Katie Howson

Katie Howson is best known as a driving force in a number of significant English ceilidh bands, playing melodeon and harmonica in the Old Hat Dance Band, PolkaWorks and the Valiant Dance Band, alongside Roger Digby. Back in the 1980s, she and her late husband John formed the Old Hat Concert Party: a much-loved multi-generational group of singers, musicians and stepdancers from Suffolk and Norfolk. Alongside that has always been a deep love for the music of south west Ireland, inspired by fiddle-player Julia Clifford, who lived nearby. This was re-ignited in more recent years by meeting and playing with Michael Sheehy, so this year she is again playing for the Hoolie rather than English ceilidhs! Katie is also a respected researcher, writer and speaker and will be presenting All Aboard the Charabanc – a fun virtual tour around the musical pubs of mid Suffolk based on John Howson’s field recordings.