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At the heart of English folk

Alan James, 1957–2019

It is with great sadness that we announce the sudden death of our former Chairman, Alan James, at the age of 61.

Alan joined the Board in 2009 and served as Chair from 2011 to 2015, bringing his great energy and enthusiasm for music together with professional knowledge to help develop the vision of EFDSS.

During the 1990s Alan was in charge of Performances and Projects at mac (Midlands Arts Centre) in Birmingham and in 2000 he managed Birmingham City Council’s millennium celebration, the Forward Festival. He was Head of Contemporary Music at Arts Council England from 2001 to 2006 and the following year set up Hold Tight Management working with a number of folk artists and bands including Spiro, 9 Bach, Twelfth Day, Sam Lee and Three Cane Whale over the past 12 years. Alan also produced tours and projects for The Imagined Village, The Bays and The Heritage Orchestra, Chris Wood’s Handmade Life, and Sheema Mukherjee. As Executive Chairman of the Welsh Music Foundation, Alan was instrumental in bringing WOMEX, the globe’s leading world music expo, to Cardiff. He had also been Artistic Assessor for Arts Council England, an Advisor to PRS for Music Foundation, Chairman of Stan’s Café Theatre Company, Birmingham, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Picture: Alan at our Full English Schools Conference in 2014.

National Youth Folk Ensemble

National Youth Folk Ensemble


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