"I have been working as a professional guitarist/teacher for over twenty years.
Initially I was involved in the genre called flamenco-jazz and had a successful duo with a Spanish guitarist for five years in the early 90's. During this time we signed to indie jazz label '33' Records and recorded two acclaimed albums of original material, 'Spanglo' and 'Sur'.
This led to tours/workshops all over the U.K, with concert performances in art centres, theatres and festivals, television and radio.
After the project had run its course, I made a decision to re-learn guitar technique and began studying the gypsy way of playing. Over the years I've traveled to Holland, France and Germany to meet, play and learn from some of the gypsy grand-masters. Great experiences and an honour for me.
To name a few ; Bireli Lagrene, Lulu Reinhardt, Stochelo Rosenberg, Paulus Schafer, Angelo Debarre , Rino Van Hooijdonk and countless other fantastic players.
Apart from the various public/private gigs I do each year, some of the higher profile ones have included : 2003 International Jazz Guitar Festival in Wrexham as a member of the Bireli Lagrene Quintette Performances at all three legendary L'esprit Manouche Festivals in Birmingham '03,'04,'05. The International Gypsy Guitar Festival in Gloucestershire '02, '04, '06, '08 Beachdown Festival Brighton '08
In 2002 I had an album of gypsy-style originals released on U.S.A label, Refined Records. ( U.K - 'Grand Bizarre', U.S.A - 'Turkish Blend').
I have had the pleasure of working with some superb musicians such as violinists Andy Aitchison, Mike Piggott, Tim Kliphuis, Steve Elsworth and Christian Garrick. Guitarists John Etheridge, Dave Kelbie and Robin Nolan. Also,multi-instrumentalist composer/arranger- Charlotte Glasson.
Had a few nice name-checks over the years, inc: 'GUITAR' magazine ' the English virtuoso Jonny Hepbir' in its Feb 2004 issue.
A great quote from Swedish guitar wizard Andreas Oberg "Since my first encounter with Jonny Hepbir at the "L Esprit Manouche Festival 2003", I've been impressed by his technique and authentic gypsy sound. Jonny has performed with many of the great guitarists in the style and he's been a leading player on the UK gypsy jazz scene for years"
Currently, I'm concentrating on working with my trio and quartet.
- JONNY HEPBIR 2012
Jonny has recently released a new album of Gypsy Jazz guitar and accordion duets with accordion maestro, Dan Teper.
Here's a sneak preview of the album: