One of the most special weddings I have had to arrange was last May 2016, held at an art gallery in Lambeth.
At first, the groom contacted me asking for a jazz trio playing with a 'reggae touch'. So I booked a saxophonist who I can not name but has to be one of the most established jazz saxophonists who is also a huge authority on reggae and works for Birmingham based reggae band Aswad
. I also started looking into hiring a double bass
Then the client called me back saying that actually they didn't want any jazz but instead gave me a list of 15 reggae/ska classics that they wanted us to perform. So this had now become a big job. He only had a budget for three musicians, so I decided to hire a percussionist
instead of bass, and learn the bass lines to play with my left hand. The percussionist I hired is one of the very best in London. Again, because of his career I cannot put his name on this website.
Having to learn 15 reggae/ska tunes was quite a big job and I was thinking that as this was just a one-off wedding, it should be ok because they probably don't know that much about music, however I happen to be a big reggae fan and was quite keen to study the music anyway.
Then, the client called me to ask how things were going - he mentioned that he used to be a professional keyboard player and used to perform with the legend Dennis Brown
!!! Wow. So with a client like this, the music had to be absolutely 100% right and I spent about 2 months of 2016 studying reggae.
Getting the music right required that I had a rehearsal with the saxophonist at my flat in London. Having such a musical legend round my flat to rehearse was a truly magical experience and I posted the recordings from the rehearsal on a Youtube playlist for the client to check out
, embedded on this website here
5th of June 2016