Kadialy Kouyate

Kadialy Kouyate

Events with Kadialy

“Senegalese kora virtuoso/singer Kadialy Kouyaté showcases his fleet-fingered skills on this mesmerizing instrument, complementing it with his hauntingly, darkly beautiful voice.” -Time Out London.

Kadialy Kouyate is a musician, a singer songwriter inspired by the West African Griot repertoire. Born into the great line of Kouyate Griot in Southern Senegal, Kadialy’s mesmerising kora playing and singing style have been appreciated in many prestigious venues as both a soloist and in different ensembles.

Since his arrival in the UK Kadialy has played a significant part in enriching the London musical scene with his griot legacy. He has been teaching the Kora at Soas university of London for the last decade and he has also been involved in countless musical projects both as a collaborator and a session musician.

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Kate Young

Kate Young

Events with Kate

Kate Young is a Scottish singer, fiddle player and composer. She specialises in combining her experience of world musics such as her training in Bulgarian traditional singing with fiddle accompaniment and is constantly exploring new ways to combine her writing, informed by traditions with string quintet. 

In 2014 her band Kate in the Kettle's debut album, ‘Swimmings of the Head’ was received with high acclaim from Songlines, The Guardian, and MOJO. It proved as a celebration of innovation and the weaving together of similarities between Scottish, Scandinavian and Indian traditions. Kate Young is also known for her work with Songs of Separation (BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2017 - Album of the Year), Carthy, Oates, Farrell & Young and the Moulettes.

After a successful showcase of her ‘New Voices’ commission at Celtic Connections last year, 2017 saw Kate in the Kettle joined by an exciting new line-up with fresh songs arranged for string quintet, which explore the folkloric traditions surrounding plant medicine.

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Georgia Ruth

Georgia Ruth

Events with Georgia

Georgia Ruth is a Cardiff-based musician and songwriter from Aberystwyth in West Wales. Her debut album Week of Pines won the Welsh Music Prize in 2013, and she released her second (Fossil Scale) in 2016. She appeared as a guest vocalist on the Manic Street Preachers' Futurology album, and has toured extensively in India: both as a member of Ghazalaw (whose debut record was released on Cerys Matthews' Marvels of the Universe label) and as part of the British Council's Folk Nations project. 

Georgia presents a weekly music show on BBC Radio Cymru, and has also presented 'World on 3' for BBC Radio 3. 

Press for Fossil Scale :
“Georgia is finding her own distinct voice” **** Q Magazine
“Slow-burner of a record that rewards repeated listening” **** The Evening Standard
“a wealth of sonic detail” The Independent
“A deeply intelligent return”  Clash Magazine

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Fiston Lusambo

Fiston Lusambo

Events with Fiston

London based Fiston Lusambo is a virtuoso guitarist, famous for his fluid style blending choppy rhythm playing with sinuous lead lines. He first came into the spotlight in Orchestra Virunga, the group formed around seminal Congolese artist Samba Mapangala.

He is bandleader of Zong Zing All Stars, leading exponents of 'cavacha' - the uplifting dance rhtyhm at the core of central African music, which gave rise to 'soukous' in Congo, 'makosa' in Cameroon, and 'coupez decallez' in Côte d'Ivoire.

Max Baillie

Max Baillie

Events with Max

Max has jammed with Tuaregs in the Malian Desert, led Bjork’s orchestra in the Albert Hall, and accompanied Stevie Wonder in Hyde Park. From folk tunes in the Welsh Hills to collaborations with Steve Reich and John Williams, Max leads a chameleonic life including classical, pop, and improvisation, with musicians from all over the world and on stages big and small.

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Carleen Anderson

Carleen Anderson

Events with Carleen

Hailed by Giles Peterson as one of the most influential singer/songwriters of her generation, Carleen Anderson is highly respected within the music industry. She’s globally known for her collaboration with the 1991 Mercury Music Award Shortlisted Young Disciples for their album, Road to Freedom and her 1994 Brit Award nominated solo album TRUE SPIRIT. Throughout her independent solo career, she’s been featured alongside a multitude of established artists from a wide array of musical genres - Nigel Kennedy, Dr. John, OMAR, Chrissie Hynde, Jocelyn Brown, Meshell Ndgeocello, Paul McCartney, Brand New Heavies, Incognito, Paul Weller, Ramsay Lewis, and a further long list of luminous ones. She won Jazz FM’s 2013 Best UK Vocalist Award. In 2014, Arts Council England awarded her a Research and Development grant for her Cage Street Memorial Theatre Production which was followed by a PRS Women Make Music grant in 2015 to record its accompanying music. She won the Giles Peterson’s Worldwide FM Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017. Her CAGE STREET MEMORIAL Tribal Opera concert at the Barbican in January 2018 received great press reviews. The London Evening Standard called it ‘a deftly crafted masterwork’.

In addition to currently promoting her soundtrack album CAGE STREET MEMORIAL ~ The
Pilgrimage, Anderson is internationally commissioned to compose and arrange music for several
Human Rights projects.

CAGE STREET MEMORIAL WEBSITE

Laura Moody

Laura Moody

Events with Laura

Laura Moody is a wildly alternative cellist, vocalist and avant-singer-songwriter. Fascinated not only with words and songwriting but also with sounds, noises and textures, she eschews laptops and loop pedals to explore what is possible using only solo cello and voice. She creates emotive songs that reveal a multitude of influences and inhabit a unique space between the contemporary avant garde, classical music, experimental pop and singer-songwriter tradition.

Having achieved much international acclaim as a long-standing member of innovative string quartet the Elysian Quartet, she has also toured world-wide as a member of physical theatre string ensemble The Gogmagogs and the Meredith Monk Ensemble and performed extensively in theatre and contemporary dance productions. She has toured, collaborated and recorded with leading musicians from a hugely diverse number of genres from folk to hip hop. All these elements are brought together in Laura’s solo work, as The Arts Desk noted,"it seemed almost as if she had taken every musical influence that had come her way and put them in a blender...certainly extraordinary and sometimes disturbing. But what surprised me most ...was just how often it became mesmerising."

Laura releases music on her own Surbiton Lagoon label, named after an exotically monikered but long defunct swimming pool in the famously beige London suburb where she grew up. An EP was released in 2009  and following a highly successful crowdfunding campaign her highly personal and long awaited debut album 'Acrobats' was released in November 2014. She is currently working on the follow up release.

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Ayanna Witter-Johnson

Ayanna Witter-Johnson

Events with Ayanna

Singer, songwriter, cellist Ayanna Witter-Johnson is a rare exception to the rule that classical and alternative r&b music cannot successfully coexist.

Graduating with a first from both Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and the Manhattan School of Music, Ayanna was a participant in the London Symphony Orchestra’s Panufnik Young Composers Scheme and become an Emerging Artist in Residence at London’s Southbank Centre. She was a featured artist with Courtney Pine’s Afropeans: Jazz Warriors and became the only non-American to win Amateur Night Live at the legendary Apollo Theatre in Harlem, NYC.

As a composer, she has scored original music for various productions and as an arranger and orchestrator Ayanna has worked with the London Symphony Orchestra (Hugh Masekela), and the BBC Symphony Orchestra (Urban Classic).

Since releasing her EP’s Truthfully and Black Panther Ayanna has extensively toured the UK and several countries in Europe, whilst gaining a MOBO award nomination and getting airplay on BBC Radio 1 & BBC 1Xtra. A performer of extraordinary versatility her live shows are intimate journeys that chronicle her experience as a female artist in the 21st century.

Because of her musical prowess, mesmerising vocals, non-compromising lyrics and ability to deftly reinterpret songs on the cello Ayanna is able to straddle both the classical and urban worlds effortlessly.

She is the definition of eclectic soul.

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Tom Stuart

Tom Stuart

Tom is a conservationist, ornithologist, sound recordist and environmentalist. Most recently he's been recording in Hawaii and working on a habitat restoration project on Maui’s Haleakala volcano – a dream spawned twenty years ago when he wrote about the endangered birds of Hawaii for Birdlife International.
 
Tom has been ‘resident ornithologist’ for ‘Singing with Nightingales’ for the last two years. He will be sharing his lifelong passion for birds again in 2017, leading appetite-whetting bird-song walks and introducing participants to the life of Nightingales. He is part the team developing the experience at the new venues.

Tiff Wear

Tiff Wear

Events with Tiff

A veteran host of our 2017 SWN series, Tiff is a theatre maker and facilitator, exploring the non-verbal languages of space, rhythm and physicality. He facilitates nature based learning experiences for children and adults; volunteering as a trainer with the charity organisation Forest School Camps and curating an annual community gathering in the forest.

He was recently in South America working on a theatre project, and spent two weeks in the Brazilian Amazon living with an indigenous community. He is very interested in the role of ritual within community and what the Western world has to learn from indigenous cosmologies. 

Corin Stuart

Corin Stuart

Events with Corin

Corin is a biologist, actor and storyteller. Growing up in East Sussex he has always had a fascination with wildlife and is a particular expert on trees, having worked as a teacher and workshop leader for the urban regeneration charity "Trees for Cities”.

He has hosted events and workshops for many years, often in the persona of the embattled Basil Fawlty. However, for this event he is hoping to keep his cool and offer you a quiet and warm welcome to Sussex and the natural history of the Nightingale.

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Sam Lee

Sam Lee

Events with Sam

Mercury Prize nominated folk singer, song collector, award winning promoter, broadcaster, animateur, and naturalist.

As an artist Sam traverses many worlds, challenging and pioneering folk music in diverse places and ways. Not just an award-winning singer with two highly decorated albums to his name and a sound incomparable to his contemporaries’; his work fostering live music in the UK has been instrumental in the explosion of folk of the last decade. Sam reinvents not just the way these ancient songs should sound but how they can be sourced, exist and thrive, from conscientiously gathering them in Gypsy Traveler camps to singing them for the Hollywood big screen.

Sam’s debut album, ‘Ground of its Own’ was conceived after winning the prestigious Arts Foundation Prize in 2011 and nominated for the 2012 Mercury Music Prize. His second album, ‘The Fade in Time’ (2015) has been equally feted. At the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2016, Sam was presented with ‘Best Traditional Song’ for his version of the song ‘Lovely Molly’. During the ceremony, he performed the song live, backed by the 40-piece Roundhouse Choir, in front of a sold-out show at the Royal Albert Hall, London. The same week, Sam and his band of Friends were invited to perform the same song on BBC TV’s ‘Later with Jools’.

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Francesca Simmons

Francesca Simmons

Events with Francesca

Francesca Simmons, is a violinist and independent artist from North Wales, now living in Bristol.

She currently plays violin and musical saw with folk-improv instrumental trio Rock of Eye, and for live animation outfit The Paper Cinema. Performing under her solo moniker Madame Česki, she self-released her debut album Palimpsest in 2016 with airplay on Radio3, Radio 6 Music and BBC Radio Cymru/Radio Wales.

Other session and performing work has included working alongside Sam Lee, Gruff Rhys (Super Furry Animals), Spiro, Collectress, Fiona Bevan, The Heritage Orchestra, DJ Yoda, Marques Toliver, and Lleuwen Steffan. Francesca has also performed with Giffords Circus, Secret Cinema, and Sound UK.

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Adrian Freedman

Adrian Freedman

Events with Adrian

Adrian Freedman is a composer and multi-instrumentalist specialising in the shakuhachi, Japanese zen flute. Adrian is a musician of extraordinary breadth. His musical journey encompasses the fields of Baroque music, contemporary and improvised music, folk-fusion, soundtracks for theatre and dance, Japanese traditional music and devotional songs.

Adrian studied music at Manchester University, Guildhall School of Music, and Kyoto Arts University. He lived in Japan for 7 years, where he studied the shakuhachi with renowned master Yokoyama Katsuya. He later lived in Brazil where he became immersed in sacred medicine music rituals of the forest. Arising from his musical and spiritual journey, Adrian has received a collection of more than 100 original songs and chants.

As a composer and musical director, he has worked for Kneehigh Theatre,Wildworks Theatre, Scottish Contemporary Dance, Stopgap Dance Company and many others. Adrian has performed solo recitals and concerts with various ensembles at international festivals and in sacred spaces around the world. His music is heartfelt and full of subtle dynamics that conjure an atmosphere ofrarefied peace, spaciousness and delicate beauty. The scope of his music is diverse, including songs was well as instrumental music, but an ineffable sense of the sacred is felt throughout. 

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Chartwell Dutiro

Chartwell Dutiro

Events with Chartwell

Chartwell Dutiro is a musician, singer, song-writer, composer, author and teacher. He grew up in rural Zimbabwe and started playing the mbira when he was four. The mbira is an ancient instrument, consisting of at least 22 metal keys mounted on a wooden soundboard. Chartwell and his brother would often play mbira all night, calling the ancestral spirits for guidance, as had been done in Zimbabwe over centuries.

As a teenager Chartwell joined the Salvation Army band, and when he moved to the capital he played in a military marching band. From 1986 to 1994 he toured the world with the legendary “Thomas Mapfumo and the Blacks Unlimited.” Since 1994, Chartwell has been based in Britain, performing, recording, teaching and building bridges through his music.

Chartwell has played the Shona mbira virtually his entire life. From his village childhood in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) when he played at ceremonies with a local spirit medium, to his years performing and recording with Zimbabwe’s iconic Thomas Mapfumo and the Blacks Unlimited, to his more recent career as a teacher, solo artist, and bandleader in the UK, Chartwell has cut a remarkable path through African music.

Chartwell is a superb instrumentalist and a soulful singer. His arrangements of Shona traditional music are both innovative and inspirational. He is also a gifted storyteller with a deep sense of history and a wry sense of humor. An evening in his presence is an unforgettable experience.

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Alice Zawadzki

Alice Zawadzki

Events with Alice

Alice Zawadzki is a vocalist, violinist, songwriter and composer based in London. Her work as a performer, collaborator, composer and speaker, has seen her gain considerable repute as a distinctive and individual presence on the creative European music scene.

Anglo-Polish Alice’s rich musical background and “whimsical hyper-creativity” (MOJO Magazine) converge into artistry which draws upon her early exposure to New Orleans jazz and gospel with the legendary Lillian Boutté, and extensive classical training as a violinist, and a continuous exploration of improvisation, poetry, and folk music from diverse traditions.

“all propelled in a voice of velvet suppleness and gutsy emotional power” - The Arts Desk

She performs extensively as both a soloist and as a collaborator, with headline performances at most of the major UK alternative and jazz venues and festivals. She also performs and collaborates at underground venues in the London scene and on unexpected platforms, with a keenness to nourish music at its roots.

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Barbara Dickson

Barbara Dickson

Events with Barbara

As a multi-million selling recording artist with an equally impressive Olivier Award winning acting career, Barbara Dickson OBE has firmly established herself as one of the most enduring and popular artistes in Britain today. 

Born in Dunfermline, Scotland, Barbara’s love of music was evident from an early age – she began studying piano at the age of five and by twelve had also taken up the guitar. She developed an interest in folk music whilst at school which led to floor spots singing at her local folk club. After relocating to Edinburgh, she went on to combine a day job in the Civil Service whilst steadily pursuing her first love, music, in local pubs and clubs. The watershed moment came in 1968 when, after being refused leave from her job for an overseas singing engagement, Barbara resigned, determined to pursue a career for herself in the burgeoning folk scene of the late ‘60’s. 

The next few years saw her gradually ‘paying her dues’ on the Scottish and English folk circuit, steadily building a reputation and working with the likes of Billy Connolly, Gerry Rafferty, Rab Noakes and Archie Fisher. Early folk albums, which she recorded for Trailer and Decca Records, were well received. Barbara readily admits that she would have been happy to continue her life as a travelling folk musician, but a meeting with an old friend, musician and playwright Willy Russell, in Liverpool in the early 70s was to change the course of her career completely. 

She is currently working on a new studio album, a follow-up her recent live album, ‘In Good Company,’ which will feature some of her favourite songs recorded with a string quartet featuring new arrangements by John O'Hara, and she is also planning another release which she hopes will coincide with her next full band tour in early 2019. Whilst Barbara remains modest about her many achievements, with seventeen Platinum and Gold albums to her name she remains Scotland’s biggest-selling female singer of all time. 

Aly Bain, the great folk musician, has described her as having the best female voice ever to come out of Scotland whilst Billy Connolly says “from the very first time I heard her, her voice just nailed me to the wall. She’s just a one-off.” Barbara is quick to dismiss this politely as pure opinion, but the accolades she has received over the years undoubtedly recognise that she has been touched with a gift that is of great importance to her and, more importantly, to her audience. 

“Singing is not,” she says, “about technique but what is in your heart. That is the secret”.

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Piers Faccini

Piers Faccini

Events with Piers

Crossing and blurring musical boundaries is an art form for Piers Faccini. Treading the frontiers which delineate one country from another, Faccini finds his inspiration in the cultural ambiguity of borderlands. If his songs were maps, they’d stretch from the English moors to the Saharan dunes via the plains of the Mediterranean.

Over seven acclaimed albums, Faccini has toured his music worldwide, recording and collaborating with numerous musicians and singers including Ballake Sissoko, Vincent Segal, Ben Harper, Rokia Traore, Patrick Watson and Ibrahim Maalouf amongst others.

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Clare O'Connell

Clare O'Connell

Events with Clare

Cellist Clare O'Connell is passionate about and specialises in playing chamber music. She is a founder member of acclaimed contemporary chamber ensemble CHROMA, and collaborates with The Storytellers Ensemble, The Harborough Collective, Lontano, Aurora, Marais Ensemble and Propellor Ensemble.

She set up and curates CHROMA’s series of chamber music concerts in Berkhamsted, experimenting with varying instrumental line-ups, and interweaving music, poetry, and storytelling to add another dimension to the concert going experience, and for which she has commissioned new works from Leonardo Margutti and Luke Bedford as well as a piece of music and words from Patrick Sherwen and Dominic Shovelton. 

She programmed and produced CHROMA’s first own label album ‘Folk Tales’, conceived and recorded with CHROMA artists David Le Page and Ian Watson and has recently started working on an album of new material with  David Le Page.

CHROMA WEBSITE