Blowzabella hit 40 years in 2018
Blowzabella was formed by a group of students studying musical instrument making at the London College of Furniture in Whitechapel, London in 1978. 40 years later the band will be celebrating with an exceptional album of new material and performances in England and Europe. More news soon. This includes the Blowzabella Workshop Festival – a weekend of workshops, sessions, concerts and dances at Halsway Manor (national centre for folk arts) 11-13 May 2018 with special guests Naragonia.
Latest news …
Blowzabella in association with Holmfirth Festival of Folk present
Saturday 29th April 2017.
Holmfirth Civic Hall
Huddersfield Rd, Holmfirth. HD9 3AS
Queries? Ask Blowzabella on 0788 794 8853 or Email email@example.com
Workshops – 10am to 5pm. Dance – doors open 7pm; starts 7:30pm; finishes 11pm. Café, bar.
The whole thing. £25. 25 years old and under £14. + Booking Fee.
Workshops only (10am-5pm). £15. 25 years old and under £8. + Booking Fee.
Evening only (7pm – midnight) £12. 25 years old and under £7. + Booking Fee.
Buy tickets: Tickets are only available online from WeGotTickets.
Conditions: If you are 16 or under you must be accompanied by an adult. To check you are entitled to the concessionary price (25 years old and under) you may be asked for proof of age at the door.
About Blowzabella Day …
Blowzabella have been staging folk music and dance workshop events in Britain and abroad for 30 years. The aim is to encourage people of all ages and abilities to participate at whatever level they are comfortable with. Many participants have gone on to form bands and dance groups as a result of attending Blowzabella workshops. All the members of the band are highly experienced at teaching people of all ages and abilities.
About Blowzabella …
Blowzabella is Andy Cutting – diatonic button accordion; Jo Freya – vocals, saxophone, clarinet, whistle; Paul James – border bagpipes, saxophones, whistle; Gregory Jolivet – hurdy-gurdy; David Shepherd – violin; Barn Stradling – bass guitar; Jon Swayne – border bagpipes, saxophone. The band make an inimitable, driving, drone-based sound played with a fabulous sense of melody, rhythmic expertise and sheer feeling. They compose their own music which is influenced by English and European traditional dance music. Many of the tunes they’ve composed are “standards” in the modern British/European folk repertoire and are played by people all over the world. Bands across Europe who experiment with folk music often cite Blowzabella as a major influence.
10am-1pm. Dance & Band Workshops.
Dance Workshop led by Jo Freya and Dave Shepherd – with Andy Cutting, Gregory Jolivet and Jon Swayne providing the music. Some great, but less well known English traditional dances and some of the European couple dances that Blowzabella have popularised over the last 30+ years. The aim of the workshop is to help you get the most from the evening dance. All ages and abilities. Beginners are welcome. There’s plenty for experienced dancers to learn too.
Folk Big Band Workshop led by Paul James and Barn Stradling. Arranging folk dance tunes together as a band. All ages, all abilities, any instrument. It’s not about technical ability, it’s all about creating interesting sounds together. You don’t need any previous experience of playing folk music. You do need to be able to play a simple tune by ear or from music. The band will perform at the evening dance.
2:30pm-5pm. Music & Song Workshops.
Diatonic button accordion & melodeon (G/D). Andy Cutting. Suitable for intermediate and more advanced players. The basic standard required to get the most from this workshop is to be able to learn a simple folk dance tune by ear and play it at the right tempo with others.
Bagpipes (bagpipes in G). Jon Swayne. For any type of pipes with half-closed or open fingering, a conical bore and some ability to cross-finger / play semi-tones (for example, Flemish, French or Border bagpipes). The basic standard required to get the most from this workshop is to be able to learn a simple folk dance tune by ear and play it at the right tempo with others.
Bagpipes for beginners (bagpipes in G). Paul James. If there is any demand, Paul will do a workshop for beginners from 2-4pm and the participants can then join in with Jon’s workshop for the last hour if they wish.
Hurdy-Gurdy (hurdy-gurdies mainly in D but also G). Gregory Jolivet. The basic standard required to get the most from this workshop is to be able to learn a simple folk dance tune by ear and play it at the right tempo with others.
Fiddle. Dave Shepherd. Mostly English traditional tunes and tips on rhythm and style. The basic standard required to get the most from this workshop is to be able to learn a simple folk dance tune by ear and play it at the right tempo with others. Some music will be available on the day.
Singing. Jo Freya. Taking traditional songs and singing them in harmony as a group. All ages and abilities welcome. No need to be able to read music. The emphasis is on creating a great sound by arranging these beautiful songs for the voices that come.
Photo: Blowzabella at Shrewsbury Folk Festival / August 2015 (phone photo:Paul James)