Jimmy and Val first sang together in the early 1970s in their local folk club - 'The Jerry' in Prudhoe, Northumberland. Val's work took her to London while Jimmy remained in the North East performing with local acoustic bands.
jiva was formed when Jimmy ('ji') and Val ('va') got together again in 2002 after 30 years when Val moved back to Northumberland. Since then they built a solid reputation (not only in the North East, but across the UK) as performers of quality self-penned material and interpreters of carefully chosen songs by other artists.
They happily agreed to requests to 'top the bill' at folk clubs, to play at festivals, and to provide live music for residential care homes, house parties, community organisations, local charities and fund-raising events.
jiva also played official support slots for: Allan Taylor, Anthony John Clarke, Ben Sands, Cathryn Craig & Brian Willoughby, Bram Taylor, Dana & Susan Robinson, George Welch, Ian Bruce, Jez Lowe (solo), Jez Lowe & The Bad Pennies, Jim Bainbridge, Joe Stead, Marian Bradfield, Pegleg Ferret, Pete Quinn, Simon Haworth & Andy May, Steve & Kristi Nebel, and Tom McConville.
They performed regularly at singarounds, residents nights etc, and they have also played floor spots on professional guest nights featuring: Bob Fox, Dick Gaughan, Harvey Andrews, Martin Simpson, Roy Bailey, and Spiers & Boden.
Contemporary with a number of self-penned songs. Instrumentation from 6 and 12-string Taylor guitars, Kala tenor ukuleles, U-Bass ukulele, glockenspiel (and cowbell!), harmonica.
The combination of both voices and contrasting playing styles made for a gentle and relaxed sound with a touch of humour and choruses that have inbuilt singability. You'd certainly not find jiva 'bashing out' a stream of chart favourites, but many people have undoubtedly gone home after a jiva gig humming one of Jimmy and Val's compositions.
Forty years after having first met, they finally tied the knot - travelling to America in 2009 to be married at Taylor Guitars in El Cajon, California - a fitting venue, appropriate not only to their style of music but also the guitars that were the cornerstone of the unique gentle blend that is unmistakably... jiva.
Below is a slideshow of photos from the wedding.
The music is an Allan Taylor song ' Dancing On A Saturday Night'
written as his wedding gift to them.
Photos Click a picture (left) or link (below) to open photo in a new window. Right click picture/link to save a file.