Ivor Mariants

Ivor Mairants 1908-98

Jazz & Classical Guitarist

 IvorMairantsEmporerEpiphoneEmperor

Ivor with Epiphone Masterbuilt Emperor Acoustic Guitar
with added DeArmond 1100 Pickup with Control mounted near the Frequensator tailpiece

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Principle Recording Guitarists gathered for an Epiphone Advert 1946.
Top Row – George Elliot, Jack Llewellyn, Harry Pike, Ivor Mariants George Penton, Albert Harris.
Front Row – Sam Grafsley, Syd Colin, Cyril Halliday

IVOR MAIRANTS

Ivor Mairants – Born 18 July 1908, Rypin, Poland. Died 20 February 1998, London, UK.
-was well known throughout the world to guitarists of all styles.

After over 50 years as a professional guitarist, teacher, composer and leading UK musical instrument retailer, he devoted the last few years of his life to composing and writing for the guitar.

IvorMairantsBorn in 1908 in Rypin, Poland. Ivor Mairants came with his family to the United Kingdom in 1913. He took up the banjo at the age of 15 and became a professional musician at the age of 20.  From the 1930’s he was a featured banjoist and then guitarist of many of Britain’s leading dance bands including those of Ambrose, Roy Fox, Lew Stone, Geraldo and Ted Heath. In the 1960’s and 1970’s his outstanding guitar playing was often heard on television, radio, film soundtracks.

His recording of the ‘Adagio’ from Joaquin Rodrigo’s ‘Concierto de Aranjuez’ with Manuel sold over one million copies. His guitar quintet broadcast regularly in the late 1950’s on the BBC’s ‘Guitar Club’ series with Ken Sykora as compere.

Of particular importance to guitarists is the fact that Ivor Mairants devoted so much of his time to writing music and instructional methods for the guitar.  His flamenco guitar method has for many years been a best seller all over the world. His many other solo and technique books for all styles of guitar playing, from publishers both in the UK and USA, have enjoyed great success.

Jack Llewellyn and Ivor Mairants testing a new Van Straten Guitar.
Behind them, from left to right, are Van Straten, Joe Deniz (gr) headstock in hand, Dick Knight, Dick Sadleir and Lauderic Caton.  That could be Billy Bell in the glasses centre rear.

In the 1950’s Ivor Mairants established his central school of dance music in London. All instruments were taught at this innovative establishment, but special emphasis was given to the guitar. Several of his ex-pupils are today Britain’s top guitarists. In 1958, together with his wife Lily, he opened The Ivor Mairants Music Centre.  This was Britain’s 1st specialist guitar store and it was situated in the heart of London’s West End.. For many years some of the world’s best guitars and guitar accessories were introduced into Britain by Ivor Mairants at his store.

The Ivor Mairants Music Centre became a Mecca for professional guitarists, and for amateur guitarists at all levels of ability. Although the store was sold in recent times to one of the UK’s major instrument distributors, it still bears his name. Because of his unique knowledge and music skills, Ivor Mairants was over the years often employed as a specialist consultant for leading instrument makers and importers.

IvorMairantsMC

Ivor Mairants made a unique and outstanding contribution to the world of guitar in Britain. Over the past 50 years, there can be few British guitarists who have not benefited from this contribution. he was a member of the Worshipful Society of Musicians, a prestigious and ancient British Guild, and a Freeman of the City of London.  In 1997 the Worshipful Society of Musicians inaugurated a new annual competition the Ivor Mairants Guitar Award, which will remain an important part of the enormous legacy this irreplaceable figure has left for future generations of guitarists.

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From the 1930’s Ivor Mairants was a prolific columnist in several leading music journals including Melody Maker, BMG and Classical guitar. In 1980 his highly acclaimed biography ‘My Fifty Fretting Years’ was published by Ashley Mark Publishing in the UK, and in 1995 his marvellous opus, ‘The Great Jazz Guitarists’, probably the most complete collection of note-for-note transcriptions of historic jazz guitar solo’s was published by Music Maker Publications in Cambridge, UK.  Mairants developed and refined his jazz playing to impressive proportions. His frequent professional contact with the very best jazz guitarists such as Django Reinhardt, Joe Pass, Barney Kessel and Herb Ellis led, in 1995, to his monumental book The Great Jazz Guitarists, the product of many years’ hard labour.  Died in 1998.

Ivor Mairants with Gibson L-5CES Guitar that later replaced his beloved Epiphone Emporer.  The Tailpiece has an engraved name similar to that of the Wes Montgomery Guitar.

From the 1930’s Ivor Mairants was a prolific columnist in several leading music journals including Melody Maker, BMG and Classical guitar. In 1980 his highly acclaimed biography ‘My Fifty Fretting Years’ was published by Ashley Mark Publishing in the UK, and in 1995 his marvellous opus, ‘The Great Jazz Guitarists’, probably the most complete collection of note-for-note transcriptions of historic jazz guitar solo’s was published by Music Maker Publications in Cambridge, UK.  Mairants developed and refined his jazz playing to impressive proportions. His frequent professional contact with the very best jazz guitarists such as Django Reinhardt, Joe Pass, Barney Kessel and Herb Ellis led, in 1995, to his monumental book The Great Jazz Guitarists, the product of many years’ hard labour.  Died in 1998.

The Story of Supersound UK Amplifier

Three Virtuosos
Ivor Mairants, Les Paul and ‘Bert’ Weedon in 1952 examining the Solid Body Gibson ‘Les Paul’

After over 50 years as a professional guitarist, teacher, composer and leading UK musical instrument retailer, he devoted the last few years of his life to composing and writing for the guitar.

Of particular importance to guitarists is the fact that Ivor Mairants devoted so much of his time to writing music and instructional methods for the guitar.

StratenLaunch

Jack Llewellyn and Ivor Mairants testing a new Van Straten Guitar.
Behind them, from left to right, are Van Straten, Joe Deniz (gr) headstock in hand, Dick Knight, Dick Sadleir and Lauderic Caton.  That could be Billy Bell in the glasses centre rear.

From the 1930’s Ivor Mairants was a prolific columnist in several leading music journals including Melody Maker, BMG and Classical guitar. In 1980 his highly acclaimed biography ‘My Fifty Fretting Years’ was published by Ashley Mark Publishing in the UK, and in 1995 his marvellous opus, ‘The Great Jazz Guitarists’, probably the most complete collection of note-for-note transcriptions of historic jazz guitar solo’s was published by Music Maker Publications in Cambridge, UK.  Mairants developed and refined his jazz playing to impressive proportions. His frequent professional contact with the very best jazz guitarists such as Django Reinhardt, Joe Pass, Barney Kessel and Herb Ellis led, in 1995, to his monumental book The Great Jazz Guitarists, the product of many years’ hard labour.  Ivor died in 1998.

IvorLesBert52

Three Virtuosos
Ivor Mairants, Les Paul and ‘Bert’ Weedon in 1952 examining the Solid Body Gibson ‘Les Paul

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