Sammy Wetstein is a musician, composer, and teacher intent on fuzing styles of folk and jazz music with improvisational creativity. While initially classically trained on cello and piano, he has gone on to perform and record in a variety of folk styles including Celtic, New England, bluegrass, and old time fiddle music. Sammy’s love of music stems from his dream to find belonging and bring others together, and in his teaching he hopes to encourage string players of all ages and backgrounds to find freedom in their music, explore alternative string styles, and to play music as a means to find/ build community while better understanding oneself.
As a multi instrumentalist fluent in playing accordion, guitar, mandolin, violin, and viola he has performed at such venues as the Newport Folk Festival, The Shalin Liu Performance Center, and the annual International Bluegrass Music Association conference, and has appeared alongside artists such as the Grammy winning 8 Bit Big Band, rock group Guster, jazz icons Joe Levano and Kenny Barron, and world renown string players including Eugene Friesen, Darol Anger, and Jason Anick. He is currently a student at Berklee College of Music, focusing on jazz and roots cello performance.
Sammy frequently performs with a variety of bands and musical projects ranging from jazz combos to contemporary bluegrass, celtic, and contra dance bands. As an advocate for furthering the role of the cello in traditional music, he has been featured on Bluegrass Today and Sirius XM Bluegrass Junction with his contemporary folk quartet, Catfish in the Sky. His Celtic trio, Carroll Sisters, was voted one of the top 5 Celtic bands of 2022 by Irish and Celtic music podcast, and has performed at numerous venues throughout New England. Sammy has dedicated himself to learning the music played by different communities of musicians, and his travels have led to him teaching as faculty at multigenerational folk music communities Maine Fiddle Camp and The Swannanoa Gathering.
Clara grew up playing music in the woods of southern Maine in a family of classical musicians. She fell in love with fiddle music when she came to Maine Fiddle Camp for the first time in 2013. Clara minored in music and started playing the lever harp while earning her master’s degree in occupational therapy from the University of Southern Maine. She started playing for contra dances in 2016 with Jamie Oshima in their duo project Joy Compass. Clara currently tours with the Red Case Band (fiddle and harp) and the Gaslight Tinkers (fiddle) as well as other projects and solo. She teaches at camps and festivals and offers private lessons.
e: [email protected]
Words from Mitch Reed:
“I am a multi-instrumentalist, traditional music instructor, and storyteller. I was born in Bayou Vista, Louisiana, raised in Lafayette by musicians and storytellers from Mamou. At 15 I began playing the fiddle and studying traditional Cajun and Creole music. By 17 I toured as a cultural ambassador in Smithsonian Institution Office of Folklife Programs, and have continued to work with them since 1989.
During my career, I have played alongside Louisiana greats such as Canray Fontenot, Bois Sec Ardoin, Charles Neville, and George Porter. I have performed on four Grammy Nominated albums, and in 2009 I was awarded a Grammy with BeauSoleil for the album “Live at the 2008 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival”. Over the years I have built an extensive repertoire and learned an old style of playing which is evident in my sound today.
After I retired from 11 years on the road as the bass player and second fiddler with BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet, I moved from Louisiana to Maine with my wife and our family. These changes helped me continue passing on the unwritten tradition of Cajun and Creole fiddling and storytelling while exploring the connections between the musical traditions of Acadia and Acadiana.”
Mitch will be teaching either bass or fiddle during the week-long sessions in 2024
Kimberley Holmes, a native of Carrolls Corner, Nova Scotia is an East Coast Music Award nominee and one of Canada‘s premier piano accompanists in the traditional style of fiddling. She has won many awards for fiddling, both in solo and group classes. She is the host accompanist and past Artistic Director of the Maritime Fiddle Festival. She has toured and recorded with numerous artists such as Graham Townsend, Calvin Vollrath and Richard Wood to name a few and is part of the groups, Bb Sisters and Tipsy 3. Kimberley has been a member of the Fall River School of Performing Arts staff since 2005, teaching both fiddle and piano to ages four to adult. She also teaches at home and is also an instructor at many fiddle camps in North America. In 2019, Kimberley was inducted into the Nova Scotia Country Music Hall of Fame and is a member of the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Association. Kimberley was the chairman for the 2023 Canadian Grand Masters Fiddling Competition held in Truro, NS Aug 26, 2023.
My mother brought a ukulele on a family trip to Atlanta. The 7 hour drive was pretty stressful as three unruly bored brothers turned the backseat into a war zone. In addition to our battles this trip we each learned to play 5’2″ on the uke. My first experience with a stringed instrument. Of course we performed for Grandma, Aunts, Uncles, and cousins. That was over 50 years ago.
Since then I’ve played guitar, upright bass, and uke in assorted bands and groups mostly in Mississippi and Maine. (more…)
Sandy has been playing for contra dances for over 50 years. In the 70’s, he was a founding member of the Roaring Jelly dance band and the Common Ground quintet. Back then, he played occasionally with Dudley Laufman and the Canterbury Country Dance Orchestra. He spent over 20 years as the hired music director of two long-standing community dance bands (the Berlin Country Dance Orchestra and Oh, CONTRAire!), and has recorded with a number of traditional musicians, including Tony Saletan, Jay Unger, Jerry Robichaud, and Trapezoid. He has played for many well-known dance callers, including Dudley Laufman, Ted Sanella, Larry Jenkins, Tony Parkes, and Lisa Greenleaf
He was a co-founder of The Music School at the Emporium, then in Cambridge, MA, and was the Director of the school for the first four years. As the lead old-time banjo instructor, he taught over 400 musicians how to frail a banjo. He has been on staff several times at Pinewoods, and has led instructional workshops at many festivals including: Fox Hollow, the National Folk Festival at Wolftrap, NEFFA, the Five College Folk Festival, and the DEFFA Festival.
In the past at Fiddle Camp, Sandy has taught pennywhistle and five-string banjo. This summer he will be leading the Great Horned Ukestra in its daily late-afternoon rehearsals, and also leading them at the Country Dances each evening. (Remember to bring a ukulele and/or a horn!)
15 Pipers Way, New Harbor, ME 04554 • Landline: (207) 677-6647
A self-described “tune hound,” Jim DiCarlo has been playing Irish music on whistle and wooden flute for contra dances, at sessions, and in the hallways of music festivals for the past 25 years. He loves learning new tunes and has even composed a few of passable quality. A long-time member of the Maine-based, not-entirely-traditional group Wake the Neighbors, he played alongside Lissa Schneckenburger, John Cote, Jessie & Greg Boardman, Ed Howe, Anthony Shostak and Alfred Lund. (more…)
Éric Favreau comes from a family of traditional musicians and has spent a great deal of time playing with other fiddlers, learning their repertoire and studying their varied styles. Éric has explored and exploited various sources including archives and personally made field recordings and has accumulated a rich and fascinating repertoire. Over the years, he has garnered a profound understanding and vast knowledge of Québécois traditional music. (more…)
Maine coast musician, Frank Ferrel is considered one of the seminal traditional New England and Maritime fiddlers. In fact, Boston Globe music critic, Scott Alarik called him, “One of the finest living masters of the genre.” his CD recording, Yankee Dreams, was selected by the Library of Congress to be included in their, “Select list of 25 examples of American folk music on record.” (more…)
Noah Fishman is a multidimensional performer, composer, and educator who bends the lines between folk, chamber, and jazz. Raised in coastal Maine, Noah studied music at Princeton and the University of Michigan, and in 2019 was selected for the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead residency at The Kennedy Center. Noah attended and volunteered at Maine Fiddle Camp for many years before joining the staff, and adores the MFC community. For more information go to noahfishmanmusic.com.
Elsie Gawler is a multi-instrumentalist and songster rooted in Maine’s traditional folk music and culture. With her family, the Gawler Family Band, she has played throughout the state and beyond, sharing traditional fiddle tunes, songs, and original works since she was 6 years old. From this foundation she has branched out and launched her debut solo album, Sweet As Honey. The album is a collection of 9 original songs inspired by sacred connection to earth and community. While continuing to play regularly with The Gawler Family Band, her other projects include duo Elsie & Ethan, and trio The Gawler Sisters. She has also been a long-time member of the group Childsplay. (more…)
Tamora has been playing the fiddle since the early 1980’s and teaching for more than two decades. She teaches a broad range of music and created the first strings program at Ashwood Waldorf school. She is currently part of the teaching staff at 317 Main Community Music Center. Tamora is primarily known for her music in the Irish/Celtic tradition and in the world of Contra Dance. (more…)
Sara Grey has been playing banjo for over 58 years.
Her dad, from northern NH, played fiddle and he took Sara down south when she was young back in the early 50’s to watch some of the “old boys” play and sing. She took that knowledge back up to NH where she grew up,and played for square dances when she was still in school. She has been playing ever since….dividing her time between the states and Scotland. She has taught wherever she has lived and at many traditional music camps and schools. This year (2022 August Week I) at camp I will be doing a “cross the pond” migration of ballads and songs each day for one hour. We will cover each region of the States and parts of Canada. (more…)
Born into a musical family, Ed started playing fiddle at the age of 4, learning Suzuki method. His musical interests cover a wide spectrum from Bluegrass to Celtic and beyond and he has been a regular instructor for Maine Fiddle Camp since 2003. Howe has an extensive electronics background, and took an interest in the electric violin. He plays a 5-string NS Design electronic violin and is a featured artist on the NS design artist page. (more…)
Jim Joseph, from Phippsburg,ME, was actually on staff a couple years ago for the inaugural June week. That was before we had an actual accordion track, and now he is back as an accordion teacher. Jim plays button accordion in the Quebecois, New England, and Cajun styles and also plays 5 string banjo, mandolin, fiddle, percussion (foot and otherwise) and is a member of several Maine bands including, T-Acadie, Scrod Pudding, and JimmyJo and the Jumbol’ayuhs, with Fiddle Camp staffers Pam Weeks and Bill Olson. Jim plays single row Cajun accordions (built by Marc Savoy and Junior Martin) and a 2 row Saltarelle D/G box. Here are some videos of Jim in action: A Cajun song with the Jumbol’Ayuhs, and a set of Quebecois reels with T-Acadie.
One of the most in demand upright bass, and five-string banjo players on the US contradance circuit, Stuart Kenney’s regional musical interests sweep from Southwest Louisiana to Acadia. He has a long career in many traditional music genres. His interest in Quebecois music formed through the fiddling of Lisa Ornstein, and performances by La Bottine Souriante. The inclusion of French Canadian music into the living tradition of New England contradance music caught his attention early on. (more…)
Glen gives private lessons for mandolin and tenor banjo from his home in Portland, ME, and plays for contradances throughout the Northeast, and at festivals across the country with bands such as Frigate, Steampacket, Riptide, and Stomp Rocket. Visit Glen at www.glenloper.com.
49 Brackett St, Portland ME, 04102
Elaine Malkin has played the violin since the age of 5. She was part of the resurgence of contra dances in Maine in the early 70’s, having learned from Otto Soper and Dudley Laufman. She played New England contra dances until 2009, when she began an intensive study of Québécois fiddle with mainly Éric Favreau, but also with Lisa Ornstein, André Brunet, Yvon Mimeault, and Liette Remon. This music has completely captured her heart and she uses a traditional Québécois repertoire for contra dances, concerts, and other venues. Learning, teaching, and sharing this special music is her greatest joy.
Helen Newell grew up in Maine surrounded by the New England Folk scene. Her parents, Kaity and Carter Newell are founding members of Maine Fiddle Camp, and Helen has spent every year of her life at MFC, first as a camper and now as a staff member since 2018.
Helen graduated from Berklee College of Music in 2022, where she studied Western classical music, American roots, jazz, and traditional music from all over the world. She has an active performing life as a professional violinist—playing in orchestras, musicals, recording sessions, chamber groups, and folk bands.
An important aspect of Helen’s musical life is teaching. She currently teaches online violin lessons to students of all ages and abilities all over the US! Depending on her student’s goals, she likes to explore different genres, repertoire, and techniques such as improvisation, composing, and arranging. If you are looking for your next step in your musical journey, her teaching philosophy is to make playing the violin enjoyable and effortless, reduce tension, and find styles that make you love music even more!
Kaity teaches fiddle in Damariscotta and has played for dances for many years with The Maine Country Dance Orchestra, and with the band The Lady Bugs. A native of Great Britain, Kaity has brought many a fine tune from the British Isles to our local dances. Kaity also plays viola in the local community orchestra and has four children, all of whom play music and come to camp every year.
7 Creek Lane Damariscotta ME 044543 207-563-8440
Ed Pearlman is based in South Portland, enjoys many styles of fiddle music, and is best known for Scottish and Cape Breton fiddling, often working with his son Neil, daughter Lillie, and his wife, dancer Laura Scott. He has taught in-person workshops and private lessons since the 1980s, and since 2014, has run www.fiddle-online.com, an instructional fiddle website offering many styles and techniques. Ed co-led music and walking trips to Scotland for 14 summers, and now writes weekly posts about them on substack.com, as well as weekly posts about learning fiddle. Ed has worked closely with many top fiddlers, wrote for Fiddler magazine for several yeas, and was the music columnist for Scottish Life magazine for 24 years. He directed the Boston Scottish Fiddle Club 1981-99, and the Roaring Jelly open contra dance band for several years. With Neil on piano, Ed has toured widely and recorded 3 CDs (one with Lillie on fiddle). Together, they published a book of 150 original tunes called the “Pine Street Collection”. Ed invented the popular Finger Finder, a slide rule for violin fingering in all keys. Contact: [email protected]
John started his early musical life as a drummer, but by some miracle got hooked on traditional music in his teens.
John’s been teaching fiddle and harmonica at MF Camp since its start in the mid 90’s. He’s been known to get a few silly skits going for the evening variety show. He teaches fiddle, guitar and harmonica privately and can be contacted at [email protected] 338-0296 (cell 213-3294).
Doug likes to play the “old-time piano” for dances, melodramas, honky tonk saloons, and silent movies. He learned his style from Otto Soper, Geneva Walton, and Danny Patt among many others. He plays with Old Grey Goose and produced all three of their recordings, including the group’s first recording in 1978 for Folkways, “Old Time Country Dance Tunes and Songs from Maine”, now available again on CD. Doug also plays piano, accordion, and fiddle. He is the Camp Director again this year.
116 Pleasant Cove Dr. Woolwich ME 04579 207-522-3800
Sharon has been a student of tin whistle and wooden flute since 1977 when she attended the Willy Clancy Summer School while working in Ireland for the year. On her return to Boston to care for her grandmother, she studied with master flute players in the Hanafin /Cooley Comhalthus branch. She move to Maine to raise her children and became a member of the Portland Ceili Band and Ladies of the Lake. She runs a music studio in Bath, Maine where she teaches flute and whistle and Music Together. For a few months every year since 2000, she happily lives and breathes Maine Fiddle alongside director Doug Protsik. Sharon can be contacted at [email protected] or 207-522-3900.
Kenny first picked up a ukulele at age 8, when a family friend bought him one. Now 50 plus years later, he’s not half bad! He’s got a menagerie of them, from soprano to baritone, and plays a variety of styles, swing music being his favorite. Kenny has been an actor and physical comedian for 35 years, and has performed internationally, as well as on Broadway. He also starred as the lead clown in Cirque du Soleil’s Nouvelle Experience. He and Francis Berks make the acoustic duo The Doppelgangers.
Maggie Robinson has been teaching fiddle since 2003. She began taking fiddle lessons the age of 10 and became concert mistress of her school orchestra during her senior year. Many years later she discovered Contradancing and fell in love with the music She took the violin out of the closet and began learning fiddle tunes. She completed a course in 2003 at the Hartt College of Music, Theater, & Dance on “Teaching Fiddling”.
Currently she is teaching at several locations in greater Portland, and also regularly calls for contra dances around the state.
A new England fiddler and folk singer, Lissa grew up in Maine as an active member of the folk music and dance community, where she cut her teeth as a musician at a very young age. She has continued to explore music throughout her life, leading to her graduation from The New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts (2001). Her list of mentors includes Greg Boardman, Alasdair Fraser, David Kaynor, and Hankus Netsky. While embracing a diverse pallet of musical influences, she still stays true to her New England roots.
For more info on Lissa, check out her website at www.lissafiddle.com
David Stimson began backing up country dance music on the guitar in 1965 at the age of eleven. During several summers the 1960s he attended Pinewoods cape with his family while his stepfather, Bob Guillard, taught Morris Dancing and English Country Dance. David’s was first exposed to Contra Dance during the evening dances at Pinewoods; however, the disease remained latent until he learned English Concertina and joined the Woods Hole Folk Orchestra in1979. (more…)
Bethany Waickman is a guitarist based out of Portland, Maine. She grew up in a musical family in the Adirondack Mountains of northern New York state. After college she spent some time traveling, hiking, and playing music in Ireland. Upon returning, she moved to Boston to focus on music. She co-founded the contra dance trio, Anadama, and is the guitarist for VT-based fiddler/singer Lissa Schneckenburger. (more…)
Pam sings and plays several instruments in the folk trio, T-Acadie, is fiddler and singer for the Maine-based Cajun dance band, Jimmyjo & the Jumbol’Ayuhs, plays fiddle and mountain dulcimer in the contradance band, Scrod Pudding, and performs solo or with guitar player and caller Bill Olson. She is an accomplished tunesmith and has composed scores of tunes, from lively jigs and reels, to entrancing airs and beautiful waltzes.