Back in 1996, I was living with my partner David Elsdon and his two grown up children. David played the trumpet (and cornet), his daughter played the violin and his son played (and still plays) trumpet, guitar, accordion and drums, and composes music. Goodness knows why, but I decided to become a beginner in this house of compleat musicians. I sold my motorbike and bought a clarinet (yes, I had some change left over). I took lessons to learn how to play the instrument and then followed David into a Jazz Improvisation class run by Andy Dickens in Basingstoke. This was great fun and even led to a few gigs in some of the local pubs.
When I left England in 1998, my clarinet playing and practising became very much less regular and my performing dropped to zero. BUT... I started singing. My first foray was with The Sirens, an all-women a cappella chorus, but after 4 years with them, during which time I learned a lot, I decided it was time to move on although in a sense I was going back - to JAZZ! I found myself an excellent guitarist, Csaba Hideg, and we've been playing together now since 2011. We perform in small pubs and clubs around Budapest under the name of Cool Colours, and have a Facebook page and also a Soundcloud site.
I listen to quite a lot of jazz, building on my childhood liking for the Temperance Seven and for Acker Bilk's Stranger On The Shore. Since those early days, my CD collection has taken a definite change in direction. I started with a few compilations and have gradually expandedfrom there. Some favourites of mine are Diana Krall, Patricia Barber, Jessica Williams, Pat Metheny, as well as many home-grown Hungarian artists such as Szandra Szõke Quintet, István Fekete, István Gyárfás, Tamás Berki....
There's a lot of good jazz going on in Budapest - my current favourite locations include iF Kávézó, Opus Jazz Club and the Budapest Jazz Club.