Katherine Priddy, singer songwriter and acoustic guitar player from Birmingham has been declared the winner of this year’s Christian Raphael Prize.
Launched last year at Cambridge Folk Festival, this unique new prize for developing young talent, contributed £100 each month for a year towards the travel and marketing costs of touring – a figure which has been doubled this year to £2,400 - as well as time in a rehearsal space or recording studio. Also guaranteed is a Showcase spot in the Club Tent – one of five artists that have been spotted ‘as ones to watch’ during the year – which potentially leads to a slot on prestigious Stage 2 the following year. Last year’s winners Mishra (previously known as folk duo, Kate Griffin and Ford Collier) played in the Club Tent at this year’s Festival at the beginning of August.
The prize has been established and funded by inspirational figure and keen supporter of Cambridge Folk Festival’s commitment to emerging young talent, Christian Raphael MBE. A 32 year-old Cambridge based man with severe and multiple learning disabilities who communicates non-verbally, Christian is a firm believer that disability is no barrier to having an ordinary life. With an extensive circle of support, he lives independently pursuing many interests with music being central to his life. He has attended and enjoyed Cambridge Folk Festival since childhood, his influence helping to shape ever-progressing access facilities and, more recently, lending invaluable financial help to young musicians in the form of the Christian Raphael Prize.
The shortlist for this year’s prize was drawn from artists playing at the Festival’s renowned emerging talent stage, The Den and the Judging panel were Festival Manager Rebecca Stewart, Festival supporters: Adam Baghdadi; Christian Raphael and Vicki Raphael, Development Manager Sophie Channon and music PR specialist, Richard Wootton.
Sophie Channon, Development Manager said: ‘The quality of music in The Den was exceptional this year but we’re delighted to have awarded the prize to Kathryn Priddy, who the judges felt could use the prize to help project her career to the next level, as well as impressing us with a spellbinding performance.’
Christian’s mother, Vicki added: ‘After enjoying a wonderful variety of music at this year’s Folk Festival, Christian and his family are excited to watch Katherine develop her career and share her exceptional talent.’
Katherine, who released her EP, ‘Wolf
’ earlier this year and was invited by Richard Thompson to support him on the Ireland leg of his current tour after he heard the EP, was delighted at the news about winning the prize: ‘ That's absolutely incredible and I'm so grateful - the support couldn't come at a more pivotal time and this will genuinely make a huge difference to my music over the next 12 months. Christian is doing something amazing in offering this support to folk musicians and I feel very honoured and moved to be on the receiving end of this generosity, particularly when up against such talented competition. Thank you so, so much - what a lovely surprise!’
Image: Sam Frank Wood