One of world’s top guitarists heads for Clitheroe

Martin Taylor
Martin Taylor
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One of the most gifted solo jazz guitarists in the world, Martin Taylor, will celebrate International Jazz Day in Clitheroe with a special solo concert at the 2016 Ribble Valley Jazz Festival.

He said:“I’m just the luckiest man in the world to do what I do, travelling all over the world creating music – it doesn’t come any better than that does it?”

He has collaborated with rock guitarists Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler and Rolling Stone Bill Wyman in a stellar career spanning four decades.

“Bill’s a thoroughly nice guy, who is quite a shy and scholarly man, and not at all the rock and roll wild man,” said Martin who played with Wyman’s ensemble The Rhythm Kings for several years.

Widely considered to be the world’s foremost exponent of solo jazz and finger style playing, for the best part of 10 years he toured the world and recorded several albums with the grandfather of jazz violinists, Stephane Grappelli.

The Frenchman described Taylor as a “great artist, rich in talent and elegance”.

Martin said: “Stephane was a legend of jazz and a wonderful man, so that was an amazing experience.

“To work in that environment, to be with him most days in the studio or on tour with a man of such talent coloured my life.

“I vowed then that I’d remember all of it, and I certainly did.”

Martin who was invited to perform a private concert at Windsor Castle on the eve of Prince Williams’s engagement to Kate Middleton, and he was eight years old when he played his first live show.

“The first time I picked up a guitar, I knew what I wanted to do,” he said.

“I didn’t have any plans when I left school at 15, but I’m 60 this year and I’m still travelling on this incredible journey.

“It could have all gone horribly wrong, but if you stay true to the music you want to play and you love doing it then you’ve a chance.

“I don’t want to retire – I’m just starting to get the hang of it.”

Martin Taylor concert plus support from Remi Harris Trio is at the Clitheroe Grand Theatre, Saturday, April 30th. The box office number is 01200 421599.