I learned piano through the last two years of primary school but didn’t
like it much. Still it taught me how to read music and by the time I hit
adolescence music in most forms and genres had become an
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.
For the last two years or so I’ve been a member of Mozambican singer
Maiuko’s band, playing a kind of Afro/Jazz, with Celtic overtones from
me. Click the player below for a sample track from our EP Roots
Harmonia (set to be extended into a full album).
I play guest spots with many friends around here, including David
James Rumsey and Nina Clark.
I’ve also launched another band, playing a mixture of jazz standards,
Irish traditional songs played in an untraditional way, and original
compositions. The plan is to gig a lot, record when we can, and
generally make beautiful music.
For upcoming gigs etc please check my Facebook musician’s page.
José, written and performed by Maiuko,
from the EP Roots Harmonia.