Remembering Alan James

We are truly devastated to be announcing the news of the sudden death of our friend and colleague Alan James.

Alan was an early founding member of WOMAD— his eclectic musical taste perfectly suited the visionary ideas of the Festival’s musical programming. He was instrumental in bringing many wonderful artists to the festival.  He continued his association as the announcer on the main stage at WOMAD— always an erudite and humorous presence.

Real World Record’s and Alan’s paths crossed many times over the years; not so much crossed but were deeply interwoven into label’s history.  Together we worked with Indian veena musician Gopal Shankar Misra and the legendary Ananda Shankar (in collaboration with State of Bengal).  Alan guided us through the folk collective The Imagined Village’s first album. His love of the alternative side of music brought us to the wonderful Spiro —English folk with its multiple layers of Reich and dance-influenced energy and to 9Bach— the Welsh band lead by the beguiling and evocative beauty of Lisa Jen’s vocals. Alan was always driven by a passionate belief in the musicians he worked with.  We trusted his visionary ideas— the creative process was always the priority.  We will miss him so much.

“So sad to learn we have lost Alan James. He has been a part of our lives and a key ally for more years than I can remember. Since early days of WOMAD he has been working with us or alongside us, on the management production or creative side of things. So many in the field of World, contemporary or Welsh music owe Alan a great debt for the endless lengths he would go to in order to promote music and artists he believed in. His intelligence, warmth and kindness were self-evident. We will always remember his passion for all the music he touched and all the love and support he showed for those that made it.” 

Peter Gabriel

Alan James in The Big Room at Real World Studios with Spiro and Real World Records' Amanda Jones. Photo credit: York Tillyer.

By Online Editor

Published on Mon, 08 April 19

Further reading

Alan James Creative Bursaries 2019

The English Folk Dance and Song Society have awarded four new bursaries.

Iarla Ó Lionáird & Ríoghnach Connolly awarded Folk Singer of the Year titles

The lead singers of The Gloaming and The Breath were honoured at ceremonies in Manchester & Dublin.

9Bach on keeping the Welsh folk music alive, fresh and evolving

9Bach reflect on 10 years as a band, and adapting Welsh folk music on their debut album.

The beauty of simple things: Saul Leiter

American photographer Saul Leiter's work features on the cover of an upcoming Real World release.