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Violinist

Billy Thompson

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About Billy

Classically trained, professional improvising violinist. Own 5-piece band. Available solo. Own PA. Own studio. All styles of music. Long CV.
Violinist
Bala
Public liability insurance of £10 million
Verified profile

Billy Thompson is a classically trained improvising violinist performing in numerous different styles of music. These styles vary from his highly popular band Billy Thompson Gypsy Style to performing with internationally acclaimed jazz artists such as saxophonist/composer Barbara Thompson OBE and pianist/composer Mike Westbrook MBE. Billy performs on five albums and a DVD with Barbara Thompson’s Paraphernalia and is an integral part of the wonderful Glad Day by Mike Westbrook featuring on the live DVD released last year. Other current projects include a live looping project with composer Warren Greveson called Dolennu and also a project with a highly talented singer/songwriter (and wine producer) called Gavin Crisfield. During Billy’s time living in Wales, Billy has performed and recorded with many of Wales’ finest musicians and singer/songwriters including Meic Stevens (for ten years), Gai Toms (Mim Twm Llai), Heather Jones, Sian James, Delwyn Sion, Dafydd Iwan, Elin Fflur, Gwynneth Glyn, Alun Tan Lan and Gwilym Bowen Rhys. During his time in South Wales, Billy was an integral part of The Amigos performing all around Wales and featuring on 3 studio albums. Meeting singer/songwriter Rhian Williams (now Thompson) led to the creation of the Welsh band Amledd and the release of the album Cyfnod Cyntaf. Now residing in Bala, North Wales with his family since 2005, Billy also runs a recording studio offering recording services, location recording and an online session musician service. WEDDINGS/FUNCTIONS: When not doing all the above, Billy also performs all around the UK (and further afield) playing at weddings and functions of all kinds. The band used is the core of Billy Thompson Gypsy Style but performs a much wider range of music than appears on the 2 CDs under that name. Billy Thompson's wedding performances are unique in style and quality. Enhancing every couple's dream day in a very special way. 'Amazing music to create a memory to last a lifetime'. Billy is available for functions of all kinds including Weddings and practically any other event where high quality live music is required. Solo or with his band. Solo, Billy plays a wide selection of music to high quality backing tracks. Depending on the client's requirements, the music ranges from well known classical pieces through to jazz, gypsy jazz and popular music by the likes of Snow Patrol, Coldplay et al... Any specific tunes required can be learned with a little advance notice... In 1996 and 1998 Billy reached the televised final of the Young Jazz Musician of the Year and has subsequently performed with some of the biggest names around. Highlights have included headlining twice at Ronnie Scott's London with Barbara Thompson's Paraphernalia and being the main support for Tom Jones' home coming concert in Pontypridd in front of 25,000 people. Incidentally, the day of the Tom Jones gig also saw Billy performing in the VIP hospitality tent and then afterwards traveling to Cardiff to play at a wedding in the MacDonald Hotel. When the band is booked for functions, Eryl Jones brings along his mandolin and banjo - as well as his superb growly voice allowing us to perform a wide range of music from Tom Waits songs to Jazz classics, Bluegrass, Traditional Folk and Americana. Antics got up to frequently include Billy walking around the audience whilst playing due to his ability to play wirelessly... 'Walking' being an understatement...

Performance details
I can perform outdoors
I have a car I can use to travel to gigs
I can perform with backing tracks
I can perform while walking around a venue
My equipment is PAT tested
I own a PA system
Musicianship
Genres:
Christmas, Contemporary Christian, Classical, Musical theatre, Film / TV music, Classical crossover, Contemporary classical, 1920s era music, 1930s era music, 1940s era music, 1950s era music, Folk, Bluegrass, Country, Rockabilly, Irish rock, Folk rock, Jazz, Blues, Modern jazz, Swing, Latin jazz, Jazz fusion, Postmodern jukebox jazz, Gypsy jazz, Avant garde, Easy listening, Experimental, Light music, Originals, Noise music, Welsh folk
See all genres
Instruments:
See all instruments
Event types:
Wedding, Wedding proposal, Funeral / Memorial service, Church service, Hotel / Restaurant event, Bar / Club / Venue event, Private event, Corporate event, Charity event, Concert, Recording session, Theatre / Show, Cruise, Burns night, Birthday party, Christmas party, New Year's Eve
See all event types
Other skills:
Arranger, Audio engineer, Composer, Songwriter, Producer, Live looping, Fluent improviser, Fluent sight-reader, Instrumental teaching
See all skills

Song list

Classical:
Pachelbel's Canon
Meditation
Queen of Sheba
Spiegel im Spiegel
Bach's Prelude (Played on a baritone violin)
The Flower Duet
Time to Say Goodbye
Nesun Dorma
Gymnopedie
The Swan (Played on a baritone violin)
Ave Maria
Air on a G String
More Bach and more...
Jazz:
Hours and hours of popular jazz and gypsy jazz
and More!
Pop/Rock:
Dakota
Run
Chasing Cars
Viva la Vida
Fix You
Ed Sheeran
Happy
Elvis
All You Need is Love
For the Love of God (Steve Vai)
Moving (Supergrass)
Somewhere Over The Rainbow
What a Wonderful World
True Love Ways
You'll Never Walk Alone
and More...
Welsh Songs:
Calon Lan
Dacw 'Nghariad i lawr yn y Berllan
Myfamwy
Cân Walter
Merch o'r Ffatri Wlan
Trywerin
Ysbryd Solva
a Mwy...
Italian Songs played on violin or mandolin:
Come Back to Sorrento (Torna a Surriento)
La Spagnola
O Mio Babbino Caro
O Sole Mio
Volare
Dream on my Eyes
and More...
With some notice practically any tune required is possible...
Customer questions

What do your clients love most about your performances?

Please take a look at my reviews or my promotion video for some comments made about my performances... Being as experienced as I am, I like to make sure the client feels confident in their choice of musician. I play a varied mix of music and am able to read the room and decide what tune would go down well next out of the huge choice that I bring along.

Which venues have you performed at in the past?

Ronnie Scott's London. Live DVD recorded at the Theatrhaus, Stuttgart Home in Moscow with Mike Westbrook Sweet Basil in Japan Press launch for St David's Hotel, Cardiff. Book launches for Clare Mackintosh Brecon Jazz Festival St David's Hall with Jools Holland Noson Lawen many times Numerous music festivals Many weddings Many many other functions

Which artists have you been most influenced by?

Stephane Grappelli Django Reinhardt The Hot Club de Paris Nigel Kennedy Stuff Smith David Oistrakh Russell Thompson (my uncle) Snow Patrol Stereophonics Steve Vai Queens of the Stone Age

What is the most high profile gig you've performed?

Supporting Tom Jones at his home coming concert in Pontypridd in front of 25,000 with a Gypsy Jazz line-up. Before we went on we were playing in the hospitality tent backstage to some VIPs - and afterwards we went to the Macdonalds Hotel in Cardiff to play at a wedding!

Do you have different line-up options?

Solo, I bring high quality backing tracks. As a duo/trio I play high end Jazz and Gypsy Jazz. The full Billy Thompson Gypsy Style line-up is as follows: Violin/mandolin, two guitars, double bass and harmonica. Generally we bring 5 musicians... More available...

What if my timings change after I've booked you?

Not a problem at all. Once there I/we always try my/our best to be flexible to help ensure your event runs as smoothly as possible. If timings change slightly in the run up to the event just let me/us know.

How much time do you need to set up?

Around an hour is ideal. I/we don't require extensive sound checking being highly experienced in performing live. As soon as my/our PA is set up I/we can provide a free playlist to help set the atmosphere...

Can I pick the pieces you play from the set list?

Certainly. Anything specific you would like to hear (or not like to hear!) do let me/us know... As mentioned in my profile, any specific tunes you might like are feasible given some notice...

Do you bring all the equipment you need to perform?

Sound wise we are fully self sufficient. I can also bring some floor/stage lights should they be required.

Can you learn specific pieces before the event?

No problem. As long as I am able to find a backing track - or have time to create one then then practically nothing is off the table!

Reviews

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From Encore customers:

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Hilary Y, 1 year ago

absolutely magical thank you billy ...you made our evening so very special ...hilary ..in .mawdesley

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Steve P, 2 years ago

Absolutely great, would have no hesitation of using him again.

From other customers:

Yell.com, 4 years ago

Scintillating Gypsy Jazz - best part of a great party! Having looked around everywhere for a Gipsy Jazz band I came across a video of Billy playing on You Tube - it was great, and live he was better! We had Billy and the band to play at our party at Galeri Caernarfon after we came back from our wedding abroad. Fantastic performance, and Billy a star who got the crowd really into it all, and we were all dancing (or at least trying to). Billy himself was lovely and accomodating, and was happy to play to my nieces and nephews who had taken a shine to him and the music! Everybody got up to dance and the repertoire was brilliant. Made for a proper party feel. All in all when I saw people afterwards the general gist from everybody was 'great party - but I really loved the band'. So I guess the only problem is that they were everybody's highlight! ;-) Highly recommend Billy and the band to anybody having a party, or for any gig for that matter. Diolch yn fawr Billy - you made a great night even better! Llyr & Catrin

Yell.com, 5 years ago

infectiously spirited and mindblowlingly talented We booked Billy and his band to perform their Gypsy Style Jazz for our wedding evening reception and we couldn't have been happier with their performance. The intoxicating energy if their performance appealed to all our guests. Billy was also accommodating and versatilile enough to perform a special request for us as our first dance, originally intended as a duet between billy and our Pianist, Billy and his band were able to arrange the entire peice to include their 5 members with less than 40 minutes reversal time... And the results were spectacular, and a testiment to the outstanding skill these guys possess. A great night and a wonderful band. 5 stars doesn't do them justice!

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