Performing as a Pianist in Essex
Eugene Portman is my name and I work more as a wedding pianist in Essex than any other county. The county is quite local to where I live so it makes sense to work in this area rather than traveling further afield.
The very first Essex-based wedding I played the piano for was at Blake Hall, Ongar. On this occasion, I performed as a soloist. However, since then I have found that duos and large line-ups have become more and more popular. In fact, there is a huge demand for jazz bands in the county for all types of events. I am capable of catering to most demands as I can provide anything from a duo right up to a five-piece band. I use some first-rate musicians and I hope that this shows in the quality of the music. Please contact us for help with the best type of line-up for your event.
Weddings and Events
Weddings seem to be the backbone of my work in Essex. However, I can also provide music for many other types of events. These include parties, corporate events, music festivals, and store openings. I also play the piano for quite a few outdoor events and I can erect my own gazebo for cover. I can even use my piano without a mains electricity supply outside if needed.
Essex has many wonderful venues which are a rich source of work for me as a wedding pianist. These venues range from country pubs to golf clubs and luxury hotels. So, whatever style of venue you are looking for, you will certainly be spoilt for choice.
Essex Venues Where I’ve Performed
- Essex County Hotel, Aviation Way, Southend SS2 6UN. I always have to take my digital piano to this venue as it doesn’t have a piano.
- Blake Hall, Ongar, Essex. CM5 0DG. Blake hall has a lovely old barn that is available for weddings. I always have to take a digital piano to this venue as they don’t have a piano of their own.
- Fennes Estate, Bocking, Braintree, Essex. CM7 5PL. To my knowledge, this venue doesn’t have a piano. I always have to take my own instrument when I’m booked at Fennes Estate.
- Gosfield Hall, Gosfield, Essex CO9 1SF. They have a piano in the Grand Salon, but I usually end up playing in another part of the building. A lot of weddings book a pianist at this particular venue.
- Greenwoods Hotel, Stock Road, Stock, Essex CM4 9BE –
- Leez Priory, Hartford End, Great Leighs, Chelmsford CM3 1JP
- Orsett Hall, Prince Charles Avenue, Orsett RM16 3HS
- Prested Hall, Prested Hall Chase, Feering, Colchester, Essex CO5 9EE. I am lucky enough to be the only pianist on this venue’s recommended suppliers list. I always enjoy playing the piano here, especially the outdoor wedding ceremonies
- Stock Brook Country Club, Queen’s Park Avenue, Stock, Nr Billericay, Essex CM12 OSP. I’ve performed at this venue a few times and I can confirm that they do have a nice piano.
Essex has a very healthy jazz scene and over the years this has been a source of work for me as a pianist. I love playing the great jazz standards and jazz songs. Songs made famous by the likes of Frank Sinatra, The Rat Pack, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, and Fred Astaire. My piano style has developed by listening to the great jazz pianists of the past. These include Erroll Garner, Oscar Peterson, George Shearing, and Monty Alexander.
However, playing jazz is not enough when it comes to playing the piano for weddings. My repertoire has to be diverse to cope with the many genres of music that I am expected to play. luckily the music I play covers classical, Latin, pop, rock, jazz, blues, ragtime, and even sing-along.
Whether I perform as a soloist or a band, I try to give the music a feel-good quality. I try and make the music sit comfortably in any social situation. Furthermore, I hope my music will add sparkle to your event without drowning conversation.
My work as a sing-along pianist in Essex
A recent trend in the Essex area has caused quite a lot of enquiries to come in for me as a sing-along pianist for weddings and other events. At first, I wasn’t sure about this sort of work, but I quickly realised that this could be a lot of fun. In fact, I now really look forward to every sing-along event I do. For these sing-along events I dress in typical Cockney pianist attire. This consists of a waistcoat, neckerchief, grandad shirt, Bowler hat, Albert watch chain etc.
Quite a lot of pubs book me for this sort of thing and it is a really good feeling when I get everyone singing along. Cockney sing-alongs fit in well with many themed events such as Wartime, Cockney, and London themes.
Here is a list of pubs that have booked me for sing-along events
The Bricklayers, Stondon Massey, Brentwood, Essex CM15 0DZ
The Bull, 74-76 Market Place, Romford, Greater London RM1 3ER
The Cock, 30 Silver Street, Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex CM24 8HD
The Cricketers, 299/301 High Road, Woodford Green, Essex IG8 9HQ
The Fox Inn, Mersea Island Mersea Island 106 East Road, Colchester, Essex CO5 8SA
The Hare & Hounds, Crayes Green, Layer Breton,
Colchester CO2 0PN
The Hare, 104 High Garrett, Braintree, Essex CM7 5NT
The Hawk, Wickford, Essex SS11 7RJ
Oakwood, Eastwood Park, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, SS9 5HX
The New Inn, 36 Chapel Street South, Colchester CO2 7AX
The White Hart, 107 The Street, Little Waltham, Chelmsford, Essex CM3 3NY
Please see sing-along page for more information. Alternatively, visit www.uksingalongpianist.co.uk and find out when I’m next performing live as a singalong pianist in the Sussex area.
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