“I am a natural improviser. I can’t just always stand up and follow a score.” So says Nigel Kennedy, and since first emerging into the public limelight aged 16, the virtuoso violinist has certainly proved that time and again, growing into one of the UK’s finest and most unpredictable musicians, as at home recording Bach, Vivaldi and Mozart as songs by Jimi Hendrix, the Doors and Kate Bush.
His latest album, ‘Shhh!’, released by EMI Classics on May 10, continues Kennedy’s eclectic path. This new collection, recorded as the Nigel Kennedy Quintet, features original Kennedy compositions plus a version of the late Nick Drake’s 1971 song ‘River Man’, with guest vocals by Boy George. The whole project was produced by Paul Inder, son of Motorhead leader Lemmy.
Kennedy will formally unveil the new album at the end of May during ‘Nigel Kennedy’s Polish Weekend’, a bank holiday festival at London’s Southbank Centre celebrating all things Polish which Kennedy is curating.