b. Deirdre Josephine Cartwright, 27 July 1956, London, England. Born into a musical family, Cartwright began playing piano as a child, switching to guitar at 15. She abandoned studies towards a degree in Social Sciences to become a professional musician. Among her earliest engagements was with the noted British band leader, Ivy Benson. During the 70s she played in several groups including Jam Today and at the start of the next decade joined the all-female band, Guest Stars, with whom she toured extensively, including visits to the USA. She was featured on BBC Television’s Rockschool and at the end of the 80s, with bass player Alison Rayner, she formed Blow The Fuse Records. In the 90s Cartwright toured Britain and Europe and, in addition to playing with her own group, also worked with many leading artists including Peter King, Ian Shaw, Annie Whitehead, Steve Lodder, Carol Grimes, tenor saxophonist Louise Elliot, and the Jamaican pianist Marjorie Whylie.
Cartwright’s repertoire draws from an intriguing mix of contemporary jazz styles and modern pop. Her playing, mostly on electric guitar, is potent and driving. Her solos are intelligently conceived and fully realized and at all times she retains a strong feeling for the more melodic aspects of the music.