Gemma Boyd

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About Gemma Boyd

I am a heartfelt, incisive and versatile professional classical, folk and jazz pianist, violinist and double bassist guaranteed to delight!
Public liability insurance of £10 million

SINGER-SONGWRITER AND MULTI-INSTRUMENTAL MATERIAL - During the COVID-19 crisis, I performed solo concerts on guitar, recorder, violin and viola from an isolated spot in Claybury Park, Ilford, to lift the spirits of passers-by (March and April 2020) - I sang my own maritime-themed songs, accompanying myself on various instruments at Thameside Folk, Thurrock Thameside Nature Park (June 2019) FOLK - DOUBLE BASS - Solo and ensemble floor spots at Romford Folk Club, where I was awarded 'Best Female Multi-instrumentalist of the Year, 2017 and 2018' (2017 to date) - Feature night at Romford Folk Club (included singing and playing jazz standards on double bass, Irish fiddle tunes, chanson with accordion and reciting self-penned poetry - 10th October 2017) POP - DOUBLE BASS - Professional music video of musician, radio presenter and charity challenger, Shaun Buswell's arrangement of 'Geronimo' by Sheppard for Decca (January 2015) CLASSICAL - DOUBLE BASS - Verdi's 'Requiem' - Chichester Cathedral - Lewes Concert Orchestra - John Rutter's 'Birthday Madrigals' with Brighton Chamber Choir (2008 - Brighton Festival) - 'Il Travatore' headed by Italian soprano, Irene Cerbonicini and conducted by Simon Gray (May 2011 - Brighton Fringe Festival) - The University of Sussex Symphony Orchestra - Classycool (2009 - Covent Garden, London) - The 12.12.12 Underground Orchestra Challenge (January 2013 - O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire) - Woodford Symphony Orchestra (2017) MUSICAL THEATRE - DOUBLE BASS - Gilbert and Sullivan operas - Chichester Amateur Operatic Society - 'The Merry Widow' - Littlehampton Player's Operatic Society Simon Gray and Carole Todd's Music 2000 production of 'The Mikado' (2009 - Barn Theatre, Southwick) - Brighton Theatre Group's 'Beauty and the Beast' (June 2010 - Theatre Royal, Brighton) - 'The Merry Widow,' 'The Magic Flute,' 'Titanic - The Musical' and 'Die Fledermaus,' conducted by Simon Gray - Southwick Opera JAZZ - DOUBLE BASS IN ENGLAND - Walsall Youth Jazz Orchestra - Midland Youth Jazz Orchestra - Brighton Jazz Co-op - 1930s and '40s swing jazz and blues five-piece band called The Priory Street Stardusters (Piers Clark - gtr., Annie Schutt - vc., Daniel Rehahn - tbn., and John Pargeter - sax. and cl.) which gigged at local farmers' markets, pubs, jazz clubs and private functions (2007 - 2012 - Brighton and the South East) - Art Themen Quartet (July 2011 - 27th Birmingham International Jazz and Blues Festival) - Gigs with Ann Odell (pf. and vc.) - Sussex Jazz Orchestra big band - Straight No Chaser big band (Brighton) - Bass, Bone & Blue (Piers Clark - gtr. and Daniel Rehahn - tbn.) - The Pete Godfrey and Pals Trio (Pete Godfrey - pf. and Roy Leith - sax.) - The Brighton Jazz Apples / Remember April bossa nova band (Matt Wall - gtr., Ela Southgate - vc. and Robin Watt and Roy Gee - sax.) - Just Friends Trio (Terry Whitney - pf. and Norman Evans - sax.) Gemma's Jazz (Piers Clark - gtr. and George N. Paterson - tpt. and vc.) - The Swing Thing Duo (Matt Wall - gtr.) - The Vintage Hot Five 1920s and '30s jazz quintet (Andy Woon tpt., Johnny Muxlow - perc. and George Levy -cl.) - The Tom Creed Trio (Diego Parada - gtr. and Tom Creed - sax. and cl.) - Early-Bird Special western swing and cowboy jazz band (lead by Piers Clark - gtr. and vc.) - Tangerine Duo (Nils Solberg - gtr. and vc.) - Bass & Bone Duo (Daniel Rehahn - tbn.) - 'Poetry In The Park' (August 2011 - Coronation Gardens, Leyton, East London) - Solo double bass set (which includes singing and bowing) for older people at Oakfield Lodge (January 2012 - Ilford, East London) - Jazz double bass private tuition (2016 - 2018) JAZZ - DOUBLE BASS IN PARIS (2010 - 2012) - Solo double bass set outside the Pompidou Centre - Busked with Daniel Rehahn (tbn.) on the terraces of Le Nouveau Carillon and Le Saint Jean, Abbesses, Montmartre, and on a bridge over the Seine near Notre Dame - Jam session at Autour De Midi... Et Minuit, rue Lepic, Montmartre, headed by the Laurent Epstein Trio - Duet version of 'Autumn Leaves' with Riccardo Del Fra (Chet Baker's double bassist) at CNSMDP (the Paris Conservatoire) Gig with songwriter, Richard Lewis's band at Les Disquaires, Bastille - Solo double bass set at Chez Adel, rue de la Grange-aux-Belles - Trio with Peter Conua - vn., and Eirik Zahl - gtr. and vc., playing klesma, Russian, Scottish and Irish folk, gypsy jazz, polka, latin and jazz standards at Chez Adel, on the terraces of Montmartre, on the Paris Métro, Corcoran's Irish pub and Kakoo Bar in Montmartre - Concerts at Chez Adel with songwriter and guitarist, Mateo, accordionist and vocalist, Clara Moreau and guitarist and singer, Claudio Zaretti - Jam sessions at La Miroiterie artist's squat, rue Ménilmontant, with Herman Mehari (tpt.) of contemporary jazz trio, Diverse, and at Hôtel d'Aubusson, rue Dauphine, Saint-Germain-des-Prés, with a jazz quartet headed by pianist-composer, Christian Brenner - Concerts at Chez Adel with Mateo, Claudio Zaretti, jazz pianist Bernard Trillat, and pop and French song singer, Chloé Cassandre and band - Solo double bass set at Place des Abbesses, Montmartre - Busked with tenor saxophonist, Laurent Carrier, in Montmartre - Substitute double bassist with Louis Royer's French Canadian band, Cortezia - Played with the George Washingmachine Quartet at Caveau de la Huchette - Concert of jazz standards at Chez Adel with Bernard Trillat (pf.) - Played on the terraces of Montmartre and at Place des Vosges in a duo with Peter Conua (vn.) FOLK AND CLASSICAL - VIOLIN IN ENGLAND - Solo violin set of French Canadian reels, Shetland reels and traditional Scots and Irish Hornpipe music all around the streets of London (2012 - 2013) - Solo 'folk' violin set on London Underground as part of the London Underground Busking Scheme (2013 - 2017) - Wedding gigs as a soloist at Brentwood Cathedral, Tithe Barn, Petersfield and at St. Dunstan in the East Church Garden, London, on 'folk and jazz' violin and piano accordion, 2014 - Floor spots at Romford Folk Club and joint winner of 'Scottish Night, 2017' (2017 to date) - Irish folk session at The Nightingale pub, Wanstead (May 2017) - Folk and classical violin private tuition (2017 to 2019) - Docklands Maritime Festival with Mikanora, London (November 2017) - Floor spots at Thameside Folk, Thurrock Thameside Nature Park (December 2018) - ABRSM Grade 5 Violin private tuition (2018) - Floor spot with sea shanty singing group, Hogeye Men, at the Horseshoe Inn, London (2019) FOLK AND JAZZ - VIOLIN IN PARIS (2013 - 2019) - Solo 'folk and jazz standards' violin set on the terraces of Montmartre, at Chez Adel (solo and with Claudio Zaretti - vc. and gtr.) and on the Paris Métro - Concert at Le Zèbre dans le Patio with Bernard Trillat (pf.) Improvisation of raga with tablaist, Rizwan Foga FOLK, CLASSICAL AND JAZZ - PIANO, PIANO ACCORDION AND MELODICA IN ENGLAND AND EUROPE - Solo 'folk and jazz standards' piano accordion set all around the streets of London (2012 - 2013) - Solo 'folk and jazz standards' piano accordion set in Montmartre at Chez Adel - Solo 'folk and jazz standards' piano accordion and melodica sets on London Underground as part of the London Underground Busking Scheme (2013 - 2017) - Floor spots at Romford Folk Club (2017 to date) - Jazz, classical and folk piano private tuition (2017 to date) - ABRSM Grade 4 Piano private tuition (2018) - Private piano tuition as a part of GCSE Music (2018 to date) - Solo 'jazz standards' melodica set in Griffin Park, Dublin (2020) CLASSICAL GUITAR - Classical guitar tuition for a boy with complex needs (2018) Music has been a joyous, healing thread that's run throughout my life, even though at times I haven't wanted it to be: I loved listening to my dad's Buddy Holly record collection as a child, achieved my Grade 5 Piano, Grade 5 Theory of Music, Grade 5 Violin and Grade 8 Double Bass, and had an intense love/hate relationship with my double bass at university. As a star-struck teenager, I fantasized about being the next Kate O'Mara or Dame Helen Mirren; pictures of whom, densely lined my bedroom walls. After doing a Saturday job at Spar supermarket and being an Avon representative, I decided that I wanted to pursue a career in television - either as an actress, producer or director, and joined the Grange Players Theatre Company and Rage Young Peoples' Theatre. I left Barr Beacon School, Aldridge, having shone at Music, French, Art and English Literature. I had developed into a very awkward young woman and a staunch vegetarian, who could have easily spent all of her time dangling her legs from Enid Blyton's 'The Magic Faraway Tree'. Chichester is one of my favourite places because good things have always happened there: I graduated with a '2:1' BA (Hons) degree in Related Arts and English from the University of Chichester in 1998, and embarked on a seven-year stint working as an usher, box office assistant and dresser in mainstream theatres (Chichester Festival Theatre, the Shaftesbury Theatre in the West End and the National Theatre, London). I returned to Chichester in 2006 to do the jazz course at Chichester College, and left with a 'Double Distinction' Edexcel Level 3 BTEC National Certificate in Music Practice. At the same time as dressing at the National, I set up and ran creative writing workshops in London with homeless people at St Mungo's North Lambeth Day Centre in Waterloo, the Union Chapel Project in Highbury and the Spires Centre in Streatham. I published and edited a magazine for group members which appeared on the shelves of The National Poetry Library in the Royal Festival Hall, and noticed that the worlds of celebrity and the homeless are not so very different! This period also heralded the publication of my own poetry in various magazines and journals. Missing the sea, I moved to Brighton & Hove in 2001 and worked as a support worker for young adults with learning difficulties. I also qualified with NCFE Level 3 Certificates in Integrative Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy, and Counselling Skills and Theory. During my training to become a therapist, however, I did a lot of painful but enlightening soul-searching; the result of which being the realization that music is what I love to do. I reached my goal of earning a living as a self-employed professional musician, and worked as a volunteer at the National Jazz Archive in Loughton. Here I researched, précised and catalogued the Johnny Simmen Archive; a collection of letters written by over one hundred and sixty jazz musicians, donated by John Chilton. From 2014-15, I wrote live jazz gig reviews for Jazzwise Magazine and Serious, and my poem, 'Double Bass Sonnet' was nominated for The Forward Prize, Best Single Poem Competition, 2015. I currently work in London and Europe, run organic allotments in Hainault, practice yoga, fundraise for Marie Curie, and have obtained Certificates of Achievement in An Introduction to Forensic Science, Forensic Psychology: Witness Investigation and Forensic Facial Reconstruction. I am also proficient in French, Spanish and Norwegian, enjoy developing my cultural intelligence, and am blessed to a be a mother to three cats, a tortoise and two fish.

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2nd Anniversary
This act has been working with Encore for over 2 years
Folk, Classical, Baroque, Contemporary classical, Film / TV music, Musical theatre, 1930s era music, 1940s era music, Traditional Irish folk, Traditional Scottish folk, Traditional English folk, Jazz, Blues, Gypsy jazz, Latin jazz, Ragtime, Swing, Experimental, Originals, Noise music, Easy listening, Light music, Pop, Acoustic, Covers, World music, Bossa nova, French music, Flamenco, Latin, Klezmer, Scottish music
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Event types:
Private event, Wedding, Wedding proposal, Funeral / Memorial service, Church service, Hotel / Restaurant event, Corporate event, Bar / Club / Venue event, Concert, Birthday party, Theatre / Show, Recording session, Christmas party
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Other skills:
Arranger, Composer, Songwriter, Transcription, Fluent improviser, Fluent sight-reader, Instrumental teaching, Theory teaching, Community music worker
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Song list

JAZZ AND BLUES FROM THE 1930s and '40s
Autumn Leaves
Fly Me To The Moon
On-Off Boogie
Blue Monk
I'm Beginning To See The Light
Honeysuckle Rose
I'm In The Mood For Love
All Of Me
C Jam Blues
Take The A Train
Blue Moon
Stormy Weather
Cry Me A River
Ain't Misbehavin
Sweet Georgia Brown
Sophisticated Lady
On The Sunny Side Of The Street
I Can't Give You Anything But Love
Paper Moon
You Go To My Head
Night And Day
How High The Moon
The Nearness Of You
There Will Never Be Another You
Embraceable You
Darn That Dream
Beseme Mucho
All The Things You Are
Georgia On My Mind
Lady Be Good
Some Of These Days
Body And Soul
A Foggy Day
Lover Man
In A Sentimental Mood
Out Of Nowhere
Have You Met Miss Jones
After You've Gone
East Of The Sun
Bye Bye Blackbird
The Very Thought Of You
These Foolish Things
Over The Rainbow
For All We Know
Out Of Nowhere
I Thought About You
Almost Like Being In Love
I've Got You Under My Skin
Someone To Watch Over Me
(I Don't Stand) A Ghost Of A Chance
When You're Smiling
Black Coffee
Autumn In New York
Lullaby Of Birdland
Good Time Blues
Now's The Time
FOLK (mainly Irish and Scottish)
Poor Weyfaring Stranger
The Dean Brig of Edinburgh
Her Roloff's Farewell
Cameron Men's Polka Nos. 1 and 2
Liverpool Hornpipe
Faery Reel
The Newly Wed's Reel
Heave and Go
Fram Apon Him
Da Bonnie Lass O 'Bekkahill'
Da Lerwick Lasses
Muster Grass
Da Galley Watch
The Hawk
Da Mirrie Boys O Greenland
Waiting For The Federals
Crossing The Minch
Maid In The Box
Louis Waltz
La Grande Chaine
The Fairy Dance
Deil Among The Tailors
The High Level Hornpipe
Music Of Spey
Da Aald Hill Grind
Maid Behind The Bar
The Scholar
The Laird Of Drumblair
The Balken Hills
If I Get A Bonnie Lass
Oo't Be East The Vong
Da Black Reel
The Galway Hornpipe
Mrs Jameson's Favourite
Da New Rigged Ship
The Flowers Of Edinburgh
Gan Ainm
Plearaca Thuaim Greine
Paidin O Raifeartaigh
Ag Teacht Abhaile On Bportach
Greer Country Song
Na Portaigh Chreathacha
Bil Ui Chuinn
Ag Ionfairt Satseagal
Capaillin Langstern
An Corda Snaidhmthe
The Irish Washerwoman
Pachabel's Cannon
Bach's Air
Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
Ravel's Bolero
Vivaldi's The Four Seasons
Chopin's Prelude In E Minor
Bach's Prelude No. 1
Bach's Fugue In G
William Gillock's Holiday In Paris
Mozart's Rondo Alla Turca
Bizet's Prelude To Carmen
Offenbach's The Cancan
Monti's Czardas
Kreisler's Rondino
Saint-Saen's The Elephant
Handel's Allegro
Theme from Ladies in Lavender by Nigel Hess
Rainbow Connection from The Muppet Movie
The King Of The Swingers from The Jungle Book
The Christmas Song
Fairytale of New York
O Christmas Tree
We Three Kings
Silent Night
Good King Wenceslas
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Away In A Manger
Little Donkey
Tantz, Tantz, Yidelekh
Sous Le Ciel De Paris
Customer questions

Do you have different line-up options?

I offer solo gigs as an acoustic jazz, folk or classical violinist, double bassist, alto singer, pianist and / or accordionist with the option of inviting up to two other musicians to join me.

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

I try to be flexible and accommodating to ensure that your event runs smoothly, but in the event of a timings change, I would appreciate at least 48 hours notice, please. Thank you.

How much time do you need to set up?

I usually start setting up an hour before the performance time. I shall provide you with a playlist beforehand.

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

My set lists are crafted from countless performances and learning what works best to ensure guests have a great time. However, I'm happy to chat through and make sure I find what works for your event.

Do you bring all the equipment you need to perform?

Yes! I bring my own instrument to play acoustically.

Can you learn specific pieces before the event?

If a song isn't included in my song list there may still be a chance I already know it. If there is a special song you'd like me to learn I'm happy to do this for you. There is a fee of £30 for this service to take into account rehearsal times etc..


Note: prices may vary based on travel distance. For an exact quote, click “Check availability”.

Standard Prices
Performance durationPrice
Short performance (up to 15 min)£100
Up to 1 hour£190
Up to 2 hours£380
Up to 3 hours£570
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Personalised Music Message
Book me to create a unique music video for you to send to a friend as a gift. This could be a birthday message, first dance song for a wedding anniversary, or just your friend's favourite song to cheer them up.
Gemma Boyd
Full starFull starFull starFull starFull star
5 out of 5
2 verified reviews


From customers:

Louis R
11 years ago, for a Concert in Montreal
Full starFull starFull starFull starFull star
5 out of 5

"Gemma Boyd is definitely a true artist with a real passion for her work."

Eirik Z
11 years ago, for a Bar / Club / Venue event in Paris
Full starFull starFull starFull starFull star
5 out of 5

"Gemma is a wonderful, professional and talented musician, poet and human being. It is a pleasure to play and work with her!"