When Roger was a little boy he often dreamt of becoming an aircraft pilot, motor racing driver or painter like Salvador Dali. As he grew older he became aware of how these dreams influenced his life. As a musician Roger enjoys the freedom to fly like the pilot, he loves the attention to detail and teamwork of a motor racing driver and enjoys the surrealism of life and music like Dali.

Of Caribbean descent, the childhood music Roger heard was mainly happy, joyful and uplifting; life was not easy for his family in the late 1950’s and early ‘60’s in England and listening to music was a great release for the Inniss household. At around the age of nine Roger was sent to church on Sundays (to give his mum some “peace and quiet”). After a few years he started playing guitar (to help prevent boredom!). Accompanying gospel singers at church was a great education in versatility, unpredictability and improvisation as people would often just start singing and the musicians were expected to follow them wherever they went.

Being heavily influenced by Jimi Hendrix, Deep Purple, the Rolling Stones, the Steve Gibbons Band, Steely Dan, Rufus (with Chaka Khan), the Average White Band and Steve Hillage, helped him visualise a direction he wanted to go in. But it wasn’t until hearing the 1977 Weather Report album “Heavy Weather” in 1978 that Roger was “blinded by the light” as he puts it. “It all came together at once. Everything I dreamt about was there – funky, rocky, jazz music ....... I flipped out and I’ve not been right ever since ......... It wasn’t just the bass playing (Jaco was incredible) but the whole vibe and concept.” Roger was already listening to Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, etc. and lots of gospel music. “But Heavy Weather was just what I needed to hear.”

As a self-taught musician Roger began to listen to and study everything from Bix Beiderbecke to Roland Kirk, Eric Dolphy to Cecil Taylor, rock, pop, country – anything that would give him the opportunity to perform expressively. Over the years he has spent most of his time touring, gigging, recording or working on projects with other creative people, including sculptors, actors and visual and musical artists. “It’s all about the spirit and the vibe” he says when describing his reasons for being involved in projects. “I love it when individuals bring their skills and expertise together and develop something that is totally unique to that time and space ....... When we all give but we all receive as well .. that’s my vibe man.” UK. France, Germany, USA, Japan, Cuba, wherever Roger has gone he has sought out this truth and answered it’s call.

He endeavours to share some of his musical and philosophical ideas in schools, colleges and workshops around the UK; mostly he can be found in some dark and dingy club somewhere, playing his heart out and having a great time!

TV AND RADIO:
Top of the Pops, The Tube, Live at the Palladium, Pebble Mill, Central TV sessions, John Peel, Jazz Parade, Paul Jones’ Blues Programme, recording sessions for Radios 1, 2 and 4.

THEATRE:
“Billie Holiday at Emerson’s Bar”, “Keep on Running" at Birmingham Repertory Theatre; “Sophisticated Lady” at Limelight Theatre, London; “Face” at Watford Palace Theatre; “St. Bartholomew’s Fair”, “Timon of Athens”, “The Malcontent” at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford; “Ain’t Misbehavin’”; “Oh What a Night!”

A SELECTION OF MUSICIANS AND BANDS PLAYED WITH

JAZZ: Alan Barnes, Art Themen, Mari Wilson, Ian Shaw, Don Weller, Ben Castle, Bobby Wellins, Guy Barker, Sara Colman, Andy Hamilton, Harry Becket, Jim Mullen, MYJO (John Ruddick), Pete King, John Toussant, Chris Bowden, Bryan Corbett

BLUES: Climax Blues Band, Sherman Robinson, Mick Taylor (Rolling Stones), Snowy White (Thin Lizzy and Pink Floyd), Trevor Burton (The Move), Joanne Shaw-Taylor, Adrian Byron Burns, Mick Pini, Steve Arvey, Roger Hill, Johnny Mars

SOUL, ROCK AND POP: Chaka Khan, Steve Gibbons Band, Ruby Turner, Edwin Starr, Errol Brown (Hot Chocolate), Zoot Money (Big Roll Band), Jackie Graham, The Contours, The Platters, Kid Creole, The Velvelettes, Ali-Ollie Woodson (The Temptations), Elkie Brooks, Earl Thomas