Leeds gipsy guitar kid follows hero Django

Kourosh Kanani.
Kourosh Kanani.
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A talanted teenage self-taught Gipsy jazz guitarist is taking the performance world by storm.

Kourosh Kanani, who is 19, of Chapel Allerton, has played the instrument since the age of eight.

Nicknamed Koo, he is now earning a living playing and has just performed live on August 28 and 29 at the world-famous London venue Le Quecumbar, where Johnny Depp visited before his character played Gipsy guitar music in the film, Chocolat.

Koo, who attended Rossett High School in Harrogate, said “I am earning a living playing my guitar. I am taking a year off study and seeing what happens regarding the music.

“I am having a great time and really enjoy performing.”

He performs with Risen Future, his jazz trio, which includes Simon Parkinson, of Knaresborough on rhythm guitar and Phil Kampen, from Bradford, on double bass. He also performs with a quartet group.

Koo has spent time with Gipsy masters in Holland and France to improve his technique and this summer went to the Django Rheinhardt festival in France where he jammed with musicans from all over the world, around campfires.

Rheinhardt, who played guitar with only two fingers and was the founder of Gipsy jazz, was paralysed on his leg and injured his hand after a caravan fire.

He remains a hero in the world of Gipsy guitar and Koo says he aspires to his style.

The youngster now has lots of gigs lined up in the UK.

His mum Emer Galvin said: “Of course I am really proud and he truly is brilliant, even though I’m his mum. He has been playing since a young child. Although he did have a few first basic lessons but soon picked it up and has played non stop ever since.

He has attended a course at Leeds College of Music too, but does not read music, using his hearing instead.

He says musical genes may be in the family as his brother Dariush, is a musician and his uncle is a classical pianist.