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Mike Dennis

Saturday 4 May – Bristol Folk House

Mike Dennis is a classically-trained violinist whose boyhood love of Run DMC, Beastie Boys and Gangstarr led him to create a unique kind of string-heavy hip hop music he refers to as Violinica.

Performing using a violin, loop pedal and cajon, Mike builds up layers of dense harmony and embellishes with thoughtful, energetic rhymes drawing inspiration from daily British life and the perils and profits of love.

‘Violin in hand and with a multitude of effects at his feet, he builds up to a string and percussion crescendo before opening his mouth and… wow! This guy doesn’t just spit rhymes, they cascade out at a speed as ferocious as his lyrics.’ Wake The Deaf 

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Amadou Diagne

Saturday 4 May, Bristol Folk House

Amadou Diagne is a multi-instrumentalist, composer and singer, with the traditions of West Africa at his fingertips. Emerging from a family line of percussionists and praise singers in Senegal, his unique sound has seen him play stages and festivals all over the globe, collaborating with some of the biggest names in world music.

A former member of l’Orchestre National du Senegal, Amadou and his band Group Yakar have been developing a style that is uniquely their own. The music is hard to define, yet universally appealing, spanning Afrobeat to Blues, Jazz Funk to Mbalax, and traditional West African Praise singing to Rock. Catch Amadou’s seductive blend of musical styles on Saturday Night at Bristol Folk House.

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Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne

Saturday 4 May –  St Stephen’s Church

A spine-tingling traditional folk performer, Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne is a fine player of both the melodeon and anglo concertina. His rich voice soars through a range of historical ballads, industrial songs and shanties, with a penchant for material from the West Midlands, where he’s lived for much of his life.

Cohen was nominated for a BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award with Granny’s Attic. Expect traditional English folk songs and tunes along with a few original numbers.

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Hannah James

Saturday, Folk House

Hannah is a mesmerising solo performer. Her solo shows incorporate all of her disciplines: song, dance and accordion playing, punctuated by her understated, dry wit and charming story telling. Her bassy accordion style, and characterful, clear voice are underpinned by powerful foot percussion. Close your eyes and you could be listening to a full band.

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Rachael Dadd

Saturday 4 May – Bristol Folk House

Contemporary folk multi-instrumentalist Rachael Dadd now lives half her life in Japan, witnessing how other people create things, connecting with other cultures and landscapes.

‘Being a travelling musician is a furnace for making music. Watching the changing landscapes from city to wilderness and back to city, becoming connected to other people’s cultures, it all makes it easier to go against the grain of what you grew up with.’

“An album of unparalleled beauty and quality” Louder Than War

Known for her longtime collaborations with Kate Stables, Rozi Plain and This is The Kit. We’re delighted to welcome Rachael back to the Bristol Folk Festival Stage.

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The Longest Johns

Friday 4 May – Bristol Folk House

The Longest Johns are a Bristol-based a capella folk music band, born out of a mutual love of traditional folk songs and shanties.

Renowned for stirring live performances The Longest Johns have also gathered a huge online following. Expect a rollicking opening to the Bristol Folk House stage.

The Longest Johns open the festival on Friday night.

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The Drystones

Sunday 5 May – St George’s Bristol

The Drystones combine fiddle and guitar with technical mastery, a ‘brave experimental bent’ and an unexpectedly large live sound. They’ve been described as ‘indecently talented’ by Mike Harding, and earned themselves a 2018 BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award nomination.

Since forming in 2011 to play at their local folk festival in Priddy, The Drystones have played festivals across the country, including Glastonbury and Sidmouth Folk Week. The duo have supported Seth Lakeman and Steeleye Span, produced two albums and, somehow, squeezed in their music degrees.

The Drystones headline Sunday Afternoon in the glorious St George’s Bristol.

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Jimmy and Sid

Saturday 4 May – St Stephen’s Church

Jimmy Aldridge & Sid Goldsmith are one of the finest duos to have emerged onto the British folk and acoustic scene in recent years. Their combination of outstanding vocal work, sensitive instrumentation, and a powerful social conscience has brought them widespread critical acclaim.

“To be a great folk singer, you have to be a great storyteller. The duo are both fine singers and multi-instrumentalists.” The Guardian

Jimmy Aldridge & Sid Goldsmith headline Saturday afternoon at St Stephen’s Church.

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Grace Petrie

Saturday 5 May – Bristol Folk House

Grace Petrie is a folk singer, songwriter, and activist. She first exploded on to the national protest scene in 2010 with the emotive anthem Farewell to Welfare, which captured perfectly the spirit of the new wave of dissent in austerity Britain.

Since then, she has written, recorded and toured relentlessly. Her unique takes on life, love and politics, and the warmth and wit with which they are delivered have won over audiences everywhere, and she has quietly become one of the most respected and prolific songwriters in the UK.

‘A powerful new songwriting voice.’ The Guardian

Grace Petrie headlines Saturday afternoon at Bristol Folk House.

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Kris Drever

Sunday 5 May – St George’s Bristol

Kris Drever’s voice and guitar form the backbone of today’s contemporary folk scene. Hugely admired as a solo artist, collaborator, and member of folk superstars Lau, Kris is both phenomenal and prolific.

Drever has played alongside Tinariwen, Joan As Police Woman, Shawn Colvin, Rosanne Cash, Roddy Woomble, Eddi Reader, Kate Rusby, Julie Fowlis, Karine Polwart and many more. In 2017 Kris was named BBC Folk Singer of the Year.

Kris Drever headlines Bristol Folk Festival on Sunday 5 May, playing with Cara Dillon for the final concert of the May Day weekend in the beautiful surrounds of St George’s Bristol.