Documenting the curious world of the hurdy-gurdy.

The Big Hurdy-Gurdy Workshop Weekend

A workshop weekend for hurdy-gurdy players of all ages and abilities with Gregory Jolivet (France), Steve Tyler, Claire Dugue giving workshops on technique and repertoire.

8-10th February 2013 Halsway Manor, Somerset

For more info and booking, see here.

Hurdy-gurdy Saturday courses - Netherlands

Saturday Courses - November 2012 to May 2013

The Dutch association for hurdy-gurdies and bagpipes has announced the next series of Saturday courses for the hurdy-gurdy and bagpipes, running from November through to next May.  Courses are available for beginners and advanced players of both instruments, as well as joint sessions.  Beginner’s instruments are available to hire.


  • Hurdy-gurdy beginners: Joop Aalbers. Discover the possibilities of the instrument and experience the fun.
  • Hurdy-gurdy advanced: Roald Keuning. Elaboration and refinement of melodic and rhythmic techniques.
  • Drone Music in bandstands: Ine Blom. Development of a joint repertoire to be played at the end of the course at a number of bandstands.
  • Bourbonnais Revival: drone with a capital D: Jonneke Jorissen and Cor Westbroek. Joint course for D-tuned hurdy gurdies and bagpipes.

Information and registration

See for more information.

One for the diary - Halsway Manor hurdy-gurdy weekend, 8-10 Feb 2013

Advanced warning of the Halsway Manor Hurdy-Gurdy Weekend to be held at Halsway Manor, near Crowcombe in Somerset, from Friday 8th February to Sunday 10th February 2013.  Teachers already booked include Gregory Jolivet, Steve Tyler and Claire Dugue.  This runs in parallel with the John Swayne Bagpipe Workshop Weekend and features a Hurdy-Gurdy and Bagpipe Concert on the Saturday evening with Gregory Jolivet, Steve Tyler, Katy Marchant and Jon Swayne.

More here.

Matthias Loibner, Ireland, 6 May 2012

Renowned Austrian hurdy-gurdy player Matthias Loibner is set to perform at the Bray Jazz Festival 2012 in Co Wicklow, Ireland.  The performance takes place at 1830 on Sunday 6th May 2012 in the Bray Town Hall.  More information and tickets here.

Chateau d’Ars Programme Out

The line-up for this year’s festival of traditional music and folk dance at Chateau d’Ars has been released:

Jeudi 12 Juillet
Groupe en déambulation La Bande Ménétrière (La Chavannée)
21h15 Concert d’ouverture avec Goran Bregovic et l’orchestre des mariages et enterrements
23h15 Fublène / Centre France (Bal)
0h45 Bâton de Quartier / Centre France (Bal)
Vendredi 13 Juillet
16h Bourdin Trad « Jhâze » / Poitou (Bal)
16h30 Xarnège / Folk basco-gascon (Concert)
18h30 Bal O Gadjo / Folk ethnico-tziganoriental (Bal)
20h La Fontaine Troublée / Chansons traditionnelles en belle compagnie (Concert)
21h15 Cillian & Niall Vallely / Irlande (Concert)
21h45 Krenijenn / Abstract trad (Bal)
23h Susana Seivane / Galice, Espagne (Concert)
23h30 BA’AL / Gascogne (Bal)
1h30 La Clèda / Auvergne, Limousin, Béarn (Bal)

Samedi 14 Juillet
16h30 Le Petit Bal Ratamouche / Musiques traditionnelles… ou presque (Bal pour enfants)
16h30 Abnoba / Italie (Concert)
18h30 Le Tour de la Gaspésie / Gaspésie (Concert bal)
20h Duplessy et les 3 violons du Monde / Chine, Inde, Mongolie (Concert)
21h15 Vent de Galarne / Chansons populaires Centre France, La Chavannée (Concert)
23h Nahas Project / France, Liban (Concert)
23h30 Moussaka suivi de Moussakintet / Musique bretonne, folk néo trad (Bal)
1h30 Mister Klof / Folk (Bal)

Dimanche 15 Juillet
Groupe en déambulation La Bande Ménétrière (La Chavannée)
16h Les Gâs du Berry et aultres lieux du Centre / Répertoire traditionnel du Centre revisité (Concert)
16h30 Le Petit Bal Ratamouche / Musiques traditionnelles… ou presque (Bal pour enfants)
17h30 Samuraï / Nouvelles Musiques Traditionnelles d’Europe (Concert)
19h Chris Wood and Andy Cutting / Musiques et Chansons Traditionnelles anglaises (Concert)
21h Naragonia Quartet / Belgique (Bal)


Blowzabella Festival, 27-28 April 2012

Stamford Arts Centre, 27-28 April 2012.

A day and two nights packed with dances, concerts, workshops, sessions with Blowzabella, Esquisse (Brittany) and guests.

Blowzabella produce an inimitable, driving drone-based sound played with a fabulous sense of melody, rhythmic expertise and sheer feeling. They have played everywhere from the main stage at Glastonbury Festival to the outer reaches of Brazil and West Africa. They compose their own music which is influenced by British and European traditional dance music. Many bands across Europe who experiment with the boundaries of folk music cite Blowzabella as a major influence. Andy Cutting- diatonic button accordion. Jo Freya - clarinet, saxophones. Paul James - bagpipes, saxophones. Gregory Jolivet - hurdy-gurdy. Dave Shepherd - violin. Barn Stradling - bass guitar. Jon Swayne - bagpipes, saxophones. 

Esquisse is the best young band to emerge from Brittany in the last 5 years and this is their UK debut. Thrilling music and virtuoso playing - they are in a completely different league to most bands playing traditional dance music. Pierre Le Normand – drums. Thomas Badeau – clarinet. Gweltaz Hervé – soprano saxophone. François Badeau - diatonic accordion. 

Friday 27 April

Doors open 7pm.
8pm-11pm. Blowzabella. Dance/concert.

Saturday 28 April

Workshops 10am-5pm – British and European folk dances, folk orchestra (playing and arranging folk dance tunes, all ages, all instruments, all abilities), master classes in diatonic accordion, hurdy-gurdy, folk violin, bagpipes. Dance Tune Competition.

Doors open 7pm. 7:30pm-9pm. Blowzabella. 9:30-11:30pm. Esquisse

For full programme and further information, including workshop music and places to stay, go to

Queries? phone Paul James 0788 794 8853.


Friday and Saturday ticket for everything - Adults £52. 16 years old and under £12

Saturday workshops and Saturday night dance - Adults £38. 16 years old and under £10

Saturday workshops only (10am-5pm) – Adults £25. 16 years old and under £5.Friday night dance - Adults £15. 16 years old and under £5. Saturday night dance - Adults £16. 16 years old and under £5.

More information here.

Fete de la vielle, Anost, France, 15-19 August 2012

Now an unmissable event in Burgundy, the Fête de la vielle has gradually made a name for itself among the biggest traditional music and dance festivals in France. For 4 days, Anost vibrates to the sound of bagpipes, violins, diatonic accordions and the hurdy-gurdy. The programme features different concerts and improvised jam sessions in the village’s bars and restaurants. Each year, 20 000 people come to Anost in Burgundy to experience this friendly festival.  More here.

Le Chateau d’Ars

Festival of traditional musics and folk dances, 13-15 July 2012
La Châtre, France

Instrument-makers, concerts, folk dances and a unique atmosphere, the festival has become THE meeting place of traditional music in Europe.  A unique show of instrument makers which welcomes 130 instrument makers from the whole world presenting and selling their instruments: bagpipes, hurdy-gurdies, accordions, wind instruments, percussion and many more…
30 concerts and folk dances are scheduled, providing an opportunity to hear the variety and the wealth of traditional music.  Various activities are scheduled during the day, including : dance workshops, presentation of instruments, competitions, folk dances for children, Apérosol, meetings with the musicians.
More here.