I am a professional jazz pianist, composer and arranger, and I’ve been doing this pretty much since I left university in 2001, although I still managed to squeeze a few gigs in then!
Musically I was bought up on a diet of Gypsy jazz; Hot Club de France and I loved it. I also remember hearing the great Errol Garner’s Concert By The Sea many, many times courtesy of my dad.
I never planned to be a jazz pianist, and I studied first to be a chef, figuring that maybe I’d do a few gigs on the side. But that all changed when I heard Bill Evans play his composition Since We Met. I was so hooked on the sound of the piano that it became all that really interested me and, well, here I am still trying to make the best sounds I possibly can.
I studied with John Horler whilst at university. He really taught my the value of learning standard songs, and getting the melody right, as well as making every voicing count. Most of the lessons would be me playing things whilst he steepled his fingers and said mmm. He never told me what to play just encouraged me to find my own voice on the piano, and also later to record my first album ‘Emma’s Dream’ with the regular members of his trio Jeff Clyne and Trevor Tomkins.
So I’ve taken it from there really. I’m working hard now at teaching the piano, as well as performing jazz and a host of other styles of music to boot, but mainly jazz!