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Manny Grimsley

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About Manny

The secret ingredient for any memorable event
Public liability insurance of £1 million

Manny Grimsley is a born and bred Sheffielder who was raised within the local folk community. After studying in Aberdeen for 4 years he returned to Sheffield but has also spent a year in Australia. His big personality makes him not only a characterful musician but a dynamic MC. For the past year Manny has been running his own community music business playing hits from the 1940s-1960s for care homes, community groups and community events. He performs as a jazz artist at Yellow Arch Studios' 'Daily Grind', tours with The Demon Barbers, sings and plays original Balkan music to get people dancing with The Balkan Bandits, and with his classical training and youth as head boy of the Sheffield Cathedral Choir brings beauty and pathos to weddings and funerals. His specialism and passion is traditional English folk music playing for top national playford, ceilidh and fold dance ensembles but you can also find him folk dancing for a variety of teams, and indulging in many genres of music.

Performance details
I can perform outdoors
I have a car I can use to travel to gigs
I have my own portable piano/keyboard
I can perform with backing tracks
I can perform while walking around a venue
My equipment is PAT tested
Encore awards
1st Encoreversary
Traditional church music, Christmas, Classical, Film / TV music, Musical theatre, Baroque, 1920s era music, 1930s era music, 1940s era music, 1950s era music, 1990s era music, 1980s era music, 1970s era music, 1960s era music, Folk, Ceilidh, Country, Folk rock, Rockabilly, Traditional English folk, Traditional Irish folk, Traditional Scottish folk, Blues, Jazz, Cabaret, Easy listening, Light music, Pop, Ambient pop, Americana, Covers, Vintage, Britpop, Balkan, Russian music, Klezmer, Polka, Scottish music, Jewish music, R&B, Soul, Top 40, Tribute, Rock 'n' Roll
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See all instruments
Event types:
Private event, Wedding, Wedding proposal, Funeral / Memorial service, Church service, Hotel / Restaurant event, Bar / Club / Venue 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:
MC, Perfect pitch, Fluent improviser, Music therapy, Community music worker
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Song list

Please note these are just a small sample from a huge range of many hundreds.
Folk favourites: death, sex, social issues and sea shanties. Jigs, reels, polkas and waltzes.
(Songs on guitar with vocals. Tunes on fiddle.)
Sheffield Carols folk tradition full repetoire.
Molly Malone
The Gypsy Rover
Seven gypsies
Fields of Gold
Crazy Man Michael
The Wife of Usher's Well
(This list could go on for pages - best to let me tailor it to you!)
Musicals (primarily violin, or piano with vocals)
Songs from Evita, The Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, The Pajama Game, Guys and Dolls, Disney, Les Miserables, Joseph, Oklahoma, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Many more Andrew Lloyd Webber, Rogers and Hammerstein etc
Church music and romantic songs for weddings:
All things bright and beautiful.
Annie's song (You fill up my senses)
Wonderful Tonight (Eric Clapton)
Unchained Melody (The Righteous Brothers)
Your Song (Elton John)
Children's favourites:
Baby shark
What do you do with a drunken sailor?
Farmyard songs
Disney classics and contemporary numbers (from Bare Necessities to Let it Go)
Customer questions

Do you have different line-up options?

This is my solo artist page. However, please do get in touch if you require a ceilidh, playford or Balkan band or I have many colleagues I duo with. Music therapy activities and community music may be supplemented by an assistant to lead the choruses and help with interactive elements.

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

I'll always do my best to accommodate. Just get back in touch and I'll see what I can do. If it is the same day then we're unlikely to have a problem. On the day then I'm very flexible, I appreciate the best laid plans don't always run smooth and am happy to fill in gaps or change running order.

How much time do you need to set up?

This depends on what you are booking me for. As a violin or vocal soloist for a wedding I can be ready in 5 minutes (although I'd always arrive in plenty of time). Full community music sessions with mic, interactive elements and a range of instruments including keyboard takes around 30 minutes.

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

Certainly. Rather than prescribing a specific list I tend to read the energy of the room to provide the most appropriate vibe. I'm happy to provide lists of my repetoire beforehand so you can choose (or veto) to your taste.

Do you bring all the equipment you need to perform?

Yes. Of course! This is why I drive an estate car. I've invested in some excellent equipment with fine sound quality and my fiddle is a long time companion.

Can you learn specific pieces before the event?

Yes. Just ask and in all likelihood I may already know it but if I don't then I can learn something new as part of you fee. For obsure or very technical pieces that I have to purchase new music for I may ask for a contribution.

What do your clients love most about your performances?

I engage with my audiences, whether this is to get them dancing at a wedding party, connect emotionally at a funeral or in a therapeutic manner in my community wellbeing work. I provide high quality performance without ceremony or snobbery. As a musician who plays by ear if someone hums me a tune I can generally work out how to play it for them.

Which venues have you performed at in the past?

Sage Gateshead. Barnsley Civic. Hull Truck. Radio 6 Music. BBC Radio Sheffield. Sheffield Winter Gardens. Cecil Sharpe House (England's folk Mecca) Cambridge Folk Festival. Shrewsbury Folk festival. Whitby Folk Week. Sidmouth Folk Week. Peace in the Park main tent.

Which artists have you been most influenced by?

Oh, that's a tough question! Judy Garland for musicals. Too many wonderful folk artists to name (Richard Thompson, Ray Hearne, The Watersons, Sandy Denny) 90s Britpop from my youth such as Oasis and Blur. As well as Radiohead. Of course, The Beatles, Walt Disney's soundtracks. A special mention also to Joni Mitchell and Frank Sinatra.

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

For me personally playing the Bulverton at Sidmouth Folk Week was a dream I got to fulfil twice - but that is only high profile to folkies. I think playing on Radio 6 music was a real highlight for me - Manny playing out to the nation!


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)£50
Up to 1 hour£160
Up to 2 hours£320
Up to 3 hours£480


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2 verified reviews

From customers:

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Sol L, 2 years ago

Manny co-lead a band of folk dance musicians for a dancing night at our folk festival. The energy and enthusiasm he brings to his playing enlivened the band and the dancers and made it a wonderful evening. Thanks Manny!

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Amy P, 2 years ago

This was the most romantic serenading I have ever received. Manny made the night really special for us. He played some of my favourite songs from 1950s and '60s, musicals and also introduced me to some new beautiful folk and more recent music that I've now added to my Spotify. It's a shame there aren't more videos of him. Next time I'll get my son to film! Thank you for making our special day more special.