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That’s all folk!

Fun and friendly workshops, and performances from some of Britain’s top folk musicians at festival

31 August, 2018 — By Sebastian Taylor

London Klezmer Quartet will play at this weekend’s London Folk Festival

BRUSH up your folk performance skills at the third London Folk Festival this Saturday at Cecil Sharp House.

At noon there’s the Whistle Workshop, a fun and friendly workshop for beginners led by Jacquelyne Hynes, who is a flute and folk lecturer at Morley College and whistle tutor at the Irish Cultural Centre in Hammersmith. You’ll learn about fingering, technique and different tune types – jigs, reels, hornpipes and polkas. Take a D whistle with you, or you can buy one for £8 from the tutor.

At 1.15pm there’s a spoons workshop led by outstanding percussionist Jo May. Jo provides an assortment of metal, wooden, plastic and joined-up spoons (for younger participants). She’ll be teaching a variety of techniques and rhythms, often incorporating songs and body percussion.

At 3pm there’s a singing workshop led by Allison Sleator. You’ll learn vocal technique exercises – vocal range, dynamics, pitch and timbre – folk songs, and about putting harmonies into songs and ways of varying the experience and presentation of songs.

At 5pm there’s a clog dancing workshop led by Hannah James, one of the most imaginative and adventurous artists on the folk scene. This workshop is aimed at beginners only.

Nearly a dozen singers and groups are performing at the London Folk Festival, including:

• Sophie Crawford: a north London folk singer offering fresh and exciting interpretations of traditional songs;

• Ange Hardy, one of Britain’s top folk musicians;

• Alice Jones: singer, multi-instrumentalist and dancer from Ripponden, West Yorkshire;

• Sam Kelly and Jamie Francis: multi-award-winning folk musicians;

• London Klezmer Quartet: a dynamic group of performers with a deep understanding of Klezmer;

• Anna MacDonald: a singer of Gaelic songs performed with guitar or Clarsach;

• Kitty Macfarlane: Somerset singer-songwriter;

• Rachel McShane & the Cartographers: re-working traditional material. Rachel is a singer, cellist, fiddle and viola player based in north-east England.

Day tickets are £30/under-16 £20. Call 020 7485 2206 or visit www.londonfolkfestival.co.uk

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