My Work as a Pianist in Kent
My name is Eugene Portman and I often work as a pianist in the Kent area. There are many pianists in the region and there always seems to be enough work to go around. Over the years I’ve played in many of its principal towns and cities and played at many of the county’s venues. These wedding venues range from beautiful castles and stately homes to golf clubs and busy hotels.
Weddings in Kent
Being near to London and the continent means that Kent is a very popular place for weddings and these form the basis of my work as a pianist. I can provide music for every part of the wedding day. This includes the ceremony, drinks reception, wedding breakfast, and the evening reception. Each of these parts often requires various styles of music in order to provide the right ambience.. For example, I am usually requested to play classical music for ceremonies, while jazz is popular for drinks receptions.
The bulk of my work in Kent is as a solo pianist. However, The line-ups I can provide range from just solo piano right up to a five-piece jazz band. Interestingly, the most popular line-up is a duo which can consist of either piano and bass or piano and vocals. Here is a full list of line-ups available:
- Duo – piano and vocals or piano and bass
- Trio – piano, bass and vocals or piano, bass and drums
- Quartet – piano, bass, drums and vocals or piano, bass, drums and sax
- Five Piece Jazz Band – piano, bass, drums, sax and vocals
Quite a few of my performances in Kent area are as a solo classical pianist, which is something I get a great deal of enjoyment from. Sometimes this can be just a few pieces for a ceremony. Whereas, on other occasions, this can be one or two hours of classical music. The music I play ranges from Bach to The Bangles, but my main interest lies in music from the jazz and swing era. My jazz piano style has developed by listening to great jazz pianists such as George Shearing, Oscar Peterson, and Erroll Garner.
My Work as Singalong pianist in Kent
A recent development in Kent has been to book me as a sing-a-long pianist. This sort of thing is becoming more and more popular especially in the South East and London. I can provide all the necessary song sheets and I can even dress as a Cockney pianist with a Bowler hat, grandad shirt, waistcoat, red neckerchief, etc.
Please note that I am always willing to learn any requests that you may have.
Here are a few venues in Kent where I have performed:
The Bell Inn
The Bell Inn, Ticehurst. This is one of my favourites and I do enjoy visiting this venue.
Leeds Castle, Maidstone – A splendid venue and I look forward to every visit. They do have a piano but I think that it is probably just there as a showpiece. I played my digital piano on the last occasion that I played there.
Westenhanger Castle, Stone Street,Westenhanger, Hythe – This is a very picturesque venue that is very popular for weddings.
Archbishops Palace, Mill Street, Maidstone, Kent ME15 6YE – This venue is very popular for wedding ceremonies and has a reasonable upright piano on site.
Eastwell Manor, Eastwell Park, Boughton Lees, Ashford, Kent TN25 4HR – I played a beautiful Yamaha Grand on the last occasion that I was booked as a pianist here. I think this was hired especially for me because on other visits I’ve had to play my digital piano. This is one of the most popular wedding venues in Kent and most of my musician friends have played there at one time or another.
Whitbread Hop Farm
Whitbread Hop Farm, Paddock Wood, Tonbridge – They do have a piano which is in reasonable condition and quite playable. This is a popular venue for weddings and all types of other events. Also, Whitbread Hop Farm is the ideal place for a family day out. The place is packed with attractions from funfair rides and an outdoor adventure playground to shops and a bird of prey zone. Throughout the year the venue hosts quite a lot of events and shows such as boat jumbles, wedding shows, and scooter rallies.
Combe Bank School
Combe Bank School, Sundridge, Kent – They have three pianos at this venue and I’ve played every one of them at one time or another. They don’t, however, have a piano downstairs in the dining room. Unfortunately, this is where I am usually booked to play, as it is where most wedding breakfasts take place.
Thistle Brands Hatch
Thistle Brands Hatch, Brands Hatch, Fawkham, Longfield, Kent DA3 8PE – They have a lovely piano at this venue which I played on my last visit.
The Spa Hotel,
The Spa Hotel, Mount, Ephraim, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN4 8JX – I used to be the resident pianist here at one time. They do have a piano in the Chandelier Restaurant but most of the weddings take place in the recently built Orangery so a digital piano has to be provided.
Stade Court Hotel
Stade Court Hotel, West Parade, Hythe – A lovely hotel that has a restaurant that is very popular with the local people.
I can also be hired as a pianist for any wedding or event in the following areas of Kent: