The greatest possible life-changing advice I have for anyone is:
“Dump the TV and play the guitar.”
Performers who’ve inspired my playing and writing (in no particular order): my big brother, Paddy, an intuitive and highly talented rhythm & blues player; the gifted guitarist composers, Jerry Cahill, Jorge Morel and Augustin Barrios Mangore; the flamenco guitarist, Paco Peña; the classical guitarists, Julian Bream and John Williams; Abdullah Ibrahim (Dollar Brand); Villa Lobos; Django Reinhardt; the genius, J.S. Bach; an old blues playing shipmate, Sugar Ray Somerford and my free-spirited rapper son, G.I. Joe.
On my journey, I’ve had the good fortune to study music with many brilliant people: the gifted teacher-trombonist, Iorweth Pugh at Exeter College; the author, teacher, and historian, Graham Wade at the Leeds College of Music and the talented guitarists, Bill McIntyre, David Stanley, and Steven Gordon. A particular life-enhancing moment was an inspirational lesson with the legendary flamenco guitarist, Paco Peña.
I’ve been commissioned to write music for guitar festivals and have written extensively for solo and ensemble guitar, and for my raggle-taggle gypsy jazz band – the brilliant JAZZMUNDO (find us on the LINKS page).
Currently I enjoy teaching guitar at the friendly Yorkshire College of Music & Drama in Leeds, UK; and can be found happily teaching children to play guitar and juggle (not at the same time) at Harehills Primary School in Leeds.