Award-winning blues star Chantel McGregor to play festive gig in Newmarket

Chantel McGregor is a two-time winner of the 'guitarist of the year' title at the British Blues Awar

Chantel McGregor is a two-time winner of the 'guitarist of the year' title at the British Blues Awards. - Credit: Archant

The first female artist to have been voted ‘guitarist of the year’ in the history of the British Blues Awards comes to Newmarket next week for a concert.

Chantel McGregor, the awards’ guitarist of the year for the last two years, also won the title of female vocalist of the year in 2013.

She plays Newmarket Memorial Hall on December 6.

The Christmas event is sponsored by this year’s Cambridge Rock Festival.

Described as a prodigy, at 14 Chantel was told by major labels “great voice, but girls don’t play guitar like that!”

Ignoring that advice, she enrolled at the world-renowned Leeds College of Music and became the first student in the college’s history to achieve a 100 per cent pass mark, with 18 distinctions.

Chantel left with a first class honours degree in popular music, plus a coveted prize for outstanding musicianship.

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A Cambridge Rock Festival spokesman said: “Imagine the guitar playing of Robin Trower, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Joe Bonamassa with the haunting vocal of Stevie Nicks.

“That’s Chantel McGregor, one of the most exciting rock and blues musicians in the UK.”

Chantel will be supported by Absolution, another award-winning blues trio who have just released their latest album worldwide and have supported a string of well known blues acts.

The concert begins at 7.30pm.

Tickets £12 in advance from, or £14 on the door.

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