Rising Stars of the Folk and Celtic Roots Scene are coming to New Greenham Arts

On Thursday 20 April, talented folk duo Sam Kelly and Jamie Francis will take to the stage at New Greenham Arts, Newbury, to perform a show of Celtic roots and dynamic folk instrumental music, combined with tender ballads, heartfelt covers and original songs.

Sam Kelly has been steadily making a name for himself among audiences and peers alike as a hugely talented singer, song-writer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist. In 2016 he was awarded the Horizon Award for emerging artists at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, cementing his place as one of the most rapidly rising stars on the folk scene.

Based in Cornwall, and at just 23 years old, Sam has already accumulated an impressive musical portfolio, performing in many different bands, including Sam Kelly & The Lost Boys, The Changing Room and The Company of Players, and recording with the likes of Nic Jones, Cara Dillon and Belinda O’Hooley.

Sam will be joined on stage by his main musical collaborator, friend and flat mate, Jamie Francis. The duo met when they were both studying music and playing at open mic nights in Brighton, and have continued to work together since. Jamie, who is fast becoming one of the most exciting banjo players on the UK folk scene, is first and foremost a guitar player, but he originally decided to learn to play the banjo to add a different dynamic to the songs he performs with Sam. Jamie also fronts his own alt-blues trio called Stark and the songs he writes with Sam are often influenced by his own varied musical background.

Sam first became interested in folk and Gaelic music as a young child, often listened to his Irish grandfather tell folk tales, sing folk songs, and play folk tunes on his melodeon. Now based in Cornwall, Sam has played an integral part in many projects aiming to rekindle and raise awareness of the Cornish language. In November 2015, Sam became the first person ever to sing in the Cornish language on national radio, during a live session for Radio 2.

Sam has performed multiple live sessions for BBC Radio 2 and 3, and has several national TV appearances under his belt, including making it to the finals of Britain’s Got Talent 2012.

Join Sam Kelly and Jamie Francis for an evening of tuneful Celtic roots and folk music at New Greenham Arts, Newbury on Thursday 20 April, 8pm. Tickets cost £13 (£10.50 concessions). To book visit the Corn Exchange website www.cornexchangenew.com or call the Box Office on 0845 5218 218 (calls cost 2p per minute plus your telephone company’s Access Charge).

Tony Hiller

Technical and Digital Experience Manager for Kennet Radio.

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