FIFE and Strum play enchanting folk melodies, with a pulsating rhythmic heart. The soaring sound of flutes, whistles and crystalline vocals by Nicki Barnes, rides above the energy of a driving acoustic guitar played by Sam Stennett.

These two musicians, coming from backgrounds in classical music and jazz, have come together with a shared love for this evocative and beautiful folk music style. They bring exciting inspiration from their different musical journeys into their interpretations of traditional tunes, to create a sound which is at times fun and lively, at times gentle and ethereal, and always full of passion and emotion.

Nicki studied joint flute and piano at the Royal College of Music, London, and went on to perform at the Wigmore Hall, Purcell Rooms and on Classic FM, as well as freelance orchestral playing with the London Philharmonic and Bournemouth symphony orchestras. She has also provided entertainment for the Royal family and their guests on numerous occasions! Nicki also has a keen interest in folk music, and has toured with a folk orchestra in South America, played Flamenco with Juan Martin and been a member of Irish band ‘Penradin’.

Sam started his guitar journey as a teenager, and was deeply inspired by his grandfather, the Welsh jazz musician and entertainer Stan Stennett. Stan passed on many tricks of the trade, and a huge amount of wisdom, especially on the subject of strong rhythm playing. Now carrying the family flame forward, Sam plays guitar professionally, and is passionate about both performing and teaching. As well as being a member of Fife and Strum, he tours with a Django Reinhardt inspired gypsy swing band, 'The Schmoozenbergs' and plays jazz guitar as an accompanist to singers and instrumentalists.

This enchanting concert is in the Cossham Hall, Thornbury at 7.30pm on Friday, July 8. Tickets £10 each (under 18s £5) to include interval finger nibbles, can be obtained from Thornbury Town Hall or by phoning 01454 412272. This concert is part of the series to raise funds for the Armstrong Hall Redevelopment Project ( Phase 1).