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Elegant music from this timeless duo.

Byline: VAL JAVIN ,

Top quality folk music is promised at Birdsedge on Sunday courtesy of Simon Mayor and Hilary James.

Simon Mayor is one of the world's leading mandolin virtuosos and composers for the instrument as well as a fine guitarist and fiddle player who is also known for his wit. He and long-time partner Hilary James have written satirical songs for news programmes including Newsnight.

Hilary joins him at Birdsedge Village Hall where the audience will be treated to her elegant singing. She's seen by many as having one of the purest singing voices to be found on the English musical scene and one of the most stirring.

This is regarded as a quintessentially English musical pairing who cross the great musical divides with ease from British ballads to blues and Berlioz.

Simon's passion for the mandolin is one that he has shared successful with listeners nationwide. With The Mandolin Album, he embarked on a series of recordings to realise his longstanding intention to give the mandolin a uniquely British voice.

The CD was immediately made Recording Of The Week on BBC Radio 2 and received huge popular and critical acclaim. Many albums later, his mix of original and traditional material alongside classical showstoppers has been widely applauded.

Simon's off-beat humour surfaced in his own series for the BBC, Marooned with a Mandolin which was picked by one national newspaper as Radio 2's programme of the week.

He now leads Britain's first modern mandolin quartet, the Mandolinquents which includes the renowned classical guitar virtuoso Gerald Garcia, UK banjo champion, Richard Collins plus Hilary James doubling on mandobass.

Hilary's vocals defy categorisation having featured everywhere from Classic FM to Radio 1's Andy Kershaw. Covering everything from traditional folk music to blues and swing, her four solo CDs have been played on radio stations from Los Angeles to Latvia.

She presented music education programmes for national BBC Radio for six years and has illustrated a children's song book for Faber Music. Together with Simon she has written over 60 children's songs.

Hear this top-rated pair at Birdsedge on Sunday at 7.30pm. Box office is on: 01484 606230.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Article Type:Concert review
Date:Apr 27, 2007
Words:357
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