I was 58 when I started thinking, “maybe it’s time I said thank you in a metaphorical, musical way to some of the people that I’ve been lucky enough to get inspiration from.” As musicians, we’re always sharing good vibes – and hopefully good music – with our colleagues and audiences. But we’re all here because we’ve been inspired in earlier years by somebody else. So I wrote the melodies on my new album with five really important people in mind who opened new doors of perception for me.

Yehudi Menuhin was very open-minded. He maybe wasn’t the most technically superior violinist in the world, but he could play two notes and they would have more pathos than a thousand by some other cat. There are quite a lot of teachers who prescribe exactly what they do themselves, but Yehudi wasn’t anything like that. He was very, very encouraging of us all to be the individuals that we were. He wasn’t trying to force a way of life or way of playing on anybody.

The most important thing Stéphane Grappelli taught me was being different to Yehudi. Yehudi and Stéphane were two completely different musicians. Stéphane would...

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