Mayor and James

Folk Comes To Town with Mandolin Artistry in Okehampton

Mayor and James
Simon Mayor & Hilary James

Devon’s folk arts charity Wren Music continues its new Folk Comes To Town series of high-profile folk events in Okehampton with a concert featuring Simon Mayor & Hilary James, Matt Norman, and the Mandolin Orchestra Of Devon on Saturday, July 14 2012.

The concert will be held in Fairplace Church, Mill Road, Okehampton, Devon EX20 1DN from 7.30 to 9.30 pm. Tickets for the concert are £8, £6 for under 18s, or £20 for family of up to 2 adults and 3 children. Advance booking is available at

Simon Mayor and Hilary James are famous for their witty and captivating mix of folk, blues, swing and classical music – spiced with a unique brand of off-beat humour. Captivating and experienced live performers, they have toured the globe from Seattle to Singapore, taking in a truly diverse roster of world, folk and classical festivals. Their recent CD Music From A Small Island was acclaimed “Folk record of the year” by the Daily Telegraph.

Simon Mayor is one of the world’s foremost mandolinists and composers for the instrument. At times it seems like he’s on a personal crusade to popularise the instrument – recording a series of superb albums and even presenting his own acclaimed Radio 2 series Marooned With A Mandolin. Over the last decade his quartet The Mandolinquents has also been touring to ever-growing audiences.

Hilary James singing easily crosses the great musical divides from British ballads to blues and Berlioz. She’s renowned too for an unlikely taste in bass instruments, accompanying Simon on guitar on anything from folk to bluegrass to Vivaldi, and even managing a step dance if the wind is in the right direction.

Matt Norman is gaining a well-deserved reputation as one of the leading lights of the new generation of Devon-based folk artists. He is an innovative and entertaining musician, exploring traditional and contemporary English music as a performer, arranger, composer and songwriter. His imaginative approach to repertoire is complemented by his virtuosity on the mandolin. He has developed a unique style on the instrument, using rich textures and dramatic contrasts. He has recorded and toured with Ella Edmondson as well as playing with BBC Folk Award winner Jackie Oates. Alongside his busy performing career, Matt Norman is the Director of Wren Music’s Mandolin Orchestra Of Devon.

Mandolin Orchestra Of Devon is Devon’s newest string ensemble: since its launch in September 2011, MOOD’s members have been learning pieces specially written for mandolin ensemble. Their repertoire is drawn from the ‘golden age of mandolin orchestra’ in the early 1900s, as well as arrangements of new and traditional pieces.

Further information on Wren Music’s full programme of adult and youth folk choirs, orchestras and bands, concerts and dance events throughout Devon, as well as CDs, song and tune books and other publications can also be found at