Rachel J Walker

2019 Inspiring Scotland Bursary Awardee

The 2019 Inspiring Scotland Bursary for Music wass Rachel J Walker, an Edinburgh-based fiddle player. Rachel used the bursary to attend the Grappelli-Django Camp in the Netherlands to further her knowledge of and practice in the Gypsy Jazz form. The experience led to the development of new skills for Rachel's playing. 

Receiving this funding means the world to me. I am a fiddle player with a passion for improvisation. Two years ago, I discovered jazz ‘Manouche’ music and was immediately hooked. This bursary will enable me to travel to a world-renowned gypsy jazz camp in the Nertherlands and develop my skills.” Rachel J Walker
Rachel J Walker has been active on the lively Edinburgh folk scene for over 10 years. Whilst enjoying playing Scottish and Irish traditional music immensely, Rachel also has a passion for composition in an original style and improvisation. Being awarded the Inspiring Scotland Bursary for Music by the Saltire Society in 2019 enabled her to participate in the Tim Kliphuis 'Grappelli-Django Camp' in the Netherlands, a meeting place for improvising musicians from around Europe. As a disabled musician, the grant also made the travel aspect of the trip accessible and stress-free. Rachel is a founder member of the progressive folk duo 'Dowally', which won the Danny Kyle Award at Celtic Connections 2019. Their third album, 'early bird // night owl, is a mixture of original compositions and traditional songs and tunes and features Rachel on fiddle and vocals and Dan Abrahams on guitar, piano, harmonium, double bass and Rhodes. The National wrote of their music - "A special blend of different worlds". Recently, Dowally were commissioned to compose and record a piece of music to accompany silent archive film footage of old Edinburgh at Christmas time. This 'Pop-up Christmas card' can be seen on their website now and the band hope to be doing more of this work in 2021 and beyond.
Rachel and Dan are also part of the popular American old time-inspired group 'Wayward Jane'.
www.dowally.bandcamp.com (to listen to and purchase any of Dowally's 3 albums)