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Performing as a Pianist in Somerset
My name is Eugene Portman and a good proportion of my work as a pianist is in Somerset. This area of the UK has a large number of lovely venues ranging from country pubs and historic buildings to golf clubs and country house hotels. These venues are the home to many different types of events, but weddings certainly take precedence in the area.
I feel that I am very lucky in that I play the piano in many of Somerset’s venues for weddings and other events. I also hope that I carry on to do many more.
My work as a pianist has thrived on Somerset’s jazz scene for quite a long time. In fact, jazz is my thing, and my style has developed through listening to the great jazz pianists of yesteryear. These include Erroll Garner, George Shearing, Teddy Wilson, and Oscar Peterson. I play all those great American songs that we all love and were performed by great singers such as Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennet, and Jack Jones.
However, being able to play jazz is not enough. To clarify, I play the piano for many weddings in and around Somerset and I have to be fluent in other styles of music. This is so that I can provide music for any part of the day’s proceedings. The genres of music I cover include pop, rock, classical, Latin, blues and even sing-along.
Working as a Sing-along Pianist in Somerset
Recently there has been a demand to book me as a sing-along pianist in the Somerset area. This has been mostly for informal events, but there have been a few occasions when sing-alongs have been featured at weddings. When I am booked for a sing-along, I arrive armed with song sheets and dressed as a true Cockney pianist. My outfit comes complete with Bowler hat, red neckerchief, grandad shirt, waistcoat, pocket watch, etc.
Most of my work around Somerset has been as a solo pianist, but I offer much more than this. Just for your information, line-ups range from duos and trios right up to a five-piece jazz band. The jazz band consists of piano, bass, drums, vocals, and sax.
When it comes to musicians I book the ones I know can be relied upon to give a first-rate performance.
Whether you book me in Somerset as a solo pianist or the full jazz band – you will find that I try and give the music a feel-good quality. I hope this quality makes it sit comfortably in any social situation, adding colour to your event without drowning conversation.
The Grand Piano Shell
Very venues in the region have a piano and generally, any pianist performing in Somerset would use a digital piano. Digital pianos sound fantastic and you can set them up anywhere. The only problem is that most people prefer to see a pianist sat in front of a proper piano even if the instrument sounds terrible. I have the answer with my baby grand piano shell. This is a shell with the shape of a baby grand piano that houses a normal digital piano. The result is something that makes a real focal point at any event. I play the piano a lot in Somerset and I use the baby grand piano shell on many of these occasions.
The shell costs an extra £80 on top of my normal fee.
Here are some of the many venues in Somerset that have used my services as a pianist:
- North Cadbury Court, Yeovil, Somerset BA22 7DR
- The Pump Room, Stall Street, Bath BA1 1LZ
- Wood’s Restaurant, 9 – 13 Alfred Street, Bath BA1 2QX
- Royal Crescent Hotel (The), 16 Royal Crescent, Bath BA1 2LS
- St. Audries Park, West Quantoxhead, Taunton TA4 4DS
- Tone Dale House, Wellington
- Halswell House, Goathurst TA5 2DH
- Orchardleigh House, Orchardleigh Park, Frome BA11 2PH
I work as a pianist all over Somerset. Here are some of the towns, villages, and cities I cover:
- Shepton Mallet
- North Petherton
- Castle Cary
- Milborne Port
- South Petherton
- Bishops Lydeard
- Curry Rivel
- Creech Saint Michael