Errol Thomas

As a small child my dad bought me a toy guitar it was light blue with decorative patterns on it. I can remember constantly playing it until many black man pinch blood blisters appeared on my fingers and thumbs. Little did I know then that I was sowing the seed a musical journey on this instrument.

I remember saying to my mum and dad, look what’s happen to my fingers they were hurting and bleeding. I remember my mum and dad laughing and saying its because I love playing the guitar too much.

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Very much influenced by my dads and uncle Millar and uncle Calvin’s Reggae and Ska collection including that of Bob Marley.

My love of music during my school days grew so much that I wanted to play the guitar, listening to the radio the was a lot of pop soul and funk coming through then love the funk dance groove and would go dancing at the Wag club on Mondays and dance jazz / fusion with Gilles Peterson.

At school was given a challenge by a old school friend Hughie you cant play the guitar and I told him watch and see. He give me a few lessons I never looked back from there so thanks to Hugh McWhinney for getting me started. I formed my first band in my the 5th year of Rokeby High with school mates.

In the 6th form I started to listen to rock and blues and play rock with my school mates Steve Bensusan and Ronny Raymond. I soon found that Jimi Hendrix he was my favourite. He made his guitar sound amazing and was the ultimate showman. I also came across Wes Montgomery he too was great an amazing player so smooth and lyrical I really enjoy listening to Saxophone players Like Grover Washington Jr, Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon, Ronny Laws and Synth players like George Duke and Herbie Hancock and Jeff Lorber and Pat Metheny. I wanted to learn jazz guitar and studied with UK great Jazz guitarists Esmond Selwyn, Dave Cliff and Cedrick West.

I was in need of a Bass player so would often go to Holiday Music and look at there classified musician wanted ad board. To this very day Mike tells the story of me saying I will never find another bass player. Mike Edmonds happened to be in shop at the time I’m a bass player. Mike Edmonds introduced me to Cedrick West and he remained my guitar teacher and musical father till his passing.

I am looking forward to carrying on my musical journey with my fantastic band called The Groove Traders