Meet the Artists: Danny Thompson

Meet Danny! He’s working on the Takeover Spring Festival day at The Cherry Trees School and used to be one of our Trainee Music Leaders.

Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hi, I’m Danny Thompson, musician, poet, film-maker, teacher, parent, and whatever else l can get away with!

I play bass (electric & upright), guitar, keyboard, djembe, and l sing when my band mates allow me near the microphone! I’m London born from Jamaican parents.

I’ve been an artist my whole life, in theatre, in film, in music, in schools, creative projects. I love collaborating with artists as weird as me!

What are you most looking forward to about The Cherry Trees Takeover Spring Festival day?

The Cherry Trees is my favourite school to work with. I think it’s an amazing place doing amazing work with amazing kids. I really love the ethos of the school characterised in the passion and skills of it’s teachers. Past projects have always been enlightening experiences and I’m looking forward to the Takeover Spring Festival being the same, another bold step into the creative unknown…

How did you come to start making music?

There was always music in our home. I learnt to listen before l learnt to play. My dad’s record collection was my first introduction followed by the radio, of which I was an avid listener. After a few years playing ‘air guitar’ with my tennis racket I begged my Mum to buy me a guitar. I was soon drawn to the bass guitar, started learning things by ear, joined a band, went to evening class, college… the rest is history!

What/who is your biggest inspiration and why?

My biggest inspiration are the emotions music creates in the listener, its ability to sooth, excite, inform and heal. Musically I’ve always been inspired by artists who create original works. Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Parliament/Funkadelic, Weather Report, Kate Bush, etc. Then again, a blue sky in the morning, a smile from a stranger, two lines of a poem, are often the greatest inspirations.

When you’re not making music, what do you get up to?

It’s very rare that I’m not making music in some form, whether it be just relaxing at home. I read a lot, write poetry & short stories. I do a lot of voluntary work with youth & community organisations.

Could you share a favourite project you’ve worked on recently?

A Glimpse of Greatness was my own Black History Music & Drama project I devised and delivered to a Primary school in South London. Working with four different year groups culminating in a performance for families and the rest of the school.