October 23, 2013

Eat to the Beat

Hi there

Tickets are now available to purchase online for the first two ‘Eat to the Beat’ events from Eventbrite (www.eventbrite.co.uk).  I’m also trying to organise for local sales of tickets so watch out for updates on that.

Event management is not something I imagined myself getting into but here I am.  I’m learning as I go along and finding that there’s a lot more to it than I’d first thought.  I guess that says something about my nature.  I am rather impatient.  I also know that if I think too much about it and the challenges to be faced, that on balance, I’d decide not to do it!

Saying that, I’m looking forward to it and really pleased with the enthusiasm it’s being met with, with press and radio picking it up and more importantly, from people who are keen to come.

It’s a big risk taking on something like this but the climate for live music, and in particular jazz, is not great and I feel that the onus is more and more on the artist to create their own opportunities for playing and to try and find an audience who are interested in what they have to offer.  Plus, I also feel that we have to work harder to build an audience for jazz.  For some reason many people have a bad impression of what the music is.

So, that’s why I’ve decided on getting into the promoters seat and taking this out into more rural communities.  Hopefully by offering more of an ‘experience’, a night out with food an entertainment, candlelight, etc, people who might not generally come out for jazz, will be more persuaded to.

Of course, as I said, I’m taking a risk.  However, whether it works or not, it’s going to be another opportunity to learn new things!

I’m always keen to hear what people think so please drop me a line if you’d like to share your thoughts.

Best wishes


PS:  Please check on what’s coming up by clicking on ‘Shows’.


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October 9, 2013

Hi all

Been a busy few weeks finalising my exciting new venture ‘Eat to the Beat’.

Please check ‘Press’ on the menu above for more information.

Dates for the first two in Auchenblae and Oyne are listed in the ‘Shows’ section.

These first 2 dates are pilots, after which the hope is to take it further afield.  I’m on the look out for interesting venues/buildings in areas where maybe jazz is not happening very often, if at all.  Of course, communities that get out for events is also very important!  I’m also looking for chefs in different areas to partner with to bring great food alongside, of course, the excellent music.  Please drop me a line if you’d like to suggest places in your community.  If you’re a chef interested in getting involved, then please also email me.

More dates soon.


September 2, 2013

Summer’s Over

Sadly, summer holidays are over but it wasn’t really a holiday anyway!  In between keeping my daughter entertained(?!) whilst off school, there were still gigs and other music related things to be done.

Finished my St Andrews course and have my Certificate in Jazz, now tucked away in a drawer.  It was good fun to do and it did what I hoped it would, ie gave me a better grounding in music theory, jazz theory and keyboard skills.  The latter I really have to work at and practice, something else to fit into a busy day.

Sadly, Stonehaven Town Hall Trust decided they couldn’t continue with their monthly Jazz Cafe, due to lack of funds.  A big loss when the whole region has very little jazz going on.  Also, a loss for myself as it was a great regular gig to have but things can never stay the same and when one door closes, another opens … Can’t say much about that at the moment as it’s still in early stages, wouldn’t want to jinx it!

It was nice to be asked to perform at this year’s Edinburgh Jazz Festival which I did with the wonderful pianist Alan Benzie.  I did have this filmed and now have a short promo video on Youtube http://youtu.be/RpOO8LfPQR8.  There should be some more video being posted soon.

I’ve also had some fun doing Jazz workshops for primary age children.  It’s amazing just how easy they find improvising.  Once we become adults, we become so self-conscious and hyper critical that being relaxed and giving ourselves up to the music can be a terrifying prospect.  Once you get over that though, it’s such a wonderful feeling, soaring through the music!

Busy also with writing lots of lyrics.  Several new vocalese pieces are now in the repertoire (Ahmad Jamal’s ‘Night Mist Blues’, Monk’s ‘Bemsha Swing’ and Ron Carter’s ‘Little Waltz’).  I’ve a large number of lyrics too which I need to get music written.  So am now working on finding a musical collaborator.  The objective being a new album.  I hoped this would be finished by the end of this year but, although I like stretch targets, I think getting it done early next year would be an achievement.

Of course, there’s gigging and working on getting more gigs too.  To that end, I’m looking into the house concert idea so if anyone might be interested in that, then please get in touch!

Hope all have enjoyed the wonderful summer and that you’re lives are busy with fun, challenges and those things your passionate about!


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April 22, 2013

Spring is Here

Hi All

I’m sitting looking out the window and the sun is shining, yeah!  I had a great break in Canada and New York over Easter and was so fortunate to see the legendary pianist Randy Weston who has been an inspiration of mine.  Incredibly, he is now 87 and still has boundless energy and enthusiasm.  Proving what I’ve always maintained that music keeps you young.  That’s what I’m hoping anyway!

Now it’s back to work and reprioritising the very long list of things to do.  I’ve got so many different projects I want to do but there’s nowhere near enough time so my first to do is getting the home recording set-up organised and then, hopefully very soon, I’ll be sharing some recordings done with friends and guests.  Should be fun!

My other to do, is to keep the website more up to date so will be posting updates and links to things I’m interested in at the moment which you too might find interesting.  Please e-mail me if there’s anything you’d like me to share!  (keep it clean and polite though, pls!)

Best wishes


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