Acclaimed singer-songwriter plays Kitchen Garden Cafe

Laura Cortese and Dan Walsh bring one-off collaboration to Birmingham.

Acclaimed American singer, songwriter and fiddle player Laura Cortese will bring her Laura Cortese & Friends UK tour to Kitchen Garden Cafe, Birmingham on Thursday 4th May, where she will be joined by Dan Walsh for a unique evening of musical collaboration.

Birmingham audiences will be able to see Laura’s musical prowess in action this spring. She is known for her ability to collect melodies and rhythms – driven by the gravitational pull of human connection, her tendency towards exploration and collaboration has led her into countless niches, each weaving themselves into her ever-evolving sound.

Born in California and following a childhood filled with Celtic music camps, Laura attended Berklee College of Music in Boston. After graduating she embarked on her solo career, beginning to tour and record music in 2004, as well as teaching her craft. She then went on to lead her collective, Laura Cortese and The Dance Cards.

On each stop of the tour, Laura will be joined by a different musical guest, as well as Valerie Thompson, cellist for The Dance Cards. Together they will find common ground and take risks with their combined sound, from the traditional to the more progressive, sometimes more instrumental, and sometimes more vocal. Audiences can expect some fan favourites as well as tailored collaborations as unique as the guests themselves.

A previous BBC Folk Awards Best Musician nominee, banjo and guitar player and vocalist Dan Walsh combines British, Irish and American folk music, delivered with a healthy dose of funky grooves – all performed with his unique and dazzling take on clawhammer style banjo helping to challenge all preconceptions about the instrument. Add to all that poignant songs, astonishing musical departures and lively humour and the result is a truly memorable live show which has wowed audiences across the world from intimate seated rooms to huge dancing crowds in festival fields.

Laura Cortese said: “Playing in the UK has always felt like coming home. Maybe it’s the strong fiddle singing tradition, or maybe it’s the obvious link between American and UK song traditions. Now that I live in Belgium, I want to take the opportunity to do something unique, intimate, and playful. It’s often hard to have this kind of spontaneity when you are on the road with a three or four-piece band.

“I can’t wait to perform in Birmingham with Dan. I thrive on collaboration so it’s been a joy to learn the music of these extremely varied and dynamic English musicians in preparation for the tour. I hope everyone has as much fun hearing what we’ve been working on as we’ve had preparing it!”

Laura has recorded two albums with Laura Cortese and The Dance Cards, in addition to seven solo and collaborative records, and has toured extensively in the US, Europe and beyond.

To see Laura Cortese & Friends on tour at Kitchen Garden Cafe, Birmingham on Thursday 4th May, visit