I am a singer, multi-instrumentalist and composer, and musical director.  I work on both large scale and site specific performances, and also on smaller scales and as a creative facilitator. I play guitar, baglama, bouzouki, melodeon, banjo, symphonie, mandolin and a number of other instruments. I am also a solo performer, and producer.

My work is realised through a hybrid of media and narrative techniques, ranging from songs, to performances, to installations.

What is a symphonie? (originally posted for the RISE! May tour)

Below are some selected reviews from sources ranging from participants, to funders, to press:

“It gave me peace of mind to be in the music, the only time I didn’t think about problems” - Stone Flowers Participant

“Pain turned into something very beautiful!” - Stone Flowers Audience Member

“The performers feel that they were being taken seriously in performing ‘proper’ theatre. This was reinforced in the Q&A when performers expressed their pride in working to professional standards. This did not mean necessarily that they were producing professional standard performances, which was neither the aim nor the outcome, but for people with low self esteem and confidence the insistence by Collective Encounters on pushing themselves and each other had clearly been of great importance to participants”. - Clare McManus, Arts Council Independent Assessor, about Other Ways Of Telling.

“The community history of the town comes across – the town is a system which continues and evolves. It’s realistic, but affectionate. It’s not soppy, on occasions it’s quite hard. I can use it to differentiate the town; it’s not a corporate video. It makes us unique and that’s great’ - Steve Cranmer, Ellesmere Port and Neston Regeneration Officer about “Our Town”

“The piece was thought provoking and engaging. The multi-layered story depicted a range of contemporary issues effecting young people within rural communities and was remarkably well told. Sprinkles of humour and bursts of song created a lighter spin on darker and more sinister moments. Indeed, the deliberative style that highlighted contemporary social issues, such as broken families, incarcerated family members and the crude stereotyping of class-based assumptions, was well executed and performed”.- Claire Garrett, Arts Council England, about the Maize Field.

State Of Hysteria (2008)
"This is another fine album. The sound has a more international feel than before thanks very much to the contribution of Jilah Bakhshayesh who takes lead vocal on the superb title track & plays violin & kamanche” **** Rock n Reel

"A powerhouse songwriter with a big heart and a great voice" - Birmingham Post

"Aidan writes and sings with great passion and I found this album quite riveting. Ms Bakhshayesh's spine-chilling performance on the title track is outstanding, but that's the word I'd use to describe the whole album” - The Folk Diary

"Manchester based roots musician Aidan Jolly has crafted a fine acoustic folk album with the added spice of the Anglo/Iranian connection" - Classic Rock Society

"Aidan is a fine folk singer, and has a great gift of crafting a good song" -

System Fault (2006)
“The focus of this album is firmly on the impact this world has on ordinary people and the lives they lead. Quite brilliantly handled - a unique piece of work” Hi Fi + 9/10

“ ‘System Fault’ is a grower album, both musically & lyrically, & well worth the listen” ROCK’n’REEL ✰✰✰✰

"Passion, conscience, intelligence" MAVERICK MAGAZINE ✰✰✰

“An immensely accomplished product, especially so for a debut singer- songwriter. Aidan's extremely capable in both departments, and his work is enviably genre-defying, covering many bases: polished” NET RHYTHMS

"Impassioned, community-centred - [this] powerful set will appeal to the chill-out audience and traditional folk/rockers alike" Musician Magazine

“A good line in sardonic humour & righteous anger, & he allies this to strong reggae & Asian-influenced grooves & some good tunes - an agit-folk poet for the masses” Americana UK

"Looks like the bloke running the greengrocers - sounds like world music sung by Ian Dury" Manchester Music/BBC Radio Manchester

"Aidan Jolly's music is passionate, accessible and an absolute inspiration to listen to. Catch him when you can!" Ann Nicholls, Raise Your Banners Festival, Norwich 2005

Terminal Frontiers (With Virtual Migrants, 2001 - 2007)
“Not just brilliantly executed but downright compelling. This is art with the potential to engage us on deeper levels, and as such this is one of few.” Tim Birch, City Life

"Evocative, metaphorical and at times quite poetic" Guardian "The emotional and political truth is searing" The List, Glasgow

“Compelling” Metro News

“A hybrid of sounds and voices evoking east and west, fragility and
resilience.....memorable and passionate” Art Monthly

“’What if I’m not Real’ is not a piece you walk away from after a few seconds. When you take the time to fully experience it, it makes powerful statement” Joann Patel for Siggraph 2007, San Diego

News and links....
Commemorating the 100th anniversary of Rosa Luxemburg's assassination
Tuesday, January 15, 2019
RISE! got together last Sunday to create this song about Rosa Luxemburg, socialist, feminist, political theorist, revolutionary and more relevant than ever today....see the main page or click on the link above

1,000 Places - getting ready for the tour!
1,000 Places - getting ready for the tour!
Monday, October 22, 2018
2 people, 8 instruments...in rehearsal for 1,000 Places, imagine what's going to happen when Jaydev joins us. But at least we know we can fit into the Library spaces

Monday, August 06, 2018
Catch this great show about the history of trade unions! Touring all Autumn and beyond: www.bannertheatre.co.uk

Monday, February 12, 2018
We're currently lining up gigs in Manchester, Mossley, and Birmingham. Full details coming soon. We have also posted a couple of live recordings from Manchester on our Soundcloud page: https://soundcloud.com/aidanjolly/sets/rise-full-tracks

Monday, February 12, 2018
We'll be performing as part of the Sounds Like This Festival, and Sounds Human Conference. More details on the Stone Flowers page

Thursday, November 23, 2017
Great event from my friend and co-member of Virtual Migrants Kooj Chuhan at Manchester Central Library, 6th December 2018.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Please sign this Musicians' Union petition calling for the Prime Minister and Parliament to support free movement for musicians after Brexit...many of us work abroad or benefit from European musicians working here - click on the title above to go the petition

Stone Flowers at Bridgewater Hall this Saturday
Stone Flowers at Bridgewater Hall this Saturday
Tuesday, September 05, 2017
4pm - free - ALL WELCOME!!

Saturday, July 29, 2017
Lots of exciting things to listen to - some new recordings (works in progress) as I begin to get my head around a new album - and some songs from the Tram Tracks project at the Bridgewater Hall - enjoy!

RISE! video online
Wednesday, May 03, 2017
Members of the band talk about the music - click on the picture to watch it

50th Anniversary of the Colonels' Coup in Greece
50th Anniversary of the Colonels' Coup in Greece
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Greece solidarity Campaign & Anti-Fascist Action for Greece presents this event marking 50 years since the fascist dictatorship in Greece. Iris (from RISE!), Kostas Voros and myself are doing are couple of songs. 6-8.45pm Friday 28 April 2017, Diskus Room, 128 Theobalds Rd, London WC1X 8TN

Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Announcing our May tour:
Stoke Thursday 11th May 7.00pm  Oldham Friday 12th May 7.00pm  Manchester Saturday 13th May 7.30pm  Leeds Sunday 14th May 8.00pm  Information for all gigs:  bit.ly/RISEmaytour

Wednesday, February 15, 2017
You can now buy my albums 'State Of Hysteria' and 'System Fault' direct from the 'Recordings' page using Paypal. To listen before you buy, just click on the headline of this post.

Happy New Year...
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Greetings for 2017 - thanks to everyone who come to the fantastic Solidarity Social on the 17th December. Collectively we raised over £800 - thanks to Caro C for organising. Here's a photo (thanks Pari!), there are more on the RISE FB page.

Welcome to my new site!
Thursday, December 08, 2016
long overdue....hope you like it....if you find something that doesn't work, please let me know

RISE! - epic songs for epic times
RISE! - epic songs for epic times
Thursday, December 08, 2016
Our next gig is on 17th December - details on the flyer

Aidan Jolly

Music and Performance
Aidan Jolly is a freelance musician trading as Well Red Productions. All content of this site © 2017
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