Call Mr Robeson, September 2016

1st September. In August while at the Edinburgh Festival with Dr Ahmed I met a charming, well-spoken gentleman by the name of Tayo Aluko in the dressing room. Talking to him I quickly realised here was a really special performer. Later in the week I went to see one of his one-man shows – Call Mr Robeson. A dramatised account of the life of Paul Robeson, the famous actor, singer and civil rights campaigner, this was a brilliantly written and produced play, delivered with powerful dignity and wonderful singing by Tayo. The production included background music and song accompaniment by a pianist. Little did I know watching the production that I would be performing that role myself only a couple of weeks later! Having swapped numbers Tayo called me with only a couple of days notice due to a pianist being indisposed and there I was myself playing the show to a wonderfully appreciative audience in LLandinam, Wales. It really was a privilege to work with such a committed performed with such a powerful and highly relevant message in today’s political climate.

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The Memphis Belle Swing Orchestra, August 2016

20th August – I had a treat of playing with a fabulous jazz orchestra, The Memphis Belle Swing Orchestra. Formed in 1989 especially for the David Putnam movie Memphis Belle the orchestra has been maintained as a touring band by legendary bandleader Greg Francis ever since. I’ve played in a few jazz bands and big bands before but never in authentic wartime uniform. I enjoyed it!  You can find out more about the orchestra through the website UK Music Productions and watch the band’s appearance on BBC television back in 2000 here – fabulous.

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Dr Ahmed at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, August 2016

August 2016 saw a further collaboration with the multi-talented Dr Ahmed in his variety comedy show at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Thanks to Dr Ahmed’s concerted publicity efforts and consulate professionalism the show was a storming success and played to sold-out houses for most of the 2 week run. Hats off to Dr Ahmed and a great experience playing in the greatest cultural festival in the world. Truly, laughter is the best medicine. Visit for more information.

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Recital with Jakob Törmä (violin), July 2016

Friday 22nd July saw the debut performance by Jakob and I at St. Columba United Reformed Church, Moseley. We were delighted to have a very reasonably sized and hugely appreciative audience to witness our first complete recital programme. The church has a lovely resonant acoustic and very good upright piano which made an ideal location for us to perform a programme bringing together some of our favourite pieces from the classical violin repertoire. See below for programme details. Piazzolla’s Libertango made a rousing encore!

Violin and piano recital

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CBSO Young Voices concert, Symphony Hall Birmingham, July 2016

It was fun to be asked to be a part of this concert featuring the CBSO Young Voices led by Ruairi Edwards. Ruairi normally accompanies when the choir is led by Ula Weber who was on this occasion indisposed so I had the fortune to be able to step in. There were some really fun arrangements to play of Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now, Blame It On The Boogie and Joyful Joyful from Sister Act II. The young choir were full of life and energy, giving a fabulous performance as part of this gala concert for Birmingham Music Service. Here’s an older clip of the choir performing Ruairi’s excellent arrangement of Ain’t No Sunshine.

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In concert with Victoria Wilson (soprano) and guests, June 2016

Victoria Wilson kindly asked me to accompany her in a concert with two of her star pupils at St Nicholas Church, Warwick on 19th June 2016. It was a really uplifting and beautiful programme with solos for all three singers alongside some duets (including a West Side Story medley) and trios. More details about Victoria can be found at her website

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Dr Ahmed at The Brighton Festival Fringe, May 2016

Dr Ahmed Kazmi is truly a man of many talents – I recorded some songs with Ahmed a couple of years ago (see blog post March 2014 and the ‘listen’ page). He got back in touch with me earlier this year to tell me about his touring stand-up comedy show Doctor In The House which he needed some piano accompaniment for to play at the Brighton Fringe Festival and later this summer at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Needless to say I jumped at the chance to collaborate with Ahmed again and was thrilled to be part of a very successful show in 5 performances from 19th to 23rd of May at the Nightingale Rooms cabaret venue in Brighton. He’s a very funny man! Catch our next run of shows in Edinburgh at Spotlights Venue 278 from 4th to 14th August 2016.


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