Reviews and Testimonials
Corporate Clients include:
Transport for London
Essex County Council
St James, Piccadilly
Guitarist for Weddings and Celebrations
"I just wanted to write to you to say a huge thank you for playing at our
wedding ..... The feedback I had from the guests, was fantastic.........I have to say you set the scene perfectly. My husband said he felt
extremely emotional when you played Imagine ..... and my entrance was perfect, as was the exit music. I really cant
thank you enough Jo."
"I just wanted to say that you were the perfect choice for our garden party. We were absolutely thrilled with your guitar playing and we have received lots of compliments about you. You helped make our day very special and we just wanted to say:
Thank you Jo, you were fabulous :) "
Richard and Rena, Hadleigh, Essex
"I just want to say thank you so much for yesterday and bringing the sunshine too!
Everyone commented on your beautiful music."
Sara, Hadleigh, Suffolk
“Thank-you so much for playing at our wedding on the 29th. You were all we hoped for and more, fantastic!!”
Jeanette & Nick, Wickford
"Many thanks - and may you continue to bring beautiful music to our ears for many years."
Callum, Thorpe Bay
"I would just like to thank you for coming and playing at my birthday celebrations. Everyone commented on your playing, your talent was very much admired."
M Bird, Shoeburyness
"Thank-you for all your hard work, the music was wonderful."
J Colderwood, Stock
"Thank-you very much for the beautiful music you played at my daughter's wedding. Everyone loved the music and you helped towards a perfect day."
M Warner, Maldon
"Just wanted to say 'Thank-you' for playing your wonderful music for our wedding day. All of our guests said how nice it was, and I think it made our day more special."
Angela and Jason, Chelmsford
"The Reception was a great success and I think the music provided by yourself contributed greatly to this."
Councillor Mrs W M Stevenson, Rochford
"Just a note to say thank you so much for playing at Sarah and Graham's wedding reception. We had many compliments on your behalf and your music was a delight to listen to. Thanks for helping to make their wedding day a day to remember in every way."
Mr and Mrs Beaty, South Ockenden
“Thank-you so much for the delightful music that you played throughout our daughter's wedding. Everyone enjoyed listening to your guitar playing. The wedding wouldn't have been the same without your music and we will have no hesitation in recommending your services in the future.”
Mr and Mrs Pinks, Danbury
"We all appreciated your lovely playing at our 60th. Thanks very much."
Ken and Betty, Benfleet
you so much for playing so beautifully at our wedding – we thought it was
delightful and I am very happy that our paths crossed at Piccadilly Circus......
all those months ago! It was lovely that you were an important part of our
and Ginny, Kent
"Thanks for your beautiful playing last night... it was much enjoyed by all (see below)
'.....The guitarist played beautifully, now I know why you bought her Cds Mary....' A & M "
Ian and Mary, Woodbridge
"We often think of your recital at.... [Woodbridge] ... and the pleasure you gave us all. One day we'd love to ask you again."
Peter and Mary, Suffolk
"Everyone commented on how lovely it was to hear you play and it made the event very special, so a big thank-you."
Keith and Angela, Pentlow, Essex
"It was a wonderful to meet you on the 23rd and a great pleasure to hear you
play. I had some very good feedback from several of my family on your
performance - they enjoyed the music and thought it was perfect for the occasion."
Edward, Lavenham, Suffolk
"Thanks for playing at the service, everyone thought you were perfect for the service."
"It is five years since you gave that wonderful performance.......................................
People still mention your wonderful playing at the memorial service. Thank-you once more."
Mr D J, North Wales
"Jo Simmonds' guitar interpretations had much poetry and the account of John Dowland's 'Melencholy Galliard' exhibited a beautifully pronounced melody."
"...the very accomplished guitarist from Essex.... guitar societies who may use Jo Simmonds' talents would be assured of a very satisfying evening's musical entertainment."
Charles Scott, Chester Guitar Circle
"Jo Simmonds' playing is extremely musical... the phrasing was very alive and each argument and counter argument clearly defined... it was the first time I got the feeling that this [Fantasia on La Traviata] was operatic and the tunes were vocal lines, with pathos and drama... altogether an artist, who we are looking forward to hearing again."
Sidney Harland, Scarborough Guitar Society
"Frank Martin's 'Plainte'.... confirmed the guitarist's [Jo Simmonds] undoubted musician ship. [La Traviata] was stylish, often thrilling..."
Jack Whitfield, Humberstone
"The respect accorded to the guitarist throughout s demanding recital was a true reflection of the performer's ability. Jo Simmonds never put a foot wrong stylistically, with immaculate pace and timing and balance, tackled the programme with self assurance and skill... a player of more than usual promise..."
Colin Cooper, Classical Guitar Magazine
"[Jo Simmonds] plays the guitar most beautifully......that was absolutely beautiful."
Steve Scruten, BBC Essex
"Jo Simmonds....one of my favourite and most admired students... always full of energy and initiative, as well as enormous abilities artistically and intellectually."
Graham Wade, Leeds
"It was a really lovely evening, people enjoyed it so much. Lots of good feedback...... too"
Proprietor 'Tesoro' Leigh-on-sea
"Jo. I loved it. Every melody was pleasant, some unknown - most were known. All touched the emotions. Thank YOU for the hours of practice. xx"
"It was an exceptional and diverse selection you played. Looking forward to the next CD."
Cathy Darby, Leigh-on-sea
"Thanks very much for your lovely music on Saturday. We all enjoyed it so much."
Janice, September 2018
"I raise all my hats to you for the wonderful CD. It's a treasure and will give many people much pleasure and enjoyment for sure."
S Jones, Mold, North Wales
"I love the CD! Your music is just beautiful"
T Massie, Virginia, USA
"I still remember the day I heard you playing and felt the need to find where the sound was coming from. Your music still makes my senses come alive..... Please let me know when you record again."
E Reynolds, Berkhamsted
"I had the privilege of hearing you play in Woodbridge on Saturday last and have been enjoying 'Just Jo' immensely. I have never heard Tarréga's Recuerdos played so beautifully. Do you have any other recordings?"
Pete - by e-mail
"Hi Jo, I am a guitar student and I've just bought your CD 'Just Jo' and enjoyed it very much, particularly the 2nd track, Andantino Campestre..."
Geoff - by e-mail
"Thank-you for the endless enjoyment of listening to your music."
S Whittam, Rayleigh, Essex
"Still playing your lovely CD Jo"
"Your music is phenomenal and touched me!..... Music is not a big enough expression, it does not capture the beauty that you weave in sound. Anyway I wanted to thank you."
"Thank-you so much for the copy of Christmas Dream! I have listened to you several times and in my view it is an amazing compilation and I could listen to you all the time. ..... I realise that I love what you do! Your Christmas Collection does not simply cover the subject with titles that touch the spirit of the season so well, but your playing is ethereal and spiritual in itself. .....I will buy any future compilations you create."
"I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed 'Inspiration'...... I especially liked track 3 'Konawaena Beach'
"I am listening several times to 'Inspiration'! It is a very beautiful selection indeed!"
"We have already listened to 'Inspiration.... it is a triumph'
Jackie and Paul, Daws heath
"Inspiration ' is fabulous, evocative and delicately played. I particularly like 'Konawaena Beach' and 'Hallelujah' is truly moving"
"Jo, 'Inspiration' is really lovely and I will be ordering a couple more..... Thank-you for suggesting it. The music is so tranquil'
Helen S, North Essex
"Hi Jo, just wanted to say how much I enjoyed ...['Inspiration']. So beautiful and uplifting. A contribution to a more peaceful world. God bless. x"
"What a fine piece of work! The
compositions are wonderful and the quality of your playing is outstanding. I so
enjoyed the whole CD. Very peaceful and uplifting. Well done, and I hope you get the
success you deserve."
Clare, Thorpe Bay
"Got it. Love it. Thank you so very much."
"The recording doesn't just meet
expectations, it exceeds them totally...It's really beautiful playing throughout
and your compositions are lovely as well... a fine musician as
well as a very capable guitarist and your musicality comes out in every bar
superbly...you're able to
meet any challenge thrown at you and to come through with flying
an accomplished classical guitarist... I am sure all your compositions
should be published......They deserve wide exposure...They are just what recitalists
need to refresh their repertoire... Congratulations on a superb
recording, every best wish"
"Inspiration left absolutely nothing to be desired! Only perhaps more!!"
"I am taking the chance to write and thank-you for your tuition which enabled me to attain a distinction at grade seven..... Thank-you very much for your tuition and pushing me to achieve more. It helped me to see the guitar in a different light and gave me new approaches to tackling problems.... Many thanks again."
J Ward, Rayleigh
"I feel I really benefited from our evening ensemble,..........in the end I felt quite comfortable with everyone else and really enjoyed the challenge of it all."
"I can't thank you enough for the teaching you've given me over the the years. I've nothing but gratitude for the sure technical foundation I've developed with you, and the attention to detail you've always shown especially in helping me avoid bad habits.
I hope you like the CDs, they're some of my compositions. As I write my music on the guitar, you made them possible."
"You have been a huge influence on my career choice as a musician and I am very grateful for that."
"I really am glad I came to you for lessons. I couldn't have wished for anyone better, you made me see that with confidence I could further myself... I only wished I could have been with you to the end of my grades..."
"I loved being your student"
Lyra (age 8), Langdon Hills
"You have been an excellent and supportive teacher and I am very grateful for
I will gladly recommend your work to other parents"
C Lane, Chalkwell
"..I always enjoyed my time with you - I hope all your other pupils realise what a class act their teacher is - "
Geoff, Basildon, Essex
"....and thanks for your excellent tuition :)"
"Thank you for the awesome lesson, I really enjoyed it and very much looking
forward to the next one."
Jon, January 2016
"Thank you for an inspirational lesson today. "
"Thank-you for your wonderful teaching"
Penny , Salisbury
"Thanks very much for lesson. Very beneficial."
"Jo thanks for all your guidance and patience this term. I am lucky to have such an expert tutor......I am delighted with how things have gone and looking forward to next term."
Compositions and Arrangements
"I find Equus excellent, highly contrasted between the quick sections and the gentle interlude"
John Mills, Chester
"Jo Simmonds (the arranger of Music for Twelve Bells Plus? ) is obviously a skilled musician with an in-depth knowledge of handbells and ringers!"
A R Price (HRGB reviewer)
"Thank-you for all your hard work. Everything that you have done is superb. Absolutely excellent!!"
Miss Beard ARCM (performers), Basildon