The 29th Annual
Friday, Saturday & Sunday 11th,
12th & 13th
Below are the artists and dance
groups you can see in the 2018 Festival
Click on the links below to take you to
the section you want.
(Newport Folk Club Concert Friday night)
Huw Williams is a brilliant songwriter, champion Eisteddfod clog-dancer,
adventurous guitarist, bizarre storyteller, Welsh bagpiper, manager of
Cool Cymru ambassadors Calan and erstwhile half of a duo with Tony
Williams, who conquered the folk clubs and concerts of Britain before they
decided to ‘retire’. Huw dropped out of the folk-club scene for a long
time; however, he was a vital member of the Welsh super-group Crasdant for
many years, and he maintained his prominent profile by tutoring and
teaching clog-dancing at trac workshops. He took the decision to return as
a solo artist, and now he is a sought-after and highly-respected musician
who can hold the audiences of both folk clubs and festivals spellbound and smiling.
Well-crafted and finely-honed songs, each one is an absolute belter. Many
songwriters could take a lesson from his brilliant chord progressions and
his thoughtful and entertaining lyrics, but his magic touch just about
seals it and cajoles the listening public to come back for more – and more
and more. (Mick Tems, FolkWales Online Magazine)
(Newport Folk Club Concert Friday night)
Phil Millichip is a singer song-writer and poet
from Newport in South Wales. He writes topical contemporary folk and
country songs, many of which have been sung at Folk Clubs and recorded by
other artists, including Vin Garbutt, Marilyn Middleton Pollock and
Broadside. His best known song is "If I Had a Son", which has been
recorded by Vin Garbutt.
Congratulations to ÍMAR who have just won
this year's Radio 2 Folk Awards HORIZON award
- and Mohsen won Musician Of The Year.
Glasgow-based super-group Ímar boasts a line-up featuring current and
former members of stellar Scottish, Welsh and Isle Of Man bands Mànran,
RURA, Talisk, Barrule, Cara, Jamie Smith's Mabon and The Lowground, whose
collectively-crammed trophy-cabinet includes a BBC Young Folk Award and
several All-Britain/All-Ireland titles.
The band was created out of the Glasgow celebrated session scene. All five
of them – also including fiddler Tomás Callister and bouzouki ace Adam
Rhodes (Barrule/Mabon), both from the Isle of Man, plus Glasgow native
Mohsen Amini (Talisk) on concertina – originally met as teenagers through
Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, the Irish traditional music network that
tutors budding players throughout the British Isles and beyond.
Sam Kelly Trio
is a BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winning Bristol-based singer, song-writer,
producer, and multi-instrumentalist. As a young child Sam spent many a
night enraptured, listening to his Irish grandfather tell folk tales, sing
folk songs, and play folk tunes on his melodeon. Having caught the bug,
Sam has dedicated his life to rediscovering and renewing the sounds of his
gaelic heritage, and creating exciting new music that transcends the
boundaries of traditional and popular music.
His debut album, The Lost Boys, Sam enlisted the talents of Ciaran Algar
(fiddle) and Graham Coe (cello) to help his songs reach their full
potential. It seemed to work as the following year Sam was awarded the
prestigious Horizon Award for emerging artists at the BBC Radio 2 Folk
Awards. The guys release their first full length album, Pretty Peggy, on
Navigator Records in November 2017, with the added talents of Toby Shaer
on flutes and whistles and Archie Churchill-Moss on melodeon. With a mix
of youthful exuberance and instrumental virtuosity, The Lost Boys breathe
new life into traditional music, letting it rub shoulders with
contemporary originals and even the occasional surprise rock cover, and
have quickly become one of the most popular festival bands on the UK folk
young musicians Meg Eliza Cox, Ossian Gruffydd and Rhys Morris, members of
Band Nantgarw, have formed themselves into a high-energy traditional trio.
Meg plays fiddle and an array of other instruments, including bodhràn,
banjo and mandolin, Rhys anchors the trio with his guitar and fiddler
Ossian is Welsh clog dancing champion for his age.
Mansant started life as
accompanists for the Welsh folk dance team Tawerin, and continue to do so.
As their interest in Welsh folk music grew they started performing as a
band welcoming new members and nurturing their interest and knowledge.
Mansant play predominantly traditional Welsh folk music sets with an added
percussion from cloggers from time to time.
Dore and Julian Littman
Charlie Dore, one of the UK's
most respected songwriters, teams up with multi-instrumentalist Julian
Littman (Steeleye Span). They swap guitars, mandolin, harmonium, ukulele,
piano, autoharp and stories as they showcase Charlie's new album Dark
Matter, while dipping into her previous five albums and sharing original
versions of hits Charlie wrote for others, including George Harrison and
Daria Kulesh Quartet
With her striking voice and
strong Russian and Ingush heritage, "bold, exotic, impressive" Daria
Kulesh offers her audiences a thoroughly engaging, entertaining and
She is excited to present her brand new stellar band - Daria Kulesh
Quartet - comprising one of the UK's leading young acoustic guitarists
Tristan Seume, alongside spectacular Belarusian pianist Marina Osman and
Kate Rouse, expert on hammered dulcimer. With a unique mix of instruments
and cultures, innovative and delightful arrangements, impressive
musicianship and exciting, dramatic storytelling, this is a "captivating
spectacle" not to be missed. "The songs aren't just sung, but lived." (FATEA
Chris and Wendy Moreton
Gwent-based Chris and his
jaw-dropping world-class guitar, banjo and mandolin have showered with
epithets by the national music media for a long time; this bluegrass and
Americana virtuoso has gone out on the road with his double-bass-playing
Paul Lloyd Nicholas Band
The Paul Lloyd Nicholas Band
comprises Allan Jones on guitar, Sel Edwards on violin, Clive Carpenter on
percussion, Aled Rhys Evans on keyboards and Steve Shipman on
harmonica...all of them sensational musicians who grace their own bands.
Plus, of course, Paul himself whose songs are played on radio stations as
far afield as Australia and Canada plus here on the BBC. At Tredegar House
the band will be showcasing songs from Paul’s current album Hold The Line
and his forthcoming album Deja Voodoo. As Folk Wales magazine says: “Paul
can hold an audience transfixed with a beautiful song...he enriches the
folk scene.” And as Paul himself says: “These musicians are so good that
I’d like to stand back and just listen to them...it’s a privilege to be on
the same stage.”
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Below are the International teams who
will be performing in the 2018 festival.
Visiting International Teams
Founded in 1972, Ralda has brought international
and Dutch folklore to the stage for over 45 years now. Since its
foundation Ralda has offered the opportunity to dance and make music to
children, teenagers and adults.
We perform Dutch Folkdance and music with live
folk music in various beautiful costumes. Ralda’s costumes have been
purchased or carefully reproduced from original examples. We will bring
the “tourist costume”, which means the costume foreign people know as the
“Dutch Costume” , from Volendam, our costume of the village of Raalte
(where we live). This costume is called “Joapikstug, and we have the
costumes of the region. (Salland). The wooden shoes are included, of
Besides Dutch dances our repertoire consists of
foreign dances from countries like Hungary, Armenia, Serbia, Israel,
Mexico, Russia and China and lots more. All dances have been adapted for
stage performance while authentic elements have been preserved as much as
Ralda also has a group of musicians, who
accompany the dancing groups during performances. Their instruments
depend on which musicians are travelling. For this festival we will be
bringing a diatonic accordeon, a clarinet, a bass and the guitar.
Dance Club "BULGARIAN RHYTHMS" and Folk Dance Group "THE
There will be two groups under
"Bulgarian dancing" performing together.: Folk Dance Club "BULGARIAN
RHYTHMS" from the Bulgarian Cultural Institute in London and Folk Dance
Group “THE CHAINDANCERS" from Oxford.
Folk Dance Club "Bulgarian Rhythms" was created in 2016 by the Bulgarian
Cultural Institute in London as part of it's goal to preserve and promote
the rich Bulgarian culture and traditions.
Both groups exist for two years and have already Performed at local and
international folk festivals. The leader of the groups is Aneliya
Both groups combine Bulgarian and international connoisseurs of the
intrinsic regular and irregular Bulgarian rhythms. Their performances
present the regional diversity of the rich Bulgarian dance heritage. The
repertoire is comprised of traditional chain dances and thematic
choreography based on them.
Bulgarian dances vary from slow and gracious movements to very quick and
extremely complex dance steps, mainly performed on unique irregular
rhythms. This complexity combined with diverse colourful costumes make
Bulgarian folk dances distinctive and well known throughout the world.
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Some of the Festival
Regulars and UK Dance Teams who have attended in the past.
See the Home page to see which teams have confirmed for 2018
Al Rakas (Bollywood)
Al Rakas are based in Newport and Cwmbran and have
been performing together for 5 years. They enjoy experimenting with
different dance styles and music including Turkish pop, Bollywood and Folk
styles and have even choreographed a Sea Shanty medley for a pirate themed
party. Fusing moves and music to create dances they love and using a
variety of props and costume, they aim to always bring something new to
If you would like to book them for a Bellydance birthday party for all
ages over 6, hen night or other function, please ask one of the dancers
for contact details. And if you fancy having a go yourself, there is a
beginners class in Cwmbran on a Monday evening.
Caerphilly schools Uke Band
The Caerphilly Schools' Uke Band, run by Mike
Collins and Lisa Baldwin, is a new addition to the county ensembles of
Caerphilly Music Service.
After the success of Lewis and the Ukes (run by
Mike Colllins) at the Royal Albert Hall and the Evian Festival in France,
a senior county uke band was formed in September 2015 with plans to start
a junior band in September 2016.
All pupils come from schools or sixth form colleges
within the Caerphilly County Borough. The newly formed Caerphilly Schools
Uke Band will be appearing in various concerts throughout the year
including Caerphilly Music Service's concert at St. Davids Hall on
December 5th 2016.
CARDIFF MORRIS (Cardiff)
Picture by Alun Roach
The Cardiff Morris are one of the
earliest 1970s revival sides. Formed in early 1970 by a small enthusiastic
group made up of experienced dancers who had migrated from Morris sides in
other parts of the country and local recruits with a feeling for folk
dance and song, they have been dancing the Morris in South Wales for over
Their dances are generally
derived from the Cotswold traditions, although you may see them perform
their own tradition of dance from the village of Nantgarw, just north of
Cardiff. This tradition is distinguished by the fact that it is an
eight-person dance rather than the Cotswold style with six dancers. The
local connection is reinforced by the Welsh dragon and Cardiff Coat of
Arms on their Welsh-weave "baldricks", or cross-sashes, and they are often
accompanied by Idris, their own dancing dragon.
In summer they can be seen in
Cardiff and around South Wales at festivals and fetes, or touring various
localities in the County of Glamorgan on Tuesday evenings.
CLOCS CANTON (Cardiff)
Clocs Canton dance North West style morris dancing, wearing clogs and
using garlands & wavers. They have been dancing in and around
Cardiff since 1986. They are distinctive in the Welsh colours of red,
white and green, and unusual in kit with stripy trousers which always
makes them stand out from the crowd. New dancers and musicians are
always welcome. They meet in Canton on Thursdays.
Cobblers Awl are based in Cardiff
and perform clog steps from both Wales and England. They have tried to
keep both the Welsh and English clog-step traditions alive for the past
forty years, since the group was first formed in Cwmbrân.
Their repertoire includes English
steps with routines from Lancashire, Lakeland and the North-east of
England, and over the past decade they have developed Welsh stepping,
embedding traditional elements within a contemporary polyrhythmic
framework. They wear wooden-soled leather clogs, all handmade by one or
other of the few craftsmen still creating such traditional footwear.
They practice at The
Community Space at Tesco (Gabalfa) on Western Avenue in Cardiff on Monday nights, and if you are
interested, please contact them.
Cwmni Gwerin Pontypŵl
Cwmni Gwerin Pont-y-Pŵl is a Welsh folk dance team
aiming to keep alive the culture and tradition of Welsh music and dance.
They dance at displays and festivals, not only in Wales and the rest of
the United Kingdom but also in Europe, where they have links with other
traditional dance groups.
They are a small friendly group and are always looking for new members,
both musicians and dancers, experienced and inexperienced. They have great
fun whilst maintaining the Welsh folk tradition.
They meet in
New Panteg Rugby Club, New Road, New Inn NP4 0PZ every Tuesday at 8.15
pm. Why not come and join them, or come along one evening to see what it
is all about?
Dawnswyr Gwerin Penyfai
Dawnswyr Pen y Fai is a team with a world-wide
Each dance in their repertoire has its place and tradition in Wales. The
style is varied and exciting to watch and alternates from energetic fair
dances and lively social dances to elegant court dances.
The dancers wear the traditional Welsh costume made from Welsh flannel. On
formal occasions the women wear the distinctive tall black hats, unique to
Dawnswyr Gwerin Penyfai has performed at numerous festivals in the UK and
Europe, and is a member of the Welsh National Folk Dance Society. The team
is in great demand to entertain audiences and hold social dance evenings
throughout Wales and beyond.
The dancers are accompanied by a band of skilled folk musicians.
Dawnswyr Tawerin are from the Swansea area, as the
name 'Tawerin' conveys. Founded in 1975 by former Tawerin folk dance group
members from the group's time at University College Swansea.
The group has already competed in the Llangollen International Eisteddfod,
and has won the top prizes and trophies at the National Eisteddfod and the
Cerdd Dant Festival, as well as experiencing success in the Pan Celtic
Festival. The team has represented Swansea and Wales, by travelling as far
away as Sweden, Belgium, Poland, Brittany, Galicia and the Basque areas,
Isle of Man, Scotland, Ireland, Yugoslavia, Canada and the United States.
The group is trained by Karen Grayson-Cooper, who demands the highest
standards and is an experienced teacher in the performances and
interpretation of our dances. Mavis Williams Roberts is the President of
the team and one of the original members. She has contributed greatly to
the development of the Welsh folk dance through her research and by
composing new dances, based on original figures and traditional steps. Her
work has won prestigious national awards. Tawerin's stunning costume is
based on traditional Welsh patterns, and the use of industry-famous
flannel from the local area.
The group will perform
a variety of dances - court dances from the 18th and 19th Century, complex
social dances popular in their time, and the old and vibrant colorful fair
dances which are so common but unique to Wales. The musicians play the
traditional dance music, as well as tunes that have been composed in the
Welsh style, enhancing their performances.
Flamenco is an Andalusian term which refers both to
a musical style, known for its intricate rapid passages, and a dance genre
characterised by its audible footwork. Sit back and enjoy this Flamenco
performance from a team which has appeared regularly at the Festival.
Firestone ( Appalachian)
Always rhythmic, colourful and
lively, FireStone perform high energy displays at venues around the South
West and further afield. The current style is mostly appalachain stepping
mixed with English ceilidh and American jive choreography, peppered with
some Canadian and African steps, which gives rise to the varied and
exciting shows that FireStone produces today.
enjoy experimenting mixing and contrasting styles of dance and music; they
can perform at festivals or fetes to a live band or provide interval
entertainment to anything from 70s pop to modern chart music. The
overriding ethos is that if it looks good, sounds good, the dancers think
its fun and the audience likes it, then they will do it. Using original
pieces choreographed by the team, the range of dance and music performed
is unique within the UK.
Almost impossible to
pigeon-hole, FireStone have performed Appalachian dance in America, Irish
dance in Ireland, and English dance in England. Purists raise their
eye-brows, but the audiences continue to clap their hands.
Equally comfortable busking on
city streets or performing on stage in front of large audiences, FireStone
consists of two dance teams who can perform to a live band or recorded
music, depending on the venue.
Gwerinwyr Gwent was formed in 1976 by eight people
from the Gwent area who were interested in reviving the tradition of Welsh
folk dancing. The name of the team can be translated as "folk-people of
They perform dances which vary from slow, courtly
dances to the faster fair dances and also include clog dances. Since
their formation, members of the team have taken part in several
eisteddfods and also in festivals, both in Wales and overseas. As a result
of this they have hosted many foreign teams on their visits to Wales. Our
recent trips abroad took us to Denmark in 2009, and Finland at the
beginning of July 2010. They were also invited to Latvia, and some of the
team went there to perform at the Lubana festival in 2011.
They dance just for pleasure, although they take
part in festivals and demonstrations both in Wales and Europe. This year
they will again be performing at the Tredegar House Folk Festival and some
of them will be hosting dancers from overseas. This leads to invitations
to dance in their countries. Gwerinwyr Gwent are well known for
organising twmpaths and Noson Lawen evenings; the charges for these
depends on the time involved and the distances travelled.
They are always seeking new members, and either
beginners or experienced dancers are very welcome. Practice night is
Thursday 8-10pm at the Graig Community Hall, Bassaleg, NP10 8LG opposite
the Ruperra Arms. Just come along, or ring 01495 271953 for more details.
Dancing is fun; it's exercise but you don't have to be superfit to do
it - give it a try!
Hevva was formed by an
enthusiastic group of like-minded dancers and musicians who wanted to pool
their extensive experience to promote, teach and display the traditional
dances of Cornwall, one of the Celtic nations. The group has grown
considerably from its beginnings and is now one of the foremost dance
groups in Cornwall, recognisable by its distinctive traditional costume.
Hevva performs extensively at home, and has also been privileged to
represent Cornwall at festivals large and small further afield, from
Europe to the Caribbean. They bring with them their own band of
India Dance Wales
Founded in 1993 India Dance Wales are the pioneers
of Indian Dance in Wales. The aim of their work is to maintain
authenticity while exploring contemporary ideas. India dance Wales are
based in Cardiff. They have performed several times at the festival and we
would like to give them a very warm welcome back.
Isca Morris were formed in 1976 by three
experienced dancers taking their name from the Roman Fortress of the
Second Augustan Legion which once stood on the site of the town of
Caerleon in the old county of Gwent in South East Wales, UK. They wear
the national colours of Wales (red, white and green) and the kit includes
a red sash on which is mounted a Roman helmet badge.
Their dancing season usually extends from May 1st (when they dance at dawn
in the Roman Amphitheatre at Caerleon) to about mid-September, every
Wednesday evening, at a variety of real ale pubs across Newport, Torfaen
and Monmouthshire. They can also be seen on some weekends during the
summer in various parts of this country and abroad.
Isca Morris have danced at many different types of event, ranging from
Barn Dances and Folk Clubs to Fetes and larger Folk Festivals and have
appeared on television and radio on several occasions.
Eastern Dancers was founded by a group of like-minded women in 2003 and
has been going strong ever since.
Jawahir perform all styles of Middle Eastern Dance – fusing North African,
Egyptian, Turkish and even European rhythms using traditional and modern
movement, in bright, colourful costumes which vary from full tribal to
light and airy. It doesn’t matter what shape or size you are anyone can
“shake their shimmy” and everyone is welcome to come and join us.
We meet on a Sunday from 6-7pm for Beginners at Danceworld, Dock Street,
For any Enquiries or if you’d like to book Jawahir to come and dance at an
event, please contact either Debbie Glover or Lisa Adams
Phone: 07807128765 / 07580034624
Facebook: “Jawahir Middle Eastern Dancers”
mini Gŵyl Plant
In 1981 Gwerinwyr Gwent started a festival of Welsh
Folk Dance for children called Gwyl Plant Gwent. The numbers have grown
since then, and now four festivals are held locally at Abergavenny,
Abertillery, Cwmbran and Newport. A mini Gŵyl Plant was introduced in
Tredegar House Folk Festival in 2014, encouraging the younger generation
to value and enjoy the culture and folk scene of Wales.
Schools performing this year are:
TY-SIGN PRIMARY SCHOOL, RISCA and
RHIW SYR DAFYDD PRIMARY SCHOOL, OAKDALE
O'Donnell - maguire School of Irish Dancing
are a group of mixed ages from the Cardiff and Newport areas. A lot of
time not only goes into the learning of the steps but also their
appearance and I am sure you will appreciate their beautiful costumes as
well as their dancing. They are regular visitors to the festival.
Whilst Irish Dancing can be
very competitive, with competitions (Feisanna) ranging from their own
class Feis through to local 'Wales and the West Feis' and on to National
and International Championships, the O'Donnell School of Irish Dancing
believes that whatever your own personal aspirations, be it the next World
Champion or to just learn something new and keep fit along the way, it
should be FUN.
For more information, visit their
Shoostring are a dynamic and energetic dance group
who are sure to amaze you with their synchronised and unique approach to
Appalachian dancing. The side choreograph all their own dances, bringing
to life the toe tapping rhythms of American Bluegrass music performed by
the fantastic Shoostring Band. Shoostring have performed at many
events and folk festivals, including Newport's own Tredegar House,
Wadebridge, Chippenham and Pontardawe. They have also toured County Cork
in Southern Ireland.
Strictly Clog was formed in 2010 by three well
established clog dance friends who wanted to take clog dancing back to
basics with minimum choreography and more emphasis on the partnership with
They have since performed at Beverley, Chippenham,
Bromyard and Whitby folk festivals, as well as the annual Skipton Clog
Fest and other local events.
Sweyn's Ey Morris
The Men of Sweyn's Ey take their name from the
Viking name for Swansea, and are based in Swansea, or to be precise in
Morriston, most appropriate for a morris side. The side was founded in
1966, and celebrated their fiftieth birthday last year. Initially dancing
just the rapper sword dance, the side now dances mainly Cotswold morris,
but also some Border morris as well as the rapper sword dance.
At Christmas, they keep alive the local mummer's
plays, collecting for charity. They believe that they are Wales's
longest running morris side, the only male dancing side remaining in
Wales, and include Wales's oldest active morris dancer. They have a
Tiger Feet are the Appalachian dance side from
Cardiff. They have been dancing together for 20 years and say that they
remember Tiger Bay, even if no-one else does!
They dance mainly to traditional tunes but also
love more modern ones and are most grateful to Bellowhead and other groups
for their inspiring music."
Topaz Tribal (Belly Dancers)
Topaz Tribal is a Gypsy Caravan Tribal Bellydance®
troupe from Abergavenny, South Wales. Gypsy Caravan Tribal Bellydance® is
an eclectic style of bellydance, which draws its influence & inspiration
from many cultures around the world, including Indian, Spanish, African
etc. The roots are firmly planted in the Middle East, using historical &
traditional bellydance moves to create combinations which pay tribute to &
acknowledge the past history of bellydance. The dance, which is mostly
improvised, has a modern bohemian style of it's own with a free & spirited
gypsy-like feel, is powerful yet elegant, graceful & feminine. It's
inclusive. Your age, size or fitness level is not important, but YOU are.
Tribal bellydance will help to improve your stamina, core stability,
balance & flexibilty, plus the benefits of helping to develop confidence,
self-esteem, inner strength, & an all-round 'feel good' factor. Research
shows that dancing is now recognised by the health professionals as one of
the best physical exercises for everyone. So come & join in & find out for
Topaz Tribal love to dance to spread the joy, the
power & the passion of this dance, to have fun, to laugh, to share & just
enjoy the moment of dancing with your sisters.
Topaz Tribal is led by Wendy Hughes, a Certified
Level 3 Instructor with Gypsy Caravan & a member of the UK Caravan
Project. To find out more about Topaz Tribal & Gypsy Caravan visit the
website, send us an
e-mail, or find us on
Velha Bataria (Samba Band)
Bataria are a 15 piece Samba Band from Gwent. We have played at events
such as The Commonwealth Games and Welsh Millennium Centre and many more.
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Calennig Big Band
with caller Pat Smith
Specialising in Welsh dance music, Calennig are equally at home playing
for experts and novices alike. The band is led by concertina and spoons
player Pat Smith who is acknowledged as one of Britain’s most entertaining
callers and she has taught Welsh dances and called twmpaths from Auckland
to Aberdeen, from Chicago to Christchurch. She is accompanied by a pool of
regular musicians Mike Kennedy (bass), Iolo Jones (fiddle), Peter Davies
(whistles, recorders, oboe, bagpipes and Bombard) and Rob Morris (guitar
and Accordeon), and Ned Clamp (guitar, mandola, harmonica).
with caller Dave Parsons
Juice is one of South Wales' longest running and
most popular ceilidh bands. Originally known as 'Juice of Barley', it was
founded back in the mid 1970s, by Jenny and Gill KilBride. They were later
joined by sons: Bernard, Daniel and Gerard who, having absorbed the
tradition, continued the band in their own right as 'Juice'. Many
incarnations later, the band is still as vibrant and dynamic as ever.
The band's caller has been the legendary Dave Parsons for more years than
he would care to remember!
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