Brett Wales

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Brett was born on the 23rd of August 1978 in Nottingham, raised by his grandparents Marianne and Alwyn he still lives and works in the same house today. Alwyn played Elka 707 Organ, so at a very young age Brett was exposed to music. Alwyn found Brett aged three at the keys. He was encouraged, and soon displayed an uncanny ability to play melody lines from memory. Alwyn recognized his grandson’s talent. Marianne and Alwyn continued encouraging Brett to play as a hobby. Brett’s ability to hear and reproduce melodies accurately is a hallmark of his music today. This ability to listen, hear and then play, sections, phrases, and separate parts of a complete score has stayed with Brett to this day - the Blue Danube, Marriage of Figaro, and Bohemian Rhapsody played by him today being testament to the fact. Brett also displayed a creativity looking for new sounds, accurately reproducing instruments, as best he could from the Elka 707. It was this that inspired Alwyn to buy a Wersi Kit, an orchestral organ. A Wersi Helios was finally completed, and Brett’s love affair with Wersi commenced. His grandparents felt this natural talent should not be wasted and Brett started music lessons. Brett’s enthusiasm and dedication to music, so much a hallmark of the man today, found him being described as a ‘Boy Genius’ when later, at the age of seven he was to meet with Wersi Stars, the late, great, Klaus Wunderlich and Franz Lambert. Today they remain his idols and role models. The meeting happened In April 1986. Then president of the Wersi Enthusiast Society Ron Franklin organized a five day trip to Wersi headquarters in Halsenbach Germany, where Wersi organs are still produced and sold there today. Brett’s grandparent’s decided to take Brett as a reward for dedication to musical studies. They had the pleasure of being in the company of great musical talent. Klaus Wunderlich, Franz Lambert, Curt Prina and Hady Wolf. A highlight of the visit for Brett was the Saturday evening spent at the legendary Franz Lambert’s Felsenkeller. Brett stood transfixed at the side of Franz’s organ watching, listening and learning. Was it then that Brett’s future was decided? One can imagine his thoughts to have been – “Just like Franz, one day I’ll be a famous organist.” Today the dream is realized and he can stand tall along with other Wersi stars such as Mark Whale and Claudia Hirschfield. Back home there was a noticeable change in Brett's music; he began to use little things picked up at the Felsenkeller. Encouraged by the obvious effect the visit had on Brett, Marianne and Alwyn took Brett again on the same trip the following year but, unfortunately, Franz was unable to play for them. Instead, they went for the evening to a Bier Keller in Koblenz, where organist Udo Kemp was performing. Having heard Brett play previously, Udo asked if Brett would play for the people to dance. Amazingly, without a trace of nerves and oblivious to his audience, he proceeded to play music from his examinations. He also cheekily played a Franz Lambert Felsenkeller medley just as if he was at home playing to himself. Was this the first sign we saw of the humorist we have on stage today? The reaction from the audience - a standing ovation - was to be the first of many in Brett's career to date. A star was born – proud Grandparents, and Udo had a major problem getting Brett to leave the organ! 1988 was to be a memorable year for Brett and the family; they made the same trip as in previous years, but this time they were able to see Franz live at the Felsenkeller. After hearing from Udo of Brett’s achievements at Koblenz the year before, Franz requested Brett to play for him and his audience. Brett announced that he would play something that Franz himself plays, “Everybody Loves Somebody Sometimes” - with that Franz took the microphone and said “Brett we must play together”. Nine year old Brett played seemingly without a care in the world. It brought the house down and, later, Franz was to remark on Brett’s composure. That a professional musician, the stature of Franz Lambert, should take time out to encourage a young boy speaks volumes not just of Franz Lambert’s generosity, but his recognition of an artistic and musical talent. Franz’s music is still a big influence on Brett’s style, particularly Brett’s late night spots have a definite Franz Lambert Felsenkeller ring to them! Yes, I think we can safely say that one of Brett’s idols is Franz Lambert! The annual trip to Germany in 1989 brought another duet for Brett and Franz, this time playing “Strangers in the Night”. On the Sunday evening they attended another fantastic concert, by the ever impressive Mark Whale. Mark is often thought to be Brett’s older brother. Reinhardt Franz, then one of the co-owners of Wersi GmbH, asked Brett if he would like to play during Mark’s concert in the auditorium at the Wersi headquarters. As always, Brett needed no second bidding to sit down and play, and gave a composed and professional performance. After the concert Brett was promised by Reinhardt and his brother W. E. Franz that in the following year he could have his own concert, which inspired Brett, then 11 yrs old, to prepare for 1990. Brett has of course more recently had the pleasure of playing in concert with Mark Whale, in Dussen in the Netherlands. At twelve years old Brett started doing demonstrations for Wersi in the U.K. It was difficult for Brett to work on new material for demonstrating new organs when he could only practice on his grandfather's Helios. Practicing and preparing for demonstrations on one type of organ, and playing in public on another style of organ is not good. The nearest place he could get to play a Spectra was at Barnsley, the then northern Wersi dealership, too far for a young man who also had to attend school like any normal child, so Marianne and Alwyn decided to sell the Helios and get Brett his very own Spectra for his twelfth birthday. A special gift from special people, for a very special young man. The many demonstrations around this time hold memories of good times, such as demonstrating at Stapley Water Gardens where he made two very good friends, organist Volkre Kucche & ten times world accordion champion Guy Dennis, both were kind, helpful and also enjoyed playing as a trio with Brett. Due to both his school work & musical examination’s Brett had to limit his amount of traveling, as more time was dedicated to his grades. When he turned fifteen Brett was accepted for Clarendon College in Nottingham to study music although he had already learnt most of the course in his previous years with private tutors. It was the ‘Academy of Life’, the experience gained by playing with other musicians and bands around Nottingham that was to become so very valuable later on in Brett’s career. Orchestrations, arrangements, stage presence and

  • Date: 09/11/2020 07:00 PM
  • Location: Trade & Labour Club, Felixstowe IP11 1BB (Map)

Price: £5.00