Belfast Telegraph

All the best: Ronnie Greer

We ask local personalities what are their most favourite things

By KERRY McKITTRICK

The 63-year-old is one of Northern Ireland's leading jazz and blues players with a career that has lasted 47 years. He lives in Belfast with his wife Lee.

MY BEST MOMENT

There have been many moments over the years, but some of the best have been playing with the other great jazz and blues musicians. I backed Dr John in Dublin and Belfast and I've also played with greats such as Sonny Terry and Memphis Slim.

MY BEST SONG

It's Lush Life by Billy Strayhorn, a masterpiece that I've always loved. It encompasses everything you could want, from lyrics to melody, and the chords are perfect to improvise from when you're playing it.

MY BEST WAY TO RELAX

I love listening to music by Steely Dan and other jazz and blues artists. Music does seem to seep into all aspects of my life. That and a meal cooked by my wife Lee, who is a superb chef.

MY BEST BUY

My Schecter guitar that I bought during the 1980s. They're made in Japan now but mine was made in America where they historically come from. I have a good few guitars but I keep going back to that one for blues band gigs. I've had it for about 25 years.

MY BEST JOB

Until last year I was the sales director for a steel holding stock company. It was a great job and I held it for many years as I got the best of both worlds -- I was able to work and then play music in my spare time.

MY BEST ADVICE

Always act like a duck -- appear calm on the surface but be paddling away like mad underneath. I go that from an inspirational calendar years ago and it's always stayed with me.

MY BEST GIFT

The artist Neil Shawcross happens to be a friend of mine and over the years he's given me a couple of paintings as presents. I'm very lucky as it's such a personal and thoughtful gift.

MY BEST ACHIEVEMENT

Most people go on a cruise when they take early retirement but when I left work I went into the studio. I've made albums before but they were live recordings so in January I recorded my first studio album in a career that's spanned nearly 50 years. It's called A Lifetime With The Blues and I really loved making it -- I finally had the time!

MY BEST MOVIE

I'm not a big movie lover but I think The Fabulous Baker Boys is a wonderful film. It stars the Bridges brothers -- Beau and Jeff -- travelling all over America playing the piano until Michelle Pfeiffer appears and ruins everything. I've seen it four or five times.

MY BEST BOOK

Any book in the Matt Scudder detective series, written by Lawrence Block. There are about 14 in total and I've read all of them. They capture the mood and feel of New York perfectly.

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Ronnie and friends such as Linley Hamilton and Meilana Gillard will be hosting a regular jazz evening every Thursday at the Knife and Fork restaurant on Belfast’s Eglantine Avenue. For details, visit www.theknifeandfork.co.uk or tel: 028 9038 8000

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