Deirdre Cartwright

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Biography of Deirdre Cartwright

‘If there is a more complete guitarist in contemporary music than Deirdre Cartwright I'd like to know who it is.’
Dave Gelly The Observer April 2008

Released February 2011, the first album by Emily Remembered.
Guitarists Deirdre Cartwright and Kathy Dyson met in 1984 and realised that they were the only two professional women jazz guitarists in the UK; Over 25 years later they’re still the only two.

Emily Remembered invokes the spirit of the late great New York jazz guitarist Emily Remler, who died of heart failure at the age of 32 in 1990.
Their two distinctive voices on the guitar create an intimate guitar sound performing swing, bossa and bop arranged and written by Remler, as well as their own compositions and jazz standards.
Guest vocal by Sarah P.

Cartwright has released five albums with her group, the last 'Tune Up Turn On Stretch Out' was recorded live at the Vortex during the London Jazz festival.

Other projects include 'Picnic' a quartet featuring Annie Whitehead with influences from South Africa and Latin jazz grooves.

Deirdre bought her first electric guitar when she was fourteen, however she had to keep her ambition to play in a band a secret from the nuns at her convent school. Mainly self-taught, she discovered the sounds of blues and jazz, and began to play with a whole variety of bands from rock to big band jazz.

She signed to EMI records with manager Harvey Goldsmith, with her group Tour de Force, however she started sitting in with the jazz/latin group the Guest Stars...

1983 Busking be-bop tunes in Covent Garden with two other Guest Stars one lunchtime, she was spotted by producer Chris Lent who offered her the job of guitar presenter on the BBC’s ground-breaking show Rockschool.
The two series of BBC TV’s Rockschool attracted audiences of 2 million viewers every week in this country and was subsequently shown worldwide. In the U.S.A. the programmes were introduced by Herbie Hancock.

She also performed and composed for one of the most successful British jazz groups of the 80’s – the internationally acclaimed women’s jazz group the Guest Stars with whom she recorded three albums and toured in 17 countries.
Memorable moments include playing to a capacity crowd at the Alexandria opera house, cleaning ladies dancing to an early morning rehearsal in Bagdhad, and being the first British band to headline at Ronnie Scotts club in London and the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York.

In 1991 she formed her own group. The Deirdre Cartwright Group have played extensively in the UK on tours supported by Jazz Services, Jazz Action, and the Arts Council. Festivals include: Brecon, Newcastle, Bradford, Nottingham, Cardiff Bay, Chard, Bath, Swanage and the London Jazz Festival.

As a solo artist she has played with American guitar legend Tal Farlow, toured with Jamaican composer Marjorie Whylie, played throughout Europe, and continues to co-runs Blow the Fuse jazz club in London. She has also been a presenter for BBC Radio 3.

1998 she was commissioned by Chard International Womens Music Festival to devise an original performance and educational piece. “Flight “ was also performed for the London Jazz Festival and included appearances at the Barbican and Queen Elizabeth Hall with an international band.

1999 Her group represented Great Britain at the European Jazz Festival in Mexico City. Concert and live radio broadcast with her trio at the Warsaw International Guitar Festival.

May 2003 ‘Looks like Jazz’ UK tour supported by the Arts Council national touring programme. An innovative cross artform collaboration which combined original jazz compositions with specially created images by visual artist Anne Robinson in a live interactive format.

She is the recipient of two Arts Council composition awards though still acknowledges the lasting effect of an early exposure to ‘Glam Rock’.

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