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Pat McCarthy.jpg

I have been a pro'player since 1981 and have had the great good fortune to play with some of the UK's top players, plus a handful of visiting Americans.At this point there usually follows an enormous list of those musicians and you will inevitably draw the conclusion that i am equally great by association.I wish this were true, but it is often luck or circumstance.I once played with Jamie Cullum, but if i am honest, i didn't really know who he was, he never writes.I have played with some of the following people many times ,and some only once or twice.Alan Barnes,Dave Newton,Jim Mullen,Gareth Williams,John Horler,Nikki Iles, Pete King,Martin Shaw, Kenny Wheeler, Snake Davis,Andy Sheppard, Art Van Damme, Aaron Weinstein,Tim Kliphuis, The British Allstars,Roy Williams, Georgia Mancio,Liz Fletcher, Tina May,Gilad Atzmon,George Melly,Roger Beaujolais,Jim Hart, Brian Dee,Bobby Worth,Krzystof Urbanski,Bruce Adams, Dave Green,Enrico Tommaso,Digby Fairweather, Steve Brown,The London Mozart players,Dennis Rollins,The RAF big band,Mark Nightingale, Sebastian De Krom.Daryl Sherman and many others who i cannot recall.If nothing else, it shows how long i have been doing this.I regularly play with Thom Whitworth, a trumpet player and guitarist who deserves to be an international star and Shannon Reilly, an extremely gifted vocalist as well as everyones favoutite bass player, Warren Jolly


I began playing the guitar at 12 years old. I had already played the violin for several years. One Christmas, i was taken to visit my Great Uncle Ted Symonds at his hairdressing shop in Rutland Street, Grimsby. He opened the case of an arch top guitar.He took out a beautiful instrument and played a few bars of a Charlie Christian tune. I loved it.


I left school at 16 and served an apprenticeship as a roof thatcher, before becoming a working musician with my first pro band, an Elvis Presley tribute act called Raving Rupert. I went on to do a cruise, a summer in France and a couple of years' residency in the Cafe de Paris in Leicester Square. I toured Europe for a couple of years with Belgian singer Cindy Nelson, returned to the UK and studied classical guitar with Ada Greetham. In Grimsby I met drummer Paul McGrath and joined his quintet.The Rick Woolgar/Pat McCarthy Group and the Pat McCarthy Quartet were a natural progression from Paul's band.  The Pat McCarthy Quartet recorded two albums - Hetty's Dance featuring Dave Newton and Art's Blues featuring Phil Ware. The quartet worked continuously for several years, often backing the great and the good from the UK jazz scene. The quartet also formed the nucleus of the John Warren project - an eight-piece band which performed the music of Canadian composer John Warren. Under John's leadership we performed with Kenny Wheeler and Andy Sheppard. More recently I have been working with vocalist Shannon Reilly. We recorded a couple of albums and toured several times for Jazz North and NRTF. I also had the opportunity to work with Alan Barnes on two projects - Fish Tales and Requiem. Alan and I shared the writing of the themes for both projects and Alan arranged all the music for a great line up of players including Gilad Atzmon, Mark Nightingale, Dave Green, Sebastian De Krom, Dean Masser, Neil Yates and myself.

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Ted Symonds
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