There will be several concerts during the symposium, for the entertainment and edification of the symposium attendees:
Tuesday, July 2, 2019:
Morning folk ensemble concert
A folk ensemble concert will take place during registration on the morning of the first day of the symposium. This ensemble will present some of the finest musicians in Birmingham, and especially at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, who will welcome symposium participants to the proceedings with their music.
Evening traditional tune session at the Woodman Pub
Later that evening, we plan to retire to The Woodman, a traditional British Victorian pub with a great selection of real ales and ciders. This event will feature a live traditional tune session, where participants can join in and jam together, to bring the first day of the symposium to a fun and friendly close. Please feel free to Bring Your Own Instruments!
Wednesday, July 3, 2019:
Lunchtime concert with Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar
The second day of the symposium will feature a lunchtime concert by Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar. A duo that has become one of the most sought after acts on the British folk scene, Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar joined forces in 2011. Combining Russell’s powerful vocals and driving guitar style with Algar’s All-Ireland winning fiddle playing, the pair won the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award in 2013, before going on to win the Horizon Award for best breakthrough act from the same source in 2014. In 2015, they were nominated in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award Best Duo category.
Having toured extensively in the UK for five years, as well as in Denmark, Germany and The Netherlands, Russell and Algar have released 3 studio albums.
(Ciaran will be demonstrating fiddle techniques in the symposium fiddle workshop later that afternoon as well.)
Evening concert with The Urban Folk Quartet
The second day of the symposium will close with an evening concert by The Urban Folk Quartet. The UFQ’s distinguishing features have much less to do with the traditional idea of genre. This is fiddle-led music that draws heavily from celtic dance forms and traditional song—but from there on in it is unlike any folk band you have ever heard. Just as English country dance unassumingly met with big band jazz musicianship in the mid 20th century, The UFQ’s approach to the folk ethos is to embrace any and every influence that genuinely makes sense of their time and place and makes sense in their music. From funk grooves to middle-eastern melodies, afrobeat to north Indian rhythms.
The first of those phenomenal fiddlers is Galician Paloma Trigás, who has shared stages and recorded with with the likes of The Chieftains, Sharon Shannon and Altan, during her tenure touring the stadiums of the world with Spain’s biggest folk star, Carlos Nuñez. The second is Joe Broughton (Albion Band, Bellowhead, Joss Stone) long established on the folk scene as the fieriest English fiddler and showman of his generation. Also an exceptional guitarist and mandolin player, in UFQ Joe deftly shares multi-instrumentalist duties (often mid-song) with Dan Walsh. Touted as one of the finest banjo players in the country as well as a gifted singer and guitarist, Dan (Seth Lakeman Band, The Levellers, Walsh & Pound) joined UFQ in 2014, as guitarist, oud player and founding member Frank Moon stepped out of touring life. The lineup is completed by Tom Chapman, widely considered to be the most accomplished and innovative cajonero the UK has to offer. With the vibrant and diverse Birmingham music scene as a fundamental influence, UFQ is a truly international band. Foreign touring and globally- influenced music have been at the heart of what they do since day one, when in June 2009 their first four gigs took place in four different countries.
Since then UFQ’s trail has blazed across the world, playing everything from secluded coves to 30,000 capacity festival fields, igniting audiences and winning them a devoted fan base from The Bay of Biscay to edge of The North Pacific. UFQ’s cross-genre appeal sees them occupying a singular position, crossing scenes and continents and sharing bills with the most eclectic range of artists.
(Two members of the UFQ, Paloma Trigás and Joe Broughton, will share fiddling techniques in the symposium fiddle workshop immediately preceding this concert.)
Thursday, July 4, 2019:
Lunchtime concert with Will Pound
The final day of the symposium will feature a lunchtime concert by Will Pound. One of the finest harmonica players of his generation, Will Pound has pushed the boundaries working on a number of projects and musicians which in the past and present include The Will Pound Band, Martin Simpson, Guy Chambers, Concerto Caledonia, Michelle Burke’s Step into my Parlour and The Hillsborough Charity Single.
He has appeared on TV & Radio many times including appearances on BBC Breakfast, BBC2, Radio 2, BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, MTV, Radio 1xtra to name a few.
Will has been nominated 3 times for the BBC Radio 2 Folk Musician Of The Year Award in 2012, 2014 and 2015, has won FATEA Magazine Instrumentalist Of the Year 2013, 2014 and also was nominated for Songlines Magazine best newcomer.