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Mickey Dunne
The first steps on my musical journey came via an old Grundig radiogram at my Grandmother's house. There were a limited number of records including Buddy Holly, Elvis, Patsy Cline and maybe Slim Whitman and at around the age of 10 I was exposed to Bob Marley and progressive rock bands Genesis & Pink Floyd by my older cousins. I think you will agree this is quite an eclectic mixture of sounds for a 10 year old but I didn't start to play guitar until much later at around 17. Although my tastes haven't changed much, they are still as eclectic 
I was introduced to  the guitar by a friend who taught me in parrot fashion, the chords to popular Genesis,Yes and Pink Floyd songs as well as some of their more intricate solo guitar pieces. I bought an 
Admira Spanish guitar and eventually we would both wear the grooves out on records (pre-internet) trying to figure out the parts played by Steve Howe and Steve Hackett. This led to an interest in classical guitar players, in particular Andres Segovia, I was taken by the romance and tradition of the instrument and would watch the documentary -The Song of the GUITAR over and over. This love of Spanish music inevitably led to and interest in Flamenco guitarists in particular maestro Paco De lucia and by way of natural progression the next step was to the album Friday Night in San Francisco by Paco, Al Di Meola and John McLaughlin. By now the Jazz guitar radar was well and truly switched on and I was listening to all of the greats like WesBenson and Barney Kessell but I kept coming across the name of Django Reinhardt and it was exactly around this time (1991) that I saw a documentary on TV called Django Legacythe first leg of my musical journey was complete. The Next Leg
I have been passionate about the music of Django ever since I watched this programme and around this time I would regularly watch the amazing Gary Potter  in Liverpool. Gary was an inspiration for all of us Django fanatics in the UK at this time and I eventually became part of his rhythm section for around 4 years playing festivals and concerts around the UK. I have also been lucky enough to perform with some more great Gypsy Jazz musicians including Robin Nolan and Daniel John Martin. Another exciting project I have been involved with was John Wheatcroft's Ensemble Futur an exciting mix of classic Django with a modern twist and it is something that I hope John revives soon! I have also been part of two of my own Reinhardt type projects with some brilliant local musicians, Nouveau Django with George Maher and Hayden John and The Manouchetones with Karl Webb and 'count' John McCormick and we perform regularly around the North West. Aside from Gypsy Jazz I have also been involved with vocalist Christina Malley whom I performed alongside at Liverpool Echo Arena at the venues' first public event The Number One Project in 2008 and more recently I have had the opportunity to work with a couple of great functions/cabaret bands which has been a really enjoyable and refreshing change.  I am really excited to move onto Salford and have a clear idea of the direction my final year will take and once I complete my studies I hope to pursue a career in teaching. I would like to thank my fellow students for their patience with the grandad of the class and all of the tutors at CoLC, especially Dr Sykes.
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Lee Webber Lee took to playing the bass guitar at the relatively late age of 17, for the simple reason of there were too many guitarists in the local area, and not enough bassists to meet demand. Upon starting his musical career, Lee found himself playing in a number of rock and metal bands across the North West, and continued to do so until he enrolled at (at the time named) Liverpool Community College. Throughout his time on the course, and the the guidance of the tutors, Lee found a liking for playing jazz, something which, up until this point, he had never come across as a performer, and is something to this day he is grateful he came across. Shortly into the course, Lee ended up regularly attending the community colleges big band which presented him with potentially the biggest hurdle that most young jazz musicians come across - Reading. Armed with the support, guidance and persistence of the staff, as well as an unhealthy amount of coffee and a new found motivation, Lee kept attending the big band, and slowly built up his confidence and fluency as a performing jazz musician. As the end of the course was nearing, Lee was asked to play in the drama department's production of 'Batboy the musical'. Which was 'interesting'. After long hours of rehearsals and nights of listening to the same song on loop, the production came and went, and left Lee with another arrow in his quiver - the experience of playing in a pit band, which is something he enjoyed thoroughly and still takes any opportunity to do today. After the course finished, Lee enrolled onto the Foundation degree and continued to gain experience and insight on a working professional musician's life and career. As well as the electric and upright bass, Lee plays piano, woodwind and guitar, and enjoys performing live on any given instrument. Currently Lee is about to start his final year of his degree in Salford University. He regularly plays in multiple groups around the North West, and enjoy writing and arranging music in all different styles, as well as playing it. Lee writes: I have really enjoyed my 4 years at the college, and whilst all the staff are excellent, there are a few I'd like to personally acknowledge -  Paul Taft for always being motivational and supportive, and without whom I wouldn't have progressed nearly as much as I have with my ensemble skills. I really appreciate that a guy who potentially has the most hectic schedule I've ever seen will always take a bit of time out his day to 'talk shop' with me and give me an insight into the real world of being a member of the rhythm section. Tom Sykes for inviting (and often transporting) me to gigs I otherwise wouldn't have known about, and for offering me opportunities to play with himself and other established players. Also for giving up many of his Thursday afternoons just to jam for no other reason than for the fun of it and always replying to my completely random music related questions. Gerry Harrison for always being happy to pass on knowledge and experience, and never failing to motivate myself and any other students he comes across. Also for photocopying so much music for me I'm now in the position to never have to buy another Realbook again!