Fiddle Tunes started in 1977 as the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, maybe the first in the nation. It’s a week-long, total-immersion workshop with a hallmark of presenting an expansive array of fiddle styles from specific regions of the world. Workshops, classes, band labs, tutorials, dances, concerts, singing, open jams, hat parties – all contribute to participants’ experience.
As January draws to a close we are excited to share with you the artist faculty that have committed so far to join us at the 44th gathering beginning June 28!
June 28 – July 5, 2020
Fort Worden, Port Townsend, WA
We have a few more faculty still to add, so be sure to stay tuned to the artist faculty page to learn more about the artists and the regional styles represented at the gathering.
David Doucet, guitar – Louisiana
The acoustic guitar has been transformed into an important voice of southwest Louisiana’s Cajun music by David Doucet. The younger brother of Cajun fiddler Michael Doucet, Doucet has used his distinctive hybrid of folk-style fingerpicking and bluegrass-like flatpicking to strengthen the performances of Beausoleil, the band he’s shared with his brother for over many decades. Doucet first played the guitar after recuperating from a broken arm sustained while practicing with his high school football team. Although he initially taught himself to play by using Bob Dylan and Paul Simon songbooks, Doucet became fascinated with flatpicking after listening to an album by Doc Watson.
A turning point in Doucet’s evolution as a guitarist came when he heard the playing of the late Clarence White on an album, The Kentucky Colonels 1965-1967, in 1980. Inspired by White’s use of unusual chords and imaginative melodies, Doucet began to develop his own unique style. In addition to his recordings with Beausoleil, David has released two solo albums, Quand J’ai Parti in and 1957, comprised of a group of songs that David has adapted for solo guitar. He continues in his own tradition of seeking material for guitar, in various genres.
Bruce Daigrepont, accordion – Louisiana
Bruce was born in New Orleans on July 11, 1958. His parents were part of a post-World War II migration of Cajuns to New Orleans from the rural farming communities of Avoyelles Parish, the forgotten part of Cajun country. Nevertheless, the language and customs of the Cajun people are as deeply rooted here as anywhere in the state. And whenever you walk through the door of Bruce’s family home, you return to Avoyelles Parish. The same, instinctive pride of culture and heritage that has guided his parents’ lives, and his grandparents’ lives, is now invested in Bruce’s music. Music came to Bruce at an early age, and in the most traditional manner–handed down from father to son. When he was growing up, no family gathering was complete without a little playing and singing.
When Bruce turned five, his father presented him with a guitar, and by the age of ten he was also bearing down on a five-string banjo. It was in 1978, after attending the annual Festival Acadiens in Lafayette, that Bruce was inspired to devote himself to the French accordion. By 1980 he had his own Cajun band, and was honing his skills at regular Thursday-night fais do do dances at the Maple Leaf Bar. Over the next six years, Bruce Daigrepont almost single-handedly popularized Cajun music and Cajun dancing in cosmopolitan New Orleans. In 1986 Bruce moved the fais do do dance to the original Tipitina’s, where it continues to this day, every Sunday evening from five till nine.
Bruce is one of New Orleans’ and Louisiana’s great musical institutions; and he has emerged as one of Cajun music’s finest cultural ambassadors. In North America he has performed at such prestigious venues as New York’s Lincoln Center, Wolf Trap Center for the Performing Arts, the Winnipeg Folk Festival and the National Folk Festival. Over the past ten years he has taken his music to France, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, El Salvador and Venezuela. Most rewarding, though, are his annual “”homecoming”” pilgrimages to the French-speaking Canadian maritime provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, where the history of the Louisiana Cajuns had its harsh beginnings.
Bruce is one of Cajun music’s most gifted singers. In keeping with the old-time dance hall musicians, he sings loud and passionately, in the high tenor register. The same spirit of adventure that distinguishes his singing is also present in Bruce’s accordion playing. He has developed a highly individual style, patterned after no one past master, but imbued with the zest and vitality of them all.
Gina Forsyth, fiddle – Louisiana
Born in Florida and raised in Alabama, Gina grew up on hymns, country songs, and old time fiddle tunes. In the mid-1980s, she moved to New Orleans to study classical and jazz violin at Loyola University and quickly developed an irrevocable passion for Cajun music. She’s an award-winning singer/songwriter, who is known for her wizardry on fiddle and guitar. With an alto as unique as it is soulful, unpretentious songs that cut straight to the heart, and a wicked sense of humor, her live performances are legend. Considered one of the finest Cajun fiddlers in Louisiana (no small feat), Gina is in demand from other great Louisiana musicians to play club gigs and festivals, some of the same talent that backs her up when she plays as Gina Forsyth and Friends. She has toured and recorded with some of Louisiana’s greatest Cajun bands, including the legendary, Bruce Daigrepont. Her fiddling appears on three of his recordings, Couer des Cajuns (Rounder, 1989), Paradis (Rounder, 1999), and Bienvenue dans le Sud de la Louisiane (self-released, 2016)
Eddie Bond, fiddle – Virginia
Old-time fiddling thrives in Grayson County, Virginia, which many consider the musical heart of Southwestern Virginia and Appalachian old-time music. It is from here that one of the greatest living old-time fiddlers, Eddie Bond, hails. Though he has played on stages worldwide, Bond continues to be a central figure at local music festivals and at picking parties in parking lots, country stores, or any of the other informal settings where musicians gather along what’s become known as the Crooked Road Heritage Music Trail.
Bond was raised up in a family of musicians in the Grayson County mill town of Fries. A tiny town of 600 residents, Fries has a strikingly rich musical tradition, producing such musical luminaries as Henry Whitter, Ernest Stoneman, among others. Fries is six miles from Galax, home of the Old Fiddlers’ Convention, the oldest and largest fiddlers’ convention in the country.
Music descends in families in Grayson and Carroll Counties of Virginia. Bond was taught by a maternal grandmother who played guitar and sang music handed down for generations through the Hill family, musicians well-documented in the Library of Congress’ archival field recordings. His paternal grandparents played guitar and sang; his Grandmother Bond was from the same region of North Carolina as Doc Watson and taught Bond many of the old mountain ballads he sings today. One of the most influential members of his family was his great-uncle, Leon Hill, a musician who took him to visit many of the local fiddlers from whom he learned.
Bond also remains deeply committed to his local community—performing locally as a solo artist and with others, and teaching a string band course at a high school in Grayson County. Much as the great old-time fiddling masters did for him, Bond never hesitates to take the time to teach, assist, and encourage the next generation of fiddlers.
Carl Jones, mandolin and banjo – Virginia
Carl Jones is an American songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He is widely respected for his instrumental talents and original songs about the joys and tribulations of day-to-day life in the South. Carl’s songs have been recorded by The Nashville Bluegrass Band, Kate Campbell, Rickie Simpkins with Tony Rice, and others. His song Last Time on The Road was on the Grammy Award-winning album Unleased by the Nashville Bluegrass Band.
Originally born in Macon, Georgia, Carl currently lives in Galax, Virginia with wife and musical partner – fiddler, Erynn Marshall. In the 1980’s he played mandolin with James Bryan, Norman and Nancy Blake as part of the Rising Fawn String Ensemble and during the same period won 3rd place and a guitar in the fingerpick-guitar category at Winfield, KS. Carl has recorded many CD’s including Traveling Star featuring his original songs and a 2015 duet album Sweet Memories Never Leave with Marshall which has received great reviews.
Carl is known for his fine musicianship on many stringed instruments, keen sense of humor, evocative songwriting, and as a charismatic teacher. Carl has performed or taught all over the United States, Canada and Europe.
Erynn Marshall, fiddle – Virginia
Erynn Marshall is an old-time fiddler well known nationally and beyond for her traditional music. She was raised in a musical family and took up the fiddle as a young girl. Now she teaches and performs at festivals around the globe. Originally from the West Coast of Canada, Erynn was led astray by the banjo and fell down the rabbit hole of southern music. She learned the nuances of old-time fiddling from visiting elder southern fiddlers and singers over the last twenty years. Her fieldwork culminated in the book, Music in the Air Somewhere about West Virginia fiddle and song traditions (WVU Press). She, Carl Jones and Eddie Bond (all Galax Bogtrotters) will soon be featured in a forthcoming documentary about old-time music: Never Met a Stranger. Erynn has also recorded a DVD and five CDs including her new 2016 Greasy Creek recording of all original tunes. She broke the glass ceiling when she won 1st place fiddle at Clifftop, the first woman and the person born outside the US to do so. She also took 2nd place fiddle at the renowned Galax Old Fiddlers Convention. Erynn lives in Galax, Virginia and tours with Carl Jones (they are married in life and music) as well as the Galax Bogtrotters.
Louise Arsenault, fiddle
Hélène Bergeron, guitar and dance – Prince Edward Island
Louise Arsenault and Hélène Bergeron are musicians with an impressive career history that has allowed them to travel around the world as members of Barachois, then Les Girls and Gadelle.
Louise, from Mont Carmel, Prince Edward Island, started playing fiddle at age 7, sneaking her father’s fiddle out of its case. She was soon playing with a lively flair, much to everyone’s delight and amusement. Louise grew up surrounded by music with childhood friends Helen and Albert Arsenault, the children of renowned PEI fiddler Eddy Arsenault. There were kitchen parties and visiting musicians. Her father, Alyre Gallant, was a fiddler known for his older, more rhythmic style of fiddling. “I also grew up in a musical family,” she explains, “My father played the fiddle and my mother played the pump organ. I started playing fiddle when I was seven. I’ve learned a lot of tunes from my dad. He used to take me to all the music contests when I was growing up.” She and Hélène later founded the Acadian band Barachois along with cousin Albert Arsenault, and Chuck Arsenault. She has since gone on to develop her own fiddle style, which is distinctive to Prince Edward Island, with an Acadian “swing.” An experienced performer, whether step dancing, playing guitar or harmonica, she is right at home on the stage.
Hélène Bereron plays keyboards, guitar, and fiddle, and she is considered by her peers to be one of Canada’s finest step dancers. Her career as a performer has led her to tour Canada, the U.S., Europe and Japan in a variety of cultural settings as a dancer, children’s entertainer and musician.
Daughter of the renowned Island fiddler Eddy Arsenault, Hélène grew up step dancing and accompanying her father on guitar, eventually adding traditional piano and pump organ playing to her skills. Hélène also sings, choreographs dance and has co-written comedic plays as well as the Confederation Centre production of “Racines Acadiennes” with her brother Albert Arsenault.
Each of them are amazing and energetic performers – they play, sing and dance with a conviction and ferocity inspired by Acadian kitchen parties. Together, they embody a joie-de-vivre like no other!
Molsky’s Mountain Drifters
Bruce Molsky, fiddle – New York
Today, Bruce Molsky is one of the most revered ambassadors for America’s old-time mountain music. For decades, he’s been a globetrotting performer and educator, a recording artist with an expansive discography including seven solo albums, well over a dozen collaborations and two Grammy nominations. He’s also the classic “musician’s musician” – a man who’s received high praise from diverse fans and collaborators like Linda Ronstadt, Mark Knopfler, Celtic giants Donal Lunny and Andy Irvine, jazzer Bill Frisell and dobro master Jerry Douglas, a true country gentleman by way of the Big Apple.
Molsky digs deep to transport audiences to another time and place, with his unearthing of almost-forgotten rarities from the Southern Appalachian songbook. His foils are not only his well-regarded fiddle work, but banjo, guitar and his distinctly resonant vocals. From tiny folk taverns in the British Isles to huge festival stages to his ongoing workshops at the renowned Berklee College of Music, Molsky seduces audiences with a combination of rhythmic and melodic virtuosity and relaxed conversational wit – a uniquely humanistic, downhome approach that can make Carnegie Hall feel like a front porch or parlor jam session.
Allison de Groot, banjo – Massachusetts
Allison de Groot combines wide ranging virtuosity and passion for old-time music. With her own bands The Goodbye Girls and Oh My Darling, she has played Trafalgar Square in London, Newport Folk Festival, Stockholm Folk Festival, the Winnipeg Folk Festival, and Tønder Festival in Denmark.
Like Bruce, Allison loves collaborating and bringing new ideas to old music, and brings a fresh approach to the trio.
Stash Wyslouch, guitar – Massachusetts
Boston-based Stash Wyslouch is one of bluegrass’ great young genre-bending pioneers. He got his start as a guitarist in metal bands before immersing himself in roots music as a member of The Deadly Gentlemen. Stash is a veteran festival performer, having played at Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, Rockygrass, Merlefest, Savannah Music Festival and others.
Coming over from the punk-metal world, Stash brings great sensitivity and real emotion to the trio, plus some superb guitar and vocal chops.
The Harmony Sisters
The Harmony Sisters – Alice Gerrard, Jeanie McLerie, and Irene Herrmann – will reunite at Fiddle Tunes in 2020.
The trio of longtime friends toured extensively and recorded two classic albums in the early 1980s.
Each brings with them a love of close harmony singing and an instrumental fluency that includes American old-time string band styles, blues, bluegrass, Cajun, New Mexican, Italian, and classical music, played on fiddles, guitars, banjos, mandolins, cello, and piano.
Alice Gerrard, fiddle – North Carolina
In a career spanning some 50 years, Alice has known, learned from, and performed with many of the old-time and bluegrass greats and has in turn earned worldwide respect for her own important contributions to the music. She is particularly known for her groundbreaking collaboration with Appalachian singer Hazel Dickens during the 1960s and ’70s. The duo produced four classic LPs (recently reissued by Rounder on CD) and influenced scores of singers, especially young women — even The Judds acknowledge Hazel and Alice as an important early inspiration. She was also the founder and publisher of the nationally renowned music periodical, Old-Time Herald.
Alice has four superb solo albums which showcase her many talents: her compelling, eclectic songwriting; her powerful, hard-edged vocals; and her instrumental mastery on rhythm guitar, banjo, and old-time fiddle. A tireless advocate of traditional music, Alice has won numerous honors, including an International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Distinguished Achievement Award, a Virginia Arts Commission Award, the North Carolina Folklore Society’s Tommy Jarrell Award, and an Indy Award. In 2017 Alice was inducted into the IBMA Hall of Fame along with Hazel Dickens.
Jeanie McLerie, fiddle – New Mexico
A native Californian who performed extensively in Europe during the 1970s and 1980s, Jeanie is currently based in New Mexico. With her sweetheart Ken Keppeler they are known the world over as Bayou Seco. They have made significant contributions to New Mexico by preserving the cultural heritage of Hispanic and Cowboy folk music and bringing it to life for future generations through their performances and teaching.
Jeanie has been a professional musician since 1962, performing in the United States, Canada and Europe with the groups Sandy & Jeanie, The Harmony Sisters and the Delta Sisters. For more than 30 years, she has taught fiddle instruction to children through “The Fiddling Friends,” which focuses on an international repertoire of fiddle styles and music, with an emphasis on the sources of the music.
Jeanie and Ken were instrumental in helping to bring the old traditional Hispanic style music of such New Mexico legends as Cleofes Ortiz, a violinist from Bernal, and Antonia Apodaca, a singer/accordion player from Rociada, into the mainstream of the folk music scene. They’ve also found and kept alive traditional dances in Albuquerque, Silver City, Las Cruces and Mesilla. Together in Bayou Seco they are renowned for their “chilegumbo music,” which celebrates the cross-cultural music of the Southwest.
Irene Herrmann, fiddle and mandolin – California
Irene is as fluent with mandolin, cello, piano, and fiddle as she is with the traditional music of France, Greece, Poland, and Italy. She received her Master’s in Performance Practice at the University of California, Santa Cruz, with a focus on American vernacular music. Irene has played music all her life, but only after she graduated from music school did she discover the world of non-classical music and started dividing her time between classical piano and cello and traditional music. She feels strongly that elements of both are part of all her music. The world of traditional music opened many doors for her, not only musically, but socially and culturally as well. She has played cello on Joe and Antoinette McKenna’s second album, orchestra bells on the second album of R. Crumb’s Cheap Suit Serenaders, recorded on mandolin with vaudevillian Roy Smeck, and on fiddle with gospel singer Marion Williams. With the late Paul Hostetter, she formed a string band with friend and traditional Italian mandolinist, Riccardo Tunzi, playing the traditional music that Riccardo taught them, until he passed away. They then continued that tradition in a trio with Italian mandolinist Tony Flores. She performs in new music ensembles, with choirs and in chamber music in the Santa Cruz, California region where she makes her home. “Making and sharing all kinds of music with my friends is the greatest joy I know.”
Charlie Walden, fiddle
Patt Plunkett, piano and dance – Missouri
After twenty plus years of playing traditional music together Patt Plunkett and Charlie Walden (aka Patt & Possum) have learned a thing or two about getting along musically. So, while some couples might bicker about the bills or where to go out to eat, these two battle over chord progression and set lists.
Charlie and Patt both grew up listening to and playing traditional mid-western fiddle music. Charlie learned as a teenager at the feet of some of Missouri’s finest old-time fiddlers, including Pete McMahan, Taylor McBaine and Cyril Stinnett and was encouraged by countless others. Along the way he developed an interested in Canadian fiddle tunes as the fiddling in the Ottawa Valley is similar in style and shares some common repertoire with Missouri. As such, other important influences through recordings were Graham Townsend, Don Messer and Ned Landry. He is also a big fan of Kenny Baker, Chubby Wise and Joe Meadows where Bluegrass is concerned.
Patt started out by playing piano for her grandfather, Carl Voorhees, who was a seasoned Illinois square dance fiddler. She went on to play Irish-style piano accompaniment and formed a ceili band in Chicago, which won the local Fleah Ceol twice. She is also a professional music educator and trained singer. Patt’s love of music and natural ability as a dancer led her to take an interest in square and contra dance calling and instruction along with individual clogging and step dance performance.
Charlie and Patt are active contra and square dance musicians, performing for numerous such events each year. They serve as instructors at several music camps, giving instruction on fiddle, piano styles, traditional dance and vocal music.
Shelly Campbell, fiddle – Cape Breton
Born and raised in West Bay Road, Inverness County, Shelly has been playing traditional Cape Breton music for over 25 years. She was influenced by local fiddlers Stephanie Wills, Theresa MacLellan, Gertie Coffin and Alex Francis MacKay to name a few. Since her early fiddling years, Shelly has played for many community gatherings, pubs and concerts and is a popular player for dances. Her playing is powerful, lively and graceful and deeply rooted in the traditions she grew up listening to.
Shelly teaches Cape Breton style fiddling locally in private lessons and has taught in workshops throughout Cape Breton, Scotland, and Ireland. She also has an avid interest in the Gaelic language and culture and its preservation in Cape Breton. Shelly is a school teacher in Whycocomagh, teaching Gaelic as well as other Junior High subjects.
Allan Dewar’s background in the Cape Breton Musical Tradition is the backbone of his ability to accompany any fiddler, past and present. Allan’s first 13 years growing up in Halifax consisted of regular visits from Dave MacIsaac and most anyone who came for a Cape Breton Dance. His musical beginnings were on acoustic guitar, playing for his sister on fiddle and mother on piano.
Allan has toured all over the world with Jerry Holland and many others and was a full time member of Natalie MacMaster’s band from 2001-2006. Allan is the Music Director at the Celtic Music Interpretive Centre and spends his “free time” accompanying local fiddlers at dances, pubs and theatres from Nova Scotia to Scotland and beyond.
Mark Graham, harmonica – Washington
Mark Graham has been playing old time music on the harmonica for almost 50 years. Growing up in Renton, Washington, Mark purchased a Homer and Jethro LP at age 9 and wore out his Uncle Barry’s Johnny Horton album while absorbing the stories and humor that are the hallmark of Country Music. In 1968 at the age of 15 he took his lawn mowing money and spent $1.75 on a Marine Band, key of C harmonica and tried to play along with his Smothers Brothers and Peter Paul and Mary records. Then one evening in 1971 at a concert featuring Kenny Hall and the Sweets Mill String Band, Mark heard Chuck Pliske play “The Wind That Shakes the Barley” on his Marine Band harp and swore he would escape the surly bonds of gainful employment and dedicate a substantial portion of his life to playing Old Time Music on the mouth harp. Since that day he has played hundreds of concerts and square dances with The Hurricane Ridge Runners, The Chicken Chokers, The Brainstormers and countless pick up bands across the length and breadth of this great land.
Mark has studied the playing of the country master harmonica players Sonny Terry, Doc Watson, DeFord Bailey, Red Parham, Humphrey Bate, Charley McCoy and Wayne Raney and developed a powerful and lyrical style that can render a blistering, rip roaring string band breakdown or a bluesy lonesome ballad with equal ease.
Reaching back to his early musical influences Mark has written dozens of songs that have delighted audiences worldwide with their hilarity and poetic lyricism including such classics as Zen Gospel Singing, Life is Hard When You’re Dumb, Oedipus Rex, The Tennessee Robot and Moby Dick (the bluegrass version).
Jerry Gallaher, banjo – Washington
Jerry Gallaher has been playing banjo for over 50 years. When Jerry was 15 a friend loaned him a banjo for the summer in trade for a really cool hat. When his birthday came, he convinced his parents to buy him a $50 Harmony banjo (the kind with the molded plastic pot). Armed with this new instrument and the classic Pete Seeger instruction book, Jerry started plunking out Bob Dylan hits and other folk songs.
In the early 70s Jerry first started hearing live old-time music from groups like the Gypsy Gyppo String Band, the Old Hat Band and the Irish American String Band (with Mark Graham) around Seattle. At Evergreen State College he was surrounded by like-minded musicians who became lifelong friends and influences, and he took a deep dive into old-time music and banjo playing.
After Evergreen he formed a banjo-fiddle duet with Scott Nygaard. When they heard about The Festival of American Fiddle Tunes in 1977, they headed up to Port Townsend to join the fun. In those days there were banjo, fiddle and band contests, and Jerry won on the banjo and Scott won on the fiddle. Soon after that Scott moved to Seattle and when Jack Link, one of their heroes from the Gypsy Gyppos, suggested they form a trio, Jerry followed – the original Hurricane Ridgerunners. After a while Scott left the Ridgerunners and Jack and Jerry continued as a duo. Jerry and Mark Graham started playing together around 1979 and formed a new version of the band with Paul Kotapish joining them on guitar and mandolin. In 1981 the Ridgerunners recorded their only album, later reissued on Field Recorders Collective with additional material. This version of the band toured extensively playing concerts and dances until about 1982 when Jerry decided that perhaps old-time music wasn’t going to support a family.
Jerry went back to school and became a high school math teacher from which he retired in 2018. Music and the Seattle old-time community continue to be a huge part of his life. He plays frequently with many great musicians in Seattle and can be heard on Forrest Carroll’s CD Piney Woods.
Pete’s Posse – Vermont
Pete Sutherland, fiddle
Oliver Scanlon, fiddle
Tristan Henderson, guitar
A warm voiced singer-songsmith and accomplished multi-instrumentalist, Pete is known equally for his potent originals and his intense recreations of age-old ballads and fiery fiddle tunes. The American Festival of Fiddle Tunes said Pete “covers the map and shines with a …pure spirit which infuses every bit of his music, and cannot fail to move all who hear him.” He has been on staff at dance and music camps coast to coast and is a widely known year-round teacher and performer at home.
Sutherland is a veteran of many touring and recording groups including Metamora, Rhythm in Shoes, The Woodshed Allstars, Woods Tea Company, Ira Bernstein’s Ten Toe Percussion and is a founding member of the long running contradance jamband The Clayfoot Strutters. He is also a producer with over 80 projects under his belt, and a prolific songwriter covered by the likes of Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer, Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, Nightingale and Altan.
At the Fiddle Tunes workshop, both Oliver Scanlon and Tristan Henderson will help Pete with the New England band lab (as well as offering the occasional pop-up workshop).
Oliver has developed into a soulful multi-instrumentalist and spellbinding composer He began his musical journey playing the viola with the Vermont Youth Orchestra when he was nine, and shortly after he was introduced to his mentor Pete and the immense parallel universe of fiddle music. He’s studied various styles with Alan Jabbour, Kimberley Fraser, Andrea Beaton, Eric Favreau and other master fiddlers. In 2013 he both co-founded Pete’s Posse and became the youngest member of Pete’s long running dance band The Clayfoot Strutters.
Oliver released his solo album “The Pond Jam” in 2014, which was both his senior project before graduating high school and a testament to his passion and artistry.
Recognized not only for his mesmerizing playing, but also for being a meticulous sound tech, Oliver stays quite busy when not on the road with the Posse.
Tristan has played a variety of music genres before jumping into traditional music and has become a sought after accompanist, session musician and performer. An adventurous and powerful rhythm player who can also hold his own on melody, singing or picking, he never ceases to inspire with his boundless energy and joyful performances.
Peter Uhrbrand, fiddle
Ole Mouritzen, accordion – Denmark
Peter Uhrbrand: Fiddle. Peter studied under the well-known Danish fiddler and composer, Thomas Tomsen from Holstebro. In 1976 he moved to Sønderho on the Danish island of Fanø and his subsequent meeting with the legendary fiddler brothers, Frits and Søren L. Brinch, proved to be a turning point in his life.
Peter Uhrbrand explains, “Ole and I learned to play the local Fanoe music from the Brinch brothers, Frits and Sören Brinch in Sönderho, who were the 6th generation of fiddlers/musicians from the Brinch family. The tradition of dance and music is still living and has been going on, unbroken, for at least 300 years! One of those brothers, Sören Brinch had a son – Erling Brinch, who was a brilliant piano-player for Fanö-music. In the eighties Ole and I started to work locally together with Erling Brinch, playing for dance, weddings and parties.”
After Frits’ death, it was natural that Peter should continue the unique style and sound that he had inherited from the Brinch brothers and which is very much a living tradition today. Apart from playing and teaching the rich musical heritage of Fanø, Peter has also performed in a variety of known Danish folk-fusion bands, among them the group Ganza.
Hank Bradley – fiddle, Washington
Hank Bradley was Washington fiddle champion for 1974, thanks to his draft board who sent him to Fort Bragg NC in 1963. Hank’s Southern style fiddling began with time spent with Otis Burris and the Mountain Ramblers of Galax, VA. He also plays fiddle with the Mountain Ramblers of Galax, VA, Croatian tamburitza and violin with Bonaca of Seattle, violin and bouzouki in the Greek communities of the US and Canada with Yiannis Novakis and with Seattle bands El Fin del Mundo and Roscoe’s Gone.
He composes new tunes in the traditional musical dialects he finds, and prefers an aggressive Southern fiddle style based on continuous, though not extreme, improvisation. He has taught Southern fiddle at Lark in the Morning in Mendocino, at Pinewoods Camp in Massachusetts, at the Augusta Heritage Festival in Elkins, WV, and was a regular member of the Port Townsend Festival of American Fiddle Tunes staff for its first decade.
Hank’s recording credits include three solo ventures: Music of the Poison Coyote Kid, and Hassle the Caller on both of which he plays fiddle plus the all rest of the string band, and The Pescadero Blues released in 2016 with some help from his friends and family. Exclusively his original tunes, all Hank’s CDs are in print and available along with Counterfeiting, Stealing, and Cultural Plundering, a Manual for Applied Ethnomusicologists.
Hank and Cathie Whitesides (below) have performed as a duo for 25 years and also perform in numerous other bands.
Cathie Whitesides, fiddle – Washington
Cathie learned Irish fiddle as an original member of the Graineog Ceilidhe Band, anchored by the great box players Joe Cooley and Kevin Keegan from Galway, who were living in San Francisco in the early 70s. Cathie was an avid learner and developed a deep love for Irish traditional music in this Bay Area scene with Joe and Kevin, friends, local Irish fiddlers, step-dancers, house parties and new pubs. As caretakers of a vacant ranch in Northern California, she and the band hosted weekly music parties or went to the Bay Area to perform regularly in Irish pubs. She recorded many of these Irish tunes on her 1982 LP for Kicking Mule Records. When Cathie visited London she met Bobby Casey and Julia Clifford, whose distinct repertoires and styles had a deep influence on her. She spent a summer in Ireland visiting Kevin Keegan and meeting musicians there. Cathie will be teaching that West Coast style of Irish music at Fiddle Tunes. Assisting her will be fellow Graineog Eric Thompson on tenor banjo. Longtime collaborator WB Reid will help teach fiddle duets from Denis Murphy and Julia Clifford.
Cathie is a founding member of the Rhythm Rollers with Laurie Andres, WB Reid, and the great New England piano player Bob McQuillen. They released two acclaimed CDs. She played with numerous other contra dance and Irish bands in the Bay Area and in Seattle.
Cathie’s a master fiddler. She has had a long career as a purveyor of Irish and contra dance music, and she has taught hundreds of students. She played for contra dances and camps across the country from Fiddle Tunes to Pinewoods, and in Denmark, Russia, and Ukraine. She currently plays and teaches in Seattle with her husband Hank Bradley, playing many kinds of vernacular music, especially Greek.
Liette Remon, fiddle
Paul Marchand, guitar – Quebec
Liette Remon is a native of Petit-Pabos on the south side of the Gaspé Peninsula. She’s a violinist and a singer, daughter and granddaughter of Gaspé fiddlers, with two solo recordings to her credit, South Gaspé County and A Little Family Air, which showcase her rich family musical heritage. For her, traditional music is a music of pleasure. She is well anchored in tradition; nevertheless, she constantly tries to surpass herself, to create mixtures.
She is the co-founder of several ensembles: Eya, Dorenlo, Serre l’Écoute, the Fanfare Monfarleau, Bobelo, Tour de la Gaspésie and Talencourt. She is the winner of the 2010 Innovation / Tradition Award, which highlights innovation and originality in the public presentation of a cultural practice. In 2013 she was a finalist for the Heritage Awards of the City of Quebec, in the category Bearers of Tradition.
Liette will be accompanied at Fiddle Tunes by Paul Marchand, one of the premier guitarists and singers in the Québec folk scene.
As a member of Trio Stéphanie Gagnon, Entourloupe, Manigance and other groups, Paul has performed all over North America and Europe and recorded many fine albums.
Gifted with a sure sense of rhythm and a clear, strong voice, he has collaborated with a huge number of traditional musicians from Québec and France. His two-year stay in Brittany gave him the chance to make contact with a song culture not so far removed from his own in Québec.
Paul is an exceptional guitarist who, through his accompaniment, arrangements, and songs, knows how to bring out all the subtlety and sensitivity of the traditional repertoire.
Stanley Beaulieu, fiddle, and Chevy Beaulieu, guitar (Northwest Territories) were originally scheduled to come, but health issues will probably prevent them from attending.