Claridge's Ballroom London

Claridges Ballroom LondonOn Saturday I played for a wedding at Claridge's Ballroom in London. The ceremony was held in the Ballroom itself and the reception was held in the Reception room (as pictured above). I say "I", but realy it was "we" - I payed this wedding as a duo with my new duo partner (see my previous blog post). We played some traditional Jewish songs such as Mah Tovu, Dodi Lee and Evening of Roses. There was also a traditional breaking of a glass, which I had never seen before. The couple asked for more upbeat songs for the reception so we played some Gipsy Kings' songs such as Djobi Djoba and Bailame as well as some flamenco and rumba classics such as Entre Dos Aguas, Tico Tico and Moorea.

A particularly nice poem was read during the ceremony which I hadn't heard before by WB Yeats called The White Birds. Here it is:

I would that we were, my beloved, white birds on the foam of the sea!

We tire of the flame of the meteor, before it can fade and flee;

And the flame of the blue star of twilight, hung low on the rim of the sky,

Has awakened in our hearts, my beloved, a sadness that may not die.


A weariness comes from those dreamers, dew-dabbled, the lily and rose;

Ah, dream not of them, my beloved, the flame of the meteor that goes,

Or the flame of the blue star that lingers hung low in the fall of the dew:

For I would we were changed to white birds on the wandering foam: I and you!


I am haunted by numberless islands, and many a Danaan shore,

Where Time would surely forget us, and Sorrow come near us no more;

Soon far from the rose and the lily, and fret of the flames would we be,

Were we only white birds, my beloved, buoyed out on the foam of the sea!



New Guitar Duo

new spanish guitar duoI have set up a new Spanish Guitar Duo with my good friend and excellent Guitarist Ramon Ruiz. I will posting clips of our paying here soon.... Here is our official biography as written by our agents:

The Spanish Guitar Duo met while working on the Gipsy Kings’ award-winning musical “Zorro” in London’s West End. They were both hand-picked and mentored by the Gypsy Kings as on stage guitarists and actors. Whilst working on the show they began to jam together and create a musical understanding, which before long had naturally/unintentionally developed into a solid repertoire of music that was well-polished due the hours of downtime between shows that they spent jamming in addition to the hours upon hours that they spent performing together on stage. They have continued to play together ever since, expanding their repertoire to cover more styles and genres.

As a duo and as solo Artists the Spanish Guitar Duo have performed with the following artists, shows and companies:

The Gipsy Kings, Plácido Domingo, Rafael Amargo, Carlos Acosta, The Royal Ballet, Russell Watson, Antonio Banderas, Welsh National Opera, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Juanito Makandé, etc.

At the following venues:

The Royal Albert Hall (London), The Royal Opera House (London), John F. Kennedy Centre (Washington D.C.), The Purcell Room (London), The Ambassador’s Theatre (Chicago), The Grand Theatre (Shanghai), The Garrick Theatre, Teatro Sistina (Rome), DeLaMar Theatre (Amsterdam), Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club (London), The World Forum (The Hague), etc.

At the following major events: The Royal Variety Show, Edinburgh Festival, International Guitar Foundation, Ullapool Guitar Festival, The One Show hosted by Chris Evans , BBC Radio 2 Saturday Night Is Music Night, Wimbledon Tennis Tournament, BBC radio 4, Sister Act The Musical, Canal Sur Andalucia, etc.


Duke Of Edinburgh Fundraising Awards at Grosvenor House

Grosvenor House Hotel On Saturday night I played for the Duke Of Edinburgh funsraising award dinner in The Great Hall at Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane in London.

There was a Venetian theme for the evening with mask a plenty and singning waiters and mock gondolas with singning "gondola riders" (I'm sure there is a special name for that person).....

Also on the bill for the evening's entertainment were the band Incognito and Matt Rawle, who I worked with on the Gipsy Kings' musical Zorro.

Lympne Castle

wedding at lympne castleOn Saturday I played for a lovely wedding at Lympne Castle in Kent. I have played here before (and my sister also got married here) but I forgot just how beautiful the views were from the terrace spanning the coast. The weather wasn't amazing so the drinks reception was held in the west wing (which also has views over the countryside and coastline) and then the wedding breakfast was held in the marquee which got prettier and prettier as the natural light faded and the candles became more prominent.

I stayed nearby as I had a concert in the picturesque coastal village Sandwich the following day. A blog about this concert to come....

Plácido Domingo at The Royal Opera House

placido-domingoI am thrilled to announce I will be playing with the legendary Plácido Domingo at The Royal Opera House this coming October. Plácido Domingo is one of the finest Tenors in the world and is most widely known for his work with Luciano Pavarotti and José Carreras as The Three Tenors.

We will be performing eight shows of Il Duo Foscari. The first night is sold out and tickets for the remaining shows are going fast. If you do come to the opera then please let me know and we can discuss your event plans afterwards.