Every week in the run up to SingFest 2015 I have written a blog focussing in on one of our amazing SingFest tutors. The last five blogs were about our 5 singing tutors, and this week I have decided to write about the other amazing artists that make SingFest the colourful festival it is. These are junk samba percussionist Paul Midgley, craft workshop facilitator Nonny Tabbush, ceilidh musicians Richard Jones and Belinda Bourquin and phenomenal guitarist and open mic host Tristan Seume.
Percussionist Paul Midgley started his career teaching junk percussion through working for Traditional Arts Projects (TAPs), a community arts organisation set up by Roger Watson to bring folk musicians from different cultural backgrounds together to educate others in traditional arts forms and cultural diversity. Through TAPs Paul worked with musicians and dancers from all over the world, each of them influencing Paul’s rhythms and drumming techniques.
When TAPs folded in 2008 Paul and TAPs’ General Manager, Jason Knight set up Drum Runners, an organisation that provides drumming workshops to a wide variety of community and corporate settings. Much of their work was in collaboration with Music In Detention (MID), a charity that brings music to incarcerated people, especially the men, women and children detained in Britain’s Immigration Removal Centres. Drum Runners now runs Basingstoke Live, a free music festival funded by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council and attended by thousands.
Since graduating from her degree in Ceramics at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, Nonny has run workshops in craft and music in schools, community centres and festivals around the country. As well as being a talented choir conductor and previous singing tutor at SingFest, Nonny sings and plays fiddle in a number of well-loved groups, including the Bristol Ceilidh Quartet alongside fellow SingFest singing tutor, Matt Norman.
No stranger to the festival scene, Nonny is currently spending her summer touring around England’s biggest folk festivals as craft and singing tutor for Shooting Roots, an organisation that delivers arts workshops to young people at folk festivals.
Husband and wife team Richard and Bindy have been playing music together since they met in the 70s as performers in psychedelic folk rock band Principal Edwards. They now perform in a number of well known folk bands, Richard with the Climax Ceilidh Band and MoltenAmba and Bindy with SE3.
This year they will be hosting our elastic ceilidh band on the Saturday night of SingFest where anyone who plays an instrument can join them on stage to play well known folk tunes for SingFest revellers to dance to. Together, they have perfected the art of leading scratch bands through their volunteer work as Lead Musicians at Folk Camps, activity holidays for families who enjoy folk music and dance.
Tristan is not only a phenomenally good guitarist, he is also the composer of some beautiful tunes, many of which can be heard on his two solo albums: You Just Know and Middle Child. As well as performing solo he is also accompanist to award winning folk singer Jackie Oates with whom he has travelled Europe delighting festivals, folk clubs and arts centres.
When Tristan is not on stage he writes articles for the country’s two leading guitar technique magazines: Guitarist and Guitar Techniques, and lectures at The Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford.
This year Tristan will be bringing his many talents to hosting the open mic on the Saturday night of SingFest. It promises to be a truly magical evening.
Until next time…
Next week will be the final blog before we head down to Mellow Farm to set up for SingFest. These last couple of weeks are always eventful so I’m sure we’ll have plenty to blog about by then!