Following a stunning performance on behalf of North Wales Jazz in Bellevue Park last summer, Billy Thompson Gypsy Style returns by popular demand on Friday, June 27 to perform a special mix of Hot Club numbers made famous by Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt, plus fiery Hungarian tunes and Romany gypsy anthems.
A finalist in the UK’s Young Jazz Musician of the Year competitions in 1996 and 1998, jazz violinist Billy Thompson was promptly engaged by the compere, Jules Holland, to perform with him at St David’s Hall, Cardiff, while among the judges were Selena Jones, who invited him to appear on her next album, and Barbara Thompson.
As a result, for several years Billy has been an integral member of seminal jazz/rock outfit Barbara Thompson’s Paraphernalia, with John Hiseman on drums.
He has headlined twice at London’s Ronnie Scott’s, in 2008 performed an extremely successful tour of Japan, and has toured Europe extensively, all with Paraphernalia, featuring on five of the band’s albums.
Performing in the gypsy jazz style, as he will be at Wrexham's Bellevue Park, Billy has played with international guitarists Gary Potter, John Etheridge, Lollo Meier, Andreas Oberg, Martin Taylor, Howard Alden and more.
One of the highlights of his career took place in July 2011 when Billy Thompson Gypsy Style, whose CD was recorded live at North Wales Jazz’s Wrexham venue, played on the main stage at one of the most prestigious gypsy music events in the world, the International Gypsy Guitar Festival in Gossington, Gloucestershire.
Billy is also well known in Wales for his work with Meic Stevens and with his gypsy band the Amigos, performing and recording with both outfits since 1997.
More recently, he featured on a new concept album by Manfred Mann, while his original Welsh project Amledd, co-written with singer/songwriter wife, Rhian, is currently hitting the airwaves.
Completing the line-up of Billy’s quartet are Eryl Jones (guitar and mandolin), Andy Mackenzie (rhythm guitar) and Greg Robley (double bass).
The concert commences at 7pm and there is no admission charge.
Further information regarding this and all other North Wales Jazz presentations is available on 01745 812260 and at www.northwalesjazz.org.uk.