Meet the Band

Colin Aitchison – Bandleader, Trombone, Trumpet, Vocals

Colin arrived in Hong Kong in 1993 and is now a full time permanent resident in Hong Kong. His father Hughie Aitchison was a well-known jazz trumpet player in the North East,

He picked up playing the trumpet when he was 16, taking initial lessons from his father. He then studied music at the college of Arts & Technology in Newcastle, surprisingly taking up trombone. During that time he also did a stint with the Newcastle Big Band and in 1976 went off to do a season at Pontin’s Seacroft Holiday camp in Great Yarmouth. He then went on to Pontin’s at Cambersands, Sussex, where he joined the Steve Stephenson Showband.

Colin left Newcastle in 1986. He was offered a cruise contract out to Alaska and then across to the Pacific. Colin decided to move to Hong Kong … and has never regretted the move!

Benny Inot – Alto Saxophone

Benny and his “swinging sax” has been entertaining in Hong Kong for for over 40 years. He is a familiar face around hotels, big band functions and even Canto pop concerts. Benny regularly plays with the China Coast Jazzmen at Ned Kelly's Last Stand where the audience goes wild with his solo work!

Overon Bernardino (Dodo) – Trombone, Trumpet, Bass Trumpet

Dodo is the newest and youngest member of the band (and the most extinct?). He joined us after completing a long 18 year contact at HK Disneyland. A vibrant and enthusiastic musician and great fun on stage. Dodo is a fine trombonist who is now expanding his musicanship by playing trumpet, bass trumpet and kazoo!

Aquilino Espiritu (Aqui) – Guitar , Banjo, Piano, Tuba

One cannot begin to describe this multi-talented instrumentalist. A character on stage .. ladies beware !! This very versatile and talented musician started playing the guitar at the age of 12. From 1967-1971 when he was 17, he was off to Vietnam to entertain the American troops. After his return, he formed the “Espiritu Band” and landed a contract in Japan for a couple of years. On his return to the Philippines he once again entertained the American forces at Clark and Subic Bases and in 1978 moved to Hong Kong to form a band for the opening of the New World Hotel . Aqui is currently a permanent member of the China Coast Jazzmen. He adeptly plays a number of instruments – piano, guitar, banjo, tuba and even drums (of course not all at once !). Favourite guitar players are Freddie Green, Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass and himself !!

Nonilon C Nadres (Joe) – Bass, Banjo, Vocals

Joe is the “engine room” and the “stabalizing force” of the band. One of the original members when the band was called The Kowloon Honkers. He started playing bass at the age of 15. He too was in Vietnam, entertaining troops from 1968-1971 and recalls performing even under shell attacks. Joe arrived in Hong Kong in 1978 and performed with Aqui at the opening of the New World Hotel, after which he freelanced with several bands performing in the region. Joe is currently also a full time member of the China Coast Jazzmen playing banjo and bass, and has been performing at Ned Kelly’s since 1990. He has performed at Jazz Festivals at Sacramento, Denmark, Germany, Macau and at the Southbridge Jazz Club in Singapore.

Noel B Villanueva (Noel) - Drums

Noel recently joined the band in 2016. A very adaptable drummer with superb drumming skills. The audience are sometimes treated to a “WOW' experience when Noel juggles with his drumsticks on his drum solos. Noel is passionately involved with his hometown's brass band in the Philippines where he helps young musicians to procure instruments. He has recently taken up to playing the washboard!