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FolkeFest:  Sam Lee + Rachel Sermanni

FolkeFest: Sam Lee + Rachel Sermanni & Guests

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Presented as part of FolkeFest 2022 - a blazing double headline gig from Mercury-Prize nominated folk musician Sam Lee and spellbinding Scottish singer-songwriter Rachel Sermanni. Sam and Rachel will be performing with London Contemporary Voices choir and acclaimed violinist and composer Anna Phoebe, celebrated folk singer Martha Tilston and dreamy Nepali singer-songwriter Yugal Gurung complete the line-up. Folk recorder pioneer Finn Collinson will delight in The Clearing bar. The Nook cafe, next to Quarterhouse, will be open late for FolkeFest food.

Music from 5:15pm.

Sam Lee is a Mercury Prize-nominated and BBC Folk Award-winning singer, conservationist and curator. Trained in fine art but with a lifelong passion for wilderness studies and nature connection, Sam is a folk music specialist dedicated to collecting, sharing and interpreting ancient oral music from Britain and Ireland. He has combined these interests through his critically-acclaimed ‘Singing with Nightingales’ annual springtime concert series.

His singing has been heard in films and TV shows, from Guy Ritchie’s ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’ to ‘Peaky Blinders’. Sam was musical director for the RSPB’s 2019 Top 20 birdsong single, ‘Let Nature Sing’ and his 2020 album ‘Old Wow’ garnered five-star reviews. He has lectured at Goldsmiths, SOAS and Oxford University and was the first folk singer to teach at the Royal College of Music.

“A dazzling fusion of nature and song… Lee’s rich baritone voice carries the imprint of folk past…”
- The Observer

“Folk Tradition brought brilliantly up to date… Lee sings with a quality of understatement that nevertheless conjures intense emotional presence… Lee is an exquisite vocalist”
- The Telegraph

Rachel Sermanni is a Scottish based singer-songwriter who makes the mundane moments mystical: shock-positive pregnancy tests in train-station toilets, coffee machine breakages, cold river swims, the regret of not saying ‘I love you', the moon & how it pulls, bare feet on wood floors, the soft glow of a house plant, ‘what even is consciousness?’, strange dreams lingering in quiet mornings…

She brims with dreamy indie-folk pop that speak of the struggle and desire to flow, to love, to live, to feel. Sometimes, her songs speak of the rare moments of quiet-still, found in the midst of this struggle & desire. Rachel is, in her own words, a jellyfish. Surrendering to the currents of the big sea.

“One of Scotland’s finest songwriters”
-The Scottish Sun

Anna Phoebe is an award-winning violinist and composer working on cross-genre solo and collaborative projects. Anna’s latest album ‘Sea Souls’ is a rich musical palette inspired by the natural world, exploring the dialogue between the sea and inner psyche. It has received widespread radio support, including from BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 6 Music.

Recent collaborations include co-writes with Ivor Novello Lifetime Achievement recipient Nitin Sawhney CBE on his album ‘Immigrants’ released in March 2021 on Sony Masterworks; and recordings with legendary musician and TV personality Jools Holland for his forthcoming solo album on Warner Music. Anna’s latest commissions include work for the European Space Agency to write music to Earth Observation Data tracking the climate crisis.

“Anna Phoebe is unclassifiable. And superbly talented. And an artist without limits. And political... Female artistic outliers like her shatter social constructions and garner huge popularity and praise. It unsettles austere rule-keepers and/or men who are insecure about their own masculinities.”
- from Yasmin Alibhai-Brown’s 2020 book ‘Ladies Who Punch’.

The daughter of two celebrated folk musicians, Martha Tilston is a well-established name on the contemporary folk scene. Her albums have addressed political, environmental and everyday themes, including corporate rule and the deadliness of office life. Her song ‘The Saddest Game’, about child soldiers in Africa, featured on The Big Issue's ‘Peace Not War’ record. Much of Martha’s work is not political, focusing instead on personal freedom, love, inner peace and the natural world. She has recently written, directed and starred in her debut feature film ‘The Tape’ with the accompanying soundtrack album out now.

“Modern folk songs about love and payday loans - brilliant.”
- The Guardian

LCV Choir is one of the UK’s leading modern choirs, covering a wide range of contemporary classical, folk and popular music. The choir is known for its clean sound, its versatility and its imaginative approach to musical programming. LCV was first founded in 2010 by artists Anil Sebastian and Didier Rochard and has gone on to work with hundreds of artists including 22 Grammy nominees.

The choir has featured on three UK top ten albums, as well as on Imogen Heap's Grammy-nominated soundtrack to ‘Harry Potter & The Cursed Child’. The group’s popular videos have amassed millions of YouTube hits, including their acoustic Mahogany Session with Amber Run.

“The effect that London Contemporary Voices have when they sing on anything is absolutely spine-tingling"
- Edith Bowman, Virgin Radio UK

“Simply stunning”
- Marie Anne Hobbs, BBC 6 Music

Folk recorder player Finn Collinson has rapidly been gaining a reputation as one of the foremost exponents of his instrument on the English folk scene, performing at major folk clubs and festivals including The Sidmouth Folk Festival, Broadstairs Folk Week and FolkEast, and being shortlisted for the BBC Young Folk Award in 2018.

His critically-acclaimed solo debut ‘Call To Mind’ was released in 2019, and was described by FATEA as “a work of true quality”. Finn’s solo gigs feature instrumental tunes and songs, both self-composed and traditional in origin, all tied together with fascinating stories of his instruments and music. A performance with Finn Collinson enthrals with its musical energy and diversity.

“A folk recorder pioneer”
- The Recorder Magazine

Yugal Gurung is a London-based singer songwriter who was raised in Nepal. His distinctive style of laid-back, dream-like music fuses folk, soul, indie-pop and rock. Having performed with various bands in his early days as a drummer, artists such as Bill Withers, John Martyn and Nick Drake hugely influenced Yugal's journey into song-writing and singing and he is now considered a unique talent in the Nepali music diaspora. He has mostly self-produced his collections of songs, with EP release "Afno Sansaar" and album "Lukamari".

FolkeFest is an exciting new contemporary folk festival that will run in Folkestone's Creative Quarter from 21 to 27 March, supported by the Festivals Fund and produced by Moving Being C.I.C. (Didier Rochard, Sarah Rennix and team). The festival encompasses live music, visual arts, dance, storytelling, workshops and talks. Golden threads include the acknowledgement of folk traditions and folklore; progressing, updating and queering folk; voice, song, storytelling and oral tradition.

Other FolkeFest events throughout the week are Pay What You Want on the door. The full programme is available at FolkeFest.

17:15 Finn Collinson in The Clearing (45mins)
17:30 Auditorium doors open
17:40 Yugal Gurung
18:15 Martha Tilston (+LCV Choir)
18:45 Interval
19:00 Anna Phoebe (+LCV Choir)
19:45 Interval
20:00 Rachel Sermanni (+LCV Choir)
20:45 Interval
21:00 Sam Lee (+LCV Choir)
21:45 FINISH


Mill Bay,
CT20 1BN

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£25.00 Full Price
£15.00 First 100 SOLD OUT

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