With my time currently split between Cambridge and San Francisco, my colleague Ryan provides the same service and covers bookings when I am unavailable.
Ryan brings his affable nature and broad repertoire of pop and jazz music to wedding ceremonies, receptions & dinners. Currently based in Manchester, I’m delighted to recommend him as a fellow professional and manage bookings on his behalf.
Ryan uses the same set up and is also fully portable.
Where are you and Ryan based?
My time is split between Cambridge and San Francisco with Ryan being based near Manchester. Typically I am in the UK to cover bookings across the Southern counties (and international work) during the summer months May-Oct with Ryan able to cover periods when I am abroad/booked elsewhere.
Despite Ryan being based up North he is also typically available to cover bookings in the Cambridge/London area when necessary. Either way, we have you covered 😊
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I make a booking?
A: Send me an email with date, venue event type and approximate timings – I’ll then get back to you with a quote. Should you wish to confirm, I’ll issue a brief contract requesting booking deposit. I manage all bookings directly, with Ryan subsequently contacting all clients well in advance to discuss the finer details of the booking.
Q: Is the quoted price inclusive of travel costs?
A: Yes, prices are calculated based on travel from M21 (nr. Manchester) and are inclusive of all travel, PLI* and equipment costs. In the event that Ryan is covering a booking in Southern England, travel costs will be based on journey from Huntingdon/Ely.
*certificate available on request
Q: Can I request songs not on your existing repertoire?
A: Yes, but be aware that this will incur a small extra charge of £30 per request in most cases.
Q: How do your repertoires differ?
A: In the interests of consistency, we work on the principle that Ryan replicates the same service, song list and playing style advertised on my website. However, Ryan brings his own flavour with some great additions to our collective repertoire including some Donna Summer (!) and a whole host of jazz standards. Use this list as your main reference but I encourage you to discuss your musical tastes with Ryan directly. We’re always making new additions!
Q: How far is Ryan willing to travel?
Typically covering a approx. 50 mile radius around Manchester, both of us are open to covering larger distances as long as travel expenses are sufficiently covered. Originally from Cambridgeshire, Ryan is often in the South covering bookings where I am unavailable.
Q: How do you structure your prices?
Our prices are calculated based mainly on travel/distance, time of year (i.e. peak between Jun-Sep), day of the week and playing time required. Song requests are subject to a supplementary charge, and we may need to ask for a small amount extra in some cases for extra travel/waiting time. Saturdays during peak season start at £280.
Q: How and when do I pay?
A: Deposit is required by BACS or cheque on confirmation of date (w/contract), with the rest usually being paid either on the day of the event or beforehand in some cases (this is preferable so I can get Ryan paid in advance). Invoices can be issued on request, BACS payments are preferred as it saves dealing with cash/cheques on the day.
Q: What do we need to provide on the day?
A: Armless chair/short stool, parking space and suitable refreshments/meal if at all possible – a private room to change is helpful but not essential.
Q: How long can Ryan usually play for?
A: Typically 90-120 mins in total is recommended, and is usually enough to cover ceremony/drinks reception although up to 3hrs is possible if necessary.
Q: Do you need mains power?
A: No – our setup works entirely on (rechargeable) batteries. It’s always nice to play outside if the weather allows!
NB Some venues are restricted by a live music license/PAT – however because we don’t use mains power this should not be a problem. If in doubt, refer the venue directly to me.
Q: Will Ryan be wearing a suit?
A: Yes Ryan will be smartly dressed suitable for a formal wedding (look out for the funky braces!) in waistcoat or similar unless otherwise agreed beforehand.
Q: How would you describe your style and why is it unique?
A: Perhaps best described as classical/blues crossover, I am not from a classical background nor am I ‘classically trained’. I played in various rock and funk bands until developing my ‘hybrid’ contemporary classical style 7-8 years ago. What sets me apart from other performers in my category is that I incorporate a lot of live improvisation into my performance and am able to adapt each piece according to the circumstances. Classical fingerstyle with jazz-blues soloing makes for a unique combination, and I do like to add an element of subtle humour with some surprise song choices 😉
Ryan of course brings his own slant on the above but he will diligently recreate this hybrid style; with perhaps a little more of a jazz/latin edge when circumstances allow.
Q: What songs do you recommend for ceremonies?
A: We have played all sorts from Sting and Pachelbel to Huey Lewis and Star Wars, so there’s a real range and song choices are ultimately tailored specifically for each couple. Having said that, I would typically choose slow songs for the entrance register signing, followed by something more upbeat for the exit. The traditional Bridal Chorus translates to the guitar really well and Canon is also a popular choice. It’s great to be able to personalise the music for a couple, so do come to us with requests regardless of what style of music it is. See my brief guide on choosing wedding ceremony music for further guidance.
Q: Do you both play in a band as well?
A: Yes – we’ve played together many times, and Ryan has his own solo career that I’m sure he’d be happy to tell you about.
NB If you are looking for a band/duo for your evening entertainment then please ask, as I can offer a variety of duo/trio/full-band options. Keys/guitar duo available also.
Q: Do you have any favourite venues?
It’s a real perk of the job to play at some amazing places ranging from barns, castles, boats and stadiums. There are several local venues we know well including being a recommended supplier at Chippenham Park and South Farm in Cambridgeshire.
Q: Can you provide background music during your breaks?
A: Yes – happy to put an iPod through the amp if you have your own music but do please let us know beforehand. Usually though, venues have their own in-house PA system.
Q: Do you play wedding ceremonies as well as receptions?
A: Yes – absolutely – although in most cases we are booked to play during the post-ceremony drinks reception leading up to the wedding breakfast.
Q: What equipment do you both use?
A: Perez/Alhambra electro-classical guitars, Jim Dunlop Jazz III picks, D’Addario strings, Roland AC-33 amp, Boss RC-2 loop pedal and Eneloop Pro/Powerex rechargeable AA/9v batteries. Everything is fully portable with no need for mains power.