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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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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

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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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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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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Juliet Fraser

Juliet Fraser

Events with Juliet

Soprano Juliet Fraser has a repertoire dominated by the very old and the very new. Recent projects range from the ground-breaking music of Francesca Caccini, composer to the Medici, to the newest new works combining voice and electronics. Increasingly in demand as a soloist for contemporary repertoire, she has performed with new music ensembles Klangforum Wien, Talea, Remix Ensemble, ICTUS, Plus-Minus, We Spoke: New Music Company and London Sinfonietta.

She is an active commissioner of new music, and has worked particularly closely with composers Cassandra Miller, Michael Finnissy, Bernhard Lang, Andrew Hamilton and Rebecca Saunders. She is also a core member of EXAUDI vocal ensemble, which she co-founded with composer/conductor James Weeks in 2002. Her discography includes early music with the Monteverdi Choir, Collegium Vocale Gent and Gli Angeli Genève, contemporary ensemble repertoire with EXAUDI, and new solo works by Andrew Hamilton (NMC), Bernhard Lang (Kairos) and Morton Feldman (Hat Hut). She is the founder and artistic director of eavesdropping, a new series and a symposium dedicated to new music.

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Gwyneth Herbert

Gwyneth Herbert

Events with Gwyneth

Gwyneth Herbert is a strikingly original performer, award-winning composer and lyricist and versatile musical adventurer who continues to redefine and challenge expectations. Drawing on influences from the worlds of jazz, folk, contemporary classical music and storytelling, she has worked in collaboration with writers, musicians, directors, choreographers, visual artists, academics, clowns and young people to create a huge canon of genre-defying interdisciplinary work, as well as touring nationally and internationally with her band and releasing six critically acclaimed albums to date on major, independent and self-owned labels.

The most recent of these, 2012’s The Sea Cabinet - an intricate exploration of the sea in all its magic, majesty and mystery - received rave reviews and a large-scale multi-art form tour followed, involving prose, live water sculpture projections and pirate flashmob choruses recruited from local communities. Long-recognised for her rare vocal talents and extraordinary ability to connect emotionally with her audience, the tour further enhanced Gwyneth’s reputation as one the most imaginative and idiosyncratic artists of her generation.

Since then she has performed her own work with the London Sinfonietta, toured across the world with her band and received enormous acclaim for her work on numerous projects as composer and lyricist, ranging from the Bristol Old Vic’s hugely successful production of The Snow Queen - for which she was also musical director and voice of the title role - to a song for EastEnders character Bex!

2018 sees the launch of her ambitious and hugely anticipated seventh album and live show, Letters I Haven’t Written, songs from which she recently previewed in session for BBC Radio 2 and live from the Edinburgh Festival on BBC Radio 3. Gwyneth describes the project as "a  musical, narrative and visual journey exploring the lost art of letter writing. Through blots of heartbreak, strokes of curiosity and scribbles of whimsy, Letters... unearths the emotional complexities of putting pen to paper, and, in a climate of status updates and limited characters, seeks to find a more meaningful dialogue with the world”.

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Matthew Sharp

Matthew Sharp

Events with Matthew

'Virtuoso of the arts' (The Times) Matthew Sharp, has performed worldwide as solo cellist, baritone, actor and director - solo appearances with the RPO, LPO, RLPO, CBSO; singing principal roles for Opera North and ROH; acting principal roles at the Young Vic and NT Studio.

From Glastonbury to Glyndebourne, he has worked with an extraordinary spectrum of leading artists from Sir John Tavener to Marta Eggert to Dave McKean to Caryl Churchill. His own music and theatre works have toured to major festivals globally. He has given over sixty world premieres and recorded for Sony, EMI, Decca, Naxos, Somm, NMC, Avie and Whirlwind.

'…he held the breathless attention of the audience with his vivid, poignant performance… remarkable.' - The Independent

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John Baily & Veronica Doubleday

John Baily & Veronica Doubleday

Events with John & Veronica

Husband and wife team John and Veronica are renowned ethnomusicologists whose work has been invaluable in bringing the music of Afghanistan to the wider world.  Over 3 decades they have produced a steady stream of CDs, books, and articles, tracking the lives of musicians first within Afghan borders, then further afield when making music in that war-torn land became a seriously dangerous thing to do.

Moreover, they have immersed themselves deeply enough in Afghan music to win shauqi status as respected amateur performers: she as a singer, he as a player of the dutar and the boat-shaped rubab lute, with its guttural-ethereal sound-palette.

Lucy Farrell

Lucy Farrell

Events with Lucy

As one fourth of The Furrow Collective, Lucy is the current recipient of the BBC Folk Award for Best Group following the release of their widely acclaimed Wild Hog LP, earned during an immensely busy and creative time in which she contributed to the raved about return to form that was the Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band’s Big Machine album and tour, and also saw her final shows with the Emily Portman Trio with whom she’d sung, sawed and played viola for many years.

An inveterate collaborator, the news that Lucy is to take centre stage in her own right comes as a welcome surprise to all those who’ve been entranced by her haunting and quintessentially English voice, subtle and instinctive musicianship and her ability to connect emotionally with an audience while adhering to the great Shirley Collins’ adage that in folk music the singer should never get in the way of the song.

Lucy Farrell first enchanted fans of traditional music when she began performing as a duo with fellow Newcastle Folk Degree graduate Jonny Kearney. Invited to become the regular opening act for The Unthanks, Lucy & Jonny’s blend of wry and lovelorn tales with exquisite interpretations of English, Scottish and American ballads saw them frequently outselling the headline act at the CD stall.

As well as Lucy’s fruitful partnership with singer and songwriter Emily Portman and the award winning harpist and singer Rachel Newton, she has also written, performed and recorded with numerous bands and projects including Dark Northumbrian, Gluepot, a star-studded live tribute to Norma Waterson, and also formed her own group Ogres. Although she’s rejected the conventional career path, Lucy has become one of the most in demand musicians and vocalists on the young folk scene.

Signed to the impressively visionary Hudson Records, Lucy Farrell has returned to the traditional folk songs that have remained at the heart of everything she’s done. These are the ballads that inspire her own compositions, but in their own handed-down beauty and strangeness tell fantastical stories beyond our imaginations. And in her voice they bewitch anew.

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Dónal Kearney

Dónal Kearney

Events with Dónal

Dónal is a singer, collaborator and educator from County Down, Northern Ireland.

Whether harmonising on long car journeys with his three brothers or learning traditional songs with local choirs, Dónal has been singing all his life. His great-uncle Redmond Friel was a composer for RTÉ in the 1940s, writing music rooted in traditional music and song of Ireland. Dónal's grandmother Eileen Friel was a harper in the Irish tradition. Although his musical education was initially classical - studying flute and piano as a child - Dónal's family heritage stirred his interest in folksong and the Ulster sean nós repertoire in his early teens.

Currently based in Dublin, Dónal works internationally with various projects, including Tourist Walk with his brothers. As a member of ANÚNA, he toured Asia, Europe, Canada, and the USA, performing on stages such as the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing, Shanghai Conservatoire of Music, Tokyo's Bunkamura Orchard Hall, De Doelen in Rotterdam, King's Hall in London, and Dublin's O2 Arena.

Dónal sings traditional songs from his native Ulster, learning from sean nós singers like Doimnic Mac Giolla Bhríde and Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin. As a freelance artist, he has lent his voice to brands like World of Warcraft and Beats by Dre, and his solo voice features on soundtracks by Nintendo (Xenoblade II) and Blizzard. Dónal's original music has been broadcast on RTÉ TV ("First Kiss") and radio (weavers).

Dónal is one third of TRÚ, a folk trio based in Northern Ireland with an eclectic musical heritage. TRÚ's performance of traditional and original songs at Celtic Connections 2018 was met with high praise and the future looks bright as they continue to work on completing their début album.

"Amazing. Stunning voice!" - Janis Ian, Double GRAMMY-award singer-songwriter

"Smart singing. Beautiful singing." - Shirley Collins, folk singer and song collector

 

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Jarlath Henderson

Jarlath Henderson

Events with Jarlath

From County Armagh, Jarlath Henderson has been playing the uilleann pipes since the age of 10. A talented and versatile musician, Jarlath also plays whistle, flute, cittern and has recently been winning over audiences with song.

In 2003 he became the first and only Irish solo artist to win the prestigious BBC Young Folk Musician of the Year Award, which led to him being invited to play at some of the most prestigious festivals in Europe. Jarlath is a three times ‘All-­­Ireland Champion’ Uilleann Piper, a teacher both in Ireland and Scotland and has featured in numerous BBC television programmes on piping and music. In 2008 he released his first album, 'Partners in Crime' (Vertical Records) with fellow border piper Ross Ainslie, followed by their second release 'Air-Fix' in 2013. Both albums received outstanding critical acclaim from the general folk world, with the debut release being voted '6th Best Folk Album' of 2008 by Mojo Magazine.

When not performing with his band, solo or alongside Ross Ainslie, Jarlath regularly guests with Scottish folk legends Capercaillie, Salsa Celtica and in Phil Cunningham's annual Hogmanay house band. This year in Ireland he will be playing with his sister Alana Henderson, the Cara Dillon Band, Atlantic Arc Orchestra and Cathy Jordan and Mick Daly.

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