March highlights at Cecil Sharp House

March

The Rheingans Sisters
Saturday 18 March, 7.30pm
£12 / £10 under 26s

Winners of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for Best Original Track in 2016, The Rheingans Sisters’ are a fiddle-singing duo whose influences today range from the Scandinavian fiddle tradition to classical music.  Rowan and Anna grew up in the Peak District surrounded by traditional music and were encouraged to pick up the fiddle by their violin-maker father from an early age.

Critics rapturously received their latest album, Already Home, with its rich tapestry of fiddle and voice performed by two players of distinct style and reference.  Bringing a fresh perspective to traditional songs, their own compositions combine their individual talents for songwriting and composing.

The Estuary Songwriting Project
Wednesday 22 March, 7.30pm
£12.50 / £10 under 26s

Featuring Hazel Askew, M.G Boulter, Lucy Farrell, Piers Haslam, Roshi Nasehi, Nick Pynn, Alasdair Roberts and Kate Waterfield.

The Leigh Folk Festival has asked eight established and emerging musicians, songwriters and composers to produce original songs and compositions inspired by and celebrating 25 years of the Leigh Folk Festival, during a week-long residential song-writing LAB at Metal in Southend.

Each artist hails from a different musical background with their own style of song writing and instrumental playing and the material produced will deal with a handful of themes around the Thames Estuary including its landscape, natural history, social history, legends and folklore.

Theatre Ballads: Horse & Bamboo Theatre
Thursday 23 March, 7.30pm
£16 / £10 under 26s

The ballad is a story, a story in song.  In this new EFDSS commissioned piece Horse + Bamboo depict songs of a great fight, a broken contract and a female smuggler. Each is a historic ballad arranged and performed live alongside puppetry and simple illustrations, drawing out the tales before your eyes!

The voices, harmonies, stories, puppets, music and animation will combine to create an evocative new look at visual theatre and folk music. Featuring Bryony Griffith (fiddle, viola, voice and piano), Kate Locksley (voice and narrative presentation), Ewan McLennan (guitar and voice) and John Kirkpatrick (melodeon, accordion and voice).

The James Brothers
Wednesday 29 March, 7.30pm
£12 / £10 under 26s

Photograph by Elly Lucas

Join James Fagan and Jamie McClennan for virtuoso Antipodean-steeped folk with a comic twist. The James Brothers are not really outlaws, neither are they brothers and only one of them is called James. The pair come from the lands down under – Australia and New Zealand to be precise; lands in which the traditional songs and tunes of the British Isles have evolved their own unique characteristics, like musical marsupials.

It’s these songs and tunes, and several of their own making as they draw from the folk, blues and bluegrass that inspired them, that The James Brothers have united to play – combining the virtuosity for which they’re renowned and the gusto and spontaneity of a pub session.

The Swingles: Folklore Album Launch

with special guests Twelfth Day and EFFRA
Thursday 30 March, 7.30pm
£25 / £10 under 26s

For more than half a century, The Swingles have pushed the boundaries of vocal music, releasing more than 50 recordings, winning five Grammy awards, and appearing on numerous film and TV soundtracks including Sex and the City and Glee. The group’s versatility has led to collaborations with artists as diverse as the Modern Jazz Quartet, Jamie Cullum and Labrinth. The seven young singers who make up today’s London-based group are driven by the same innovative spirit that has defined The Swingles since they first made waves in the 1960s.

Special guests tonight include acclaimed folk duo Twelfth Day (fiddle player Catriona Price and harpist Esther Swift) as well as contemporary folk band EFFRA.

“Stunning reinventions of songs by the likes of John Martyn, Elbow and Mumford & Sons, with subtle beatboxing and audacious harmonies… superhero singing to truly raise goosebumps.” The Guardian

BBC Concert Orchestra with Spiro
Friday 31 March, 7.30pm
£18 / £10 under 26s

In a special concert to mark the BBC’s fruitful and longstanding relationship with the English Folk Dance and Song Society, the BBC Concert Orchestra presents a concert placing some of the great folk-influenced works of the 20th Century alongside a brand new commission from Jane Harbour, violinist with renowned folk group Spiro.

This performance is part of Radio 3’s 70th season, celebrating seven decades of pioneering music and culture.