Ailsa Mackenzie

Celtic Harpist and Folk Singer
Based in the North East of England

About Me

Welcome to my website. I'm a harpist based in East Cleveland who specialises in the lovely, haunting melodies of the celtic world. My extensive repertoire consists of tunes from Scotland, Ireland, Brittany and Wales particularly, played on the celtic harp, or clarsach.

I regularly perform at weddings, wedding receptions, funerals, folk festivals, folk clubs, parties, societies and other special occasions all over the North and North East. I am a member of the pioneering folk trio Bryony, the first people ever to record the famous Andy Barnes song Last Of The Great Whales. I have appeared with many top folk artists and have contributed to their albums playing the harp and singing. The beauty of celtic tunes is ideal as background music for weddings and receptions to enable your guests to relax. If you click on the tunes on this website you'll know the kind of things I play and sing.

You can see me performing regularly at The White Hart Folk Club, Mickleby on Saturdays, Guisborough Rugby Club Folk Club on Sundays and The Cutty Wren Folk Club, Redcar, on Tuesdays. This year I also played at Newcastleton Folk Festival, performing two concerts.

My musical background is mostly in the world of the traditional music and song of The British Isles. I also play the hammer dulcimer and appallachian dulcimer. I also love harmonising and excel at it. You can hear me singing and playing on albums including Last of the Great Whales, Part-Time Job, So Far (all Bryony), Timeless (Kismul's Galley), by Di Henderson, and Bold Nelson's Praise (On Board The Victory), by Strawhead, and the double CD Songs Of Ironopolis, by the Ironopolis Singers of which I was music director.

More Information

In addition to singing and playing I also run the Graeme Miles website www.graememiles.com which was set up to promote and disseminate the music and song of this wonderful Middlesbrough songsmith.

I was born and brought up in East Cleveland, part of the North Riding of Yorkshire. I hold a 2.1 (Hons) degree in Celtic and Scottish Gaelic Studies from the University of Edinburgh. I play a 'Glencoe' harp made by Starfish Designs, of Ballachulish, Argyll.

Contact me at ailsamackenzie@aol.com for me to play for your special occasion.

Listen Online

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Testimonials

We really enjoyed your harp playing at our wedding and were very touched that you also included ‘Greensleeves’

— Rachel and David

Shame you can’t play still in the gallery - it was always appreciated and loved by everyone who came in. It made my Saturdays.

— Debbie Cockerill - Artsbank

Sincere thanks for making a sad day brighter.

— B Clarke

You have a really beautiful voice.

— Joe Hammill, Cattle and Cain

A huge thank you for playing at our wedding on, your beautiful music set the atmosphere perfectly for the arrival of our wedding guests.

— Alanna Fortune

I love your singing. Everything you do is magic.

— Rebecca

I’m not following that!

— Tony Morris

Enquiries & Bookings

Please use this form to get in touch with me - if you’re making a booking enquiry, please remember to include the dates you require me and the location, thank you!

2016 Festivals and Performances