A black and white image of Jess seated, holding a black hurdy gurdy with natural wood coloured decoration. She has long brown hair and glasses and is smiling
Photography by Max Adelman

Multi-instrumentalist and singer Jessica Cahill has been described by her former mentor, legendary gurdyist Nigel Eaton, as “one of the best hurdy-gurdy players in Britain, with a superb driving style”. As a singer she looks for traditional songs which speak to the human condition across the centuries. “People sometimes tell me I made them cry, which I love.”

She has developed an improvisational, experimental approach, rooted in the folk tradition but collaborating and searching outside of it. She currently plays with┬ádouble bass player Pete Marsh, The No Frills Band, and The Low Road (for Andrew Weatherall’s Moine Dubh label).

She was previously with experimental folk duo Salt & Blue with cellist Jakob Kaye and has guested with numerous musicians, including Firepit Collective, Babar Luck and Florrible & Misrabella, the outfit that later became Florence & The Machine.

Her first album, “Long time have I been waiting”, was released on 1st December 2011 to great reviews, and received extensive airplay on folk radio.