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Together James Hill,
'possibly the best ukulele player in the world'(Waikato Times) and Anne Janelle,
'a cellist of true beauty'(Ottawa Citizen), are an award-winning,
'utterly world-class' singer-songwriter-ukulele-cello duo (Paul Symes, The Blacksheep Inn).
James grew up playing folk, jazz and blues on his ukulele while Anne was exclusively a classical cellist. But the pair's differences quickly became their biggest asset. The uke is high, the cello is low; the uke plays short notes, the cello long bow strokes; the uke is all about strumming while the cello radiates melody. Like shadows and light in an old photograph, these contrasts are complementary. 'We’re like a pair of dancers who can’t step on each other’s feet,' jokes James.
James and Anne were selected to record a track for a compilation album called Classical Ukulele for release in Japan. 'If it weren’t for that recording project,' confides Anne, 'I don’t think we ever would have started playing together. It just wouldn’t have occurred to us.' Often the most obvious thing is the thing that's most easily overlooked. 'We chose Schubert’s Ave Maria and arranged it for ukulele and cello. We recorded it in a tiny practice cubicle at the university!' The result?
'Absolutely brilliant' (The Folk Diary).
Naturally the next step was to release a duo album and, so, True Love Don't Weep was born. The album garnered a Canadian Folk Music Award for Best Traditional Album of the Year in 2009. A mixture of traditional tunes with
'fresh vitality'(Country Music People) and, for the first time, original songs, True Love Don’t Weep showcased the duo's ability
'to capture the soul of a song.'(Folk World).
Since True Love Don’t Weep, James and Anne have each released two solo albums each but 2016 marks the return of the duo in full force. 'We walked our separate musical paths for a while, but I think we both came to realize, each in our own way, that the duo is our strongest musical offering. There is passion, there is diversity, there are many levels with which an audience can engage with our music when it’s not one or the other but both of us.' reveals Anne.
Together, James and Anne craft a sound that is intricate, enchanting and engaging:
'a crystal clear sound filled with warmth' (Bob Mersereau, CBC). In concert, James is
'a dazzling performer with a genial, low-key sense of humour'(Edmonton Journal) and Anne brings her
'gorgeous syrupy voice' (Acoustic Magazine) to songs that are
'inventive, entertaining, beautifully written and brilliantly performed'(R2 Magazine).
In short, a night out with James and Anne is
'the perfect evening of tunes, stories and musical virtuosity'(Wellington Dominion-Post).
This event was due to take place at The Met but due to our refurbishment will now take place at The Elizabethan Suite. For more information please click here
Please note that this event takes place not at The Met but at The Elizabethan Suite, Bury →
Thank you to
Core programme and
major capital funders
The John S
With thanks to
Walker Morris LLP.
Joanne Collumbine and Keith Gillespie; Noreen Kershaw;
Mark Potter; Ian Warburton.