Photo of Kim  Addonizio

Kim  Addonizio

Afternoon Workshop Faculty

Kim Addonizio is the author of seven poetry collections, two novels, two story collections, and two books on writing poetry: The Poet’s Companion (with Dorianne Laux) and Ordinary Genius.

Photo of George  Aschmann

George  Aschmann

Violin

Among other musical endeavors, George plays violin and sings with the collective Frog and Henry, who’ve played the streets of New Orleans since 2013. They revive the music first made popular in the 1920’s and 1930’s in New Orleans, Chicago, and across the U.S., a mixture of jazz, jugband, stringband, blues, and popular songs. Most of the instruments are from the same time period.

Photo of Kalimah Abioto

Kalimah Abioto

Artist

Kalimah Abioto, aka Dr. Woodchopper is a filmmaker, writer, storyteller, performer and afro-ecologist. She hails from Memphis, TN and her work can be seen at kalimahabiotot.com

Photo of Roldy Ablao

Roldy Ablao

Curatorial Resident

Photo of Brook Adams

Brook Adams

Past Faculty

Brook is an atavistic dinosaur of 20th century pop. His songs evoke a timeless blend of soul, surf & psychedelia. He is a skilled player on guitar and ukulele.

Claire Allen-Africa

Operations Associate

deposited by the Fates at a small vineyard in Port Townsend after many years of world travel by sea, elephant and bicycle, this sailor brings a multi-world view to her responsibilities at Centrum. A no-nonsense approach inherited from her British roots instills in Claire the ability to initiate eloquent solutions to her problem-solving and logistics. Claire enjoys jamming with friends when not tending to grapevines, making wine and savoring the results with her husband and collie dog.

Photo of Andrew Alli

Andrew Alli

Harmonica

This Richmond, Virginia native was always passionate about music and stumbled upon the blues while taking up his first instrument, the harmonica. He instantly fell in love with the blues and the history that comes with the harp.

Photo of Rion Amilcar Scott

Rion Amilcar Scott

Morning Workshop Faculty

Rion Amilcar Scott is the author of the story collections The World Doesn’t Require You and Insurrections, which was awarded the 2017 PEN/Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction and the 2017 Hillsdale Award from the Fellowship of Southern Writers. He teaches creative writing at the University of Maryland. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Kenyon Review, Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2020 and McSweeney’s Quarterly, among other publications.

Photo of Yaw Amponsah

Yaw Amponsah

Faculty

Yaw Amponsah is a master percussionist from Ghana. Coming from a musical family from West Africa he is at home in the world of rhythm. A versatile player, Yaw can play many styles of music from Ghana including Highlife, Agbadja, Kpanlogo and more. His specialty is the music of the multi-part percussion ensembles of the Ashanti people.…

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Big Jon Atkinson

Early Electric Guitar

Big Jon Atkinson speaks the language fluently and with such a well-articulated deep emotion that when you hear this young man play and sing the blues it is an experience you will never forget.

Photo of Quenton Baker

Quenton Baker

Morning Intensive Faculty

Quenton Baker is a poet, educator, and Cave Canem fellow. Their current focus is black interiority and the afterlife of slavery. Their work has appeared in The Offing, Jubilat, Vinyl, The Rumpus and elsewhere. They are a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, and the recipient of the 2018 Arts Innovator Award from Artist Trust. They were a 2019 Robert Rauschenberg Artist in Residence and a 2021 NEA Fellow. They are the author of we pilot the blood (The 3rd Thing, 2021) and ballast (Haymarket Books, 2023).

Photo of Dan Balmer

Dan Balmer

Faculty

From coffee house gigs at fifteen to chart-topping success with the Tom Grant Band in the 90s, world tours with two-time Grammy Award winner Diane Schuur and contemporary jam-bands, Dan Balmer brings fire and heart every time he plays the guitar. His playing spans nearly one hundred CDs including twelve as a leader from which his original works have appeared internationally in television, film and radio.

Genevieve E Barlow

Artist Network Coordinator

Genevieve E Barlow (Artist Network Coordinator) graduated from the University of Montana in 2018 with a BFA in Acting and Directing. As the Food Security Coordinator for the YMCA, Genevieve led numerous hunger relief programs in Jefferson County focusing on transportation and expanding family nutrition. She has worked for several local theater companies and directed Men on Boats in 2019 and As You Like It in 2022.…

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Bruce Sunpie Barnes

Accordion

Bruce Sunpie Barnes is a veteran New Orleans musician, former Park Ranger with the National Park Service for 30 years, actor, photographer, book author, former high school biology teacher, former college football All-American, and former NFL player (Kansas City Chiefs). Sunpie Barnes’ many careers have taken him far and wide. He has traveled to over 50 countries playing his own style of what he calls Afro-Louisiana music incorporating Blues, Zydeco, Gospel, Caribbean and African influenced rhythms and melodies.…

Holly Barousse

Registrar

Holly Barousse (Operations and Residency Assc.) Holly joined Centrum in 2020 after several years in other roles at Fort Worden. Her experience working at the Fort introduced her to Centrum’s staff and programs. She was thrilled to join the operations team, working with the Registrar, Residency Program Manager and the Operations Manager. Holly grew up in Michigan, spent time in Alaska and Oregon and fell in love with Port Townsend.…

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Kristen Barron Kinney

Faculty

Kirsten Barron Kinney graduated cum laude from the University of California, Irvine in where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Choreography and in Dance Performance. While attending UCI, she was a member of Donald McKayle’s modern company Etude Ensemble, Fresno Ballet under the direction of Donald Bradburn, and has returned to UCI as a guest choreographer for Bare Bones Dance Theatre in 2007, and as a guest performer for the Donald McKayle’s Tribute in 2009.…

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Patrick Bartley, Jr.

Faculty

Saxophone

Grammy-nominated saxophonist, composer, and bandleader Patrick Bartley, Jr. is a musician with experience in a wide range of situations, most notably for appearing on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert and being featured in the Emmy-nominated HBO special Wynton Marsalis: A YoungArts Masterclass, which premiered at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

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Ignacio Berroa

Faculty

Drums

Ignacio Berroa has been recognized as one of the greatest drummers of our time. A leading innovator in the blending of Afro-Cuban and American jazz styles, his artful drumming has supported a wide spectrum of the very top names in jazz, including Dizzy Gillespie, McCoy Tyner, Chick Corea, Wynton Marsalis, Freddie Hubbard, Charlie Haden, and Gonzalo Rubalcaba.

Photo of Dave Biller

Dave Biller

Faculty

Dave Biller has toured and recorded with Wayne Hancock, Dale Watson, and Deke Dickerson and is mostly known as a professional pedal steel player, but his record, Hot Guitars of Biller & Wakefield, captured the ears of music lovers everywhere.

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Robert Birman

Executive Director

Robert Birman (Executive Director) Named 2022 Business Leader of the Year in Jefferson County, Rob joined Centrum in 2013, having served as a senior executive in the orchestra world for more than 20 years in San Francisco, Louisville, Santa Barbara, Boston and elsewhere. He is a former arts administration fellow with the National Endowment for the Arts; an ISPA fellow at the New World Symphony in Miami Beach; and worked two summers at the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder.…

Photo of Arna Bontemps Hemenway

Arna Bontemps Hemenway

Past Faculty

Arna Bontemps Hemenway is the author of Elegy on Kinderklavier (Sarabande Books), winner of the PEN/Hemingway Prize, finalist for the Barnes and Noble Discover Award, and long-listed for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Prize.

Photo of Bill Brennan

Bill Brennan

Faculty

Billy is a dynamic songwriter and performer who has been commissioned to create stage shows, produce albums of original music, and star in video projects for prominent environmental organizations such as the National Geographic Society, The World Wildlife Fund, Project Learning Tree, The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Baltimore Woods Nature Center and the France and Merrick Foundations.…

Photo of Matt Brewer

Matt Brewer

Faculty

Bass

Matt Brewer is one of the world’s premier bassists. He was born April 20, 1983, in Oklahoma City but spent most of his youth in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Born into a musical family, Matt was surrounded by music from an early age, both his father and grandfather being jazz musicians, and his mother an avid music lover and radio DJ (who, before Matt was born, would play classic jazz albums for him).…

Photo of Sara Brickman

Sara Brickman

Faculty

Coming Soon

Photo of Marianne Brogan

Marianne Brogan

Faculty

Marianne Brogan grew up in a musical family and played flute, piano, guitar and drums. In middle age she found her instrument – the ukulele – and that was that.

She founded the Portland (Oregon) Ukulele Association in 2001, and has been happily teaching ukulele, and organizing events for well over a decade.

Photo of Mark Brooks

Mark Brooks

Bass

Mark Brooks is one of New Orleans’ premiere bassist. He is noted for his versatility vocally as well as instrumentally. Mark is a protégée of the late great Jazz Master, Alvin Batiste along with several of his close friends Branford Marsalis, Donald Harrison, and Henry Butler. Mark has toured and performed with an array of artists across genres such as Jazz, Blues, R&B, and Gospel.…

Photo of Canote Bros

Canote Bros

Past Faculty

Photo of Lloyd Buchanan

Lloyd Buchanan

Faculty

Lloyd Buchanan is rooted in Gospel and the Blues. His connection to the Hammond organ began at a very early age in church accompanying his mother.

Photo of Charlie Burnham

Charlie Burnham

Violin

Charlie Burnham is an American violinist and composer. He has a unique highly imaginative style that crosses genres, including bluegrass, delta punk, free jazz, blues, classical and chamber jazz. He often performs with a wah-wah pedal. He initially became renowned for his work on James “Blood” Ulmer’s Odyssey album. The musicians on that album later performed and recorded as Odyssey the Band, sometimes known as The Odyssey Band.…

Photo of George Cables

George Cables

Faculty

Piano

When George Cables was going to school in New York City he used to walk the streets at night, taking in the cosmopolitan sights and sounds, mentally recording his encounters with “so many different kinds of people.” In his musical career as well, Cables has prowled side streets and main thoroughfares in relative anonymity, absorbing countless influences into his personal style.…

Photo of Etienne Cakpo

Etienne Cakpo

Faculty

Etienne Cakpo (he/him) is an award-winning professional dancer, choreographer and musician from Benin, West Africa. He is specialized in instruction and performance of traditional African dance from Benin as well as contemporary African dance styles, and has been building his dance repertoire for nearly thirty years. He is director of Gansango Music & Dance, a dance company registered in Washington State.…

Photo of Obed Calvaire

Obed Calvaire

Faculty

Obed Calvaire, a native of Miami and of Haitian descent is a graduate with both a master and bachelor degree of music from one of America’s premiere private music conservatories in the nation, Manhattan School of Music.

Photo of Catalina Cantú

Catalina Cantú

Curatorial Resident

Catalina Cantú (Xicana) is of Indigenous Mexican/Madeiran heritage born in San Francisco, California. Before moving to Washington, Cantú lived on the border in Brownsville, Texas, where the Cantú family has lived since it was México. Her immigrant maternal grandparents came to California from Madeira, an island colonized by the Portuguese, west of North Africa. Cantú is a multi-genre writer, interdisciplinary artist, social justice activist, Jack Straw Fellow, and Alum of VONA/Voices, and The Mineral School.…

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Lucinda Carver

Artistic Director, Port Townsend Chamber Music Festival

Lucinda was appointed Port Townsend Chamber Music Festival Artistic Director in late 2009. Called “a first rate conductor” by the New York Times, she is active as a conductor / pianist and her orchestral appearances have included the National Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Pacific Symphony, and Los Angeles Philharmonic. Opera conducting credits include the Minnesota Opera, New York City Opera, and the Lyric Opera of Kansas City.…

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Claudia Castro Luna

Afternoon Workshop

Claudia Castro Luna is an Academy of American Poets Poet Laureate fellow (2019), WA State Poet Laureate (2018 – 2021) and Seattle’s inaugural Civic Poet (2015-2018). She is the author of Cipota Under the Moon (Tia Chucha Press, 2022); One River, A Thousand Voices (Chin Music Press); the Pushcart nominated Killing Marías (Two Sylvias Press) also shortlisted for WA State 2018 Book Award in poetry, and the chapbook This City (Floating Bridge Press).…

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Conrad Cayman

Ukulele

Conrad Cayman is a Los Angeles-based multi-instrumentalist who plays guitar, ukulele, bass (upright and electric), plectrum banjo, and percussion. He leads a traditional jazz group called The Big Butter Jazz Band, freelances for other LA-based early jazz groups, and is a sponsored artist for Ohana Ukuleles.

In the 10 years since leaving the corporate world and becoming a professional musician he has played trad jazz, swing dance, and ukulele festivals in Los Angeles, New Orleans, San Diego, Fresno, Sacramento, and Pismo Beach, as well city and amusement park summer concert series, and special client events for actors Hilary Swank, Alan Tudyk, the Geffen Playhouse, Southern Comfort, Jack Daniels, and the Rose Parade.…

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Sabrina Chacon-Barajas

Faculty

Sabrina Chacon-Barajas graduated from Seattle Pacific University with a BA in Studio Art and is currently working on her M.Ed at UW Bothell. Her artwork incorporates multi-media art to represent the intersectional identity of being a woman of color from immigrant parents. Sabrina is a teaching artist that cares about representation in the classroom through the power of the arts.…

Photo of Neal Chin

Neal Chin

Faculty

Award winning artist and Maui, HI native Neal Chin, has been both an ‘ukulele educator and performer over the course of his musical career. His clear and direct enthusiasm for music has come to life in countless workshops, concerts, and private instruction. While his heart is in jazz, Neal has played with many musicians of different genres including Hawaiian, folk, rock, and hip-hop.…

Photo of Cláudio Rabeca Band

Cláudio Rabeca Band

Cláudio Rabeca is a fiddle player, composer, singer, teacher, music producer and luthier from the Northeast of Brasil. For more than 20 years he has fiddled, sang, and played percussion with multiple Brasilian groups, including 11 years with the forró group Quarteto Olinda. After he dedicated himself fully to the fiddle, he found that the instrument informed his creative process and is the basis for his singing.…

Photo of Gerald Clayton

Gerald Clayton

Faculty

Piano

Gerald Clayton searches for honest expression in every note he plays. With harmonic curiosity and critical awareness, he develops musical narratives that unfold as a result of both deliberate searching and chance uncovering. The four-time GRAMMY-nominated pianist/composer formally began his musical journey at the prestigious Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, where he received the 2002 Presidential Scholar of the Arts Award.…

Photo of John Clayton

John Clayton

Artistic Director, Jazz Port Townsend

Bass

Bassist, Composer, Arranger and Producer, John Clayton, is a busy man. With a Grammy on his shelf and nine additional nominations, artists such as Diana Krall, Paul McCartney, Regina Carter, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Gladys Knight, Queen Latifah, and Charles Aznavour have had spots on his crowded calendar.

In 1985 John, co-founded the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra and rekindled The Clayton Brothers Quintet.…

Photo of Dawn Clement

Dawn Clement

Faculty

Piano

Pianist, vocalist, and composer Dawn Clement is a joyful and formidable force in the landscape of modern creative music. For over two decades, Clement has served as both a torchbearer of the jazz tradition and as a trailblazer in fresh sonic explorations. “In all this world of jazz, there are very few individual voices, no matter what the instrument, but Dawn has come up with a voice that’s unique…” says legendary jazz trombonist Julian Priester.…

Photo of Eloise & Co.

Eloise & Co.

Vermont

Eloise & Co. features the combined creative force of two of the country’s most sought-after traditional musicians, fiddler Becky Tracy and piano accordionist Rachel Bell. These two, sometimes playing as a duo and other times joined by various guest guitar and piano players, crank out concert and dance music with unbridled energy and soaring beauty.…

Photo of Anat Cohen

Anat Cohen

Faculty

Clarinet & Saxophone

Ever charismatic, prolific and inspired, Grammy-nominated clarinetist-saxophonist Anat Cohen has won hearts and minds the world over with her expressive virtuosity and delightful stage presence. The New York Times writes, “Ms. Cohen on the clarinet was a revelation. Using the clarinet’s upper register, she could evoke infectious joy.…

Photo of Elizabeth Colen

Elizabeth Colen

Past Faculty

EJ Colen is a PNW-based educator, writer, and editor interested in long-form poetry, the lyric essay, literary and visual collage, and research-based approaches to storytelling and memoir.

Photo of Gary Copeland Lilley

Gary Copeland Lilley

Artistic Director, Writers Conference

Gary Copeland Lilley is the author of eight books of poetry, the most recent being The Bushman’s Medicine Show (Lost Horse Press, 2017), and a chapbook, The Hog Killing (Blue Horse Press, 2018). He is originally from North Carolina and now lives in the Pacific Northwest. He has received the DC Commission on the Arts Fellowship for Poetry and is published in numerous anthologies and journals, including The Best American Poetry 2014, Willow Springs, The Swamp, Waxwing, Taos Journal of Poetry and Art, and African American Review.…

Photo of Tanya Darby

Tanya Darby

Faculty

Trumpet

California native Tanya Darby is a current and veteran member of such groups as the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, the Roy Hargrove Big Band, the DIVA Jazz Orchestra, the Michel Camilo Big Band, and the Rufus Reid Large Ensemble, among others. She has performed and toured with artists such as Dianne Reeves, Clark Terry, Jon Faddis, Paquito D’Rivera, and Gladys Knight, and ensembles including the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, the Count Basie Orchestra, the Ron Carter Great Big Band, the Duke Ellington Orchestra, and the Mingus Big Band.…

Photo of Allison De Groot

Allison De Groot

Faculty, Allison De Groot Band

Banjo virtuoso Allison de Groot is known for her great clawhammer technique, exquisite tone, timing, and taste. She has deep roots in the old time tradition and yet she’s fearless when it comes to breaking new ground. In addition to playing with Molsky’s Mountain Drifters, she is also member of the super group the Goodbye Girls, and tours often with the Tatiana Hargreaves.

Alyssa de Leon

Program Manager for Creative Youth Development

Alyssa de Leon (Program Manager for Creative Youth Development) was raised in the forests of Northern California on a steady diet of reggae music, arts festivals, and hippie counterculture. She studied education, philosophy, and politics at the Dominican University of California, and went on to obtain a Master’s of Education. Her professional career has ranged from preschool and forest school director to aquarium naturalist, to Community Radio Station Manager.…

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Nikki Dee

Past Faculty

Nikki Dee is an award-winning vocalist and transformational vocal coach based in Honolulu. Her renowned Deeva Method takes the mystery and confusion out of vocal technique, making vocal power, confidence, and healing accessible to singers and speakers around the world.

Photo of Alice Derry

Alice Derry

Past Faculty

Alice Derry is the author of five volumes of poetry, most recently Hunger (MoonPath 2018) along with three chapbooks, including translations of poems by Rainer Rilke. 

Photo of Nova Karina Devonie

Nova Karina Devonie

Faculty

Nova Karina Devonie hails originally from Vancouver, B.C. She has been delighting audiences with her sensitive (and sometimes humorous) accordion playing, sonorous singing style, and sideways fashion sense since the 1980’s.

Photo of Taylor Dow

Taylor Dow

Faculty

Coming Soon

Photo of Chuck Easton

Chuck Easton

Faculty

Guitar & Music Theory

Guitarist Chuck Easton is a long time Olympic Peninsula resident who teaches and plays locally. He plays bass in the Pt. Townsend Symphony Orchestra and owns a few other instruments as well. Chuck is a graduate of the Berklee College of music in Boston.

Photo of Taylor Eigsti

Taylor Eigsti

Faculty

Piano

GRAMMY® Award-winning pianist and composer Taylor Eigsti started playing the piano when he was four years old. Growing up in Menlo Park, CA, Eigsti was quickly labeled a prodigy, and has since released 8 albums as a bandleader, in addition to appearing on over 70 albums as a sideman. Eigsti recently won a 2022 GRAMMY® Award for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album for his most recent album “Tree Falls”, released in 2021 on GSI Records.…

Photo of Maude Eisele

Maude Eisele

Faculty

Maude is a founding ensemble member of Saltfire Theatre in Port Townsend. Her passion for collaborative theatre has brought her into many theatre ensembles over the years: from Poor Players, a bold and wacky Shakespeare ensemble rehearsing in the shadows of Balboa Park in San Diego…to world and regional premiers with the Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company…to the Colorado Shakespeare Company’s touring troupe’s explorations of bullying behavior and its remedies through Shakespeare’s words.…

Photo of Rebecca Elatiki

Rebecca Elatiki

Faculty

Rebecca is a Moroccan-American artist and activist, whose work lives at the intersection of art, humanitarian work, and cultural curiosity. Her professional roots in social work have provided her training in trauma-informed care, and enabled her to travel the world, working with diverse and vulnerable populations. From orphanages in India to healing circles in Latin America, she has used creative arts as a vehicle for cross-cultural connection and healing.…

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Pamela English

Gospel Choir

Pam English’s musical journey began at age three, when Pam began singing in the youth choir at Unity Baptist Church Detroit. Private piano lessons began at age 7 and she recorded her first album with the youth choir at age 9. Pam began playing for churches, directing and teaching choirs at the age of 10. This continued throughout high school, college, and well into her adult musical career.…

Photo of Queen Esther

Queen Esther

One of country and Americana music’s most fascinating artists, Queen Esther’s range stretches far and wide creatively. Bold and outspoken, sweet and generous in spirit, her music shines a light on violence against Black Americans, her passion for country music, and the myths that have haunted the South since long before the Civil War. She’s a vocalist, songwriter, lyricist, musician, solo performer, playwright, librettist, essayist, actor, TED speaker and producer.…

Photo of Leroy Etienne

Leroy Etienne

Percussion

Leroy Etienne is a drummer, percussionist, washboard player, and vocalist, based in Lafayette, Louisiana. His critically album released in 2018 features original compositions by Etienne composed in Louisiana Creole. Featured song writer on the album and book ‘Le Kér Creole’ (Creole Compositions and Stories from Louisiana) native Creole speaker Leroy Etienne said in the 1950s, he was told by teachers not to speak “French” in school.…

Photo of Jonathan Evison

Jonathan Evison

Morning Workshop Faculty

Jonathan Evison is the New York Times Bestselling author of the award winning novels All About Lulu, West of Here, The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving, This is Your Life, Harriet Chance!, Lawn Boy, Legends of the North Cascades, Small World, and Again and Again. Sherman Alexie has called Evison “the most honest white man alive.” He lives in Western Washington with his wife and three children.

Photo of Robert Eyerman

Robert Eyerman

Robert Eyerman, aka Bboy Bobby Drake, started breaking in 2005 at the age of 13. Three years later he co-founded the Dog Pound Crew. His group works frequently alongside the Seattle Theater Group, dancing in productions such as DANCE This, Global Party, and Sasquatch Music Festival. Robert highly values education, graduating from the University of Washington with two degrees – chemistry and biochemistry.…

Photo of Robert Eyerman

Robert Eyerman

Faculty

Coming Soon

Photo of Albanie Falletta

Albanie Falletta

Guitar

A native of Monroe, Louisiana, Albanie Falletta was in their formative years exposed to the local music of Louisiana: the sounds of cajun, zydeco, blues and gospel musics at festivals and backyard parties. After relocating with their family to San Marcos, Texas at the age of nine, Albanie began taking guitar lessons. They began their love and study of early American Jazz when hey were exposed to the Parisian Romani guitarist Django Reinhardt.…

Photo of Melissa Febos

Melissa Febos

Past Faculty

Melissa Febos is the author of the memoir Whip Smart; and three essay collections: Abandon Me, a LAMBDA Literary Award finalist and Publishing Triangle Award finalist; Girlhood, a national bestseller; and Body Work: The Radical Power of Personal Narrative.

Photo of Mary Flower

Mary Flower

Guitar

Mary Flower’s immense finger picking guitar and lap-slide prowess is soulful and meter-perfect, a deft blend of the inventive, the dexterous and the mesmerizing. Her supple honey-and-whiskey voice provides the perfect melodic accompaniment to each song’s story.

Photo of Danielle Fodor

Danielle Fodor

Faculty

Danielle Fodor is a visual artist who works with the communities and individuals to create vibrant visions of today and tomorrow. She has worked with hundreds of volunteers to paint murals and public plazas, designed giant puppets and banners, and written and illustrated indie comics and zines. Her work transforms people and places by celebrating common ground, expressing unspoken emotions, and nourishing the connections between people, place, and the natural world.…

Photo of Foghorn String Band

Foghorn String Band

The Foghorn Stringband is the present day gold standard for real-deal hard-hitting genuine old-time American string band music, with nine albums, thousands of shows, over 15 years of touring under their belts, and an entirely new generation of roots musicians following their lead.

Photo of Bruce Forman

Bruce Forman

Faculty

Guitar

Deep immersion in American culture inspires Forman to contribute to the traditions that he draws from. Reunion! (the newest project) revisits the famed Poll Winners sessions with cohorts John Clayton and Jeff Hamilton, playing instruments owned by Barney Kessel, Ray Brown and Shelly Manne; Formanism (his trio project); original works like The Red Guitar; his high-rated podcast, GuitarWank; Cow Bop and the “road challenges” down historic byways like Route 66; JazzMasters Workshop; Junkyard Duo; GrumpsTV (a fifty episode YouTube variety show during the lockdown), the popular ‘first chorus of the day’ series on Instagram…these are only the latest answers to the endless question that underlies Bruce Forman’s creativity. …

Photo of Brittney Frantece

Brittney Frantece

Curatorial Resident

Brittney Frantece is a writer, artist, educator, curator, and Ph.D. candidate at University of Washington (UW). Her work engages concepts of speculation, horror, and magic. She engages Black literary and visual arts to find new ways of thinking, being, and knowledge productions Black imaginations offer. She has conducted workshops and courses for UW’s English and American Ethnic Studies departments, The Northwest School, and the Henry Art Gallery.…

Photo of Ellika Frisell

Ellika Frisell

Sweden
with Rafael Sida, percussion

Ellika Frisell was born 1953 and brought up in Stockholm. She later moved to Delsbo, a small village in the North of Sweden, where she cultivated vegetables and worked in a factory. It was during that time, in the middle of the 70´s, that Ellika began playing the fiddle and became village fiddler and dance musician.…

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Stu Fuchs

Stu Fuchs is a heart centered, award winning musician and teaching artist. His passion is helping others learn to play music with greater ease, freedom and joy. Over a 25 year career, Stu has played music across the globe: Django Reinhardt’s gypsy jazz with symphony orchestras, presenting workshops at ukulele festivals on three continents, facilitating drumming & music improvisation at yoga retreat centers for everyone from children to college music students, prison inmates to Fortune 500 CEOs.…

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CMarie Fuhrman

Past Faculty

CMarie Fuhrman is the author of Camped Beneath the Dam: Poems (Floodgate 2020) and co-editor of Native Voices: Indigenous Poetry, Craft, and Conversations (Tupelo 2019).

Photo of Tia Fuller

Tia Fuller

Faculty

When Grammy-nominated Mack Avenue recording artist, composer, and bandleader ​Tia Fuller​ picks up her saxophone, something amazing happens. Blending technical brilliance, melodic creativity, and the performing precision drawn from both her academic and stage experience, Fuller is a force to be reckoned with in the worlds of jazz, pop, R&B, and more.

Photo of Tess Gallagher

Tess Gallagher

Past Faculty

Tess Gallagher’s eleventh volume of poetry, Is, Is Not, was published May 2019 by Graywolf Press.  Midnight Lantern: New and Selected Poems, also from Graywolf, is the most comprehensive offering of her poems to date.

Photo of Luna Garcia

Luna Garcia

Faculty

Luna Garcia started dancing Folklorico at age seven with the dance group Joyas Mestizas. In 2007, she started teaching with Joyas Mestizas, and she started dancing with Bailadores de Bronce. Dancing and teaching with both organizations, she has been able to promote and present the beauty of Folklorico throughout the Seattle area. She has taken classes and workshops with renowned Folklorico teachers such as Jose Tena from New Mexico State University and Samuel Cortez from Los Lupeños, San Jose.

Photo of Alice Gerrard

Alice Gerrard

North Carolina

Simply put, Alice Gerrard is a talent of legendary status. In a career spanning some 50 years, she 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. Alice is particularly known for her groundbreaking collaboration with Appalachian singer Hazel Dickens during the 1960s and ’70s.…

Photo of Jennifer Givhan

Jennifer Givhan

Morning Workshop Faculty

Jennifer Givhan is a Mexican-American and Indigenous poet and novelist from the Southwestern desert and the recipient of poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and PEN/Rosenthal Emerging Voices.

She is the author of five full-length poetry collections and three novels, most recently Belly to the Brutal (Wesleyan University Press) and novel River Woman, River Demon (Blackstone Publishing) which draw from her practice of brujería.…

Photo of Michael Glynn

Michael Glynn

Vocal Accompaniment

Bass

Born in Seattle, Michael Glynn began playing bass at the age of 11. Beginning his jazz studies with former Count Basie and Louis Armstrong bassist Buddy Catlett, Michael starting working professionally while still a student at Garfield High School, where he played for four years in that school’s renowned jazz band. After two years in engineering school at Columbia University in New York City, Michael returned to Seattle where he graduated summa cum laude in 2001 with a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies from the University of Washington, where he studied under Doug Miller and Barry Lieberman.…

Photo of Justin Golden

Justin Golden

Faculty

With roots in the Mississippi Delta, Chicago, and the Piedmont of Virginia, Richmond-based guitarist and songwriter Justin Golden’s origins are deeply vested in the blues.

Photo of Rick Good

Rick Good

Faculty

One of the founders of the famous string band, The Hotmud Family, Rick Good is an accomplished guitarist, banjo player, singer and songwriter. A performer of traditional and original music, Good’s career has spanned nearly four decades.

Katy Goodman

Senior Director of Development

Katy Goodman (Senior Director of Development) has spent her career as a passionate advocate for the power of the arts, working to create meaningful community connections and celebrate diversity and beauty through cultural expression. After graduating from Oberlin College, she spent two decades as a non-profit leader and fundraiser in Houston, Texas, where she co-founded and was director of the creative youth development organization Workshop Houston.…

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Wycliffe Gordon

Faculty

Trombone

Wycliffe Gordon’s busy schedule encompasses performing, composing, arranging and recording. He is the recipient of many awards: He has been named him “Trombonist of the Year” 12 times The Jazz Journalists Association, and “Best Trombone” five of the past six years by the Downbeat Critics Poll.

In addition to his solo career, Wycliffe tours regularly leading his quintet.…

Eric Greenwell

Program Manager for Writing

Eric Greenwell (he/him) has worked for many years with talented teams to preserve both natural and cultural spaces across the Intermountain and Pacific Northwest so communities in these regions can thrive. Community in this context means communities of people, artists, plants, and wildlife, and he carries a particular affinity for writing as a medium that makes community stronger, for its potential to convey honestly and unflinchingly diverse perspectives.…

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Zoe Guigueno

Upright Bass

Zoe Guigueno (GIG-an-oh) is a bassist and songwriter headquartered in New York City. While jazz trained, she can also often be found playing klezmer, Americana, or indie-rock. She has performed with Steve Martin, busked in a pink gorilla costume, and played upright bass while whitewater rafting. Her most recent solo album, We Were Radar Stations, came out on Fiddlehead Records in October 2022.

Photo of Randy Halberstadt

Randy Halberstadt

Faculty

Piano & Music Theory

Randy Halberstadt has been a major figure on the Pacific Northwest jazz scene for many years. A pianist, arranger, composer, lyricist, and author, Randy enjoys an international performing career playing with musicians at the top of their game, including Herb Ellis, Terry Gibbs, Buddy de Franco, Matt Wilson, Pete Christlieb, Bobby Shew, Joe LaBarbera, and many others.…

Photo of Jon Hamar

Jon Hamar

Faculty

Bass

Jon Hamar is a versatile bassist who is comfortable in virtually any musical situation. Born in Kennewick, Washington he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Classical Double Bass Performance from Eastern Washington University and a Master’s degree in Jazz and Contemporary Media from the Eastman School of Music.

In 2001 Jon relocated to Seattle and was busy as a freelance bassist.…

Photo of Jeff Hamilton

Jeff Hamilton

Faculty

Drums

Versatile drummer Jeff Hamilton brings originality to every group he performs with, and it’s one of the things that makes him constantly in demand, whether for recording, performing with his trio, or co-leading the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. In addition to his many recordings with Ray Brown, Jeff has been on nearly 200 recordings with artists such as Natalie Cole, Diana Krall, Milt Jackson, Rosemary Clooney, Barbara Streisand, Mel Torme, John Pizzarelli, and Benny Carter.…

Photo of John Hansen

John Hansen

Vocal Accompaniment

Piano

John Hansen is one of the most in-demand jazz pianists in the Northwest. A studied and musical ensemble player with a strong melodic vocabulary, John has always been recognizable for a unique personal voice. His performance history includes top US venues as well as tours in France, Japan, Korea, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Russia, and Central America.…

Photo of Tatiana Hargreaves

Tatiana Hargreaves

Faculty

Over the past decade, Tatiana Hargreaves has been on the forefront of an up and coming generation of old time, bluegrass and new acoustic musicians. From placing first at the Clifftop Appalachian Fiddle Contest, to her bluegrass fiddling on Laurie Lewis’ GRAMMY-nominated album The Hazel And Alice Sessions, Hargreaves shows a musical fluency that flows between old time and bluegrass worlds with ease.

Photo of Derrick Harriell

Derrick Harriell

Past Faculty

Derrick Harriell is the Ottilie Schillig Associate Professor of English and African American Studies at the University of Mississippi.

Photo of John Haywood

John Haywood

Kentucky
banjo and fiddle

John Haywood is a banjo-playing tattoo and folk artist in Whitesburg, Kentucky. He owns and operates the Parlor Room Tattoo and Art Gallery – a tattoo shop that draws visitors from all over the world to Letcher County into the far southeastern corner of Kentucky. “Many come for a tattoo, and some to experience a little bit of our culture,” Haywood says of his shop.…

Savannah Hensel

Program Assistant – Youth

Photo of Mary Hilts

Mary Hilts

Program Manager, Red Hot Strings, Acoustic Blues, Development

Mary Hilts (Program Manager, Red Hot Strings, Acoustic Blues, Development) joined the Centrum staff in 2003. Mary manages Red Hot Strings and the Acoustic Blues programs; and assists with resource development and the Board of Directors. A graduate of Washington State University, Mary also completed Jazz Studies at Shoreline Community College, and Los Angeles Harbor College.…

Photo of Daniel Ho

Daniel Ho

Past Faculty

From his simple beginnings in Honolulu to his life amid the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles, Daniel Ho has worked over the years as a musician, producer, singer/songwriter, arranger, composer, engineer, and record company owner. The most compelling of these roles has been as a six-time GRAMMY Award winning producer, featured slack key guitarist, and artist in the “Best Hawaiian Music Album,” “Best Pop Instrumental Album,” and “Best World Music Album” categories.

Photo of Gary Hobbs

Gary Hobbs

Vocal Accompaniment

Drums

Drummer Gary Hobbs is a native of the Pacific Northwest and lives in Vancouver, WA. He has played professionally for over 4 decades and appears on over 60 recordings. Gary played with The Stan Kenton Orchestra from 1975 through 1977. Through the years Gary has played with Randy Brecker, Bud Shank, George Cables, Ken Peplowski, Pete Christlieb, Greta Matassa, Anita O’Day, Dan Siegel, Glen Moore, The New York Voices, Eddie Harris and many more.…

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Brandon Hobson

Faculty

Dr. Brandon Hobson is a 2022 Guggenheim Fellow. He received his Ph.D from Oklahoma State University. His novel, Where The Dead Sit Talking, was a finalist for the National Book Award, winner of the Reading The West Award, and longlisted for the Dublin Literary Award, among other distinctions.

Photo of Jayy Hopp

Jayy Hopp

Guitar, Percussion

Jayy Hopp was born in Lagrange and started playing music with Gospel (drumming at first, until his cousin formally introduced him to the guitar). Gospel and R&B music was very influential in his formative years. The guitar grooves and distinctive sounds always caught his ear. As he aged, Jayy Hopp expanded his musical vocabulary. He started listening closely to Jimi Hendrix playing style, which led him to Buddy Guy, Albert Collins, Jimmy Dawkins, Johnny “Guitar” Watson, Son Seals, Hubert Sumlin, Robert Ward (his uncle) and Ike Turner.…

Photo of Ravi Howard

Ravi Howard

Past Faculty

Ravi Howard is the author of two novels, Like, Trees, Walking and Driving the King (HarperCollins). In addition to being selected as a finalist for the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award, Like, Trees, Walking won the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence.

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Benjamin Hunter

Mandolin

Benjamin Hunter is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist, composer, community activist, social entrepreneur, and educator. Benjamin’s work explores the intersections of music & art, community, policy, and culture.

Photo of Judy Hyman

Judy Hyman

New York State
with Jeff Claus, guitar and banjo uke

From Ithaca, NY, land of lakes, gorges, waterfalls and colleges, Judy is a co-founding member of the alt-trad band, The Horse Flies, who toured extensively throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe (including appearances on eTown, Prairie Home Companion, All Things Considered, World Café, and Mountain Stage), and recorded many albums, including releases on MCA and Rounder Records.…

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Jourdan Imani Keith

Past Faculty

Jourdan Imani Keith is Seattle’s 2019- 2022 Civic Poet.  Featured in Forbes and on NPR, her Orion Magazine essays, Desegregating Wilderness and At Risk appear in the Best American Science and Nature Writing Anthology, as well as text books.

Photo of Tyler Jackson

Tyler Jackson

Faculty

Tyler Jackson is a world renown tenor banjoist and upright bassist. Under the tutelage of Buddy Griffin, Tyler quickly learned the ukulele, tenor banjo, and electric bass. Tyler went on to study the double bass at the University of North Texas under Lynn Seaton and began to fine-tune his skills as a professional bassist.

Jaime Jaynes

Marketing & Communications Director

Jaime Jaynes (Marketing & Communications Director) was born and raised in Port Townsend, attended Centrum’s Youth Art Camps as a high school student, and played the string bass in Port Townsend High School’s Chamber & Symphony Orchestras. She has a bachelor’s degree in fine art from the School at the Art Institute of Chicago. For the past ten years, she has been working at Nike as a Brand Marketing Director focusing on the omnichannel growth of their women’s business.…

Photo of Hubby Jenkins

Hubby Jenkins

Banjo

Hubby Jenkins is a talented multi-instrumentalist who endeavors to share his love and knowledge of old-time American music.

Photo of Alejandro Jimenez

Alejandro Jimenez

Faculty

ALEJANDRO JIMENEZ is a nationally and internationally recognized poet from Colima, Mexico. He was featured in TIME Magazine as one of 80 Mexican artists shaping contemporary Mexican culture. His work, and story, are the subject of a short documentary for the PBS series, American Masters: In The Making, which highlights emerging cultural icons.…

Photo of Reverend Robert Jones

Reverend Robert Jones

Guitar

Rev. Robert Jones, Sr. is a native Detroiter and an inspirational storyteller and musician celebrating the history, humor and power of American Roots music. His deep love for traditional African American and American traditional music is shared in live performances that interweave timeless stories with original and traditional songs.

Photo of Bettina Judd

Bettina Judd

Morning Workshop Faculty

Bettina Judd is an interdisciplinary writer, artist and performer whose research focus is on Black women’s creative production and use of visual art, literature, and music to develop feminist thought. Her book Feelin: Creative Practice, Pleasure, and Black Feminist Thought (Northwestern University Press, December 2022) argues that Black women’s creative production is feminist knowledge production produced by registers of affect she calls “feelin.” She is currently Associate Professor of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Washington.…

Photo of Shari Kane

Shari Kane

Guitar

Shari started playing guitar at the age of five. By the early 1970’s she had become a devoted blues fan, and learned how to play fingerstyle blues on the acoustic guitar.

Photo of Kari Karsten

Kari Karsten

Curatorial Resident

A member of the Seneca nation, Kari holds an MA in Museology from the University of Washington and a BS in Communications and Rhetorical Studies with a minor in visual culture from Syracuse University. She is currently the gallery manager for the Columbia City Art Gallery. Her previous experiences have included work at Seattle Art Museum, Seneca-Iroquois National Museum, Mount Rainier Curatorial Department, ArtRage Gallery, and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.…

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Mara Kaye

Faculty

Referred to by Jazz Lives as “one of New York’s great gifts to the world,” blues and jazz vocalist Mara Kaye is “like some lost pocket of the blues that had never been explored in the old days, all wrapped up in a ball of 21st-century Brooklyn-bred attitude.” For over a decade she has traveled internationally and throughout the US, sharing legendary stages with champions of the genre, singing beloved songs of the past with a deep passion and respect for its original storytellers.

Photo of Aaron Keim

Aaron Keim

Faculty

Aaron Keim is a historian, banjo picker, ukulele ambassador, old time songster, luthier and author. Aaron has been teaching ukulele and banjo techniques and performing at festivals since 2004. As an educator with a bachelor’s degree in Music Education and a master’s degree in Musicology, his true talents lie in his ability to adapt instruction to fit a wide range of learners and learning styles.

Photo of Bridge Hill Kennedy

Bridge Hill Kennedy

Faculty

Dr. Kennedy (he/him/his), attended his first Sacred Harp singing in June of 2002. This life changing event came about when he was invited to accompany his sister-in-law to a singing for a commissioned painting (“All Day Singing and Dinner on the Grounds” by Bethanne Hill, 2003, commissioned by Max Berueffy).

Raymond Kennedy

Finance Manager

Raymond Kennedy (Finance Manager) joined Centrum in 2020, having served as a senior finance executive in companies large and small, including Procter & Gamble, Fidelity Investments, and more recently Senior Services of Island County. Ray has a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Binghamton University in New York. He moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2016 and now resides in Port Townsend Washington.

Photo of Rex Kinney

Rex Kinney

Faculty

Rex Kinney (he/him) is the Associate Director of Education overseeing education initiatives and productions at Seattle Theatre Group. He is a dance educator, producer, choreographer and teaching artist. His goals are to be able to highlight the vibrant stories of our artists and provide a space that all learners can discover an environment that is surrounded by community, imagination and creativity.…

Photo of Valerie Kirchhoff

Valerie Kirchhoff

Voice

Valerie Kirchhoff (aka “Miss Jubilee”) is a vocalist and bandleader born and raised in St. Louis. Valerie grew up singing in church and school choirs, and discovered a passion for early jazz and blues while in her teens. She formed her first band in 2007 and has been a staple of the St. Louis music scene ever since.…

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Caleb Klauder

Faculty

Raised on Orcas Island, WA, then on to college and the 30 years to follow in Oregon, and then back to Washington again, Caleb is a true north-westerner. Yet
his maternal family roots lay in East Tennessee. These deep family roots contribute to his music through old memories, bringing you the strong singing and spirited attitude that gives his music a cutting and sweet edge. Caleb has written many songs, some that are performed by others and some that are becoming standards at jam sessions in the bluegrass scenes across the US, Canada, and in Europe.

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Hannah Krafcik

Artist

Hannah Krafcik is a Portland-based interdisciplinary neuroqueer artist and writer whose work emerges from ongoing reflections on social patterning and censorship, (over)stimulation, perseveration, and intuition. Their practices include dance and new media. They often create performances and teach in collaboration with artistic partner, Emily Jones.

Austin Krieg

Lead Production Technician

Austin Krieg is a lifelong Port Townsend local who first started working at Centrum in his senior year of high school. Austin has worked professionally in many different roles both on stage and backstage between Key City Public Theatre, Port Townsend Highschool, and a few shows in Seattle with the Production Alliance. You may catch Austin at Centrum doing anything from lights and sound to video and stage building.…

Photo of Abe Lagrimas Jr.

Abe Lagrimas, Jr.

Faculty

Abe Lagrimas, Jr. is a musician, composer, educator, and author who plays the drums, vibraphone, ukulele, and studied at Berklee College of Music. He competed in the highly prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Drums Competition and has worked with many different artists such as Eric Marienthal, Eric Reed, Kamasi Washington, Katisse Buckingham, Lalo Schifrin, Barbara Morrison, Michelle Coltrane, Jake Shimabukuro, Kenny Endo, and continues to be an in-demand session musician.…

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Stephanie Land

Afternoon Workshop Faculty

Stephanie Land is the New York Times bestselling author of “MAID: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive,” called “a testimony…worth listening to,” by the New York Times and inspiration for the Netflix series “Maid,” and its sequel “CLASS: A Memoir of Motherhood, Hunger, and Higher Education.” Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Guardian, The Atlantic, and many other outlets.…

Photo of Susan Landgraf

Susan Landgraf

Afternoon Workshop Faculty

Susan Landgraf is a poet and journalist. She has published more than 400 poems, essays, and articles in numerous journals and magazines. Most recently her poems have appeared, or are forthcoming, in Prairie Schooner, Poet Lore, Nimrod, Calyx, The Bellingham Review, Literary Mama, Kestrel, Margie, and The Sow’s Ear. She is the author of What We Bury Changes the Ground (Tebot Bach, 2017) as well as The Inspired Poet (Two Sylvias Press, 2019), a book of writing exercises.…

Photo of Sasha LaPointe

Sasha LaPointe

Morning Workshop Faculty

Sasha LaPointe is from the Upper Skagit and Nooksack Indian Tribe. Native to the Pacific Northwest, she draws inspiration from her coastal heritage as well as her life in the city.

Photo of Judy LaPrade

Judy LaPrade

Piano

Judy LaPrade is a life-long musician and teacher. She grew up in West Virginia where she played and sang in church. By junior high school she led and accompanied the patient choir at the local state mental hospital, then as an adult took the Blues into schools and music therapy groups for people with developmental challenges.…

Photo of Chaz Leary

Chaz Leary

Faculty

Though comfortable in all forms of our diverse American musical heritage, Washboard Chaz Leary has achieved dominance and international recognition in acoustic country blues.

Photo of Kate Lebo

Kate Lebo

Morning Workshop Faculty

Kate Lebo’s first collection of nonfiction, The Book of Difficult Fruit (FSG), won the 2022 Washington State Book Award and was named a best book of the year by NPR, The Atlantic, New York magazine, Electric Literature, and The Globe and Mail. She is the author of the cookbook Pie School (Sasquatch Books), the poetry chapbook Seven Prayers to Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Entre Rios Books), and co-editor with Samuel Ligon of Pie & Whiskey: Writers Under the Influence of Butter and Booze (Sasquatch Books).…

Photo of Corey Ledet

Corey Ledet

Faculty

Corey Ledet was born and raised in Houston, Texas, but spent his summers in Parks, Louisiana immersed at all times in the Creole culture. He learned everything he could so he could incorporate the culture in all areas of his life – the traditions, the food, and most importantly, the music. His love for the Creole/Zydeco music was instant and hard for him to ignore.…

Photo of Ethan Leinwand

Ethan Leinwand

Piano

Barrelhouse blues pianist and preservationist based in St. Louis, MO, and a student of the music’s rich history and varied regional styles, Ethan Leinwand presents personal interpretations of many of the great (and forgotten) old-time masters.

Photo of Osiris Ramsés Caballero León

Osiris Ramsés Caballero León


Veracruz, Mexico
with Canto a Mi Tierra: Bernabe Hernandez Orozco on quinta huapanguera guitar, and Fernando Hernandez Orozco on jarana huasteca.

Featuring Osíris Ramsés Caballero León – fiddle. Son Huasteco is a traditional Mexican musical style originating in the six states of Northeastern Mexico, typically performed by a trio of violin, jarana huasteca and quinta huapanguera.…

Photo of Dennis Lichtman

Dennis Lichtman

Mandolin

Dennis Lichtman is a multi-instrumentalist (clarinet, mandolin, fiddle, and more) who has
been living, performing, composing, and teaching in New York City since 2002. He is a
Selmer Paris Artist as an endorser of their Signature Clarinet. His music was recently
used in director David Simon’s The Plot Against America (HBO) and he has appeared this
year as a clarinetist on Succession (HBO) and The Blacklist (NBC).…

Photo of Sam Ligon

Sam Ligon

Afternoon Workshop Faculty

Sam Ligon’s most recent novel — Miller Cane: A True & Exact History — was serialized for a year in Spokane’s weekly newspaper, The Inlander, as well as on Spokane Public Radio.

Photo of Alexandre Lora

Alexandre Lora

Faculty

Percussion/Pandeiro

Alexandre Lora moves easily within different styles of Brazilian popular music, performing as a drummer and percussionist. He has been on the faculty of Centrum’s Choro Workshop since 2012. He has performed extensively in Europe including Amsterdam, Rotterdam and a tour of 33 cities in Spain. With Trio Brasileiro he has performed in major US cities such as New York, Chicago, Boston, Seattle, Miami and Portland.…

Photo of Douglas Lora

Douglas Lora

Faculty

Guitar

Three time Grammy nominee guitarist and composer Douglas Lora moves with versatility through the worlds of Classical and Popular Music, and has established himself as one of the most prominent artists of his generation.

With his wide musical repertoire, Douglas has collaborated with renowned artists such as YoYo Ma, Paquito d’Rivera, Assad Brothers, Anat Cohen, Marco Pereira, Jovino Santos Neto, Ney Rosauro, Marina Piccinini, Paulo Bellinati, among others.…

Photo of Grace Love

Grace Love

Faculty

Singer songwriter Grace Love is the Olympic Peninsula’s shining jewel of grit, beauty and power – think Etta James and Betty Wright meet Mahalia Jackson. She grew up in Tacoma, just a stone’s throw from Seattle, which infused her R&B melodies with fortitude and grunge.

Photo of Casey MacGill

Casey MacGill

Faculty

Casey MacGill plays music that swings. Nat “King” Cole Trio meets the Mills Brothers. Fats Waller meets Fats Domino. Slim Galliard meets Fred Astaire. It is American music of many decades and no decade in particular, all happening at the same time, woven into a seamless, beautiful whole. At the core of his sound are his band’s sometimes sweet, sometimes rough-hewn three-part harmony vocals.…

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Kelby MacNayr

Vocal Accompaniment

Drums

Drummer / composer / band-leader Kelby MacNayr performs groundbreaking original music, soulful swinging jazz, reaching contemporary music and traditional music from around the world. A dynamic and creative musician MacNayr performs in Canada and abroad with leading musicians from New York, Seattle, Portland, Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto & Europe. A faculty member of the renowned Jazz Port Townsend Festival under director John Clayton, staff at the Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival, Kelby follows his passion to create and collaborate, teach and learn.

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Linda Madison

Human Resources Consultant

Linda is a dynamic change agent with a track record of innovative leadership in transformational operations. With extensive proficiency in non-profit fiscal forecasting, cash management, budgeting, ad hoc reporting, and financial dashboarding of key performance indicators, she consistently delivers pristine financial reports, tailor-made for diverse audiences.

Beyond her financial acumen, Linda’s holistic approach to business extends to overseeing critical support functions like HR, Risk, IT, and Facilities management.…

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Dudu Maia

Artistic Director, Faculty

Bandolim

Dudu Maia brings a lifetime of research and study of Brazil’s greatest musical traditions to his work. A virtuoso of the bandolim (a Portuguese version of the mandolin), Dudu served for five years as the bandolim professor of Brazil’s most respected Choro school, the Escola Brasileira de Choro Raphael Rabello in Brasília. He is known for his soulful style, unique touch and his mastery of the 10-stringed bandolim, which has two more strings than the standard bandolim, expanding its musical range and harmonic possibilities.…

Photo of Max Malone

Max Malone

A life in music is practically unavoidable when you’re born into a family of musicians. Max Malone was weaned on country music in the rural wilds of Ontario, through both the radio and his mother’s work as a background vocalist on the Tommy Hunter show. By the age of twelve he was performing as a singer and bassist with his family band on a weekly gig in Toronto’s Cabbagetown.…

Photo of Rachel Manke

Rachel Manke

Past Faculty

Rachel Manke has been playing the ukulele for over 20 years. It’s the passion that has fueled adventure and friendships in her life. She is a skilled player in a vaudeville vein who has taken flourish and technique from that stage into various genres.

Photo of Rodrigo Mantovani

Rodrigo Mantovani

Upright Bass

Born and raised in Brazil, Rodrigo has always had a deep love for American blues and roots music from a very young age. Rodrigo has been a member of some of the first ground breaking Blues bands in Brazil and because of his deep knowledge regarding the Traditional Blues, expertise and feel for the Blues, he has also been a first call bassist for many of the premier American Blues acts touring and recording with heavy weights of the Blues scene

Photo of Rene Marie

Rene Marie

In a span of two decades, René Marie has cemented her reputation not only as a singer but also as a composer, arranger, actress and educator. Guided and tempered by powerful life lessons and rooted in jazz traditions laid down by icons of past generations, this two-time Grammy Nominee melds jazz with elements of spirituals, folk, R&B, classical and even country to create a captivating hybrid style.…

Photo of Marlon Martinez

Marlon Martinez

Faculty

Hailing from Los Angeles, Marlon Martinez is a young virtuoso bassist and composer emerging at the center of the resurgent Los Angeles jazz scene. He has demonstrated his virtuosity while touring with a wide range of artists, from rock icon Stewart Copeland to classical trailblazers Quatuor Ebène.

Photo of Bernadette Mata

Bernadette Mata

Faculty

Bernadette is a music teacher with a master’s degree in education and a bachelor’s degree in music. She first developed her passion for music at the age of 10 when she joined her elementary school’s band and began playing the saxophone. Bernadette continued to hone her skills on the saxophone throughout her time at Cal Poly Pomona University.…

Photo of Tony Mates

Tony Mates

Washington

Tony plays fiddle, guitar and bass, sings and calls dances, and has been a part of Fiddle Tunes for quite a long time. An enthusiastic performer, he loves to encourage others in their passion for music and dance.  His choice of music reflects a love of dance music and lively, accessible tunes. For his performances, Tony will be joined by members of his band, Peckin’ Out Dough, including David Cahn, Catherine Alexander, Brigid Blume and Carmen Ficarra.…

Photo of Mikiya Matsuda

Mikiya Matsuda

Steel Guitar

Mikiya Matsuda is a steel guitarist and sometimes string bassist living in San Francisco, CA. He is the leader of the Alcatraz Islanders, a swing-era Hawaiian group, and a regular sideman with various traditional jazz and western swing dance bands in the Bay Area.

Photo of Sebastian Matthews

Sebastian Matthews

Past Faculty

Sebastian Matthews’ latest books are a memoir in essays, Beyond Repair: Living in a Fractured State (Red Hen Press), and a hybrid collection of poetry and prose, Beginner’s Guide to a Head-on Collision (Red Hen Press), an Independent Publisher’s Book Award winner.

Photo of John “Greyhound” Maxwell

John “Greyhound” Maxwell

Slide Guitar

John “Greyhound” Maxwell brings his singular approach to slide guitar and mandolin, paying homage to the craft and tradition of the masters, while infusing the music with fresh energy. David Lindley is quoted as saying, “John is the best bottleneck player I’ve heard in a long time.” With an approach that is authentic and understated, Maxwell plays with the warmth and dexterity of someone who has loved the blues over a lifetime.…

Photo of Khari Wendell McClelland

Khari Wendell McClelland

Faculty

Khari Wendell McClelland is a diversely talented and ever-evolving artist. Originally from Detroit, Khari has become a darling on the Canadian music scene with reviewers lauding his performances as a clever mix of soul and gospel. Khari’s songwriting crosses genres and generations, joyfully invoking the spirit of his ancestors who straddled the US-Canadian border in efforts to escape slavery and discrimination.

Peter McCracken

Program Manager: Fiddle Tunes, Voice Works, Ukulele

Peter McCracken (Program Manager, Fiddle Tunes, Voice Works, Ukulele) has served at Centrum in various capacities, including Arts Program Director and Traditional Arts Program Manager. In 1992, he started the blues workshop and festival, bringing five National Heritage Award recipients to Fort Worden to perform and teach. McCracken led the initial curatorial project for Centrum’s Festival of American Fiddle Tunes Preservation and Stabilization project in 2000, producing Volume 1 of the Fiddle Tunes Archives.…

Photo of Margie McDonald

Margie McDonald

Faculty

Margie McDonald is the artistic director for the Port Townsend Wearable Art Show now heading into its sixth year.
Margie’s work in Wearable art and sculpture has been exhibited in the New Zealand World of Wearable Art Exhibition, Bainbridge Island Art Museum, Museum of Northwest Art, Northwind Arts Center and Simon Mace Gallery.

Photo of Tim McNalley

Tim McNalley

Photo of Eduardo Mendonça

Eduardo Mendonça

Faculty

Eduardo Mendonça —musician, producer and composer—is a native of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.

Eduardo received his degree in Arts Education from the Music Institute of the Catholic University of Salvador.

He is the Music Director for iBuildBridges Foundation, and is the Artistic Director for the international performance ensemble Show Brazil!

Jacqueline Mention

Box Office Manager

Originally from Los Angeles, Jacqueline moved to Port Townsend in 2010 and in quick succession began working with Centrum.  Beginning her tenure as a Youth Program Assistant, she has since worn many hats with the organization—from Volunteer Coordinator, to overseeing the Artists in Residence, to managing the Centrum Print Collection.  She now happily balances her work life between Centrum’s Operations Department and her décor business, Biquette Interiors, in Uptown Port Townsend. …

Photo of Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh

Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh

Ireland
with Manus Lunny, bouzouki and guitar

Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh’s name is synonymous with what’s good in the music and culture of her native County Donegal, Ireland. Born in the Gaeltacht area of Gaoth Dobhair, where Gaelic was her main language, she learned her songs and tunes from her family and neighbors.…

Photo of Kristen Millares Young

Kristen Millares Young

Afternoon Workshop Faculty

Kristen Millares Young is the author of the novel Subduction, named a staff pick by The Paris Review and called “whip-smart” by the Washington Post, “a brilliant debut” by the Seattle Times and “utterly unique and important” by Ms. Magazine.

Photo of Allison Miller

Allison Miller

Faculty

Drums

A lauded drummer who’s mastered a vast array of musical settings–from guesting on late night TV, keeping time for some of today’s most beloved singer-songwriters, and being a renowned bandleader/composer in her own right–Allison Miller is always at the heart of the music. Her latest album, Rivers In Our Veins, is a 12-song cycle embracing the concept of flow and renewal, and dedicated to our nation’s crucial rivers, watersheds and the organizations devoted to reviving and protecting them.…

Chris Miller

Program Assistant: Fiddle Tunes, Voice Works, Ukulele

Photo of Valerie Miner

Valerie Miner

Afternoon Workshop Faculty

Valerie Miner is the award-winning author of 15 books. Her work has appeared in Ploughshares, The Georgia Review, Triquarterly, Salmagundi, New Letters, Prairie Schooner, The Gettysburg Review, over 60 anthologies, and on BBC Radio 4. Winner of a Distinguished Teaching Award, she has taught at Stanford University, U.C. Berkeley, University of Minnesota, Arizona State University, etc.…

Photo of Nia-Amina Minor

Nia-Amina Minor

Faculty

Originally from Los Angeles, Nia-Amina Minor is a movement artist who resides in Seattle, WA. Her creative work converses with Black realities and investigates the intersection of movement, memory, and rhythm.Nia-Amina holds a MFA from UC Irvine and a BA from Stanford University. She has taught and guest lectured at University of Washington, Saddleback College, Cypress College, and UC Irvine.…

Photo of Tom Mitchell

Tom Mitchell

Guitar

Tom Mitchell is a guitar player and singer rooted in the styles of the 1920’s and 30’s jazz, western swing, country blues and old-time music; he’s happily been both sideman and leader for a great variety of musical endeavors. In addition to singing and playing guitar, he’s played mandolin, banjo, tenor guitar or tiple when the need arose.…

Photo of Bruce Molsky

Bruce Molsky

New York State

Grammy-nominated Bruce Molsky transports audiences to another time and place, with his authentic and personal interpretations of rarities from the Southern Appalachian songbook and other musical traditions from around the globe. Best known for his work on the fiddle, Bruce’s banjo, guitar and his distinctive, powerful vocals also resonate with listeners.…

Photo of Roin Morigeau

Roin Morigeau

Artist

Roin Morigeau is a stʕámiyaʔ (Two-Spirit) interdisciplinary artist using mixed-media such as drawing, painting, installation, and beadwork to explore the dichotomy between matriarchal and patriarchal space. Living with physical limitations and chronic pain from a spinal injury, Roin centers their art practice as a form of protest and healing. Roin is Bitterroot Salish Flathead Nation/ Northern European and lives in unceded Spokane territories where they were raised.

Photo of Karla Mundy

Karla Mundy

Karla Mundy is a vibrant, soulful and diverse vocalist, pianist, arranger and choir leader. She grew up outside Calgary, Alberta and from a young age, was extremely passionate about piano, singing and dancing. She studied piano from the age of seven onwards, sang at all times and was introduced to many styles of music through her study of jazz, modern, flamenco, African and Latin dance as a teenager.…

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Matt Munisteri

Artistic Curator, Red Hot Strings

Guitarist, singer, songwriter, and Brooklyn native Matt Munisteri grew up with early interest in American folk music that led him from finger-style Country and Ragtime guitar, through Blues, to Tin Pan Alley and Jazz. His own compositions, and lauded guitar playing, accurately reflect this life-long immersion in the history of American Popular Song; linking rural and urban, long-gone with contemporary.

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Lewis Nash

Faculty

Lewis Nash is one of jazz’s most recorded musicians, appearing on over 500 recordings including 10 Grammy winners and numerous Grammy nominees. In fact, Nash has the distinction of being the only musician in jazz history featured on the winners in both the “Best Jazz Vocal” and “Best Jazz Instrumental” album categories in two separate years: the 2004 Grammys with Nancy Wilson and McCoy Tyner, and again in 2010 with Dee Dee Bridgewater and James Moody.

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Jim Nelson

Faculty

Jim Nelson is a veteran of the old-time music scene, having honed his guitar skills through many years of playing with senior dance fiddlers, especially Bob Holt of Ava, Missouri and Lotus Dickey of Paoli, Indiana, and by keeping a close eye on some of the older guitar players. He has been playing with Geoff Seitz for the past 40 years, and along with Geoff and Curt Buckhannon.

Photo of Sierra Nelson

Sierra Nelson

Poet and essayist Sierra Nelson has taught creative writing at University of Washington’s Friday Harbor Marine Labs. has been writing, performing, and creating installations  for over 15 years as co-founder of the literary performance groups “The Typing Explosion” and “Vis-à-Vis Society.”

Photo of Johnny Nicholas

Johnny Nicholas

Faculty

Time is a river and you can never step in the same river twice. It’s all gonna change, but what came before shapes what comes after. There are certain people who seem to be in both places at once. Johnny Nicholas has played music and rambled with some of the most original and artistically powerful individuals of the American 20th century.

Photo of Miles Okazaki

Miles Okazaki

Faculty

Miles Okazaki is a NYC-based guitarist originally from Port Townsend, a small seaside town in Washington State. His approach to the guitar is described by the New York Times as “utterly contemporary, free from the expectations of what it means to play a guitar in a group setting — not just in jazz, but any kind.”

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Matthew Olzmann

Morning Workshop Faculty

Matthew Olzmann is the author of Constellation Route as well as two previous collections of poetry: Mezzanines and Contradictions in the Design. A recipient of fellowships from Kundiman, MacDowell, and the National Endowment for the Arts, Olzmann’s poems have appeared in the New York Times, Best American Poetry, The Pushcart Prizes, Kenyon Review, and elsewhere. He is an assistant professor at Dartmouth College and also teaches in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.

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The Onlies

Artistic Directors: Fiddle Tunes

The Onlies are a young group of old friends who perform together in a stringband. They grew up playing fiddles, guitars, and banjos in their hometowns of Seattle, WA and Lexington, VA. With their latest self-titled recording, the band digs deep into performances of traditional American popular (old time) music. The music moves with a pulsating drive, sharp arrangements, and rich vibration — it resounds with the present.…

Photo of Lisa Ornstein

Lisa Ornstein

Washington
with Sabin Jacques, button accordion, and Rachel Aucoin, piano

Fiddle virtuoso Lisa Ornstein is an outstanding interpreter of the traditional music of French Canada and Appalachia, blending compelling and inventive playing with impeccable tune choice. Befriended by North Carolina fiddle legend Tommy Jarrell while she was in her teens, Lisa quickly became an accomplished fiddler in the Round Peak style.…

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Erick “Spider” Paul

Faculty

With a goal of encouraging and motivating others, Erick “Spider” Paul brings a wide array of knowledge in the arts. He’s worked in the Los Angeles dance Industry for over 12 years and loves bringing his professional and versatile knowledge to each student he encounters.He and his wife Abby’s company Æ Creative produces stage shows, music videos, and routines for both the national and international stages.…

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Jerron Paxton

New York

Jerron Paxton is a skilled interpreter of Black traditional music, having spent his life learning the multifaceted musical dialects of blues, old-time, ragtime, and Cajun music and playfully dressing them up in their brightest hues. He is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, playing guitar, banjo, piano, fiddle and other instruments with deep histories and ties to Black American music — each with a master’s touch.…

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Dawn Pemberton

Dawn Pemberton has deep musical roots that take her powerful voice from gospel and soul to jazz, funk and world music. She has become a staple of the Vancouver music scene and can often be found tearin’ it up as a vocalist, teacher, facilitator, choir director and “go to girl” for live performances and studio sessions.…

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Nick Pence

Guitar

Nick Pence is a well-known guitar player from St. Louis. Nick plays with The Bottlesnakes, The Dust Covers or The New Missouri Fox Hunters. These two have worked together in the past, including forming a gospel group The Houndsteeth.

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Phil and Russ Tanner

Gid Tanner was a farmer in Dacula, Georgia, and played the fiddle on the side. By 1926, he and other musicians such as Clayton McMichen on fiddle and Riley Puckett on guitar, created a group called Gid Tanner and the Skillet Lickers

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Dawn Pichón Barron

Afternoon Workshop Faculty

Dawn Pichón Barron (she/her) is a mixt-blood Indigi-Euro writer & scholar born in Southern California and primarily raised in rural Spokane. She is the academic director of the Native Pathways Program and member of the Faculty at The Evergreen State College. Dawn is thrilled to participate in state-wide artist promotion and sustainment as an Artist Trust Board Member.…

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Karin Plato

Canadian vocalist and composer Karin Plato came to jazz almost by accident. The music she heard in her formative years was the rock and pop music of the day and the classical music she studied from a young age. She didn’t get the “jazz bug” until she was in her early 30’s and that’s when her music career really began when she made the move from central Canada to the West Coast.

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Randy Porter

Faculty

Jazz pianist Randy Porter has a refined understanding of improvisation and the spontaneous communication between musicians. As a Steinway Artist, Randy Porter draws from a rich palette of sonorities found within his imagination and the depths of the piano.

Photo of Ed Poullard

Ed Poullard

Texas
with Cedric Watson, button accordion

Ed Poullard is regarded as the most significant Creole fiddler of his generation, and he has brought his unique and captivating style of music across the world. Born in Eunice, LA in 1952, the Poullard family relocated to east Texas in search of better work when Ed was still a baby.…

Libby Pratt

Program Manager: Artist Residencies

Libby Pratt earned her Master of Fine Arts at the International Center of Photography at Bard College and served as Director of Baxter Street at The Camera Club of New York from 2014 to 2019, a 138-year-old nonprofit art organization in executing diverse programming including Exhibitions, Workspace Residency, Conversation series, Critiques, and Photo Book Fair. Raised on the Olympic Peninsula, she moved back to Port Townsend during the pandemic and has been an Adjunct Professor of Photography at Seattle Central College.…

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Luke Price

Oregon

Luke Price is a multi-instrumentalist performer, composer, and studio musician based in Portland, Oregon. He has his roots in American fiddling and swing traditions, which have influenced his rhythm, taste, and style as they have spread into Soul, Jazz, Pop, and Americana. Luke brings a unique voice to any music he plays, whether he’s on the fiddle, electric guitar, or singing.…

Photo of Rena Priest

Rena Priest

Morning Workshop Faculty

Rena Priest is a member of the Lhaq’temish (Lummi) Nation. She is the incumbent Washington State Poet Laureate and Maxine Cushing Gray Distinguished Writing Fellow. Priest is also the recipient of an Allied Arts Foundation Professional Poets Award and fellowships from Indigenous Nations Poets and the Vadon Foundation.

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Mark Puryear

Improv

Mark Puryear is a musician, ethnomusicologist, and curator. For the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, he curated the 2011 Rhythm and Blues: Tell It Like It Is program as well as the Freedom Sounds event that celebrated the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Photo of Anna Quinn

Anna Quinn

Past Faculty

Anna Quinn is the author of The Night Child, (Blackstone) listed as #1 Best Real Psychological Fiction on Goodreads, and Ingram’s 2018 Best Book Club Book. Her second novel, Angeline, (Blackstone) will be released Feb. 7th, 2023.

Photo of Rachel Kessler

Rachel Kessler

Rachel Kessler has been writing, performing, and creating installations  for over 15 years as co-founder of the literary performance groups “The Typing Explosion” and “Vis-à-Vis Society.” She  is also a poet, essayist, and comics artist.

Sue Randolph

Finance Associate

In addition to being skilled in keeping the books tight, Sue is an avid gardener who grows her own food. Her knowledge of plants and how to transplant, graft, feed, grow huge and harvest is profound. Her kind gentle nature is unwavering and her positive “can do” attitude keeps the wheels at Centrum turning without a squeak.

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Laura Read

Morning Workshop Faculty

Laura Read is the author of But She Is Also Jane (University of Massachusetts Press, 2023, winner of the Juniper Prize); Dresses from the Old Country (BOA Editions, 2018); Instructions for my Mother’s Funeral (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012, winner of the AWP Donald Hall Prize for Poetry, selected by Dorianne Laux), and The Chewbacca on Hollywood Boulevard Reminds Me of You (winner of the Floating Bridge Press Chapbook Award, 2011).…

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Liette Remon

Faculty

Liette grew up in the Gaspesie region of Quebec in a small municipality called Petit-Pabos. Music happened only at home, when her father’s fiddler friends would drop by, and at family get-togethers, once or twice a week, where music (along with a glass of gin and food) was the focus. They’d mainly sing popular songs, with traditional songs and fiddle tunes mixed in among them.

Photo of Anastacia Reneé

Anastacia Reneé

Past Faculty

Anastacia Reneé is an award-winning cross-genre writer, educator, interdisciplinary artist, TEDX speaker and podcaster.

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Del Rey

Faculty

Del Rey started playing guitar when she was four years old. At thirteen, she was immersed in the world of folk music, via the San Diego Folk Festival. She has tried to get a whole band onto her solo instrument from the beginning. This gives her music an interesting complexity, especially when applied to the ukulele.

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Jonathan Rizzardi

Faculty

Jonathan M. Rizzardi (they/he) is a Seattle-area performing artist and theatre historian. After moving from Washington, D.C. to complete their PhD in Theatre History and Theory at the University of Washington School of Drama, Jonathan has continued to teach youth theatre, act, facilitate arts educator training programs, and develop social activist-focused curriculum here in the PNW.…

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George Rodriguez

Faculty

George Rodriguez received a BFA in ceramics from the University of Texas El Paso and an MFA from the University of Washington. As a recipient of a Bonderman Travel Fellowship he traveled the world through most of 2010 visiting 26 countries in the span of 10 months. The Museum of Northwest Art recently recognized him as an Emerging Artist Luminary.…

Photo of Michelle J. Rodriguez

Michelle J. Rodriguez

Michelle J. Rodriguez is an artist who performs and writes in the worlds of music and theater. Raised in the Pacific Northwest and Kentucky by her Puerto Rican parents, Ms. Rodriguez was raised in Vermont, Chicago and NYC by her communities, inspiring her to explore kids-of-immigrants stories, divine femininity, intuition, healing and spaces in-between. Her music project MICHA became a finalist for NPR’s 2018 Tiny Desk Contest with her song “Nena Nena Nena,” praised for a “bilingual set spanning laid-back southern soul and Latin pop flare” (NPR).

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Pharis Romero

Artistic Director, Voice Works

Pharis has been singing and playing music her whole life. An early student of classical and country, she grew up performing with her family’s band and learning the songs and stories that made her want to dig deeper. These days she performs mostly with her husband Jason, and is equally at home disappearing into an old-time jam as she is singing on stage or teaching the joy of song and sound.

Photo of Marisol Rosa-Shapiro

Marisol Rosa-Shapiro

Faculty

Marisol Rosa-Shapiro is a New York and Seattle-based performer, director, teaching artist, and creator of original works of theater. She is a graduate of Princeton University and of Giovanni Fusetti’s Lecoq-based Helikos School of Theatre Creation in Florence, Italy. Her specialties include mask theater, mime, clown, commedia dell’arte, improvisation, physical comedy, movement-and ensemble-based creation and more.…

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Gerald Ross

Faculty

Gerald Ross is a musician specializing in American Roots Music – Swing, Early Jazz, Western Swing, Hawaiian, Ragtime and Blues. Playing the guitar, lap steel guitar and ukulele he has performed throughout the USA and Europe and has recorded seven solo CDs. Ross is one of the finest instrumentalists on the scene today and his music expresses a sense of rhythm and melody that is rare in contemporary music.…

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Bobby Rush

Faculty

Bobby Rush was born Emmett Ellis, Jr. outside Homer, Louisiana, in 1933. He twanged a diddley bow before picking up a guitar around age 11, and his preacher father knew enough about a harmonica to pass along a few riffs to his progeny. The family relocated to Pine Bluff, Arkansas, in 1948.

While still a teenager, Rush became a professional blues musician, adopting his stage name so as not to disrespect his devout dad.…

Photo of Sadie LeDonna and Shawn Kellogg

Sadie LeDonna and Shawn Kellogg

Sadie LeDonna and Shawn Kellogg have been teaching and performing together for over 7 years. They have organized festivals, summer camps, and workshops together and have created and performed in several independent full-length shows as well as with their own acts for a variety of events.
Sadie and Shawn founded Pop-Up Movement in 2019. Throughout the pandemic, they designed and built their gym in the Port Townsend area.…

Photo of David Sanchez

David Sanchez

Faculty

Latin Grammy Award winner David Sánchez is being hailed as “the most profound young tenor saxophonist working today. Born in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, Sánchez began playing percussion and drums at age 8 before migrating to tenor saxophone four years later.

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Ellie Sandstrom

Faculty

Ellie Sandstrom, a Seattle Magazine “Spotlight Award Winner” and Velocity Dance Center’s “2016 Dance Champion”, is originally from Minneapolis, where she began her movement training with Minnesota Dance Theater and later, BalletArts Minnesota. She has studied various forms of dance technique, body conditioning, composition, improvisation and performance at dance festivals and schools across the country including Cornish College of the Arts, where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance.…

Photo of Jovino Santos Neto

Jovino Santos Neto

Faculty

Piano

Three-time Latin Grammy nominee Jovino Santos Neto is a master pianist, flutist, composer, arranger, conductor and educator from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. After 15 years as a member of the legendary Hermeto Pascoal Group, he moved to Seattle in 1993. Since then, Jovino has established himself as a charismatic performer, whether playing solo piano, leading his Trio, his award-winning Quinteto, or in guest appearances with ensembles and orchestras worldwide.…

Photo of Ann Savoy

Ann Savoy

Faculty

Ann Savoy is a musician, an author, a record producer, and a photographer. Her most recent endeavor is the acclaimed newly released “Adieu False Heart”, a CD of duets with the legendary Linda Ronstadt. As a musician she, has played guitar, fiddle, and accordion and traveled throughout the world with her husband accordionist Marc Savoy and fiddler Michael Doucet in the Savoy Doucet Cajun Band, with her all-woman band The Magnolia Sisters. and with Marc and their talented sons in the Savoy Family Band.

Photo of Joel Savoy

Joel Savoy

Artistic Director

Son of Cajun music icons Marc and Ann, Joel Savoy is best described as an instigator. He has been at the forefront of the Louisiana music revival of the last 20 years and as a result he has become a highly visible figure in the American roots music community, placing him onstage alongside folks like John Fogerty, Linda Ronstadt, Steve Earle, and T-Bone Burnett.…

Photo of Wilson Savoy

Wilson Savoy

Faculty

Wilson was born into a musical family in Eunice, Louisiana, and grew up surrounded by Cajun music among other styles. As a teenager, under the spell of Jerry Lee Lewis and Ray Charles, Wilson fell in love with rock n’ roll and blues piano, and taught himself to play. A little later, he picked up one of his dad’s accordions, and later still, Cajun fiddle.

Photo of Eva Scow

Eva Scow

Faculty

Eva Scow is an American mandolinist and violinist from Fresno, California. She began studying music at a young age, starting on the piano and violin at age 4, and later adding the mandolin at age 8. Growing up she played in Classical orchestras and bands, exploring different kinds of music from Bluegrass to Brazilian Jazz.

Photo of Joe Seamons

Joe Seamons

Faculty

Coming Soon

Elia Seely

Program Assistant: Chamber, Jazz, Choro

Photo of Geoff Seitz

Geoff Seitz

Faculty

Geoff Seitz has been playing music since age eight and has been playing fiddle for over 45 years. Throughout his years of fiddling, Geoff sought out traditional master fiddlers and learned tunes in the old time style. Although Geoff has spent many hours with the Missouri Valley and Ozark fiddlers, he also learned from Appalachian fiddlers as well as fiddlers

Photo of Lauren Sheehan

Lauren Sheehan

Band Lab

Lauren Sheehan brings her down-home music uptown, mixing old blues, early jazz and roots of country for a bluesbilly-good-time sound. Dubbed “Portland String Queen” by The Oregonian for her multi-instrumental prowess, Lauren is also known for her unforgettable voice and sings like “an angel with horns”, (Charlie Rowley, fan). She tours, teaches at Pacific University, and has recorded 5 CDs played on radio world-wide, including BBC, NPR, and BBKing’s Bluesville.…

Photo of Katie Shore

Katie Shore

Faculty

Like many fiddlers, Katie was inspired at a young age by her grandfather. At six years old she told her parents she wanted to “play music you can clap your hands and stomp your feet to”. Hailing from Ft. Worth “Cowtown”, Tx, Katie grew up playing in a world of strong fiddle traditions, attending fiddle contests, music camps such as Mark O’Connor’s and Johnny Gimble’s, and with some classical training, was part of the Ft Worth Youth Orchestra

Photo of The Chapin Sisters

The Chapin Sisters

The Chapin Sisters carry on a proud family musical legacy: Father Tom Chapin is a Grammy-winning singer/songwriter, legendary late uncle Harry Chapin was an artist and activist best known for his #1 hit “Cat’s in the Cradle”, and grandfather Jim Chapin literally wrote the book on how to play the drumkit. For nearly 20 years these masters of blood harmony have garnered critical acclaim by forging a distinctive musical imprint by blending dynamically complex vocal harmonies and folk-influenced melodies with dark, wryly sarcastic lyrical content.…

Photo of Moira Smiley

Moira Smiley

Faculty

Her clarion voice and joyous, embodied performances have carried Moira and her songs around the planet and inspired millions of harmony singers to sing her songs. She’s immersed herself in early American, Irish and East European vocal traditions and seeks to honor the many powerful, cultural roles of singing beyond stage and microphone

Photo of Shirley Smith

Shirley Smith

Gospel Choir

Shirley Smith is a Detroit native who studied under the tutelage of one of Detroit’s premier harpists and vocal instructors, Patricia Terry-Ross, who was her teacher at Detroit’s Cass Technical High School. Shirley studied voice, piano, and harp under Mrs. Ross.

Photo of Whit Smith

Whit Smith

Guitar

Whit Smith is a guitarist, singer, songwriter and founding member of the highly acclaimed Western swing trio, The Hot Club of Cowtown. He is known by guitarists for his driving rhythmic style, and for his ability to move through chord progressions employing endlessly creative variety harmonies. After nearly 30 years of vigorous touring, performing and recording, Whit has arrived at a style that pays clear homage to a variety of influential guitarists from the 1930’s and 40’s, while serving as the perfect vehicle for his own bracingly original ideas.…

Photo of Gary Smulyan

Gary Smulyan

Faculty

Baritone Sax

Baritone saxophonist Gary Smulyan was born April 4, 1956, in Bethpage, New York. The gifted multi-instrumentalist started his music career by first learning alto saxophone during his teenage years on Long Island. Today he is critically acclaimed across-the-board and recognized as the major voice on the baritone saxophone. His playing is marked by an aggressive rhythmic sense, an intelligent and creative harmonic approach — and perhaps most importantly – a strong and incisive wit.…

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Daniela Spielman

Faculty

Saxophone & Flute

Daniela Spielmann has been part of the Brazilian Choro scene since 1998 as a saxophonist, flutist, composer and arranger. Her music is current and at the same time respectful of the great Brazilian composers of the past. Her first CD as a member of the Choro ensemble Rabo de Lagartixa (Gecko´s Tail) was given a critics’ award for the best instrumental CD of the year and in 2002 her first solo album, Brazilian Breath, was nominated for a Latin Grammy.…

Photo of Terell Stafford

Terell Stafford

Faculty

Trumpet

Acclaimed New York–based trumpet player Terell Stafford has been hailed as “one of the great players of our time” by piano legend McCoy Tyner. Stafford combines a deep love of melody with his own brand of spirited and adventurous lyricism. Since the mid-90s Stafford has performed with groups such as Benny Golson’s Sextet, McCoy Tyner’s Sextet, Kenny Barron Quintet, Frank Wess Quintet, and Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Alumni Band.…

Photo of David Steele

David Steele

Guitar

Dave began performing as a barroom acoustic solo guitarist and singer while attending Allegheny College in Northwest Pennsylvania in the 1970’s. During the 80’s, Steele expanded his interest to electric blues, as a founding member of the Zipper City Blues Band.

Photo of Daniel Steinberg

Daniel Steinberg

Faculty

Daniel has been a musical performer and teacher for over 45 years, with a particular fascination with the traditional music and dance from diverse cultures around the world. He plays piano and flute with the contra dance band Hillbillies from Mars and with New England fiddler Rodney Miller, and has performed with many luminaries of the fiddle music scene, as well as several Latin American and African ensembles.

Photo of Don Stiernberg

Don Stiernberg

Faculty

Don Stiernberg has been a professional musician for nearly 50 years. Along the way he has been involved in performing, writing, recording, producing, and teaching but is best known for his mandolin playing. His path was set very early on as he grew up north of Chicago. Emulating his older brother, he experimented with playing various stringed instruments, finally landing on the mandolin.

Photo of Jonathan Stout

Jonathan Stout

Guitar

Los Angeles-based guitarist and bandleader Jonathan Stout is well-known to swing dancers everywhere for the wonderful dance orchestra he leads, but any fan of swing guitar currently stalking the internet knows him for the beautiful touch he brings to relaxed swinging versions of standards played chord-melody style on an array of prized old archtop guitars

Photo of Kweku Sumbry

Kweku Sumbry

Faculty

Drums

Grounded in the traditions of the Djembe Orchestra, Kweku Sumbry is a multi-percussionist from Washington, DC. With the djembe, drumset, and a multitude of West African Percussion instruments, Kweku is bringing forth a new sound to the jazz world. He began his studies as a toddler under the tutelage of Mahiri Fadjimba Keita, Mamady Keita, and Djiali Djimo Kouyate.

Photo of Clay Swafford

Clay Swafford

Piano

Firmly rooted in the blues tradition, Clay Swafford was raised in the small rural community of Providence, Alabama. Born into a musical family; he was immersed in the sounds of Baptist Hymnals, Country and Bluegrass. He took interest in the piano at an early age and, after hearing the music of B.B King and Bobby Blue Bland at age 15, Clay was hooked on the blues.…

Photo of Heidi Swedberg

Heidi Swedberg

Past Faculty

When she was 5 years old Heidi received her first ukulele from the Hawaiian Easter bunny while living in Kailua, HI. She has fond memories of teaching herself chords and writing songs in her room in Albuquerque NM, the place she thinks of as home. She picked the instrument up again in 1992 in Hollywood, CA while playing a singer-songwriter for a network TV pilot. Now life imitates art, and she plays music full time.

Photo of Chris Symer

Chris Symer

Vocal Accompaniment

Bass

Born and raised in Southern California, bassist relocated to the Northwest in 2002 where he continues to make his living as a freelance musician. Equally comfortable in the classroom, stage or recording studio, Chris has stayed busy doing everything from teaching to playing on feature films. Notable projects have included recordings with Bill Anschell (“Rumbler” 2017), Johnaye Kendrick (“Here” 2014), James Knapp (“Scrape” 2013), and Nelda Swiggett (“Stringtet” 2014) as well as tours to South America with Anschell (2012, 2014) and Kendrick (2013).…

Photo of Angie Tabor

Angie Tabor

Faculty

Angie Tabor (they/them) is a performing musician, music educator and composer based in Port Townsend, WA. They are known for being highly versatile, performing with jazz ensembles, symphony orchestras, music theater productions, and Top 40 & tribute acts. They can also be heard performing on steelpans with their Caribbean-infused trio, Caribe. As a music educator, they have taught grades K-12 and college.…

Photo of Miss Tess

Miss Tess

Miss Tess has always been known for creating an eclectic array of vintage blues, country, and jazz sounds. Currently residing in Nashville, she finds no shortage of inspiration in the roots scene there. However varied Tess’ music can be, front and center sits her voice that has been described as “alternately seductive and sexy, and a pure joy to listen to” (Pop Matters).…

Photo of Katie Thiroux

Katie Thiroux

Faculty

Bass

Los Angeles-based bassist and vocalist Katie Thiroux has clearly established herself as one of the most exciting and in demand musicians today. Thiroux’s unique gift of simultaneously balancing sultry vocals and virtuosic bass playing leaves audiences worldwide in awe. Her most recent album, “Off Beat,” was awarded a “Best Album Of 2018” by Downbeat Magazine as well as “Rising Star” 2018 & 2019.…

Photo of Jay Thomas

Jay Thomas

Faculty

Trumpet & Sax

Jay Thomas is a multi-instrumentalist, appearing on more than 60 recordings that run the gamut from hip-hop to acid-jazz, rock, Latin, and big band. Jay has performed in concert with numerous prominent musicians, including Mel Lewis,

John Clayton and Jeff Hamilton, Maria Schneider, Bill Holman, Bob Florence, and Frank Wess. He has also played at the Wolf Trap, Aspen, and duMaurier Jazz Festivals.…

Photo of Yoseff Tucker

Yoseff Tucker

Yoseff’s early life exposure to traditional bluegrass and American roots music came courtesy of his grandfather who moved to Central California from the Ozarks in the early 20th century. His first guitar came to him while he was still in diapers and an appreciation for music laid a great foundation in his life.

Niki Van Duren

Data and Donor Relations Manager

Niki Van Duren (Data and Donor Relations Manager) comes to us with much experience in leave programs, recruitment, HRIS systems, and administrative generalist duties. Most recently hailing from Portland, Niki has been in Port Townsend since early 2020. She is drawn to Centrum’s art programs, particularly the writer’s programs.

Photo of Grace Van’t Hof

Grace Van’t Hof

Faculty

Michigan native Grace van’t Hof has taken their unique shade of ukulele playing across the United States and overseas with such groups as Bill and the Belles, Aaron Jonah Lewis’ Ragtime Banjo Revival, and Chris Jones & the Night Drivers. Driven by inspiration from 1920s and 30s country and popular music, Grace thoughtfully incorporates their uke stylings into all sorts of genres from Bluegrass to Spanish Baroque music.…

Photo of Sachal Vasandani

Sachal Vasandani

Faculty

Sachal Vasandani is recognized for his singular voice, with a tone and unique phrasing that mark him as one of the most compelling artists on the scene today.

Photo of Eric Verlinde

Eric Verlinde

Vocal Accompaniment

Piano

Eric Verlinde is a highly trained piano accompanist in the Pacific Northwest. You are always in good hands with Eric at the keys. Specializing in multiple genres including jazz, Latin, blues, gospel and R&B. He also has a classical background and can play written music as well. He is an alumni of Berklee College of music.…

Photo of Shawn Vestal

Shawn Vestal

Past Faculty

Shawn Vestal’s debut novel, Daredevils, was published in spring 2016 by Penguin Press. His collection of short stories, Godforsaken Idaho, published by New Harvest in April 2013, was named the winner of the PEN/​Robert W. Bingham Prize.

Photo of Hannah Viano

Hannah Viano

Faculty

Hannah Viano is an adventurous artist, educator, and mother living and creating in the Pacific Northwest. Her artwork is done in a variety of media, all starting from sketch studies in the field and then moving to the studio, using simple tools to create graphic images and capture the essential lines of a place or subject.…

Photo of Victoria Vox

Victoria Vox

Faculty

Victoria Davitt, better known as Victoria Vox, is an award-winning, ukulele-toting, performing songwriter. With a passion for writing songs since she was 10 years old, she went on to graduate with a degree in Songwriting from the Berklee College of Music (Boston, MA).

Lisa Waipio Werner

Director of Operations

Lisa Waipio Werner (Director of Operations) is alumni of the University of California at Irvine and has owned and managed a variety of successful businesses. In 2008, she came to Port Townsend from Kapa’au, Hawai’i to work as volunteer coordinator and residency program manager at Centrum. Raised in a family of musicians and ocean sports enthusiasts, her hobbies include playing flute and guitar and racing outrigger canoes.…

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Jeremy Wakefield

Faculty

Jeremy Wakefield is more like Speedy West fused with Jerry Byrd. And a little bit of Noel Boggs.” Those are the words used by Wayne Hancock to describe Jeremy Wakefield’s playing, and he isn’t far from the truth. Throw in a big dash of Joaquin Murphey and Jeremy’s own unique sensibilities and you’ve got one of the world’s best non-pedal steel guitarists.

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Melody Walker

Melody Walker is a songwriter, producer, performer, and fervent believer that songs can change the world. Best known for her writing with Molly Tuttle, Sierra Ferrell, Della Mae and her own band Front Country, Melody’s post-pandemic recalibration has found her setting real roots down in her home of Nashville, co-writing with her talented neighbors, and hosting her weekly writers’ round, Writers’ Kitchen.…

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JD Walter

Faculty

Vocal

Vocalist and songwriter JD Walter is considered by many in the jazz world to be the among the very best jazz singers, known for his immediately recognizable smokey sound, his virtuosic talent for improvisation, his compelling original songs, and his ability to reinvent standards.

Over the decades, Walter has performed as a featured artist at numerous American jazz clubs and festivals in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, and Central America as well as over 80 tours in Russia.…

Bud Walters

Production Crew

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Ian B Walters

Faculty

Ian B. Walters plays spirited, updated blues and standards as well as contemporary tunes. Known for his unique piano sound, dripping with soul vocals, and all-around good vibes, Ian’s inventive interpretations of great old songs make them new again.

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Daniel Ward

Past Faculty

Daniel Ward is an accomplished musician, composer and educator, who has become one of the country’s top clinicians and performers on the ‘ukulele circuit’. He is known for his command of Latin styles and teaches right hand techniques, adapting his style and knowledge from the classical and flamenco guitar.

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Matt Weiner

Faculty

Big tone and solid rhythm have made Matt Weiner one of the busiest bass players in the Northwest. Inspired by the “prebop” bass players and their music, he’s slapping out a syncopated jazz feel on one tune, on another bowing a folksy melody.

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Ben Wendel

Faculty

Sax

Grammy nominated saxophonist Ben Wendel was born in Vancouver, Canada and raised in Los Angeles, CA. Currently living in Brooklyn, NY, he has enjoyed a varied career as a performer, composer and producer. Highlights include tours, performances and/or recordings with artists such as Tigran Hamasyan, Bill Frisell, Terence Blanchard, Antonio Sanchez, Gerald Clayton, Taylor Eigsti, Linda May Han Oh, Moonchild, Louis Cole, Daedelus, Snoop Dogg and the artist formerly known as Prince.…

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Eli West

Faculty

It’s always illuminating to ask an artist how they understand music, but Eli West’s perspective is nothing short of ground-breaking. A trained designer, he sees music architecturally, visualizing his compositions spatially. It’s a highly unusual way to think about music, tied to his verdant natural world of the Pacific Northwest.

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Wes Westmoreland

Texas

Wes Westmoreland III was born into a family whose musical history goes back many decades. His granddad, H. D. Westmoreland Sr., an accomplished fiddler, began teaching Wes to play at age nine. The fiddle tunes Wes had heard all his life came easy to him and he began to play in contests all over the state of Texas.…

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Jiggs Whigham

Faculty

Trombone

Jiggs Whigham is an internationally acclaimed trombonist, band leader and educator. This versatile performer, born Oliver Haydn Whigham III (the nickname Jiggs was given by his grandfather) in Cleveland Ohio on 20 August 1943, first came to the attention of critics and fans at 17, as featured soloist and first trombonist with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, directed by Ray McKinley.…

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Alasdair White

Faculty

Alasdair White is an exceptional exponent of west coast Scottish music and is widely regarded as one of the foremost Scottish fiddler players of his generation. He was born and brought up on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, a chain of islands of singular importance to Gaelic Scotland’s musical heritage and is perhaps best known as having been a member of Scotland’s seminal Battlefield Band for over 16 years.

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Earl White

Virginia
with Mark Olitsky – banjo, Adrienne Davis – guitar, and Joseph DeJarnette – bass.

Fiddling Earl White has been a mainstay in the old-time, folk and dance community for more than 45 years.  An original and founding member of the famed Green Grass Cloggers, he is one of few Black Americans preserving and playing Appalachian old time string band music, which was an intricate part of Black communities and formed the foundation of American music of today. …

Lisbeth White

Residency & Artist Projects Program Assistant

Lisbeth is a writer and ritualist born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. With a background in creative writing and expressive arts therapy, she is dedicated to creating and supporting communities that uplift artists and cultural creators. She is the author of the poetry collection American Sycamore, and co-editor of the anthology Poetry as Spellcasting: Poems, Essays, and Prompts for Manifesting Liberation and Reclaiming Power.…

Michael White Hayes

Director of Production

Michael White Hayes (Director of Production) embodies the jack-of-all-trades archetype for the arts. Having graduated from NYU with a degree in filmmaking he’s gone on to work in that industry as a Cinematographer and Lighting Director to Sound Designer and Sound Mixer. He’s toured the world with New York Harlem Production’s official Gershwin production of the opera Porgy and Bess, won awards for Sound Design, composed music for television shows that have appeared on the Discovery Channel, and helped create several Youtube indie shows.…

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Phil Wiggins

Faculty

Phil Wiggins is a versatile traditional harmonica player, continuing the Piedmont blues tradition, a gentle and melodic blues style of the mid-Atlantic region. He plays the diatonic ten-hole harmonica in the country blues style, cupping both hands around the instrument and playing acoustically.

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Jontavious Willis

Artistic Director, Acoustic Blues

Blues musician and multi-instrumentalist, Jontavious Willis, from Georgia, has been named Centrum’s Artistic Director for Acoustic Blues beginning in 2020.

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Reeb Willms

Faculty

Reeb Willms has been singing and playing guitar since 2001 and is widely regarded as one of the best rhythm guitar players in old time music. She hails from the windswept Central Washington farmlands of Douglas County, and was heavily influenced as a child by her musical father and uncles, who performed locally as the Willms Brothers. Her warm, tender vocals and driving rhythms are a living testament to this musical tradition, which she brought to the stage in her early 20s.

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George Wilson

Faculty

George has performed and recorded with the popular “Fennig’s All-Star String Band”, featuring Bill Spence on hammered dulcimer, since 1975. He has performed and recorded with the “Whippersnappers” (Wilson, Peter Davis and Frank Orsini) since 1976.

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Matt Wilson

Faculty

Drums

Grammy nominee Matt Wilson leads the Matt Wilson Quartet, Arts and Crafts, Christmas Tree-O, and the Carl Sandburg Project. He is an integral part of bands led by Joe Lovano, John Scofield, Charlie Haden, Lee Konitz, Bob Stewart, Denny Zeitlin, Ron Miles, Marty Ehrlich, Ted Nash, Jane Ira Bloom, and Dena DeRose among others.…

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Martin Wind

Faculty

Bassist and composer Martin Wind was born in Flensburg, Germany in 1968 and has been living in the New York City area since 1996.He earned a diploma as Orchestra Musician at the Cologne Conservatory and completed his master’s degree in jazz composition and performance at NYU.

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Carolyn Woods

Faculty

Carolyn Woods is the Education Coordinator at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center. In her many different roles at the Marine Science Center she has led education programs on a variety of Salish Sea marine biology topics from plankton to sea birds, in addition to responding to the occasional stranded seal pup or diving deep into dissecting a beached gray whale.…

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Linzay Young

Faculty

Fiddle, Louisiana. Linzay is a versatile fiddler, soulful singer and a talented songwriter. A founding member of the notorious Red Stick Ramblers of Louisiana, he is a true link in the chain of Cajun Music and Culture whether he’s wielding a fiddle bow, playing his accordion or cooking in a blackpot.