Virtual mini fest May 2020

Virtual Yorkshire Americana & Bluegrass Day

Saturday 30th May 2020, 7pm (UK time)

Live streamed on Facebook Live

UPDATE – thank you so much to all who joined us live for some wonderful music. You can watch the videos again at our Facebook page, and I’ve also now made a playlist of the performances on YouTube here. This was done in May 2020 on my phone, before I had a decent webcam or microphone, but it led to greater things! And raised some much needed donations for the musicians. 

JOIN US on our Facebook page on Saturday 30th May for a special live streamed concert to mark the date of our cancelled Yorkshire Americana & Bluegrass Day. There will be a series of videos as the different artists log into our page to perform. We’re featuring most of the wonderful USA and UK musicians who were due to perform for us “in real life” and we’re raising funds to share with them as well as to help stage our postponed event in 2021. Planned start time for the live stream is 7pm (UK), which is 2pm Eastern and 11am Pacific time in the US. Luckily several of our artists are couples, or musicians who live together in the same household. You can donate to our fundraiser at our True North Music Justgiving page.

Here’s the line-up!

AJ Lee & Blue Summit – sensational contemporary bluegrass & Americana from California

AJ Lee & Blue Summit made a big impression on their 2019 debut tour of the UK, including a memorable sold out gig in Meltham. The band brings a contemporary approach to bluegrass and Americana, combining virtuoso instrumental work with soaring vocals. A powerful singer, talented mandolinist and gifted songwriter, bandleader AJ Lee has been making waves on the California acoustic scene since she was just ten years old! 2019 saw the band’s debut album release and AJ Lee won the prestigious IBMA Vocalist Momentum Award. Blue Summit will perform in their “lockdown trio” format featuring AJ Lee (mandolin/vocals), Sullivan Tuttle (guitar, vocals) and Jesse Fichman (guitar, vocals).

Jaywalkers – outstanding musicianship and songwriting from one of the UK’s finest folk-Americana bands

Cheshire trio Jaywalkers have cemented their place as one of the most exciting, talented and entertaining roots bands in the UK, since reaching the finals of the BBC Young Folk Awards back in 2008. Now with four albums and many years of touring under their belts, Jaywalkers draw on multiple influences, from folk and bluegrass to Western Swing and jazz, and are simply a class act! We look forward to welcoming the lockdown duo version featuring Jay Bradberry (fiddle, vocals, guitar) and Mike Giverin (mandolin, guitar).

Zoe & Cloyd – a superbly performed blend of acoustic Americana, folk and bluegrass from North Carolina

Zoe & Cloyd is a massively talented duo made up of Natalya Zoe Weinstein and John Cloyd Miller. Accomplished fiddler and singer Natalya comes from a lineage of klezmer and jazz musicians and John is a twelfth generation North Carolinian and award-winning songwriter, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist (guitar, mandolin, banjo). Zoe & Cloyd’s third album I Am Your Neighbor was released to warm reviews in autumn 2019 and the duo has performed across the USA, delighting audiences with their soaring harmonies, outstanding musicianship and heartfelt songwriting. We were desperately sad to have to cancel Zoe & Cloyd’s debut UK tour due to the coronavirus crisis, but are delighted to have the duo join us for this live streamed concert!

Simon Brady – UK mandolin & guitar maestro

Simon Brady (mandolin, guitar and vocals) is an exceptional singer and musician who will be representing ace British bluegrass band Tilter Wheel, who should have been opening the show at our festival. An in-demand session player who has previously performed with the Swing Commanders among many other bands, Simon will kick off our live stream with a short solo set from his home in Lancashire, UK.

This is obviously a devastating time for musicians, concert organisers and the entire live music scene. While we were fortunate to have received some Arts Council grant funding for the mini fest (which have been able to defer to 2021) this was only part of our budget, and we have already made a dent in our funds with promotional costs (posters, ads) for the original event and by paying out some modest cancellation fees to the artists we had to let down. We’re hoping to raise some funds both to fill this gap, and in anticipation of additional future challenges once we ARE able to safely hold our festival. Our musician friends are also suffering a devastating loss of income at this time, and we will be splitting any donations with them.