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Nigel is world famous, but it feels good to be home...
DESPITE living a jetset lifestyle, the virtuoso musician and former West Malvern resident Nigel Kennedy is eagerly looking forward to returning to the green hills of his home to spread some party vibes at the end of his upcoming tour.
Once known for his lively and outlandish performances, he is promising an entirely different approach will be on display for his two-night stint at Malvern Theatres on Friday and Saturday, May 10-11.
He’ll be paying homage to the music he has grown up with and taken inspiration from by celebrating the music of Bach and Fats Waller and giving a nod to Yehudi Menuhin, too.
Doffing his cap to his heroes, he said: “Everyone who plays music does it in their own way but it’s good to remember your debt to whatever legacy there has been in your life.”
He added: “I have decided to come back with a fairly intimate and personal recital – it’s acoustic stuff largely inspired by two of my main mentors I had when I was a young guy.”
Last in town with the English Symphony Orchestra seven years ago, he now splits most of his time between Cracow, in Poland, and London to create a lifestyle he calls “schizophrenic”.
But his ties with Malvern remain strong thanks to his friends and his son who remain in the area, prompting him describe it as “a little bit of a homecoming.”
Away from airing his latest work, which features on a new album titled Recital, he is looking forward to walking on the Malvern Hills.
He also seemed genuinely excited at some of Malvern’s musical developments in the last few months, especially the re-opening of Re-con, on Church Street, and the rebirth of the youth centre as Malvern Cube.
On the subject of Re-con, the town’s only dedicated music and arts venue which re-opened in December, he said: “I remember at some point it was quite hard for the so-called younger generation to find anything to do, so that’s great.
“The area deserves it.
“It has always been a culturally- advanced town.”
So impressed with the promise of the live music scene, he is even dangling the hope of an impromptu performance in the venue once his formal duties are dispensed with.
“I am sure we will end up going and having a jam there with the local musicians and some of my lot.
“I had some great times up there.”
Any performance at the venue is likely to be something of a casual free-for-all, with Nigel adding it would be open to friends and whoever else wants to join him.
If he had more time to spare he would pay a visit to see Worcestershire County Cricket Club in action but owing to a tight schedule, and the wet English weather, Malvern will see the most of him.