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The Kenzo Swing Ensemble - Gypsy Swing Group
This gypsy swing group is based in North Wales and available for functions and weddings as a duo of 2 guitars or as a trio or quartet with violin and double bass.
Highlights so far for have been performing twice on S4C's Noson Lawen TV show along with numerous tours around the UK. These tours have included performing twice at the Beaumaris Music Festival along with playing as far a field as Plymouth and Kingsbridge. The band has also performed twice at the International Gypsy Guitar Festival held each year in Gossington.
The Guitarist started in his Father's dance orchestra when only fourteen and has been a leading freelance player on all the fretted instruments for many years. His career to date includes countless tours, jingles, TV, record and club dates in a variety of styles. His love of jazz however took him to New York in 1996 where Jimmy Bruno introduced him to the seven-string guitar. Since then with help from Bucky Pizzarelli he has adopted it as his main instrument.
A devotee of Django Reinhardt and the acoustic 'gypsy' guitar, in 2004 he recorded new versions of Django’s tunes for the new Penelope Cruz film ‘Head In The Clouds’ and also appeared in the film alongside John Jorgenson who played the role of Django.
He is a recognised authority on this unique guitar style and writes the Gypsy Jazz column in the American publication 'Just Jazz Guitar' and has contributed articles, reviews and music to other magazines including 'Guitar Player' and British periodicals 'Jazz Rag' and 'String Jazz'. The book ‘Masters of Jazz Guitar’ contains a chapter on Django’s Legacy written by him.
As a performer he has appeared with The John Jorgenson Band, The Four Tops, Jerome MacMurray and jazz guitarists Jimmy Bruno, Frank Vignola and Jack Wilkins as a member of the Benedetto Players group. In his role as a freelance guitarist he has also played more weddings and barmitzvahs than he will care to admit.
The Violinist is originally from Neston on the Wirral and comes from a very musical background. He was finalist in the UK's Young Jazz Musician of the Year competitions in both 1996 and 1998, representing both Wales and the North-West of Britain. Judges of these competitions included Ronnie Scott, Barbara Thompson, Julian Joseph, Benny Green, Bobby Wellins, Salena Jones, Kenny Ball and others. Jools Holland invited him to perform with him at St David's Hall, Cardiff which he did.
Major UK festival appearances
- L’Esprit Manouche Festival
- Birmingham Jazz Festival
- Liangollen Jazz Festival
- Upton on Seven Festival
- Beaumaris Festival
- Malvern Jazz Festival
- Abersoch Jazz Festival
International festivals and Guitar show aappearances
- Soave Guitar Festival
- Issoudon ‘Chet-fest’, France
- NAMM Show, Los Angeles (with John Jorgenson)
- Classic American Guitar Show, New York
- Benedetto Players concert, New York
- Arlington Guitar Show, Texas (with Adrian Ingram)
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