Our agent Sarah Coxson was enjoying an African music festival in Bethesda, North Wales recently when she bumped into the kora player who’d been playing, brilliantly, with N’famady Kouyaté. Chatting about her friendship with the late Dembo Konte, a well-respected kora player from Brikama, who used to regularly tour with his partner Kausu Kuyateh in the 80s and early 90s in the UK and beyond, Jali Bakary Konteh responded, “That’s my dad!,”! Both Jali Bakary and Sarah were quite emotional about the link, and the meeting felt serendipitous, so we’re delighted that ABM will now be representing this talented musician.
Grandson and son, respectively, of the legendary Gambian kora players Alhaji Bai Konte who helped to bring kora music to the wider world in the 70s and the much-missed Dembo Konte, London-based Jali Bakary is the latest torchbearer for his family’s kora legacy on the world stage. Jali Bakary brings his own personal touch and innovations to traditional songs with unique melodic and rhythmic arrangements. A hugely versatile musician, he regularly performs solo, in a duo and trio, as well as with his own band, Minyanta. Jali Bakary will soon be releasing his 2nd solo album.
He has performed extensively throughout West and North Africa, as well as in the UK and the rest of Europe (WOMAD, Roskilde Festival, The Barbican). For solo appearances (and more) from Spring 2024 onwards – festivals and venues – please do get in touch to discuss booking options.
ABM is excited to announce a new series of emerging folk artist concerts at the prestigious Kings Place in London.
Future Folk is designed to showcase emerging artists creating and reshaping music inspired by folk traditions in new, progressive ways for contemporary audiences. It will initially feature five monthly shows running through the winter of 2023/24, putting these talented musicians centre stage in a time when breakthrough acts can easily become lost in the current economic realities of folk music programming.
The series offers an exciting opportunity to discover new music: from the outstanding triple harpist Cerys Hafana who mangles, mutates, and transforms Welsh traditional music with a myriad of influences; to Bristol-based instrumental all-women quintet Hedera who lean into the slower and more delicate side of European folk traditions, plus a solo set from one of their multi-instrumentalists Tamsin Elliot with her experimental and minimalist textures. Also featured are the golden instrumental sounds of new guitar/fiddle duo Owen Spafford and Louis Campbell; the earth-rooted yet ethereal Northumbrian sibling harmonies of The Brothers Gillespie and grass roots traditions of Eastern England from new traditional singers and players, Mossy Christian & Megan Wisdom.
We are delighted to announce a number of tours with some fantastic North American musicians in 2024. We are booking now for new solo tour for the Grammy-nominated, “absolute master” (No Depression), Bruce Molsky from 8-23 November 2024.
Molsky transports audiences to another time and place, with his authentic and personal interpretations of rarities from the Southern Appalachian songbook and other musical traditions from around the globe. Best known for his work on the fiddle, Bruce’s banjo, guitar and his distinctive, powerful vocals also resonate with listeners, combining technical virtuosity and relaxed conversational wit to make a concert hall feel like an intimate front porch gathering!
“The effortlessness and ease with which Bruce plays and sings has always been something I’ve deeply admired. It is a rarity to hear music that lacks ego and puts soulfulness and a respect for tradition at the forefront. Bruce is simply one of the greatest musicians there is, period.” — Sarah Jarosz
We’re looking forward to a summer return for the outstanding multi-instrumentalist Teilhard Frost (Sheesham, Lotus & Son), who specialises in traditional fiddle tunes, and songs, with a particular interest in the music of the Appalachian Mountains and the roots/routes by which it came. Teilhard plans to be in the UK from mid July to early August.
His most recent album, Four and Twenty Blackbirds (Dancing on a Fawn Skin) is set for release in 2023: another collection of old time Appalachian fiddle tunes, banjo songs and harmonica pieces, on which Teilhard is joined by Tom Power, Scott Prouty, Chris Coole, Daragh Lynch and Jason Mercer.
“An accomplished singer and multi-instrumentalist,Teilhard captures the spirit of the old-time music better than anyone I know. He is a natural born entertainer whose stage presence is a joyful experience!” –Rick Ceballos, Artistic Director, Champlain Valley Folk Festival, Vermont, USA.
We’re very excited to announce that Martin Simpson’s new album called Skydancerswill be released next March and we are now booking a new tour to accompany the release. The album is a twin release featuring a live CD recorded on recent gigs and a studio CD including some of Martin’s absolutely favourite musicians. The material is as as eclectic as one would expect.
The remarkable intimate solo performances Martin gives go from strength to strength – every gig is a masterclass. He travels the length and breadth of the UK and beyond, giving rapt audiences passion, sorrow, love, beauty, tragedy and majesty through his playing.
Universally acclaimed as one of the finest ever acoustic and slide guitar players, and a fine banjo-picker to boot, his solo shows bear witness to an artist at the very top of his game. Whether interpreting material from tradition or singing his own potent self-penned songs, Simpson is a remarkable storyteller: captivating and profoundly moving. Get in touch today to secure a booking as these dates will be snapped up quickly.
Touring new album throughout March 2024 + available for festivals 2024. Also some availability 12 Oct – 12 Nov 2023 and for dates outside of these periods.
Croeso i ABM i Cerys Hafana! ABM is delighted to be working with this incredibly talented composer and multi-instrumentalist from Machynlleth, Wales, where rivers and roads meet on the way to the sea. Cerys mangles, mutates, and transforms traditional music; exploring the creative possibilities and unique qualities of the triple harp, whilst delving into found sounds, archive materials and electronic processing. Cerys has won over audiences from Green Man to the Eisteddfod and from BBC 6 Music Festival to Celtic Connections with her magical, progressive sound.
Her second album Edyf was selected as one of The Guardian’s Top Ten albums of 2022, as well as receiving wide-spread media attention and critical acclaim. Cerys will release an EP later in 2023, with touring in early 2024, and more availability outside of this period.
‘…she’s an adept shapeshifter, entwining tradition with direct and personal interpretations to create music that’s both progressive, profound and inspiring.’ Alex Gallagher, Folk Radio UK
‘Hafana explores resonances from the past that connect with the modern day in a contemporary, creative way… she uses her harp as a percussive, jagged-toothed tool… sings movingly, her high voice like an indie-pop soprano shorn of its sweetness.’ Jude Rogers, The Guardian.
Cerys Hafana plays at FOCUS Wales this Saturday 6th May at 6.30pm at Ty Pawb, Wrexham. Come along to talk to Sarah Coxson from ABM to discuss future bookings.
We’re looking to next year for some brilliant new 2024 tours, including the return of Mama’s Broke in February. Check out their recent Tiny Desk concert (here). Also keep an eye out for more news about more brilliant North Americans returning in 2024 include Cinder Well (Feb/Mar) and, in autumn/winter, Riley Baugus and Bruce Molsky.
The Magpie Arc (featuring Findlay Napier, Martin Simpson and Nancy Kerr) are planning some long weekends of concert gigs from late January through February. Concert appearances from this band are rare, so book yours early to avoid disappointment. Martin Simpson then heads out solo to promote his new solo album in March.
Brìghde Chaimbeul will continue to tour her new album in February and we are gathering early expressions of interest for duo shows in April with acclaimed Canadian saxophonist Colin Stetson (Arcade Fire / Bon Iver)
We are delighted to be able to offer an extra-special chance to hear master craftsman Martin Carthy perform and reminisce on his illustrious career in folk song to date, with musical interludes and conversation with his talented friend, musician and journalist, Jon Wilks (Tradfolk). Martin has an insatiable musical curiosity…and a lifetime of wonderful stories and songs to share. There will also be a chance for audiences to ask freely questions of this mighty oak of the English folk tradition. Expect frank and fascinating insights into all manner of subjects…from Scarborough Fair to the Beastie Boys!
Book now for this special show: between 20th Oct and December 2023.
ABM are delighted to be working with Cinder Well, Amelia Baker’s brilliant experimental folk project for a new album tour from 12-23 September 2023 (plus summer festival bookings). Cadence out 21 April 2023 on Free Dirt Records drifts between two far-flung seas: the hazy California coast where Amelia grew up, and the wind-torn swells of Western Ireland that she’s come to love.
While there are still hints of the doom folk that Cinder Well is known for, Cadence balances heavy lyrics with a more expansive sound The songs search for a sense of grounding and a feeling of home.
Amelia will be touring as a trio with the talented Jim Ghedi and Ultan O’Brien.
Touring new album with trio 12-23 September 2023 + summer festival bookings.
“This is the new high lonesome for a modern era” –Folk Radio UK
Scottish smallpipes player Brìghde Chaimbeul is a leading purveyor of experimental Celtic music. Her piping has earned her a BBC Young Folk Award and a Horizon Award, and seen her perform for heads of state at the Cop26 climate conference. She’s brought her instrument to a global stage, and has worked with a range of other artists – currently she can be heard on Caroline Polachek‘s new single “Blood and Butter“. With her second album ‘Carry Them With Us’ (out 14 April on tak:til/ Glitterbeat), Chaimbeul has taken it beyond folk music, discovering a place where tradition and minimalism meet, offering her the freedom to experiment in sound and create something completely her own. ‘Carry Them With Us’ is an exhilarating weave of rich textural drones, trance atmospheres and instrumental folk traditions.
A single and accompanying video from the forthcoming album was released last week. Chaimbeul created “Tha Fonn Gun Bhi Trom: I Am Disposed Of Mirth” in tandem with acclaimed Canadian sound explorer and saxophonist Colin Stetson (Arcade Fire, Bon Iver) who also co-produced the album. Shot on the Isle of Skye, where Chaimbeul hails from, the accompanying music video shows off the dramatic scenery of the Cuillins mountains.
Touring new solo album Autumn 2023 (Sept/Oct/Nov) and 6-11 + 20-25 Feb 2024. Available for Festivals solo, duo (with Aidan O’Rourke) + trio (with Ross Ainslie & Steven Byrnes)
We’re delighted to be running another folk weekend at Kings Place in London this spring.
No Voices (21-23 April) presents innovative music makers inspired by tradition, changing perceptions about instrumental music in the contemporary folk scene.
A continuing threadfrom a 2016 series, co-curated with Ian Anderson of fRoots magazine, this weekend sees the development of this revolution in folk music, in which song is not the centre of the story being told.
Vivid, emotive soundscapes are created from a core of melody and rhythm found in traditional music, breathing new life and vigour into the form. The playing is organic, improvisational and symbiotic: responsive to other musicians, to the audience and to the environment in which it is being played.
This No Voices weekend series of concerts and workshops sees exciting and varied approaches from some of the finest players in the field, including the breathlessly energetic pure drop Celtic trad. of Ímar; the intuitive instrumental intimacy of Leveret; the trance-like rich textural drones of Brighde Chaimbeul and Ross Ainslie with Steve Byrnewith their globe-trotting exploration of pipe traditions and, from the Bristolian hub of English instrumental minimalism, Eleven Magpies.