Jo’s a girl of many talents

HOLA to all you lovely readers. Here at Keddy’s Entertainment, we really enjoy interviewing all our Tenerife talented artistes, finding out what spurred them on to settle here, on our sunshine island.

Recently, we caught up with Joanne Cassidy, one of our talented comperes, who hosts the Top Square at San Blas, on Golf del Sur.

“My mum’s side of the family, the Furys, are brass players,” she explained, “and they were integral to the famous brass band in Ludlow, way back in the Thirties.

“My dad, Dave Banks, had several bands over the years, including The Viscounts, The Senators and Mark Anthony, and his family played brass and guitar.

“What with my mum, Sue Fury, combining with my dad’s influence, I think it was inevitable that I would do something creative and musical!”

Joanne started learning to play the guitar when she was nine, and  formed groups at school. She began learning to play brass around the age of 13. This has taken her all over Europe, together with her guitar-playing and singing, as well as performing as principal cornet with the English Festival Brass.

One of the places they regularly visited, and one she can still, surprisingly, remember, was the Bitburg Beer Festival. We expect those moreish beers certainly helped lubricate her vocal cords!

She is proud to say that she has sung in the Grand Place, in the centre of Brussels.

“That was a huge privilege and a wonderful experience,” she said. “I coaxed my rock-guitarist dad out of retirement, in the Eighties, and we started playing gigs locally, in Shropshire, with my band Jo and Co.”

Jo then went on to teach adults and children with learning difficulties and additional challenges, how to play the guitar and brass.

“I met my husband Gerry in Cyprus, 19 years ago, and we moved to Scotland, leaving my work involving recreational music. I travelled the country, playing my guitar in pubs, clubs and holiday camps.  I loved the audiences in Scotland. They were really warm, and always up for a party!

“My husband took early retirement, because of ill health, and we moved to Tenerife in 2007.  I started playing a few venues here, including spending several months doing cabaret on the Top Square on San Blas, Golf del Sur.

“I was then offered the job as compère, after the legendary Sonny went back to the UK. I have been performing this role for nine years, and I love being there. It is such an unusual gig, walking up down, entertaining and singing to 10 bars and restaurants. It’s great!

“We have a different cabaret every night. We now include some of the top names in Tenerife, which is fabulous. We love them all. I only do four nights a week, since having back surgery, a few years ago. The other nights are compered by Andy Phillips, Stacey Tippet and Zoe Leigh.”

Keddy’s Entertainment  recently featured Zoe, aka Blondie, in another Canarian Weekly entertainment edition.

Jo says: “It is a really great mix of entertainment. We have people coming year after year to see us, which we love, plus new folks discover us for the first time.

“We started having Christmas Day in August 2010. We now have families organising their holidays, to make sure they are here for that. Plus, of course, we still celebrate the festive season with Santa, in December! We also raise cash for local animal and children’s charities, on various nights throughout the year.”

Apart from her music, Keddy’s Entertainment were intrigued by Jo’s interest in aviation.

“My dad has an interest in military aviation, and we used to attend air displays when I was a child. A few years ago, I decided to do a Diploma in Avionics, dealing with commercial aircraft. This involves navigations systems, TCAS and ground proximity warning systems, as well as weather radar on Boeing 747s. It was completely different from all the music.”

Although, Jo says, she will probably never do anything with it, she  found it very interesting.

“I have three cats and a husband!” she said. “I love spending time at home with them. We love travelling and went to Cape Canaveral for a rocket launch, last November, and then on to Vegas.”

It  wouldn’t surprise us if, with her navigation skills, she plots a course to the moon! So, until next time, folks, it’s blast off and over and out, from all of us here at Keddy’s Entertainment!

Enjoy whatever you’re doing, and don’t forget to check out our new, international excursion, Magnifique Xanadu, coming soon on 4th August



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