Arthur performs prolifically with many musical projects, both nationally and internationally. He has worked with and alongside innumerable artists, including Beardyman, The Puppini Sisters, Frazey Ford (The Be Good Tanyas), Kate Tempest, Shlomo, Kylie Minogue, Mark Hart (Crowded House), Bradley Walsh, John Helliwell (Supertramp), Amy Leon, Ruthie Foster. He regularly makes music across the community with all ages, from classroom to creative arts charities.
Arthur’s earliest works were recorded in his ‘Pino Bok’ at the age of five. Later scribbles for the school band helped him tour from Catford to Manhattan and back, before hitting the Royal Academy of Music in 2001. Many student jams later, contemporary quartet Paragon was formed with Berliner Peter Ehwald, their albums and tours still making ‘Jazz that's being reborn in the 21st century' (Jazzwise).
Out of college he met Supertramp star John Helliwell, joining the saxophonist alongside Mark Hart of Crowded House, and guitarist Mike Walker for several adventures in improv, soul, and rock n roll. Meanwhile, song writing trio RDA gave Arthur a vigorous induction into the UK festival circuit through ‘Warm fuzzy harmonies and excellent musicianship' (Clash Magazine). A few weeks in Argentina created Latin American grupo Grito On The Corner, led by multi-instrumentalist Matias Marcipar and featuring singer Itati Barrionuevo. M-Base inspired extemporisation developed in the UK from 2006 with Seb Pipe’s Life Experience, various tours and airplay ensuing, thanks to two albums of ‘good stuff’ (Radio 3).
Such explorations led perfectly into Tongue Fu kicking off around 2008, now known as ‘The best poetry night in London’ (writeoutloud.net), where Arthur’s keys contribute spontaneous genre hopping accompaniment behind spoken word stars Soweto Kinch, Hollie McNish, Scroobius Pip, and many others. Similar verbal creations continue alongside the iconoclastic Last Mango In Paris.
Since 2011 three albums with Dane Kristian Borring made the ‘marriage of piano and guitar...an art form' (thisisoxfordshire.co.uk), Arthur developing his ‘knack of playing the right thing at the right time’ (bebopspokenhere.blogspot). More jazz originals were recorded in 2012 with The Way That You Do It, a piano trio comprising long time associates Henrik Jensen on bass, and Pete Ibbetson at the drums. Other London jazz collaborations have featured Acoustic Ladyland’s Pete Wareham, the ‘dashing’ Russian Zhenya Strigalev, blues anarchist Billy Jenkins, and tuba maestro Oren Marshall.
For several years from 2012, Arthur’s cake making skills improved greatly while hosting and baking for monthly singer songwriter night, Smile Acoustic, in East London. One featured act was Lizzie Emeh, who opened London’s Paralympic Games to a crowd of 80,000 with Arthur on keys, in 2012. He has subsequently co-produced three EPs for Heart N Soul’s leading lady.
Early 2012 Arthur was touring the USA, reaching the roots of everything musical from zydeco to bluegrass. The trail from New Orleans to Nashville produced Arthur’s solo EP, ‘Wandering Story', recorded at Fry Pharmacy, Old Hickory, Tennessee. While passing through Memphis, Arthur recorded piano for the award winning short, ’Tired Of Playing Basketball’. Back in London, Arthur’s Tenor Horn playing featured on the soundtrack for ‘The Selfish Giant’, which won the Europa Cinemas award 2013.
Solo sequel EP ’At Home’ was released in 2015, with five songs grown out of a life in London. A year later ’First Cut’, the debut from Arthur Lea’s Bootleg Brass, captured the sound of a seven piece band born out of live gigs around the capital. Arthur's Bootleg Trio now brings the beat of the street parade to the intimacy of the piano trio.
Arthur continues to perform with Bootleg Brass & Bootleg Trio, as a soloist, in small combos, and with other musical projects, in London, nationally and internationally.