John Kirkpatrick began playing melodeon with Hammersmith Morris Men in the early 1960’s, and has been unable to shake off the push-pull habit ever since. Additionally armed with the B/C/C sharp Button Accordion and Anglo Concertina, churning out tunes and accompanying himself and others singing, he has carved out a glittering career on the English Folk Scene and beyond, playing solo, in duos, trios, and groups of every kind. His music can be heard on literally hundreds of recordings, including many under his own name, amongst which are several purely instrumental items showcasing a breathtaking virtuosity.
He still loves to dance – with the morris team he founded in 1975, The Shropshire Bedlams – and he has always continued to play for ceilidhs whenever he can. His current band is Kirkophany, in which he plays with his four sons. Frequently described as one of the best dance musicians ever, this weekend is a great opportunity to learn from John’s sixty years of playing experience.
Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne is well known on the English folk scene for his work with the BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nominated trio ‘Granny’s Attic’ and as a soloist. Originally from Birmingham, Cohen developed a keen love for melodeons and concertinas while still at primary school. Cohen’s main passion is for English traditional music and song, but his musical interests run broader than that, into Baroque music, ragtime and Victorian popular music- and he has been known to throw all of these into his performances and teaching. Cohen is an experienced teacher and has worked with students of all ages in workshops and on a one-on-one basis, both in England and abroad.
Hazel Askew is a London based singer, musician and workshop leader. She has worked as a performer on the folk scene for many years, most notably with BBC Radio 2 Folk Award nominated vocal trio Lady Maisery and traditional English folk duo The Askew Sisters, with whom she won Best Female Singer at the 2011 Spiral Earth Awards. She was also part of 10 piece female supergroup Songs of Separation who recently won Best Album at the 2017 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.
Hazel is a committed folk educator and often leads projects for the English Folk Dance and Song Society’s adult, youth and schools programmes. She has also led workshops and courses for organisations including BBC Proms, Barbican Creative Learning, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Folkworks, Soundpost Music, Aldeburgh Young Musicians, Dartington Summer School, Benslow Music and Morley College. Hazel is one of the most experienced melodeon teachers in the country. She has led workshops for various festivals and organisations and helped develop the EFDSS Saturday melodeon classes, which she has lead since 2012.
Steve Dumpleton lives in Sheffield and has been playing the melodeon and anglo concertina for over 30 years. He is an experienced teacher of both instruments and has frequently been a workshop tutor at various events including Melodeons at Witney, Melodeons and More in Suffolk, Derbyshire ‘Playgroups’, and is a regular tutor at Whitby Folk Week. Steve specialises in playing for dancing and is a regular musician for the Sheffield women’s dance team Lizzie Dripping, a guest musician for Retford-based Duke’s Dandy and for local ceilidh bands.
His style of playing is firmly rooted in the English dance tradition, particularly from the south and east of England, his original home. Additionally, a few years living near Carmarthen developed his love of traditional Welsh music. Steve also brings the experience and discipline of over 40 years as a classical clarinettist into fusion with folk traditions. He strives to bring rhythmic vitality coupled with melodic phrasing into his playing and into his teaching.