05 February 2012

Concordia Guitar Duo, Martin Byatt, Alex Lewis

Dennis Cooke and Nick Hartley have been performing as the Concordia Guitar Duo for about twenty years now. Both had much previous experience of ensemble playing, notably: Nick with Gilbert Biberian's ‘Omega Players’; and Dennis with Ian Cross, based in Scotland, and giving performances that included television and radio. Recently Nick and Dennis have given more time to their other breadwinning activities but have continued playing at various events in London and the South of England.

Their programmes have always included a mix of standard guitar duo repertoire and their own arrangements, which tend to push at the limits of the combination's possibilities, sometimes even stretching this with requinto and ten-string guitars (giving greater pitch range).

For this concert they play music from Europe and the Americas using two standard guitars. They will tell you a little something about the pieces during the recital.

Martin Byatt is a Scottish guitarist and composer based in London whose playing style draws on many influences.
His background in classical guitar, jazz and rock styles is evident in his compositions, and his arrangements of some of the hits of the 70’s ( Dire Straits, Steely Dan, Allman Bros etc. ) hark back to a mis-spent youth!
In 1995 he wrote and arranged music for Radio 3’s production of Sharman MacDonalds play The Sea Urchins – reminiscences of her father’s obsession with blues and steel guitar playing. Apart from his solo work Martin performs with his Latin-Jazz trio  - Zaramba –  performing Spanish, South American and Latin Jazz music.
Alex Lewis recently played guitar for Ruth Ojadi on the BBC documentary 'I swear I can sing', and also recorded with Radio one DJ Reggie Yates. Alex enjoys playing a wide range of styles, including many of his own compositions. He performs regularly at Lauderdale House, Highgate, and has also played in many different settings, including musicals and clubs. He studies with the Head of Guitar Studies at Trinity college, Graham Devine.