Ryan Young

Ryan Young & Jenn Butterworth

The North Sea Festival is proud to present two of Britain's foremost young musicians in folk music, Ryan Young, fiddle, and Jenn Butterworth, guitar.

Ryan Young

In 2016, Ryan Young was named "Newcomer of the Year" at the MG Alba Scots Trad Music Awards. He focuses on Scottish music, often songs and melodies that have been forgotten, which he plays in his own way. 

As a ten-year-old, Ryan heard fiddle player Aly Bain on television. He himself says that it was a revelation to him, and that he has since never been in doubt that he should play the fiddle. He showed a clear talent, and received a scholarship to The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He completed the study with top marks and was described as a virtuoso on his instrument.

As a young fiddle player, Ryan won "The Danny Kyle Open Stage" in 2007 at the Glasgow Celtic Connections festival, and was a finalist in the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Awards in both 2007 and 2008. He was also a finalist in both 2015 and 2016, in the prestigious BBC Radio Scotland Young Traditional Musician of the Year.

He has performed at festivals throughout Scotland, Ireland, France, Cuba, the Czech Republic and Russia. He has also been on stage with Paolo Nutini and Phil Cunningham at the festival "T in the Park", in front of approx. 80,000 people.

In 2017 came the debut album, which was produced by the famous American music producer Jesse Lewis. Here Ryan interprets traditional music in his own way, and the album received top marks among critics.

Jenn Butterworth

Jenn Butterworth is one of the foremost guitarists in the field of acoustic folk music in the UK. Her characteristic way of playing is called "Butterworth-style". She is a sought-after partner and studio musician, and has participated in several major projects in folk music.  

Based in Glasgow, she has been one of the driving forces behind the live, acoustic folk music there. Here she met Laura-Beth Salter, with whom she formed the duo "Jenn & Laura-Beth". The duo collaborates with several well-known musicians from Glasgow, and helped start "The Blas Collective in 2009", evenings where the musicians play and jam favorites in their own way. Ten years after its inception, it is still very popular.

In recent years, Jenn Butterworth has participated in more than 10 studio albums, three of which have been nominated for Album of the Year at The Scots Trad Music Awards. In addition to the duo "Jenn and Laura-Beth", she performs regularly with "The Kinnaris Quintet", which was nominated for best folk music group in 2018. She also collaborates with award winners such as Ross Ainslie and Ali Hutton, Claire Hastings and Shetland's supergroup "Fiddlers 'Bid', to name a few.

Her broad experience in folk music has made her a popular and skilled teacher. She was named "Teacher of the Year" at The Scots Trad Music Awards in 2015. She also teaches at The Traditional Music Department at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, is a permanent member of the Glasgow Fiddle Workshop, and teaches at festivals. .