Comment by thereallyniceman on December 8, 2012 at 10:07

I have seen this man on Youtube, but can find little about him except that he is a French guitarist. He had a website which now does not work.  I can't quite get to grips with his playing as  somehow it seems just too easy and possibly electronically altered!!

Anyone have any information about Mr Sparkes?

Comment by Mike Moss on December 8, 2012 at 11:52

Yes, I too was surprised when I noticed his videos on Youtube some time ago. I'm afraid I don't know anything about him. Perhaps Marc Dalmasso or the Stefanellis know something about him?

Comment by Trapdoor2 on December 8, 2012 at 15:50

I don't know anything about him. Never saw him before. His style looks very comfortable, obviously been playing the banjo for quite some time. It looks like he's using fingerpicks to me...but hard to tell. There are some "jumps" in his video which cause me to suspect he's had to do some editing to remove mistakes. Not unusal.

Some people just look like they're floating along when playing. It all looks so easy and comfortable. I knew a guitar player like that. He played the most complicated stuff...but looked like he was falling asleep. This guy's hands remind me of him...no stress showing, no bulging veins or frantic grasps on the handle; just floating along the neck. I wish I could do that.

Comment by Richard William Ineson on December 8, 2012 at 20:38

He got in touch with me some time ago, I sent him the sheet music for 'Parke Hunter's Walt' (the last letter of the alphabet is missing on my keyboard) which he played magnificently, and he helped me out with the score of 'The Lost Indian' he is certainly a very good player. I think that he may have just attended the ABF event in the USA.

Comment by marc dalmasso on December 9, 2012 at 22:01

No ; éric or me , we do not know him ; i have read somewhere he is an american guy living in France ; he is probably a classical guitar player with a good level and loving the bj . may be a friend of jean marc A  , too , who had leaved a good feedback on " blaze away " yet  ..... the sequencer beeing programmed  " binaire " for a 6/8 ;strange , and the bass line not the good one at the start , strange too .

How much  sound editings in these videos ? hard to say but when Bill Keith used to record " nola " for  the French  label Cezame around 1980 , the French flatpicker  C L., also a sound engineer told us  that this version was a puzzle from 40 audio files extracted from 6 or 7
versions recorded by Bill and pasted by  himself ..

Comment by Becky R. Schneider on January 24, 2013 at 2:51

Late to the party - as usual.  Just an update here, but yes, I have met Edwin Sparkes.  He is  a gifted musical talent with life and sensitivity in his performances.  His work and techniques are flawless and inspiring to all who have the opportunity to hear him.  Edwin and his wife Angela attended the Oct. 2012 ABF Rally held in Utica, New York, U.S.A.  He presented a program of classic banjo pieces while attending the rally and impressed all who were in the audience.  Edwin and Angela are charming and delightful people with so much sparkle in their eyes you can't help but want to spend more time with them.  Regards, Becky

Comment by penny on July 31, 2013 at 22:13

I know Edwin Sparkes quite well and he is a talented musician. He trained at the Royal College of Music in the late sixties as a classical guitarist although previously played banjo at local venues in Gloucestershire, UK. His grandfather and father were musicians, with his father being a trombonist of some note. Now in his late 60's and residing in France for the last few decades he is reviving his interest in the banjo and has built some instruments as well as playing them. He is a very clever man, full of spark and joie de vivre, much like his name - which is a Spanish derivative. He will seduce any listener with his able playing and enthusiasm for the instrument ... I wonder if he will upload more for us to hear on YouTube in the future. Regards, Penny

Comment by Richard William Ineson on August 1, 2013 at 11:31

You know me, full of spark and joie de vivre, what are we waiting for?

Comment by penny on August 3, 2013 at 6:09

Monsieur Ineson - you are indeed full of spark and joie de vivre and it would be a pleasure to join you in a collaboration at some point, however, we are now increasingly distanced as I now reside in Pembrokeshire. I envy classic banjo players both in skill and expertise but have found some in need of feeling to match their performance. I do hope you are well sir, and continue to enjoy your banjo notoriety.  I look forward to communicating with you further in the future or indeed seeing you play : )

Comment by David Wade on August 3, 2013 at 6:21

Not so far from Pembrokeshire to Backwell, Penny - maybe we will see you there?

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