Born and brought up in London Deirdre Cartwright bought her first electric guitar when she was fourteen; however, she had to keep her ambition to play in a band a secret from the nuns at her convent school. Mainly self-taught, she discovered the sounds of blues and jazz, and from the age of 17, began to play with a variety of bands from rock to big band jazz.
As a solo artist she has played with American guitar legend Tal Farlow, toured with Jamaican composer Marjorie Whylie, and has played throughout Europe. She has also seen the regular jazz club she co-runs Blow the Fuse become one of the most popular in London and has been a regular presenter for BBC Radio 3.
In 1999 her group represented Great Britain at the European Jazz Festival in Mexico City, and she also performed a concert and live radio broadcast with her trio at the Warsaw International Guitar Festival.
She helped to found the music course at Lewisham College, one of the first colleges in the country to offer BTEC in popular music. She want on to teach on the Certificate of Jazz and Pop music at Goldsmiths College, London University and on the Music Technology degree at Rose Bruford College.
She is also Head of Guitar syllabus development for Rockschool Graded Exams which reaches tens of thousands of musicians in 20 countries around the world.
In Sept 2004 she was Artist in residence at Lincoln Jazz Festival working with a jazz big band and young teenage groups and she also has extensive workshop experience in the UK for the Princes Trust amd has led many summer week long courses and worldwide including Mexico, Germany and Switzerland.
She has had seven books published, the latest by Backbeat Publication The Interactive Guitar Bible (2007) and has a book aimed at teenage girl guitarists coming out next year in the States for Music Sales.
Deirdre is the recipient of two Arts Council composition awards though still acknowledges the lasting effect of an early exposure to Glam Rock.