b. 15 April 1977, England. Booth first played tenor saxophone in public with his accordionist father in Spanish bars and restaurants. He was then 11 years old and the following year, also in Spain, he played with Diz Disley. At 13, while still at school, he was playing regularly in clubs in the north east of England, often working with the Dick Straughan band. At the age of 15 he appeared on television and played several prestigious engagements including one with Spike Robinson. The following year, he entered the Royal Academy of Music to begin a Bachelor of Music degree course. During this same year he accompanied Harry Connick Jnr. and won the award for Most Promising Jazz Player Of The Year Under 21. The following year he won the Best Modern Jazz Player award in the Young Jazz Player Of The Year competition. One of the judges at this was Ronnie Scott, who likened Booth’s playing to that of the late Tubby Hayes and who also booked him to lead a quartet at his London club. In 1995, Booth toured extensively in the UK with his own group and also played in Victor Hugo’s band and with Williams Cumberbache’s salsa band Tumbaito. This same year he became the first non-American to win the First Level Award and a Clifford Brown / Stan Getz fellowship at the NFAA/Arts Week. In 1996 he spent several months in Australia as an exchange student and while there played extensively and also recorded at the ABC studios. Late in 1996 and early the following year Booth was resident in several London venues, including the Café de Paris and Annabell’s. He also toured the north east of England with the Supremes.
Booth’s technical skills are outstanding and despite his youth he is a long-standing master of his instrument, but his performing style goes far beyond the merely technical. He plays with a deep understanding of the musical roots of jazz, interpreting ballads with enormous skill and sensitivity, and improvising fluently and inventively.