Rachel Hair and Ron Jappy formed a musical partnership in 2017, bringing together Scotland’s most ancient instrument, the clarsach or harp, and the modern acoustic guitar.
Rachel Hair is originally from Ullapool, though her family has strong Irish connections. She gained a first class honours degree from the University of Strathclyde and has gone on to an international career as a solo performer and also leads the Rachel Hair Trio.
She is in constant demand as a tutor at international festivals and at home, and is a well-known face in the Island, visiting monthly to teach the harp for Culture Vannin. A number of her young Manx students perform together and with Rachel as Claasagh. In 2018 Rachel took them to play at the Edinburgh Harp Festival.
Ron Jappy was born and brought up in the small, coastal village of Findochty in the North East of Scotland. He began fiddle and violin lessons from a young age in primary school, and went on to be taught by Donald Barr and James Alexander – well-known in the Island as mentors of the Strathspey Fiddlers, who have visited Shennaghys Jiu and Yn Chruinnaght.
Ron played with the Strathspey Fiddlers and also learned to play the acoustic guitar. He graduated from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in 2011 as an accomplished performer on guitar, piano and fiddle, and has toured extensively through the UK and Europe since then, including playing guitar in the Scott Wood Band. He also teaches music, including being guitar tutor at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Ron Jappy and Rachel Hair will be launching their album ‘Sparks’ in the next few months.