I learned piano through the last two years of primary school but didn’t like it much. Even so it taught me how to read music and by the time I hit adolescence music in most forms and genres had become an obsession.
It was an obsession shared by schoolfriends, and by my older brother. He led the way initially, introducing me to folk and jazz. We were quickly making music together, me doing what I could on the piano and the old harmonium we had at home, but I really wanted to play the violin. I was entranced by the melancholic sweetness of the Bach solo partitas and sonatas, but also the swagger and flamboyance of the likes of Dave Swarbrick and Stephane Grappelli.
I had my chance when a friend gave me an old violin. After a few attempts I found I could begin to play it. I taught myself from there, drawing on what I already knew of music. For the next few years I played in school and college bands, but then got sidetracked by work and raising a family.
I started playing again in 2011. At first I thought it would be fun to knock around in pubs (I still do) but because of my improvisational skills I soon found myself in demand across the vibrant local music scene, and things have become a little more serious. It's a tough business these days, but with my two main bands (who are gratifyingly diverse in their styles and sound) I'm currently busy both performing and recording.
Maiuko quintet in the Eleto Jazz Room
I’ve been a member of Mozambican singer Maiuko’s band since 2013, playing a kind of Afro/Jazz, with Celtic overtones from me.
Click the image above for a live performance of Mozambique (you’ll be taken to Youtube). As I write we’re working on the recording for a full album. Check out Maiuko's website for the band, where you can look for gig dates (maiuko.co.uk).
Click the player below for Jose, a sample track from our EP Roots Harmonia.
I play guest spots with many friends around East Kent and Sussex, and since I moved to Rye have been working with singer/songwriter Steve Stone and celebrated artist/pianist Dave McKean. The band’s called Entertaining Mr Stone (geddit?). Check out the website (click here) for latest news but to whet your appetite click the image below for some video.
Talk about us video by Entertaining Mr Stone