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FiddleBopper Jo Davies

Jo with guitar Jo in festival mood

Which two letters get you from 'rock' to 'rocket'? Easy: J and O.

Joanna Davies is the rhythmic foundation of FiddleBop, the rock on which we're built. She is the band's powerhouse, our very own rhythmic rocket.

Her nylon-string acoustic rhythm guitar playing brings more than a dash of fiery flamenco duende to FiddleBop's sound! And Jo sings too, both solo and in harmony.

Joanna Virginia Fernley Davies — that's her full name — has enjoyed listening to jazz for as long as she can remember. She used to go with her father to hear live jazz at Chipping Norton Theatre on Sunday lunchtimes; later, Jo became a regular listener at Banbury Jazz Club (at the Moat House Hotel, who remembers it then?).

But as a music maker, Jo is from a mainly folk background. She began gigging around North Oxfordshire in the 1980s, performing her own songs on guitar and other instruments as half of the duo JoCa with Cathy Hattam (for more about JoCa, see 'Our Loft'). Jo has also participated in more experimental musical projects, one of which was 'The Gig For The Curious' fronted by the amazing John Cunningham, and supported by other fine musicians such as jazz drummer, the late Steve Harris.

A poster for the duo JoCa. Jo is on the left JoCa live, with Jo on the left

FiddleBop brings together Jo's love of jazz and her strong rhythmic sense. She favours a classical, nylon-strung ('Spanish') acoustic guitar, played with her fingers rather than with a plectrum or pick. Which can be tough on the fingernails but is great for cross-rhythmic powerhouse strums and artful and sultry arpeggios...

Jo with one of her paintings (joannadavies.co.uk)

Go Jo!

Life outside FiddleBop? Before moving to Wales, Jo was a one-to-one support worker for a charity called Young Dementia UK. She now co-hosts the Barn Annexe, Wales, takes long walks in the glorious countryside around her mid-Wales home, paints large pictures, spends time with her actor son Reuben Beau Davies, and enjoys (well, most of the time anyway) being married to Dave.

Jazz with Gypsy zing!