its music. Tennis has remained an active part of Jeff’s life winning at club, county, and national level including, the British National Indoor Veterans singles and doubles titles, and the National Clay Court doubles. In 1992 he partnered his long time friend and former Great Britain #1 and Davis Cup captain Roger Taylor at the European Veteran Championships. 1999 also saw Jeff represent Great Britain competing for the Austria Cup in Spain, and achieved an ITF world ranking in his age group. 2006 sees Jeff begin his 17th year as Hertfordshire County Men’s Captain (winners of this years National County Week title) and recently was elected into the International Lawn Tennis Club of Great Britain. Jeff has also played many pro-am tournaments including for: Muscular Dystrophy, Olympic Games Fund Raising, and Save The Children.
Jeff and Geraldine live in Hertfordshire, England and have four children: Anna-Marie - an actress now based in California (www.annamariewayne.com), Jemma - an author with her debut book ‘Bare Necessities’ launched September, 2005, sons Zeb, DJ’ing on the London club scene as well as composing and producing music, and, Joab (13) enjoying school and training to become a professional tennis player.
Jeff Wayne Music Group was founded in 1968 and has provided over 9,000 soundtracks to the Film, Television, Radio, Advertising and Interactive media – many recorded in its own music studios. The Production division represents composers, arrangers, musical directors, songwriters, re-mix engineers, programmers and producers that have met the demands of the most difficult music brief. Over the years their creative roster has included two Oscar award winners (Rachel Portman and Anne Dudley), an Emmy Award winner (John Altman) and winner of two Ivor Novello Awards (Jeff Wayne).
The Search division was formed 28 years ago and became the first independent company to specialize in the research and licensing of copyright material for the broadcasting media. From its own unique database Search’s experienced and knowledgeable staff can research by any criteria, including: key words, themes, styles, chart positions, or from any era, via verbal briefs, scripts or finished films. They can license any available written or recorded work, including samples for the club world. Search has built up a reputation clearing almost the impossible. They have licensed tracks by Air, Goldfrapp, Groove Armada, The Jam, Kellis, Manic Street Preachers, Moby, Pink Floyd, Prince, The Rolling Stones, The Smiths, The Specials, Tricky and Velvet Underground. Search today is the undisputed independent UK market leader in copyright research and Licensing, and serves clients from many countries of the world.
JWMG’s record productions have sold millions of singles and albums for various artists and projects through the years – from Aled Jones’s UK classic No.1 ’Walking In The Air’ to the US #1 Rock On, to ‘Freedom To Move’ from the Levi Jeans commercials and now appearing on many hit Club Compilations. Its own small record label, WOW! Records, features recordings by Catherine Zeta Jones amongst others. JWM Group credits encompass all media – and its commercial campaigns truly run the A-Z of advertising - most recently: Abbey National, Audi, British Telecom, Capital One, Coca Cola, Egg, Ford, Fosters Lager, Guinness, Halifax, Honda, Hutchison 3G, Ikea, Kellogg’s, Knorr, Levi Jeans, Lilt, Lux Soap, Suziki, Lynx, Morgan Stanley, McDonald’s, Nescafe, Nissan, Orange, Pepsi, Renault, Sony PlayStation, Shell, Virgin, Walkers Crisps, and Wrangler Jeans. Feature film scores include - Beautiful People, Blue Juice, Camilla, Funny Bones, Leon, McVicar and the BAFTA nominated award winning Hear My Song; television and radio include - Supply & Demand, Beyond Fear, Wilderness, Christmas in Vienna, TVAM/Good Morning Britain, The Big Match, The World of Sport, LBC Radio, and interactive projects including The War Of The Worlds (PlayStation & PC) and Formula One Racing for Electronic Arts.
JWMG’s parent company – Jeff Wayne Music Publishing, additional to its traditional music publishing activities has recently published its first book - The Book of Tennis, and is currently completing a new television series - The Book of Tennis Chronicles – 8 half hour programs acquired for worldwide distribution by Fox Sports launched in early 2005, with the USA Cable and Satellite company – The Tennis Channel – having become the first to sign up. Another JWMG company – ORP – owns most of the IP Rights to the HG Wells classic science fiction story of The War Of The Worlds, and Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of TWOTW.
Le Grand Fromage! (Le New Generation!)