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Jackie Oates

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Jackie Oates (born Congleton, Cheshire, in 1983) is an English folk singer and fiddle player. In addition to her solo work, she has performed as part of the folk trio Wistman’s Wood and she has sung with Morris Offspring. She was a member of Rachel Unthank & The Winterset between 2003 and 2007.

Oates grew up in Staffordshire. At the age of 18, she went to study English literature at Exeter University, and was based in Devon until 2011, when she moved to Oxford. She was a finalist in the BBC Radio 2 Young Folk award in 2003, and was one of the nominees for the Horizon Award in 2008, going on to win that award in 2009, as well as the award for best traditional track for her recording of “The Lark in the Morning”.

The release of the album ‘The Violet Hour’ in early 2008 marked the start of what was a remarkable two years for Oates. Her decision to leave the Mercury-nominated Rachel Unthank & The Winterset to pursue a solo career looked like a brave decision at the time but has proved to be inspired. Jackie was soon after nominated as Best Newcomer in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. A swathe of glowing national reviews came with the release of ‘The Violet Hour’ soon after, with the album going on to be one of Mojo’s top ten folk albums of the year in 2008. The new year saw Jackie walking away with a remarkable two BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards including the Horizon Award for Best Newcomer, the award which had eluded her the year before.

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