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Next Concert

The Spirit of Stephane

The fabled French fiddler, Stephane Grappelli, is remembered and celebrated by violinist/composer Christian Garrick's Spirit O’ Stephane.

The concert showcases the sheer variety of the great French fiddler whose 79-year career led him to play with artists as diverse as Paul Simon, Yehudi Menuhin, Django Reinhardt, Les Paul, Ravi Shankar and Gary Burton. The eclectic list goes on but his instrumental voice was unmistakeable whatever the setting.

Spirit O’ Stephane is a hybrid of Grappelli's two central vehicles - the Hot Club Of France and the piano/bass/drums bands he led with such wonderful pianists as George Shearing and Alan Clare.

Christian Garrick has revitalised jazz violin playing so that it has been rejuvenated for the 21st century.  Whilst still able to play in the tradition established by Stephane Grappelli Christian has forged his own style which reflects his contemporary interests” 


"If you know Christian Garrick as an elegant Hot Club de France violinist in the Thirties style of Stephane Grappelli, prepare to be amazed. His new double album, ‘firewire’, with keyboarder Dave Gordon leading an exceptional rhythm section, not only sounds totally 21st century but also swings like a hotel roof in a hurricane."  

London Evening Standard

“He could easily emerge as one of the great jazz violinists of all time"  

Sir John Dankworth

"Christian’s meltingly beautiful, light as air playing, his imaginative variety of sounds, and his impeccable taste, make him a very serious rival to Stephane Grappelli" 

The Guardian

Chris Garrick is simply the most accomplished and expressive jazz violinist on today's jazz scene... consistently inventive.



Christian Garrick

Christian Garrick is an improvising violinist, a composer and a bandleader. He is active on the international concert circuit and on the London studio session scene. Christian has recorded six solo albums and is also leader of the legendary Budapest Cafe Orchestra of Harringay. He is a busy studio musician and has added his violin to a wealth of film soundtracks including Les Miserables, The Hobbit, The Imaginarium of Dr Parnasus, Chocolat, Brideshead Revisited, La Vie En Rose, Chicago, Borat, An Ideal Husband, Tomorrow Never Dies and The Book Of Life. He is a professor of jazz violin at the Royal Academy of Music, Royal College of Music and Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. He is the solo violin-voice of Poldark in the current BBC adaption of the Winston Graham stories.

Christian learnt violin by the Suzuki method followed by an influential apprenticeship with the great British jazz violinist John Van Derrick. He studied at London's Royal Academy of Music between 1989 and 1994 gaining first-class honours in his performer's degree and winning the DipRAM in his post-graduate year. Among the many influential resident and visiting staff at the RAM were Hugh Fraser, Martin Speake, Nick Ingham, Steve Coleman, Jack Dejohnette, Chucho Valdez, Arturo Sandoval, Gary Peacock and Kenny Wheeler. Christian was subsequently made an Associate of the Royal Academy. In 1987, aged 16, he established his first group Nobody’s Quartet and they entered the Daily Telegraph Young Jazz Competition winning joint first place.

He has worked with artists such as Wynton Marsalis, Nigel Kennedy, Julian Joseph, Bireli Lagrene, Dolly Parton, All About Eve, Van Morrison, Luka Bloom, Martin Taylor, Brian Ferry and Caro Emerald. He has made tours of the Far East and Australia with guitarist John Etheridge in a tribute to Stephane Grappelli and in 2001 he toured Israel with Dame Cleo Laine and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. His performance at the Genius of the Violin Festival in 2004 led to invitations to perform Piazzolla's Seasons with Barry Wordsworth at the Brighton Dome and then in London, at the Royal Festival Hall, in 2008. He has toured and recorded extensively with Parisian guitar virtuoso Angelo Debarre and is a member of Alec Dankworth's Spanish Accents. He formed the band Spirit O’ Stephane to celebrate the music of Grappelli. He works frequently in film and television for composers such as Danny Elfman, Anne Dudley, Howard Shore, George Fenton, Rachel Portman, Stephen Warbeck, Mark Thomas and Rob Lane.

Jez Cook was born in 1962, and is well known as a Gypsy Jazz guitarist, appearing at the Edinburgh Festival and twice at the Django Reinhardt Festival at Samois-sur-Seine, in France. Jez Cook is the guitarist's guitarist and an exceptional player. He works regularly with John Etheridge and Gary Potter, two of the most virtuosic players on the scene who both demand Jez's services when they go out on the road.

At home in styles as various as Hot Club, contemporary jazz and fusion, Jez has been employed by everyone from George Harrison to Jools Holland and many more. During twenty years of playing, he has performed with numerous artists, including John Etheridge, Graham Collier, Lillian Boutte, Diz Disley, Gary Potter, Jim Mullen, The Kimbara Brothers, Tziganarama, and Ian Cruickshank’s Gypsy Jazz.

Andy Crowdy is a well-known and highly rated bass player on the UK jazz scene. Andy combines an incredible sense of rhythm and drive with a lyrical musicality, which comes to the fore in his solos. The English jazz critic Bruce Gomersall wrote that Andy "gives the performance a depth and quality”. His technique combined with a great sense of humour always keeps the audience entertained. Andy has a love of many musical styles, leading him to playing heavy rock, blues, folk and pop. This has given him a huge breadth of experience, which he has been able to transmit in music workshops all over the world through his teaching of bass and guitar.

He has performed with many leading UK players (Gary Potter, Diz Disley, Clark Tracey, Alan Barnes and Tina May, to name but a few). Over the last years Andy has been working extensively for New Orleans-born singer Lillian Boutte, playing bass and guitar at festivals and workshops in Europe, America and Australia.


Eddie Hession has spent his years insisting that he had nothing to put on his biography. However, painstaking research and intense interrogation over the past decade and more has revealed that he is the accordionist of choice for pretty much every major Hollywood movie.

By the age of four, Eddie had harassed his parents so much for a drum kit that their only way of attempting to disabuse him of the notion of playing music was to present him with an accordion! Despite this setback, he took to the instrument and went on to become All-Britain Solo Accordion Champion. Having decided that it was much more fun to play with others, he did not pursue a solo career and since then, he has worked with an endless list of stars from Luciano Pavarotti to Westlife, including The Corrs, Chris Rea, Ronan Keating, George Martin, Ute Lemper, Andrea Bocelli, Bill Wyman, Lesley Garret and Russell Watson to name but a few.

His movie soundtrack credits include Lord of the Rings, Chocolat, Mickey Blue Eyes, Evita, Shrek, Chicken Run, Gosford Park, Shipping News, Nine, Shall We Dance and Captain Corelli's Mandolin (where he even makes a screen appearance), although he considers the highlight of his career to be the recording of the theme tune for Captain Pugwash!

When not performing and recording with all of the country's finest orchestras, at the Royal Opera House, and being a regular fixture with the Strictly Come Dancing house band, his mind is more often than not preoccupied with ‘desserts’ and if he was not a musician, you would most probably find him applying for official 'cake taster' positions with any of the major brands.

Tom Hooper began playing drums on the sofa with chop sticks at about six years old. His parents bought him his first drums when he was eight, in order to save the furniture! Tom's interest in the drums continued to grow throughout his teens in Cornwall. Tom began playing professionally at age 14, before moving to London to gain a degree in jazz performance from the Royal Academy of Music. Having left college Tom embarked on a professional career that has taken him all over the world performing and recording with many artists including; Grace Jones, Simple Minds, Skye (singer with Morcheeba), John Dankworth OBE, Jan Smit (Dutch singing star with whom Tom has played on five number one hits), Aynsley Lister, Jackie Graham, Brian McFadden, Christian Garrick, Kinobe, Stroke, Omar and The Kairos Ensemble.