Murray Grainger is one of Britain’s most influential and innovative accordionists. Whether working with the finest orchestras, pushing the boundaries with his traditional projects or teaching around the UK, Murray is at the forefront of the British accordion scene. Trained in the classical accordion at The Royal Academy of Music, Murray has been a tutor in both classical and folk accordion at Chetham’s School of Music, on Newcastle University’s Folk and Traditional Music course, and as the Director of Education for Young Musicians Stornoway. This will be his third year as a tutor on Halsway Manor’s Accordion Weekend.
Hannah James – despite her tender years – is a veteran of the folk festival and club circuit, as an accordionist, singer and clog dancer. With Kerfuffle, she made five albums and appeared at festivals throughout the UK and abroad, and continues to work as a duo with fellow Kerfuffle member Sam Sweeney (nominated BBC Radio 2 Horizon Award). She has featured on albums by Bella Hardy, Fay Hield and Spiers and Boden, and played in accordion trio Hell Said the Duchess (with Karen Tweed & Beckie Price). As a champion clog dancer, she has been a mainstay of The Demon Barber Roadshow and heavily involved with the development of their theatre show Time Gentlemen Please! More recently she has developed and toured her first solo show Jig Doll, a ground-breaking piece of live performance, combining song, music, and dance. Hannah is also, of course, a member of Lady Maisery, our 2017 Artists in Residence.
Hannah started learning the accordion at the age of 11, after joining the Fosbrooks Folk Education Trust. She studied the accordion with Karen Tweed, later with Murray Grainger (remember him?!), and more recently spent six months at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki where she studied the accordion with Maria Kalaniemi, composition and improvisation with Timo Alakotila and Finnish vocal technique.
Jane Ward has been playing accordion for 50 years. She performed extensively around Europe as lead player in Jenny’s Accordionists, and played in Scottish, German and Polish bands before agreeing to play for a morris side 28 years ago and discovering folk music!
Following in the footsteps of Karen Tweed and Paul Hutchinson, Jane Ward took up the baton to lead the irrepressible No.1 Ladies Accordion Orchestra in 2014. She brings a winning combination of fun, frolics, and delicious musical treats to her Halsway workshops, to make your hearts sing and bring a smile to your face. She also tutors at Canterbury Folk Days, Burwell Bash Summer School, and Cecil Sharp House.