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True jazz guitar legend at the Cheese & Grain

There are few British jazz performers around that can truly claim to have top international status and to be the greatest in the world; Martin Taylor indisputably fits into both categories and will be at the Cheese and Grain this month.

Multi award-winning guitarist and composer Martin Taylor has established a unique musical career as an internationally acclaimed musician, and his inimitable style has seen him recognised as the world’s foremost exponent of solo jazz guitar playing.

Although completely self-taught, he has enjoyed a remarkable musical career spanning across five decades, and during that time, has invented and developed a style of playing that is admired, and often imitated by guitarists all over the world.

As well as being a true guitar innovator, he is also a master concert performer, dazzling audiences with his solo shows, which combine virtuosity, emotion, humour with a strong stage presence.

He spends much of the year travelling the world playing in concert halls in Europe, North America, Japan, Asia and Australasia, as well as presiding over the uniquely innovative Martin Taylor Guitar Academy online and in the studio. As well as his solo concerts and recordings, he has also collaborated with musicians from many different musical genres including Stephane Grappelli, Jeff Beck, Chet Atkins, Bill Wyman, George Harrison, Dionne Warwick, Dianne Schuur, and Jamie Cullen.

Throughout the 80s he toured the world and recorded over 20 albums with the French jazz violin legend, Stephane Grappelli. Their album ‘Together at Last’ won a Grammy nomination in 1987, Grappelli describing him as “A great artist, rich in talent and elegance.”

Martin’s ground-breaking 1992 album ‘Artists’ produced by Steve Howe of Yes, acclaimed by critics worldwide, led it to the number one position in the jazz charts for a record 12 weeks, launching his career as an international solo artist.

His awards and achievements are too numerous to list. In 1999 he was made an Honorary Doctor of The University of the West of Scotland. He received an MBE in 2002 for services to jazz. 2007 saw him receive the prestigious BBC2 ‘Heart of Jazz’ award and a lifetime achievement award from the North Wales Jazz Festival.

He has received a record 14 British jazz awards, nominated for best contemporary song in the 2009 BBC Folk Awards. Film credits include the Louis Malle directed ‘Milan en Mai’ and ‘The Killing of John Lennon.’

His TV work includes the popular guitar-based ‘Nicole-Papa’ commercials for the Renault Clio, as well as the theme music for ‘After You’ve Gone’ with Nicholas Lyndhurst. 2010 saw the launch of his Napa Valley-based guitar school in California, and his online academy has been featured on NPR, BBC, Fox News and the LA Times, and is subscribed to by guitarists in over 50 countries.

His ‘Spirit of Django Orchestral Suite’ with Guy Barker, was performed at London’s Albert Hall during the 2012 BBC Proms, with Martin leading the full orchestra.

This is the final date of Martin’s tour and two days later he is headlining at B.B. King’s in New York City! This is a not to be missed show for any jazz or guitar fan!

The concert is in support of ‘The Music for Africa’ charity and the long-time founder, Tom Toomey who is based in Yeovil, will also be appearing on the show.

Martin Taylor will be playing at the Cheese and Grain on Sunday 27th September, doors open 8pm. Ticket prices advance £18.50, door £21. Contact the box office on 01373 455420. www.cheeseandgrain.com