A Good Year So Far

Hello again, it been some months since the last entry and there has been a lot of music played between now and then.

In January I attended the Guitar Workshop in Altea Spain and had a wonderful week filled with music and great players. A highlight was getting to meet and play with the one and only Emil Ernebro. Before leaving Spain I played a great show along side Tanausu Luis, Heiko Bloomers and Maneli Jamal.

The poster for the concert in Spain.

The poster for the concert in Spain.

After the concert in Altea I traveled back to Switzerland prepared for the coming concerts. Over February and March I played several small concerts in the northern Switzerland area in different duo formations with Jazz repertoire as well as a small house concert series as a soloist.

It was now April and I traveled to Frankfurt, Germany to perform at the Frankfurt Musikmesse. I was there with the wonderful team from Schertler and played on the Bear Beat stage. I had the great pleasure of playing music with many new musicians. A highlight was playing with Djamel Laroussi, a phenomenal player.

After the Musikmesse I headed back to Switzerland to play for the Swiss Music Foundation For Young Musicians to celebrate the opening of their new location.

The last concert of April was with the ‘Jetsam’ in southern Germany, this was a great gig as we played as a 9 piece band. There were two wonderful write ups in the local papers about the gig, feel free to see it here.
- https://www.badische-zeitung.de/.../familientreffen-mit-folkrock-und-co-- 

- https://www.verlagshaus-jaumann.de/inhalt.maulburg-celine-huber-sorgt-fuer-gaensehaut-momente.b1b7684b-6b98-41ff-80a7-d754468f2fbd.html


May saw the beginning of the ‘Zarek & Albi European tour’ which consisted of 20 concerts in Switzerland, Germany & the Netherlands over two months. These weeks were intensive and filled with music, travel and great people.

After the last ‘Zarek & Albi Concert’ on the 30th of June I had a small break of two days before flying to London to perform solo at a fundraiser Gala evening in London City. While I was feeling a little worn out it was a great time.

After London I traveled back to Basel, Switzerland for some much needed R&R. The next and final concert of June was in Mendrisio, which is in the south of Switzerland right next to the border of Italy. There I was part of the Analog Music Night, a music festival hosted by the great team at Schertler. The highlight of the festival was meeting and playing with Freedoms Trio & the Luigi Bonafede Sextet.


Now we come to the current month of August which offered a great gig on one of the cruise ships of Basel, the Rhystarn. I played in duo formation with a wonderful musician of Basel, George Ricci, we serenaded the top deck with Gypsy Jazz Standards and cruised up and down the river Rhine.

All in all, a good start to the year, I am looking forward to the coming months of playing.
More to come,

Thank you 2018.

Hello again!

It has been a few months since my last entry and plenty of things have happened, so let’s start where we finished last time!

August was a truly great month, it gave me the privilege of working alongside the phenomenal Brigette Faessler as we created a music video for ‘Home’. This was a lot of fun. For those who are waiting for my CD it’s now available to stream on Soundcloud, click here for free listening.

Among various restaurant and bar gigs, I had the pleasure of traveling to the border of Austria and Switzerland once again, to visit the great team at ‘Guitar-Repairs Urs Winkler’ to play for their open house. When it comes to enjoyable performance spaces, it does not get much better then their shop, with incredible guitars covering every inch of wall space there was plenty of inspiration to draw from.

For the last week of August I travel to the Netherlands for the first time and hung out at the ‘Django Grappeli’ workshop. This was an inspiring week of non-stop gypsy swing. I had the privilege of meeting and playing with some outstanding musicians such as Sebastien Giniaux, Samson Schmitt and Tim Kliphuis. If you happen to be interested in the gypsy swing style of music, I strongly recommend this camp.


Onto September,

Maestro Guitars were conducting their European tour and I was their endorsee for the Manheim Guitar Summit. There, I met a lot of great players such as Magdalena Kowalczyk and Jon Gomm. I did a workshop on the acoustic MainStage and peeped through all the newest guitar related products on the market, it was a good day to be a guitar enthusiast!

I explored a little more of the French speaking part of Switzerland, there I met a wonderful builder of Cigar Box Guitars at DB guitars. Daniel, the builder, was great, very welcoming and had a wonderful workshop in which we spoke and played.

There was a great merging of guitar related energies for the ‘Knowing the guitar’ workshop. This event was hosted in the beautiful venue of
Guitar Repairs and was presented by Hozen, the Master builder of Maestro guitars. I had the very enjoyable pleasure of demonstrating the versatility and playability of 10 different Maestro guitars - it does not get much better than that.

I also traveled into Ticino, the Italian speaking part of Switzerland, for the first time to meet with the team at Schertler in their head office. I was given a full tour of their workspace and we discussed the finer points of quality analog acoustic sound together. I learnt a lot and of course tested out a bunch of new gear.

The last thing that September brought forward was my first concert in Italy. I traveled to Cremona (north Italy) to represent Schertler at the Cremona Musica. I demonstrated at the Schertler booth and played a slot on the main stage. I loved Italy, maybe a little bit to much, it’s definitely a place I want to spend more time in future.

Now for October,

I performed at some very nice events over this month. First, was at ‘Theatre Am Kastelburg’ a beautiful theatre of 120 seats in Waldkirch Germany.

Next was the Dreiland Yoga Festival back in Basel, Switzerland.

Hanging out at the Dreiland Yoga Festival

Hanging out at the Dreiland Yoga Festival

Thanks to the wonderful team at the ‘Swiss foundation for Young Musicians’ I performed on top of Roche Tower in Basel - for those of you who don’t know about this tower, it’s the tallest building in Switzerland. The view from up there is phenomenal, also, it is the HQ for one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the world, usually normal ‘plebs’ like me cannot get access into the building.

Hanging out on top of Roche tower, in good company!

Hanging out on top of Roche tower, in good company!

In November was ‘Art of Guitar’ festival at ‘Nellie Nashorn’ in Lorrach Germany, where I was treated to a full house of happy listeners. The second was ‘Guitars & More’ expo where I represented ‘Guitar-Repairs Urs Winkler’, demonstrating at their booth and performing on the main stage. While at this guitar exhibition, I met with some of the team from VOVOX and after a trial of their product I am now a proud (and very happy) endorsee of their cables. Check them out!

At ‘Guitars & More’ with ‘Guitar-Repairs Urs Winkler

At ‘Guitars & More’ with ‘Guitar-Repairs Urs Winkler

The ‘Guitars and More’ team put together this awesome wee video!

The 4th and final instalment of my YouTube ‘office sessions’ experiment is up, feel free to have a look and listen here, if you have not, please consider subscribing to my channel!

Lastly, I had a great chat with Aaron from the New Zealand radio station Tuwharetoa FM. We spoke a lot about music and some of my recent projects in Europe. It was very heartwarming talking to a kiwi again, feel free to have a listen by clicking here.

That pretty much sums up the last few months for me. Now that 2018 has come to an end, I am turning my focus and energies to new year. I am excited as there are some great projects in the preparation phases and still so much music to explore, learn and share.

Guitar, Updates Concerts & More

Hello everyone!

Starting with where we stopped last time, March and April - They were rather quiet months, I took this time to recover from the New Zealand tour and have some much needed R&R.

The month of May saw that things started to pick up again with great concerts and experiences. I full-filled a life long dream of mine - to play guitar with the one and only 'Tommy Emmanuel'! I went to his concert in Ruben, Switzerland where we had a backstage jam, it was a huge moment for me to share some music with this guitar master.

IMG_20180508_192924 (1).jpg

I had the pleasure to open for 'Celine Huber' (and band) for the launch of her new Album ‘Auf der Suche’ in Lorrach, Germany.

I also hosted my first concert back in Basel for 2018 at a fantastic venue called ‘H95’ for the official release of my CD ‘Home’. This was a great night, there was a big attendance, I could use my new ’TIM’ system from 'Schertler' which was sounded amazing and I was able to catch up with many musicians and friends for the first time this year - again, thank you to everyone who came!

With June I had the honour of meeting up with and opening for the incredible 'Modern Maori Quartet' in Hofheim, Germany. The boys blew me away with their performance and the venue we played was stunning! I also had the pleasure of playing with the 'JETSAM 5' in Germany and playing for the first time in Baden, Switzerland at a very intimate venue called ‘Frau Meise’. Along side this I had private functions and house concerts. The 'Landestelle Sessions' began again, they will continue through until the end of summer! You can catch me there from 20.30 - 22.30 every Thursday, as long as the weather is good.

Now onto July!

This month has been a lot of fun. I had a great show at ‘Alpha Surf’, in a beautiful village called Estavayer-Le-Lac, in the French speaking part of Switzerland. I also played a small acoustic covers gig with 'Nina Bradlin' on the new Basel boat bar called Rhystärn.

Photo Credit - Ben Koechlin

Photo Credit - Ben Koechlin

Alongside the shows, rehearsals and meetings I have started a new YouTube series on my channel called ‘Office Sessions’. It’s a collection of videos exploring different methods of guitar video making. Check it out here! Oh and feel free to subscribe!

Now, onto the coming months, they are going to be a lot of fun.

In the beginning of August I will be heading to Gams, Switzerland to meet the awesome team at 'Guitar-Repairs Urs Winkler' to hang out, catch up, play for their open house and of course stare at their incredible collection of guitars. I will also be heading to Amsterdam for the first time to attend a three day Gypsy Jazz workshop.

September will see me visit Mannheim, Germany and Cremona, Italy. In Mannheim I will attend the 'Guitar Summit' to represent 'Maestro Guitars' and play a concert/workshop on the 7th. In Cremona I will do the same at the 'Cremona Musica', representing 'Schertler Acoustics'.

Design Credit - the Incredible  James Fitzgerald

Design Credit - the Incredible James Fitzgerald

October will also be exciting as I will have a show at the very beautiful theatre of 'Am Kastelberg’ in Waldkirch, Germany, on the 5th. I will play for the 'Dreiland Yoga Festival' on the 13th and lastly perform at the 'Nellie Nashorn Guitar Festival' in Lorrach, Germany on the 27th.

For now that is all. I have new projects, repertoire and videos coming soon, which I am of course very excited to share with you. 


Good Start to a Good Year

Hello everyone!

The last two months have been spent on the road in New Zealand for the first release tour of my new CD ‘Home’. What a set of rewarding and intensive months they were! After 30 hours of travel and a few days of rest to get over the jet lag things kicked off with a bang at the TSB Festival Of Lights in New Plymouth. From there it was a blur of driving, shows, workshops, the occasional radio interview and of course all the incredible scenery and blue oceans I could ask for. During my time in New Zealand I played 40 concerts from Auckland and as far south as Oamaru. The journey took just over 7,500 kilometres and has been the muse for a bunch more compositions.. The next CD is well on the way! 

Of course a massive thanks to these fantastic musicians and artists with whom I was lucky enough to share the stage and music with -

Cricket Farm
Rhode Workz
Ben Dixon music
Zarek and Albi
Albi & The Wolves

A huge thanks to 'Maestro Guitars' for my guitar (which handled its first tour brilliantly!), 'Guitar-Repairs Urs Winkler' for the fantastic guitar set up (the action is still spot on!), 'RightOn Straps' for a sturdy and stylish strap and to keep my guitar safe!

A banner for the tour made by the incredible James  Fitzgerald.

A banner for the tour made by the incredible James Fitzgerald.

The tour was by all means a success, even if it was a little tiring. Now I am back in Switzerland preparing for more concerts, collaborations, compositions and new goals all for the coming year.

Until soon!


Little Update, Big Year

Ladies and Gentlemen,

To start where I left off, the end of October - Bremen!! It was a fantastic time, during the week I was there I gave a concert and workshop at the Bremen HFK. The concert had a full audience and the workshop gave me the opportunity to meet some incredible classical players. I was lucky enough to be hosted by Andreas Lieberg, Classical guitarist extraordinaire, we spent many evenings together discussing the finer points of technique and interpretation. I learnt a lot from him about the Classical approach, philosophies and the historical context of Tango! - Thank you Andreas! This visit gave me great new idea’s for future repertoire. 

Now, onto November..

What a month! I went to LEICO Studios earlier this year to record, since then I have been working along side some very profound artists to make my CD project come to life. I sat in the art studio of Samuel Buri who created the CD cover art work, stood in the photography studio of Serge hasenböhler whom did the photography and then corresponded to New Zealand to design pro James Fitzgerald who did the layout. The end result could not have been better. I feel very lucky to be able to have worked along side such great artists. Now it is here!!! My new CD - ‘Home’ 

November also gave me the opportunity to play with a new band! Walti Huber and the Jetsam 5. Both concerts where great - sold out shows, beautiful venues and great musicians. One of the highlights with them was performing along side 11 other musicians during their CD release show in Lörrach, Germany.

In these last months I have also had the pleasure of playing on a regular basis with the gents from Klischee, in particular lead singer and showman William which has been a great creative outlet! New things on the way.. 

I went along to the Guitars & More expo and sat at the booth of my good friends ‘Guitar-Repairs Urs Winkler’ and was introduced properly to Maestro Guitars, this is where I fell completely in love. Ladies and gentlemen, what an incredible make of guitars! Aesthetically, feel, neck, set up, sound, responsiveness, versatility - this guitar has it all, so after a little help from the ‘Guitar-Repairs Urs Winkler’ team I became a very appreciative ambassador for Maestro Guitars!!

During this year I also had the huge pleasure of playing and working along side the incredible 'Celine Huber' on a regular basis. December saw us perform our first series of shows. Thank you Celine for all of the music! More to come in 2018!

2017 was a such a great year for so many reasons. I went on 3 tours, performed 63 shows, played concerts with 7 different bands though out the last 12 months. I performed in Switzerland, Germany, France, U.K, Luxembourg and Spain, created a CD, became an official ambassador for Maestro Guitars (Singapore), Guitar-Repairs Urs Winkler (Switzerland), Right!OnStraps (Spain) and Schertler Acoustics (Switzerland). Looking back, some of the biggest highlights of this time was meeting many new dedicated musicians. They have given me a consistent source of inspiration to improve and work hard. So from me to you - Thank you!!! 

Now, onto 2018 - Next year will kick off with a bang! I travel back to New Zealand for a tour through out the country. I cannot wait to re-connect with old friends and fantastic musicians over there!! - But more to come on this a little later.

So for now - Have a great start to your new year.

Picking up my new Maestro Guitar from Urs Winkler himself! 

Picking up my new Maestro Guitar from Urs Winkler himself! 

The tour poster!

The tour poster!

September & October, you beauty!

Hello everyone!! 

Since my last update it has been busy! I went to Freudenberg, Germany (right on the border to Luxembourg!) and stayed with some good friends while I recorded my first CD! What an experience! The team at LEICO Studio's were fantastic, welcoming, fun and professional to work with. 
My friends with whom I stayed with also happened to have a guitar collection of 150 acoustic, electric and jazz top guitars.. As hard as I tried I could not play them all. 

Once I returned back to Switzerland from my CD recording I went straight into preparing for the ZeitRaume Basel Architecture and Contemporary Music Festival. I performed twice, once to open the festival and again in the evening of the second day. I performed on behalf of the fantastic team at the Swiss Foundation For Young Musicians.

The whole festival was just plain awesome. During the opening ceremony they lifted (by crane!) a grand piano 100 metres into the air to place it where the concerts would take place! I had the challenge and privilege of providing music for the lift. 

The second performance was in the glass room on top of the Sudhaus Warteck (for those of you who don't live in Basel, its a very tall tower that over looks the whole of Basel, beautiful!). The concert was great, intimate and acoustic. 

The following week I went to the Music-Akademie in Basel and hung out with the amazing Fred Frith for a two hour long improv workshop. He blew me away with his approach to improvising and musical ideas. Needless to say I went home and practiced very hard afterwards.

In the last week of September I was lucky enough to perform at the prestigious Basel Plucks Festival for the closing apero of the event.

Now.. Onto October...

I was lucky enough to meet up with the lads from Klischee, one of Switzerlands biggest and best electro swing bands. We traveled together to Zurich and crashed the office of Watson with a small impromptu concert, it was a great laugh and fantastic to play some gypsy swing! 

After this I traveled back to Basel to play a show with the gents at Xipenda, for a few hours of afro cuban grooving!

This now brings us to today!! With plenty of rehearsals coming it means there are plenty of gigs coming up to! The next concert will take place in Bremen, Germany at the Musik Akademie fur Alt Musik, where I shall perform a concert and host a 4 hour guitar clinic. 

I can't wait!! 

So, until soon!! 
A very happy guitar player,


News/Updates and Adventures

Hello everyone! 

It has been 3 months since my last update (slack, I know!!) so there is a lot to tell you!

Locally (in Basel) I have had the pleasure of hosting a new event in Basel called the 'Landestelle Acoustic Nights', they have been so fun to play and if you have been to that area you will know that the location is fantastic. 

Aside from a few local shows and the Acoustic Nights I have been abroad a lot! I have played in Germany Luxembourg and Spain. All of the shows have been fantastic and as always, there have been a tonne of new people to meet and many fantastic musicians to play with. 

I have also discovered what may possibly be the best acoustic guitar shop in Switzerland. The team at 'Urs Winkler Guitar Repairs' did the best refretting and set up I've had the pleasure of experiencing, not to mention they had one of the most exquisite acoustic guitar collections I have ever seen. I would highly recommend these guys!!

Two big highlights worth mentioning would be performing at the 'Estavayer Le Lac Swing In The Wind Jazz Festival'. This was awesome! The atmosphere and location were just incredible, not to mention the amazing Biréli Lagréne played there as well (if you don't know him, please look him up!).

The other highlight was a 10 day tour of Spain. I performed alongside the Spain artist 'Amarlea' for 4 shows in Murcia and Aguilas. Once of the concerts was in an open air castle.. Happy with that!!

So, now that you are all up to speed here is a little of whats to come! 

I head into the recording studio next week to work on my first E.P!
I have been booked for a Switzerland based festival of Architecture and Contemporary music and a big tour is coming together for January and February next year with a very special guest.. But more of that to come soon.

So until then!!!!