Following a chance meeting at a gig in Poole, Dorset in May 2013, experienced cabaret performer Bethany and Ringwood-based guitarist Simon began rehearsing as a duo with a view to playing some gigs in the Dorset and Hampshire area. Shortly afterwards they were joined by Janet Beale, a well known accordion and piano player. They decided to build their show around the joint french-themed musical experiences of Bethany and Janet and so Musique a Trois was formed ! Janet left the trio in October 2014 to work in London but Beth and Simon decided to continue as Musique a Trois, replacing the accordion with double bass and tenor sax and revising the show to have a jazzier feel whilst reintroducing the popular comedic element with the scatty " Madame J " at the centre of the chaos ! In 2018 original accordionist Janet Beale and violinist Francis MacNamara joined Beth, Simon and Nick to form the Musique a Trois Quintet. They have been playing sell out gigs at the Shelley Theatre in Boscombe and pride themselves on their unique arrangements of classic french chansons. Musique a Trois continue to play gigs in the trio and quartet format, with the occasional addition of local guest musicians.
Bethany is a bi-lingual (French/English) singer songwriter and cabaret performer. She trained at Arts Educational and with Leon Berrangé at VoxBox. She has performed for many years in Jazz cafés, concerts, private functions and musical theatre reviews in London and the South, France and Belgium, with Retro Jazz and Latin band Ritzy Chicks and solo. 5 of her songs reached the semi-finals in the UK Songwriter’s Contest, 2008 and 2009. 2010 projects included playing the lead role in a new Jazz Blues musical ‘Loose Change’, touring a cabaret -style concert of French and Tango music devised with Romano Viazzani called. ‘On the Banks of the Seine’. A duo version of this show was originally commissioned by Southwark Playhouse & Bankside's Bastille Day Festival in 2009. Bethany has been guest singer at Bastille Day Festival in London since 2009.More information about Bethany's projects can be found at bethanyjameson.co.uk
Simon was formerly a peripatetic guitar teacher for Hampshire Music Service, Southampton Music Service and The University of Southampton and is now a freelance musician. Since his teens Simon has played live and recorded with rock, blues , jazz and soul bands. After hearing the music of the legendary Django Reinhardt, Simon became interested in jazz guitar. He attended the Keech School of Music in Hull and soon after discovered the Southern Jazz Guitar Society and subsequently participated in concerts and organised jazz guitar workshops for the Society for almost 20 years. In 1999 Simon studied jazz at Chichester College and fell under the influence and breathtaking styles of Joe Pass and Tuck Andres ( guitarist, USA jazz duo Tuck and Patti ). He formed a working duo with singer and college colleague Camilla Nowell and recorded a CD of jazz standards. Following this he recorded the album "Painting Tunes" with Brazilian singer Tereza Rachel, demonstrating his finger style jazz accompaniment and melodic soloing skills. Simon is no stranger to theatre work and has played as part of the orchestra in productions of the musicals Bugsy Malone, Me and My Girl,Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Jesus Christ Superstar. In 1999 Simon acted as musical advisor for the stage play "Hold Fast" , working alongside playwright Peter Terson and director and actress Polly March. He was also part of the organising committee for the 1999 Romsey Arts Festival for which this play was specially written. In addition to providing the guitar backdrop to Musique a Trois' songs, Simon also acts as arranger, musical director, publicist and administrator for Musique a Trois.
Yamaha AEX 1500 archtop
Kyle custom built acoustic with Big Tone pickup
Gibson Les Paul Deluxe Gold Top
Fender Telecaster Custom with Bareknuckle pickups
Islander Tenor Uke
Classical guitar with Big Tone pickup
Schertler, Fender, Carvin, Peavy and Line 6 amplifiers
Tomastik, Ernie Ball and Argentine Strings
Shine violin bass
Shure SM58 , Audio Tech and Calrec mics
Korg D1600 Recording Equipment
Nick Dyer ( Double Bass )
Nick has played the double bass since the age of seven. He grew up playing for local orchestras ending up as principal bass in the Southampton Youth Orchestra. He took up jazz at university, playing for many bands including the Cambridge University Jazz Orchestra.
Since leaving university and returning to Hampshire, he has become involved in several musical projects, including a capella quintet Live Noise, three piece indie covers band Ten Hairy Penguins and gypsy jazz quartet Swing 39.
He still plays classical bass, mainly with the City of Southampton Orchestra. He is also a member of a choir of ex-members of Peterhouse Chapel Choir called Voces Petrensium.
Ian Ellis (Tenor sax/clarinet) Ian has worked as a professional jazz saxophonist since 1985 performing and recording all over the country, playing modern jazz. The Ian Ellis quartet has performed at venues both here and abroad including the Royal Festival Hall; the Barbican Centre; Ronnie Scott's Club; London's 606 club, PIZZA EXPRESS Soho jazz club, Glasgow jazz festival; Saarbrucken jazz festival. Ian has performed live and recorded with Ruby Turner; Victoria Newton; Artoro Sandoval; Gwilym Simcock; Adelaide Hall; Benny Hill, Rumer and many others. In his recent show,Ian paid tribute to Billy Strayhorn,the brilliant composer who was Duke Ellingtons right hand man through his most creative years with his Orchestra. 'Masterful virtuoso saxophonist,one of our very best' - Jazz Wise Magazine. ' Brilliant saxophonist' - Sir John Dankworth.