James Hill and Anne Janelle
Four strings and a favourite chocolate bar: that's all Canadians James Hill and Anne Janella had in common when they first met. It was more than enough. Today, they're an award-winning, “utterly world-class” singer-songwriter-ukulele-cello duo.
It’s true: opposites attract! James grew up playing folk, jazz and blues on his ukulele while Anne was exclusively a classical cellist. But the pair’s differences quickly became their biggest asset. The uke is high, the cello is low; the uke plays short notes, the cello long bow strokes; and their pairing has proven that these contrasts can be hugely complementary.
In 2008, one email changed the course of their musical lives. James and Anne were selected to record a track for a compilation album. “If it weren’t for that recording project,” confides Anne, “I don’t think we ever would have started playing together.” The result? “Absolutely brilliant” (The Folk Diary).
Naturally the next step was to release a duo album and so, True Love Don’t Weep was born. The album garnered a Canadian Folk Music Award for Best Traditional Album of the Year in 2009. By this time, the pair were performing regularly, bringing their instinctive musical interaction and contagious enthusiasm to audiences across five continents.
Together, James and Anne craft a sound that is intricate, enchanting and engaging.