Hello

Paul James is a saxophonist, bagpiper, singer and composer from Newbury, England, who makes music influenced by English and other European folk traditions. 

Latest album The Drowned Lover & Other Dark Tales is available now    REVIEW-Editor's pick FOLK RADIO UK        REVIEW-fROOTS

Paul is a member of the band Blowzabella, and plays with his pan-European band Evening Star and the folk dance band The Playford Liberation Front. He composes and arranges music for theatre and TV and leads band workshops designed to get groups of people playing spine-tingling arrangements of traditional and contemporary folk tunes. Paul was composer and musician for the critically acclaimed production of John Milton’s Comus - A Masque in Honour of Chastity by John Milton and Patrick Barlow directed by Lucy Bailey at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, London in October/November 2016. Reviews Independent Telegraph The Stage Evening Standard 

Previous events

Blowzabella Festival with guests Naragonia (Belgium)

 —  —

Halsway Manor, Halsway Lane,, near Crowcombe, Somerset. TA4 4BD

A weekend of workshops, dances, concerts and informal music sessions. See Halsway Manor website for details.

Weekend tickets are SOLD OUT. Tickets are available for the Saturday night dance with or without overnight camping and breakfast.

Halsway Manor European Music Weekend

 —  —

Halsway Manor, Halsway Lane, near Crowcombe, Somerset. TA4 4BD

With Paul James, Anne Niepold and Gigi Biolcati, an extended weekend course for musicians to develop ensemble playing skills and make imaginative arrangements that are exciting to listen and dance to. We’ll be using music from European folk/traditional/popular music traditions as the raw material to make new arrangements that can go in any direction. The aim is to explore and combine all sorts of influences and ideas to make spine tingling music that is more than the sum of the parts.

The course includes all day ensemble workshop sessions – and some short workshops on a range of topics in the early evening – with the aim of performing all the pieces we create together at a concert on the Sunday night.

“One of the best workshop weekends I have ever been on, superb in every way. Again please!” 2017 Participant

The course is led by composer/arranger Paul James – saxophones, border bagpipes (Blowzabella, Evening Star), Belgian diatonic accordion virtuoso and composer/arranger Anne Niepold and Italian drums/percussion maestro, composer and singer Gigi Biolcati (Riccardo Tesi / Banditaliana).

Arrive in time for lunch (1pm) on Friday, and depart after lunch on Monday.

Who’s it For? This is an advanced/intermediate level course suitable for musicians of all ages (including 16-18 year olds), any instrument (acoustic, electric, ancient, modern) from any musical background (folk, jazz, rock, classical, early music). You’ll need to be able to read music or play well by ear.

If you play more than one instrument we advise you to bring it/them as this will help you to get the most from the course in terms of playing easily in different keys/modes, and also to be able to contribute in a way that is sympathetic to the style of the piece (bagpipes don’t sound great on everything!). During the course we will provide any music manuscript you need written out in Bflat/Eflat (for brass and saxes) as well as “concert”.

To get the most from this course you don’t need to be the greatest musician but you do need to be able to play confidently and be positive, flexible minded and a team player prepared to try things outside your comfort zone – and have the energy for quite long intensive days of music making.

You will be in safe hands with a very experienced tutor team in a mutually supportive atmosphere. We’ll have a lot of fun too with time for relaxation and informal music making.

“Amazing, inspiring and inventive tutors who were very dynamic in the way they led each session and gave everyone the confidence to step outside of their comfort zone and create something that was so much greater than the sum of its parts!” 2017 Participant

BLOWZABELLA DAY / Copenhagen

 —  —

KONCERTKIRKEN,, BLÅGÅRDSPLADS, , 2200 COPENHAGEN N

TICKETS FROM WWW.BILLETTO.DK or contact patricia@koncertkirken.dk

About Blowzabella Day … Blowzabella have been staging folk music and dance workshop events in Britain and abroad for 30 years. The aim is to encourage people of all ages and abilities to participate at whatever level they are comfortable with. Many participants have gone on to form bands and dance groups as a result of attending Blowzabella workshops. All the members of the band are highly experienced at teaching people of all ages and abilities.

Blowzabella

 —  —

Holmfirth Civic Hall, Huddersfield Road, , Holmfirth, HD9 3AS

Workshops - 10am to 5pm. Dance – doors open 7pm; starts 7:30pm; finishes 11pm. Café, bar.

Tickets The whole thing. £25. 25 years old and under £14. + Booking Fee. Workshops only (10am-5pm). £15. 25 years old and under £8. + Booking Fee. Evening only (7pm – midnight) £12. 25 years old and under £7. + Booking Fee. Buy tickets: Tickets are only available online from WeGotTickets. Conditions: If you are 16 or under you must be accompanied by an adult. To check you are entitled to the concessionary price (25 years old and under) you may be asked for proof of age at the door.

About Blowzabella Day … Blowzabella have been staging folk music and dance workshop events in Britain and abroad for 30 years. The aim is to encourage people of all ages and abilities to participate at whatever level they are comfortable with. Many participants have gone on to form bands and dance groups as a result of attending Blowzabella workshops. All the members of the band are highly experienced at teaching people of all ages and abilities.

About Blowzabella … Blowzabella is Andy Cutting – diatonic button accordion; Jo Freya – vocals, saxophone, clarinet, whistle; Paul James – border bagpipes, saxophones, whistle; Gregory Jolivet – hurdy-gurdy; David Shepherd – violin; Barn Stradling – bass guitar; Jon Swayne – border bagpipes, saxophone. The band make an inimitable, driving, drone-based sound played with a fabulous sense of melody, rhythmic expertise and sheer feeling. They compose their own music which is influenced by English and European traditional dance music. Many of the tunes they’ve composed are “standards” in the modern British/European folk repertoire and are played by people all over the world. Bands across Europe who experiment with folk music often cite Blowzabella as a major influence.

Halsway Manor European Music Weekend

 —  —

Halsway Manor, Halsway Lane, Crowcombe, Somerset TA4 4BD

Develop your arrangement and ensemble playing skills to make imaginative arrangements that are exciting to listen and dance to.

Using music inspired by British and European folk music traditions, this is a long weekend of intensive workshops, discussions, rehearsals and performances in a friendly and supportive atmosphere. Musicians of all ages (including 16-18 year olds), any instrument, any musical background (folk, jazz, rock, classical) are very welcome. You’ll need to be able to read music and /or play by ear.

Course leader Paul James – border bagpipes, saxophones (Blowzabella, Playford Liberation Front, Evening Star) leads a crack team of Belgian diatonic accordion virtuoso Anne Niepold; Italian drums/percussion maestro Gigi Biolcati (Riccardo Tesi / Banditaliana), award winning Anglo-Irish fiddler Niopha Keegan (The Unthanks); and top bassist and improviser Victor Nicholls (Evening Star, Playford Liberation Front).

The aim of the course is to use British and European traditional dance forms – for example, jigs, polkas, bourrées and waltz melodies – and use that as the raw material to make new arrangements that can go any direction, combining all sorts of influences and ideas to make spine tingling music that is much more than the sum of the parts. Participants will take part in small and larger ensembles – listening, contributing and experimenting with ideas – towards a public performance on the Sunday night. It will be intensive but there will be time to relax and make new friends too Supported by The Anvil Trust.

Blowzabella - dance workshop and evening gig

 —  —

BATH COMMUNITY ACADEMY, , RUSH HILL,, BATH, BA2 2QL

An afternoon dance workshop (2.30pm-4.30pm) led by Dave Shepherd and Jo Freya with Andy Cutting, Paul James, Gregory Jolivet and Jon Swayne providing the music. Learn some less well known English traditional dances and European couple dances which have been popularised by Blowzabella over the last 30 years. The aim of the workshop is to help you make the most of the evening dance. There's plenty for beginners and experienced dancers to learn.

The evening dance (8.00pm-11.00pm) is a chance to dance to the driving drone based sound of Blowzabella with their fabulous sense of melody, rhythmic expertise and sheer feeling!

Tickets for workshop only, dance only or ticket for both. Under 22s at cheaper price

Latest album - Download & CD only £5

Latest album - Download & CD only £5