Simon Thoumire ("Two-meer") plays the concertina with the chops of Astor Piazzolla, the jazz sensibility of Joshua Redman, and the soul-driven lift that can come only from the Highlands. His original compositions and innovative arrangements of traditional tunes defy categorization - identi... more
Simon Thoumire internationally acclaimed concertina virtuoso, has a gift for both traditional Irish and jazz. The founder of Foot Stompin’
Records, Scottish Traditional Music Trust, and Hands Up for Trad, Thoumire established himself as a world-class performer by the age of 26.
Winner of the prestigious BBC Radio 2 Young Tradition Award in 1989, Thoumire joined the Boy’s Brigade (65th Edinburgh) as a highland piper at the age of 9, and when he was 12, he received his first concertina, after conceding to the fact that no one around could teach him his desired instrument: the mandolin. By the time he was a teenager, Thoumire was performing in accordion clubs across Scotland, before joining a locally gigging band, with whom he cut his first record.
Then, one day while Thoumire was practicing in his house, the promoter for the Scottish supergroup Silly Wizard walked by and heard him. She immediately introduced him to Alistair Anderson, and the Radio 2 Young Tradition Award, which the 19-year-old Thoumire won in 1989.
In the 1990s, Thoumire recorded several times with Ian Car, and Kevin Mackenzie and Simon Thorpe as the the Simon Thoumire Three which recorded the album Waltzes For Playboys, for Green Linnet in 1994.
In 1997, Thoumire toured the Netherlands with the free-imrov combo Drones in the Bones, and in 1997, he composed the Celtic Connection’s Suite for Glasgow’s Celtic Connection’s festival. 1999 brought a composition, Music for a New Scottish Parliament, and in 2000, The Scottish Requiem premiered.
The Big Day In, Thoumire’s first album with pianist David Milligan, was recorded in 2001. The duo traveled throughout Europe and Australia before he cut Experiments in Culture, a modern record featuring real-life recordings of “existence” accompanied by musicians improvising freely over the top.