George Wilson – New York
Down East fiddle
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. He plays at contradances, festivals and dance camps on both coasts and in between with Selma Kaplan, Groovemama, the Beaudoin Legacy, Bruce and Sue Rosen and more. Additionally he performs with the trio Peter, Paul & George (with Peter Davis and Paul Rosenberg), presenting hundreds of dance and music programs in “Homespun Community Dancing” in elementary, middle school and high schools.
George has three recordings featuring his fiddling — North Melodies from 1995— The Royal Circus: A Menagerie of Northern Fiddle Tunes from 2000— and his latest (2009), A Collection of Northern Tunes. All are upbeat collections of traditional, contemporary, and original fiddle instrumentals featuring himself and most of the players listed above.
George will be accompanied at the festival by Selma Kaplan, one of the standard bearers of traditional contra-dance piano for over 30 years. She’s a pianist, composer and arranger, and plays the ultimate sensitive and inventive accompaniment with rock solid rhythm and swing Specializing in the traditional music of Scotland, Cape Breton, New England and Quebec, her solid, inventive backup is in demand at dances and festivals up and down the east coast. Audiences, dancers, callers, and other players recognize her musical sensitivity and the joy she takes in adding just the right touch, whether accompanying a driving fiddle tune, a gorgeous slow air, or a silly song.
She’s been on staff at Pinewoods, Ralph Page Legacy Weekend, Star Island, Fiddle & Dance, Buffalo Gap, Old Songs, the Dance Flurry, has played at major festivals throughout the US and Canada, and, with the concert band Rude Girls, has toured in the US, Canada, Denmark, and Bermuda.
Phil and Russ Tanner – Georgia
Skillet Licker music
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, recording country and bluegrass music from 1924 to 1934. The men sold millions of records for their songs, like “Down Yonder” and “Pass Around the Bottle and We’ll All Take a Drink.” The original group members eventually dispersed while Tanner’s son Gordon took the reins with a new round of performers until he passed away in 1982. Four generations later, thanks to the younger Tanners wanting to take over, The Skillet Lickers are still alive and well and performing on a regular basis.
“According to historians, they were one of the most famous string bands of that era,” said Phil Tanner, who is a third generation member of the group. “My dad (Gordon) continued the group on. He was 15 or 16 years old when The Skillet Lickers had their last recording session in San Antonio, Texas, and he was the lead fiddle player.”
Nowadays, Phil Tanner and his son Russ still meet with friends in the “Chicken House” behind the Tanner house off Auburn Avenue in Dacula to pick, string and sing old-time tunes from Gid Tanner’s time.
Phil Tanner’s been playing since his high school days, and to this day – over half a century later – is still performing with the Skillet Lickers. In addition to playing rhythm guitar, Phil can also play the fiddle, and he builds them, too. His son Russ was born and raised in Dacula, and he’s a fourth-generation Skillet Licker who resides on the land originally purchased by his great-grandfather Gid. Russ is widely known as a masterful musician, comparable to his grandfather, Gordon, but also as a comedic showman, like that of his great-grandfather, Gid.
The Foghorn Stringband – Washington and Quebec
Caleb Klauder (mandolin and fiddle)
Reeb Willms (vocals, guitar)
Nadine Landry (vocals, upright bass)
Stephen ‘Sammy’ Lind (fiddle and banjo)
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. American roots music is a diverse and never-ending well of inspiration, and Foghorn Stringband continually and obsessively draws from old-time, bluegrass, classic country, and Cajun music traditions in an ongoing quest to present a broad span of American historical music with an unparalleled youthful energy, joy, and virtuosity.
Each member of Foghorn Stringband exemplifies the best of the roots music traditions from their respective native cultures. Caleb Klauder’s wistful, keening vocals and rapidfire mandolin picking are as influenced by Southern roots music as much as they are by his upbringing in the sea islands of coastal Washington State. Reeb Willms hails from the wind swept Eastern farmlands of Washington. Her musical family and rural upbringing are on display with every note she sings and every heart she breaks. Nadine Landry’s roots lie in the rural backroads of Acadian Québec, and her high lonesome vocals have delighted audiences the world over. Her earth-shaking bass playing is the rumbling backbone of the Foghorn sound. Minnesotan Sammy Lind, simply put, is the old-time fiddler of his generation whose tone and voice are as old as the same hills that gave birth to this music. Together, these four have forged a sound like no other.
The band’s repertoire has expanded greatly in the past 15 years. They are as comfortable playing music at a neighborhood square dance as they are stirring a festival audience to a frenzy. Old time dance tunes rub shoulders with Cajun waltzes, vintage honky tonk country, and classic bluegrass….and it’s all rendered into a cohesive whole. Foghorn Stringband can often be found after a performance in a local pub or club continuing to play with equal energy and joy late into the night.
Geoff Seitz and Jim Nelson – Missouri
Old Time fiddle
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
from the western U.S. And he has never been above learning and sharing tunes from fiddlers of his generation and young players. He has won numerous awards for his fiddling and a selection from his solo album was used in a NBC miniseries movie “A Will of Their Own”. Geoff’s style of playing could be described as danceable, lively and steady. He regularly plays traditional dances and concerts. He also plays rhythm and blues and is a drummer. Geoff was one of the founding members of The Ill-Mo Boys, a critically acclaimed string band of old time tunes and songs.
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, he played with the St. Louis-based Ill-Mo Boys for over two decades, and produced their three critically acclaimed recordings. He also played with the Volo Bogtrotters from 1985 to 1991 and rejoined the band in 2011, and remains a member of that band to this day. In addition to recordings by the previously mentioned fiddlers and bands, Jim’s solid, creative guitar playing can also be heard on recording projects with “younger” fiddlers like Rhys Jones, Chirps Smith, Geoff, and more recently with the Rocky Creek Ramblers and the Little Egypt Pep-Steppers. These days he and his wife, Dedo Norris, keep a steady schedule playing dances throughout the Midwest. In addition to performing and playing for dances, Jim also has taught guitar classes and numerous workshops on old-time music at camps and festivals across the country.
Katie Shore – Texas
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. After receiving an Associates Degree in Commercial Music in 2008, Katie moved to Austin, Tx. In addition to becoming a luthier and teacher, Katie leads her own project and has performed and collaborated with musicians including The Jitterbug Vipers, Continental Graffiti, Ghosts Along the Brazos, Willie Nelson, and George Strait. Inspired by many styles and cultures, Katie’s voice and fiddle have taken her around the country and abroad. Currently the female vocalist and fiddle player for 9-time Grammy Award winning band, Asleep at the Wheel, Katie looks forward to every new adventure and opportunity to sing and play!
Katie will be accompanied at Fiddle Tunes by Connor Forsyth on piano. Connor’s a wunderkind, a player that truly commands attention. As a member of another young Austin favorite, The Belleville Outfit, he honed his chops touring the country, and now splits his time between the Ghosts Along the Brazos and the legendary Ray Price’s touring band.
Alasdair White – New York
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, touring extensively in that time throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. Now resident in New York, Alasdair has performed and recorded as a guest with many of the best-known names in Scottish, Irish and Breton traditional music including Kathleen MacInnis, Julie Fowlis, Eddie Reader, Allan MacDonald, Manus Lunny, Nuala Kennedy, and Arnaud Ciapolino. Current ongoing projects include Daimh, the Alan Kelly Gang and of course, Battlefield Band. Alasdair also recently premiered a major commission at the Hebridean Celtic festival in Stornoway, an hour-long original piece entitled An Iuchair.
Tatiana Hargreaves – North Carolina
Old Time/Bluegrass fiddle
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. She has toured with musicians such as Dave Rawlings, Gillian Welch, Laurie Lewis, Darol Anger, Bruce Molsky and Jake Blount. She currently tours with banjo extraordinaire Allison de Groot and teaches bluegrass fiddle at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
Allison de Groot – British Columbia
Old Time banjo
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. Of playing the banjo, she says “It still feels just as exciting as it did the first day I picked it up ….. I feel like I could live 100 lifetimes and explore the banjo.”
Cláudio Rabeca Band – Brasil
Forró de Rabeca
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. In 2009, he released his first solo album, Luz do Baião, and in 2019 he released his second, Rabeca Brasileira. He one of the composers of the soundtrack for the show Raízes, by the Belgian contemporary dance company Untamed, with which he performed as a musician in Belgium, Mexico and Holland. He has played his fiddle on stages all over the world, with Forró de Rabeca his main source of inspiration and the highlight of his career. He is preparing a new CD for 2023, which will be entirely of instrumental Forró de Rabeca.
Júnior Teles (percussion) a Brazilian percussionist, composer and teacher, with 20 years of experience as percussionist for many artists from Pernambuco. Born in 1989, he studied percussion at the Conservatory of Music of Pernambuco and was a music instructor at private schools, at Paço do Frevo, and at Conservatory of Music of Pernambuco. In his career, he he has accompanyed artists such as Antônio Carlos Nóbrega, Em Canto e Poesia, Orquestra Malassombro, Pife Urbano, Getúlio Cavalcanti, Josildo Sá, Cláudio Rabeca, Quarteto Pernambuco and many others.
Rodrigo Samico (7 string guitar) is a composer, arranger, and professor at the Pernambucano Conservatory of Music. A multi-instrumentalist, Rodrigo holds a master’s degree in Music and Sound Creation from Université Paris, France. In Brazil, he directs the bands Marsa (winner of the Pré-AMP 2015 festival), Saracotia (nominated for the 24th Brazilian Music Award) and Forró na Caixa. He has worked with Sagaranna, Renata Rosa, Quarteto Olinda, Cláudio Rabeca and many others. Rodrigo has more than 20 years of experience teaching Brazilian guitar and 7-string guitar workshops in Europe and the USA.
Negadeza (percussion) started learning percussion at the age of 10 alongside her grandmother, Selma do Coco, and her mother Aurinha do Coco. Over time, she explored new percussive instruments, including the pandeiro. Today, she is one of the main resources for the Brasilian pandeiro, and models the unique way that women, and black people, approach the popular culture of drumming in Pernambuco.
Guga Amorim (percussion) first began seriously approaching percussion in 1997, studying the instruments and rhythms of traditional music from the Northeast of Brazil. In 2000 he joined the group Sonho da Rabeca of Mestre Salustiano, where he performed throughout the country. He played for 10 years in the band A Roda, which performed at several festivals in Brazil, and has recorded two albums. He is the founding member of the band Quarteto Olinda, and performed several national and international tours. Guga is also a pandeiro luthier.
Daniel Steinberg – California
Melodica, pifano, chorus
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. Inspired by a gospel choir workshop he attended in 1995, Daniel founded community choruses in the San Francisco Bay Area, and has led a chorus workshop at Fiddle Tunes for the past 25 years. His interest in Brazilian forró led him to discover the world of rabeca repertoire, which he has been studying and performing, on melodica and pifano (a Brazilian wooden flute), for the past two years.
Linzay Young – Ohio
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. A founding member of the Sticks, a Cajun Music and Western Swing band, they made three records for Sugar Hill and appeared in “No Reservations,” with chef Anthony Bourdain, in a show entitled “Cajun Country.”
Linzay and Joel Savoy made a record together about 15 years ago, just the two of them. They have been playing the fiddle together for years, whether in bands, at impromptu concerts, or at home around the kitchen table. In fact, they like to call it “Kitchen Music,” because it’s just the music they like to play when they get together at the table, plain and simple. Often, Cajun music fans find themselves skipping ahead to the twin fiddles track on their favorite album. This is not because it’s the only track they love, but because there is something special about the harmonic fiddles that resonates, literally, somewhere deep within. It presents a sound that is unique to Cajun music, and Cajuns feel that in their blood, creating a sound track for their identity.
Ann Savoy – Louisiana
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.
She appears with her son Joel in the film Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood and performs three of the twelve cuts on the accompanying soundtrack on Sony Music. She has recorded twelve CDs on the Arhoolie, Rounder, and Vanguard labels. She is at this time working with renowned producer T Bone Burnett as associate music producer for the Sony film “All The King’s Men”, composing a song for the film which is performed by Ann Savoy and her Sleepless Knights, her vintage style jazz group. Ann has appeared in many documentaries on the subject of Cajun music, including the PBS series American Roots Music, and with her husband was the subject of Les Blank’s film,”Marc and Ann”. Marc will be at Fiddle Tunes, too, but won’t be formally teaching.
Wilson Savoy – Louisiana
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. In the mid-2000s, Wilson formed a Cajun band called the Pine Leaf Boys, recording two albums for Arhoolie, three for his brother’s Valcour label, one for Lionsgate, and one Live at New Orleans Jazz Fest, garnering four Grammy nominations along the way. In 2012 he won a Grammy in the Regional Roots category for the album “Courtbouillon” with local legends, Wayne Toups and Steve Riley. He has also appeared on three Arhoolie albums as a member of the Savoy Family Band. Wilson has travelled to over 30 countries, playing music in Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Malaysia, Latvia, Macedonia, Italy, Denmark, Germany, France, England, and elsewhere, including two U.S. State Department tours with the Pine Leaf Boys. He was a guest actor on HBO’s “Treme” and had a guest appearance with Sean Penn in “All the King’s Men”.
Rick Good – Ohio
Old Time banjo
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. He started playing traditional music at age twelve. After The Hotmud Family (1970-1983) he moved on to Rhythm in Shoes (1987-2010), a touring dance and music ensemble that combined clogging, tap dancing and original choreography with traditional and original music. Since Rhythm in Shoes, Good has more recently played with ShoeFly (an offshoot of Rhythm in Shoes), the Red Clay Ramblers, Good & Young and The Elements. With his partner Sharon Leahy, a professional dancer and choreographer, Good has captivated Dayton, Ohio, and the rest of the United States with his versatility, musical innovation, and storied career. A fearless educator, comfortable in any workshop setting, open and at ease in any community, mentor to younger musicians, a gifted and versatile writer, singer, musician, and actor, Rick Good has had as distinguished a career as any traditional musician could wish for.
Liette Remon – Quebec
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. Her uncles and aunts would sing and play the guitar, her father played fiddle, and her grandmother sang mouth-music. They would dance a bit, of course. Daughter and granddaughter of Gaspé fiddlers, Liette has recorded two solo albums, South Gaspé County and A Little Family Air, which showcase her rich family musical heritage. For her, traditional music is a music of pleasure. Although well anchored in tradition, she constantly tries to extend her musical self, and she’s involved in an astonishing array of creative projects involving music, theater, school programs, music research, collecting, and archiving.
She’ll be accompanied at Fiddle Tunes by Paul Marchand, one of the premier guitarists and singers in the Québec folk scene. As a member of Trio Stéphanie Gagnon, Entourloupe, Manigance and other groups, Paul has performed all over North America and Europe and recorded many fine albums. Gifted with a sure sense of rhythm and a clear, strong voice, he has collaborated with a huge number of traditional musicians from Québec and France. His two-year stay in Brittany gave him the chance to make contact with a song culture not so far removed from his own in Québec. He is an exceptional guitarist who, through his accompaniment, arrangements, and songs, knows how to bring out all the subtlety and sensitivity of the traditional repertoire.