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Meet the Freestone Team

Richard Exall

Richard has drawn on his many connections in the music trade made over many years of professional performing and recording to bring an exciting array of acoustic music to Freestone Fest


In 1997 Richard toured the United States and Europe with Jesus Alemany’s renowned band Cubanismo, in which he had the honour of being the only non-Cuban member. He was also a regular musician with Orchestra La Clave, Robin Jones’ King Salsa, Viramundo, Roberto Pla and Tumbaito.


Richard worked alongside many of the great names in the Latin music world including Carlos Del Puerto, Mario Rivera, Orlando Watussi, Tito Allen, Alfredo Rodriguez and Tata Guines.


Richard has worked with most of the established big bands, such as The Glenn Miller Orchestra (UK), The Ross Mitchell Band and Singers, The Memphis Belle Orchestra, Freddie Staff’s Manhattan Big Band, the London Swing Orchestra and The Nelson Riddle Orchestra (UK). 


In the late 1990’s Richard became a more regular name in the vintage jazz fraternity playing regularly with the Pasadena Roof Orchestra, Harry Strutters Hot Rhythm Orchestra and the Charleston Chasers. Richard became a regular member of the Big Chris Barber Band in 2004, touring throughout Europe, leaving at the end of 2014 to focus on his own career.

As a composer and arranger, Richard has produced work for many groups and ensembles, including the acclaimed saxophone ensemble Saxtet, The Magnificent 7 Jazz Band, The London Swing Orchestra, Sugar Ray's Lucky Strikes and The MasqueRaiders.


He has performed with contemporary jazz groups and classical ensembles such as the Mike Westbrook big band, Hugh Warren’s Barrel Organ Band, The London Jazz Composers Orchestra, the Matrix Ensemble and a performance at the Barbican Centre with the world-famous Big Carla Bley Band. 



Kezzabelle Ambler

Kezzabelle Ambler is curating and hosting the Freestone Speaks '24 Tent. 11th Bard of Northampton, Pushcart Prize Award nominee and published performance poet she playfully weaves her wit, wisdom and humour from her 'Permission To Love Yourself’ collection from her 6th & latest book and audio.

Kezzabelle’s one woman spoken word show tours the country, sharing her mischief, adventures, wit and wisdom, baring all in her craft. She exudes passion and energy, her love of people and words is boundless.

Kezzabelle is to be found on the billing at any well established spoken word event across the country and for this reason has been able to put together an exciting programme of talented wordsmiths, many of whom she also considers to be close friends, sharing lives, emotions and thoughts and empowering many others to do the same.


Bev Adams

Bev is behind much of the detail in making the festival actually happen.

"Home Education advocate promoting consent based, democratic self managed learning. Co-founder of Time & Space Learning Community. Interested in legal issues connected to education. Likes walking, camping, researching and eating cake" . . .

. . . .is what Bev characteristically wrote about herself for this bio!  
In truth Bev is a devoted mother, carer,  wife and follower of Jesus Christ. Her faith, strength of character, vision and planning skills have brought us to Freestones in the first place, to embark on a challenging adventure in Education Other Than At School and serve those who are in many ways disadvantaged by modern policies and strategies. Bev is characteristically self deprocating but if you get a moment with her during the festival she can succinctly enthuse about our mission. Freestone Fest was always going to happen - well you do these things when you have a farm site . . . .


Mark Adams

Mark is probably the guy to speak to about the site and practical stuff.

Mark is husband to Bev, Dad and grandfather to some great kids. Mark has had the privilege in playing Double Bass in bands with many famous names - for at least one gig! In one particular band that invited him back . .  Mark came across Richard Exall who he will be working with in a couple of bands in the festival. Freestone Fest is an acoustic event but for practicality some PA will be needed for those at the back. Mark has long wanted to explore a more intimate vibe in live performance  - bands often fail to consider the effects of PA systems and double basses rarely get heard for their mellow tones at PA's events.  At Freestone Fest we shall call it 'sound reinforcement'. Mark loves his two double basses - one he rebuilt from a wreck that came in two bags and one that is much much older possibly as old as Freestones itself (1841).


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