Friday, February 26, 2010


The competition to win free plectrums has now come to an end. Thanks to the hundreds of people that clicked through. I'm reliably informed by the folks at The Guitar Label that they will be posting plectrums out within the next two weeks. If you haven't already been to their new website go to

P.S. My dog Baxter is in one of the upstairs rooms if you hadn't already guessed.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Royal Albert Hall

Last December I re-formed Spirit of Django for a special charity concert at the Royal Albert Hall, London.

Our first CD in 15 years "Last Train to Hauteville" will be released in April.

As well as playing tracks from the new CD I also played a duet with Robin Nolan.

Spirit of Django will be playing at several UK and European festivals throughout 2010 to celebrate 100 years since Django's birth.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sir John Dankworth Concert

On 6th February I played
a concert to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Sir John Dankworth and Dame Cleo Laine's theatre, The Stables at Wavendon, England.

We knew that Sir John wouldn't be able to attend as he was in hospital. None of us however were fully aware just how ill John was, and just before I was about to rehearse a duet with Cleo in the afternoon, an urgent message reached Cleo asking her to get to the hospital as soon as possible.

Sadly, John had passed away before Cleo and the family arrived at the hospital.

Cleo came back to the theatre and broke the news to us backstage. Cleo said she wanted the concert to go ahead and it was also agreed that Cleo wouldn't tell the audience about John until the end of the show.

Cleo was amazing that night, and managed to turn a very sad day into a wonderful tribute to John. At one point Cleo told us all "Well, John's gone and stolen the show from me again!"

The evening was recorded for BBC Radio 3, Laurie Holloway led the orchestra and Paul O'Grady did a fantastic job as master of ceremonies. The guest artists were, Victoria Wood, Maureen Lipman, Prunella Scales, Timothy West, Jacqui Dankworth, Lorna Dallas, Rod Argent, Dominic Miller and myself.

I used to see Sir John quite often as we were both on the Jazz Committee of the Worshipful Company of Musicians. He was a great musician and a fun guy to be around with a very cheery and positive outlook to life. He helped so many young musicians during their formative years.

We lost one of the most important figures in jazz on that day, but I'm glad I was there to celebrate his life with his family and friends.