Bandleader Antonio Socci was born into a family of entertainers. His father was a bandleader and accordionist for 60 years, his mother a singer in dad’s band, one brother a session percussionist, and his sister a BBC Radio and TV news presenter.
He made his professional show debut in Hello Dolly with Dora Bryan at Birmingham Hippodrome aged just 5, and then appeared in South Pacific with actress Gemma Craven a few years later at The Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham.
Whilst a keen singer and dancer, Antonio’s real passion came when he was given an old battered trumpet to play, soon tooting away at school and in his father’s ballroom dance band, Tony & the Sapphires, at every opportunity.
Having performed with various bands, Antonio’s credits include BBC Songs of Praise, Channel 4’s The Big Breakfast and tours of Europe with The Bevin Boys, Rosemary Ashe and The Jive Aces. He is also currently Bandmaster of the Band of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, Warwickshire.
Antonio recently organised the jive and swing summer festival, Swingtime in the Gardens, which was held at Ragley Hall in Warwickshire in June. The festival was a huge success, featuring a lineup of over a dozen bands across two stages, and plans for next year’s event are already underway.
On a trip to New York, Antonio first heard the sound of Louis Prima, Keely Smith and his band, The Witnesses, and knew instantly that was the sound he wanted to create. Now releasing his debut album, French Poodle, Antonio and his jive swing band can be found jumping on tables and performing live throughout the UK!