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Martin Ash

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About Martin

Freelance pro based in London: viola, violin, mandolin, arranger, occasional singer. Wide range of styles, skills and experience.
Public liability insurance of £10 million
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Freelance professional violinist and viola player based in London but willing to travel. Fluent sight-reader, skilled improviser, comfortable with or without sheet music and in a wide variety of styles/genres: classical, folk, musical theatre / pit bands, country, bluegrass, jazz, blues, backing singer-songwriters, etc. As much at home on a classical concert platform or at an amplified pub gig. Very good at fitting in with material and other musicians quickly.

Performance details
I can perform outdoors
I can perform while walking around a venue
Encore awards
5th Encoreversary
Saved the day!
Contemporary Christian, Traditional church music, Christmas, Classical, Musical theatre, Opera, Early music, Classical crossover, Contemporary classical, Film / TV music, Baroque, Folk, Folk rock, Irish rock, Traditional Irish folk, Traditional English folk, Country, Jazz, Blues, Gypsy jazz, Swing, Light music, Originals, Easy listening, Experimental, Avant garde, Acoustic, Covers, Americana, Rock, Alternative rock, Progressive rock
See all genres
See all instruments
Event types:
Concert, Funeral / Memorial service, Church service, Hotel / Restaurant event, Private event, Corporate event, Recording session, Theatre / Show, Birthday party, Christmas party
See all event types
Other skills:
Arranger, Orchestrator, Fluent improviser, Fluent sight-reader
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Song list

The Wild Rover
The Devil went Down to Georgia
Molly Malone
Sally Gardens (ballad)
Sally Gardens (reel)
Drowsy Maggie
The Drunken Landlady
Miss MacLeod's Reel
The Silver Spear
The Wind that Shakes the Barley
The Tenpenny Bit
Life is all Chequered
Morrison's Jig
The Dashing White Sergeant
The Rights of Man
The Trumpet Hornpipe
The Harvest Home
The Bluehill Boys
St Patrick's Day
The Merry Blacksmith
The Leaving of Liverpool
Sunday was my Wedding Day
Shannon Bells
The Blackthorn Stick
Customer questions

Do you have different line-up options?

This page is normally used for booking me individually. However, I am active with various groups in different genres, and have a large address book, so if you want a group, please get in touch to discuss.

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

I will always try and be flexible with timing changes. The only point where it may be a problem is if I have a pre-existing booking that clashes with the new timings, so the earlier your timings are final, the more likely I can accommodate exactly what you want.

How much time do you need to set up?

Usually half an hour would be adequate. Obviously, if you don't want me tuning up, checking amplification etc around your guests / audience, please make sure that time is scheduled in before they arrive, and I know when I need to get to the venue to set up on your schedule.

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

Absolutely - and the list is not comprehensive, so please let me know any requests as I may already know them. Do please ask about requests, even if they are in my repertoire, before I show up though!

Do you bring all the equipment you need to perform?

Yes. The only exception would be if you require more powerful amplification than I own (up to 150W with mains power, or 33W without), in which case I would need to connect to a PA system supplied by someone else.

Can you learn specific pieces before the event?

Given time and depending on the piece, usually yes. I will always try to accommodate specific numbers, and enjoy expanding my repertoire, so please do raise possible requests - the earlier the better!

What do your clients love most about your performances?

Lively, energetic stage presence and communication with the audience both while playing (regardless of genre) and in talking about the music. Viola as a solo / leading instrument, and playing styles on the violin lots of people don't expect!

Which venues have you performed at in the past?

The Cramphorn Theatre, Chelmsford HRH Prog (with Kindred Spirit) Weekend at the Asylum (with former band The Filthy Spectacula) Sofar Sounds (guesting with JohnLikeJohn) BBC South (live lounge session with Sebastian Vale) BBC Oxford (live lounge session with former band Ragdoll)

Which artists have you been most influenced by?

Nigel Kennedy Dave Swarbrick Timothy Ridout Stephane Grappelli Jon Sevink / Levellers

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

Opening Saturday main stage at A New Day Festival 2017 (with Kindred Spirit)


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£160
Up to 2 hours£200
Up to 3 hours£250


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4 verified reviews

From customers:

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Adam F, 3 years ago

Martin has performed viola live on stage for my ambient / modern classical project 3 times in the last year. He has proven himself to not only be a reliable, technically proficient player, but also invaluably experienced in a non-classical ‘gig’ setting. He was a great help in working out the technical logistics of combining guitar and electronics with an amplified string quartet, helping bring my compositions to life. I look forward to working with him again soon!

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Kyle P, 4 years ago

Martin was a fantastic attribute to the ensemble, bringing with him a fantastic knowledge of theory and an open, respectful attitude to the compositions. A + + Would recommend to a friend, would use seller again.

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From other musicians:

21st June 2016

Martin is a highly talented violin player in all kinds of genres. He began playing as the Kindred Spirit Band's main violin player in March 2016, which requires him to play the role normally taken by the electric guitar player (with overdriven rock solos), as well as folk, Irish and some classical styles. He is extremely hard working, capable and knowledgeable, a pleasure to work with, being both constructive, friendly and enthusiastic, as well as a real character, when performing on stage, which the audience loves!

29th May 2016

I performed with Martin, and found it to be an exciting and creative experience. As a violinist with an extensive repertoire, Martin has a great stage presence and can perform from almost any genre. I look forward to working with him again in the future.

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