Hoagy, Hornpipes, Handel & Hoedown'
Across Britain from Shetland to Sark, and across the globe from
Vancouver to Singapore, Simon Mayor and Hilary James have brought their
special blend of dazzling musicianship.
If they have a speciality, it's an ability to
combine a truly diverse array of talents into a hugely entertaining
stage show. There can't be many performers who slide easi≠ly from a
beautifully evocative Irish ballad into a mandolin and guitar version
of Handel's Arrival Of the Queen Of Sheba and then have the audience
singing one of their own notorious comic songs, but it's this wry
humour and an easy, informal stage manner that holds it all together.
duo's musical diversity has led to an equally broad range of festival
invitations from Henley Classical Music Festival (England) to the
Stephen Leacock Humour Festival (Canada), the Vancouver Folk Festival
and countless folk and Celtic festivals throughout the world.
James' "elegant singing" (Daily Telegraph) has received huge acclaim:
quintessentially English but easily crossing the great musical divides
from Celtic ballads to blues and Berlioz. She's famed too for an
unlikely taste in bass instruments (she could turn up with her giant
mandobass or slimline semi-acoustic double bass), accompanying Simon on
guitar on anything from Vivaldi to bluegrass and even managing a step
dance if the wind is in the right direction.
Mayor started out as a guitarist and fiddler, but his current position
as one of the world's foremost mandolinists (and composer for the
instrument) has led to an ever increasing number of invitations to play
and teach at festivals and conventions (most recently the Classical
Mandolin Society of America in 1999). Since 1990, his Mandolin Albums
have been applauded in Celtic and classical circles alike.
"Just fantastic to go and see live. Do catch them if you can."
Fiona Talkington, BBC Radio 3
'Sheer Musical Brilliance.'
BBC World Service
"left you feelin lik you were floatin on a peerie cloud somewhar."
Shetland Folk Festival
View The Mandolinquents
View The Working Party