Yorkshire’s Becky Taylor is one of the most respected female Uilleann pipers of her generation, as well as being an accomplished Northumbrian Smallpiper and Multi-Instrumentalist. In demand as both a solo performer, session musician and teacher, her unique sound, broad repertoire and all-round musical versatility ensured she is renowned both on the folk scene and beyond!
Becky released her debut CD in 2002 to critical acclaim, described as “..an absolute delight..” (Mike Harding, BBC Radio 2) and “..a joy to listen to..” (Colin Ross, Chairman of the Northumbrian Pipers Society).
“.. Becky’s musicianship emerges fresh every time ..”
“.. Sparky, much alive and of constant interest ..” (fROOTS )
This was followed by the publication of her tunebook in December 2003 which showcased a selection of compositions from her unique repertoire, and the follow-up album ‘Ireland Bridge‘ (2008) which was described as “…Sparky, much alive and of constant interest …” by foremost world roots music magazine fROOTS.
An internationally acclaimed performer for over 25 years, Becky has appeared on stage alongside many notable contemporary artistes such as Fairport Convention, Michael McGoldrick, Kathryn Tickell, Shooglenifty, Niamh Parsons, Damien Dempsey, Dervish, and Paddy Keenan, as well as ‘dottily eclectic’ Suns of Arqa who (amongst other things) combined Uilleann pipes with Sitars, and dub reggae rhythms and recorded a radio 1 session with them at Maida Vale. Way back in the 80s she performed with Lindisfarne and with The Chieftains on their album ‘A Chieftains Celebration‘ after a series of performances with them in Dublin as part of the City’s Millennium celebrations. A finalist in the ‘BBC Young Tradition‘ awards for several years, her early career saw her play with the wonderfully titled Krampouez Lipous Orchestra from Brittany and with many bands in and around the North of England most notably an early incarnation of The Rub, the ground-breaking Reed Riot, Gan Ainm, and The Infamous Daw Green Stompers to name but a few.
In May 2008 Becky performed with Russian musical legend Boris Grebenshikov and his ‘Aquarium International’ project to a capacity audience at the Royal Albert Hall. The concerts with Aquarium International have been instrumental in widening her musical perspectives and included performances at some of Europes most prestigious venues including the Dublin Olympia Theatre, Kiev Opera House, the Arcimboldi Theatre in Milan, and at the Creation of Peace festival in Kazan where they performed to a crowd in excess of 170,000 people. She also recorded and guested with BG as part of his legendary rock group ‘Aquarium‘ (whose current line-up includes whistle genius Brian Finnegan) across the Russian Federation and Europe, culminating in prominent festival performances at Invasion, DC Jubilee, and Europe’s largest Rock Festival ‘Rock over Volga‘ to a crowd of over 200,000 in the summer of 2012.
More recently she was a member of the traditional duo Didikai featuring Amy-Rose Atkinson, as well as being an occasional guest member of Jez Lowe and the Bad Pennies,
(Photo of Jez Lowe and the Bad Pennies by Roger Liptrot)
In summer 2017 Becky took a break from professional piping engagements following diagnosis and treatment for Dupuytrens disease in her right hand. After resting, treatment and an unexpected bout of plain old ‘good luck’ in summer 2018, she is now fully BACK IN THE BELLOWS!! and delighted to be piping again.
Becky currently performs solo, or as a duo with Steve Lacey, and as a teacher and session musician and member of Des Horsfall’s KUSCHTY RYE.