About me
African drumming
Regular workshops
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Performance Regular workshops

Current Projects:

Stepling - stepling.org.uk - facebook.com/SteplingFolk - twitter @steplingfolk
Stepling is a unique band blurring the boundaries between music and dance with an original blend of tunes, step & clog dance, and song inspired by English traditions. Their debut album ‘Leap' was released in 2018.

"Every so often, a CD pops up which stops you in your tracks. Something so novel and well conceived that all you can do is stop and listen. This is one of those CDs.” Chris Metherell, English Dance and Song

Stepling’s richly varied performances combine traditional and new material – from high energy competition clog to carefully crafted arrangements, many with foot percussion. They have performed at many UK folk festivals including Sidmouth, Whitby, Shepley, Broadstairs and Priddy. Stepling features fiddle and vocals from Deb Chalmers (Folk Dance Remixed, Laurel Swift’s ‘Travelling with Thomas’), guitar from Adrian Lever (Alma, James Patrick Gavin), percussion from Jo May (Against the Grain, Token Women) and percussive dance from champion clog dancer Toby Bennett.

…it was a rare pleasure to see the clog shod feet of dancer Toby Bennett in full flight. The speed and complexity was breathtaking at times and the accompaniment from Deb Chalmers on fiddle and vocals, Jo May on spoons and other percussion and guitarist Adrian Lever was equally impressive.

Andy Nelmes, Fatea Magazine

Intarsia - facebook.com/IntarsiaFolk
Intarsia is an emerging duo of performers from diverse backgrounds. Jo May and Sarah Matthews are both experienced musicians and have worked together since 2018, bringing together voice, violin, viola, octave fiddle, tenor guitar, balafon and a wide range of other percussion instruments. The sounds of these wooden instruments blend to create intricate delivery of original and traditional material inspired by English songs, European dance tunes, West African rhythms and more. This project provides a unique opportunity for Jo and Sarah to craft new melodies, investigate unusual time signatures, explore innovative combinations of instruments, and cross boundaries of style and genre. They challenge the listener whilst drawing them in with lilting, hypnotic, entrancing music that they can begin to participate in as well as consume.

Intarsia’s performances to date include London, Sidmouth, Bristol, and Upton-upon-Severn Folk Festivals. Intarsia are currently working on their debut album to be released later this year.

Against the Grain - facebook.com/atgduo
Powerful and uplifting music from the virtuoso duo Against the Grain - guitarist Matt Sullivan and percussionist Jo May.
Against the Grain will dazzle you with their stunning musical skills and exciting performances. Stirring the styles of West Africa, South America and Spain, Jo and Matt create an original blend of musical flavours to whet your appetite - from jazz tunes with spoons to original masterpieces on balafon, cajon and flamenco guitar. A unique sound with an infectious groove.
Against the Grain enthrall audiences everywhere including main stage gigs at Towersey, Broadstairs and Sidmouth festivals and other headline venues.

Debut album ‘Uprooted’ available now!

Anyone who goes to an Against The Grain performance quickly realises that Jo May is a peerless percussionist (and probably the UK’s finest smiter of a balafon!) and that Matt Sullivan is an outstanding guitarist. But it isn’t their virtuosity that sticks in the memory, nor is it their seemingly effortless ability to blend myriad styles and complex rhythms from around the world into a coherent music that’s all their own. The defining characteristic of an Against The Grain show is the sense of pure joy shared by both musicians and audiences. Go and see them - they’re good for whatever ails you.

Steve Hunt - music critic and co-curator of Sidmouth FolkWeek’s ‘Cellarful of Folkadelia’

Jo May and Linda Game
Fantastic fiddler, Linda Game, often accompanies Jo’s spoons workshops. The duo are also available for performances at parties and events, with the option of including a spoons workshop!

Token Women - haremusic.agency/token-women/ - facebook.com/TokenWomen1/
Ceilidh band. "This is happy, powerful, grooving, funky exciting New Folk Music, music that cheers you up. Full of inventiveness and innovation, full of talent, music from the heart."