Popular music pair continue to delight Croydon shoppers


Professional violinist Jerzy Siwek and singer Gabby Slonecka have been performing in Croydon town centre for seven years.


By Elise Chamberlain

A popular musical pair, whose instrument was once used as a weapon by fighting youths, continue to delight Croydon shoppers with much-loved film and music scores.

Professional violinist Jerzy Siwek, 59, graduate of the Krakow Academy of Music, and partner, singer Gabby Slonecka, 54, have been performing music in Croydon town centre for seven years.

While performing two years ago a fight broke out between two groups of youths in front of the couple, who live in Morden.

One youth grabbed Mr Siwek’s violin using it as a weapon and damaged it beyond repair.

“We were just in the wrong place at the wrong time,” said Ms Slonecka.

However, rather than deter them from performing, this incident encouraged the pair to promote music as an alternative to violence.

“Music can definitely be an antidote to crime, depending on how it is played of course.

“It makes people calm and relaxed. It is very good as therapy,” she said.

Ms Slonecka said her and her partner will continue to perform in Croydon while their music still makes people smile.

She said: “We get a very good response from people in Croydon; people are very happy and always thank us for giving the town a nice atmosphere and educating children about music.”

Ms Slonecka said they perform such an array of music that everyone who listens will find something they like.

“Most people connect playing the violin to playing in an orchestra and assume it’s boring, but when they hear my partner perform he changes their mind.”

The duo are hoping to inspire adults as well as children to learn a new skill in the form of a musical instrument.

Onlooker Emma Davies, 31, said: “I have come down here before to hear them, they are fantastic. It’s really relaxing.”

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