VMFC - Feb 2021
Visit Jennifer’s website (http://www.jenniferarmstrong.com/).
233 Poors Mill Road Belfast ME 04915 207-322-2265
Mia Bertelli grew up in the mountains of New Mexico, singing at every chance she could get. Her love of song led her to Vermont at the age of fifteen, where she dove into the polyphonic singing camps of Village Harmony like a penguin into the sea. Since then she has been filling kitchens, streets, concert halls, vegetable gardens, and public restrooms with song, both in the northeast and overseas. Her irrepressible inclination to harmonize and great love of playful nuance have mostly gotten her into all the right sorts of trouble, so she counts them among her blessings. (more…)
Chris Brinn came to the U. S. from the small fishing port of Padstow on the North Cornish
coast in the UK. He now lives in Searsmont with his wife Carol and their son Declan. Chris has been playing piano accordion for over thirty five years, specializing in Irish music and songs, as well as the music of Cornwall. His connection with Ireland stems from his grandfather, born in Wicklow and raised in Dublin. Since coming to America, Chris has been able to immerse himself in traditional Irish and Irish-American music and is heavily influenced by the great Jimmy Keane of Chicago. He is a member of a number of locally based Irish bands, but plays most regularly with mates Matt Smith and Randy Billings, Maine’s best Irish Pub Band, The Napper Tandies. (more…)
Baron grew up playing the mandolin in Maine and graduated from Hampshire College with a degree in music performance and ethnomusicology. Versed in traditional music, bluegrass, and jazz, he is known for his rhythmic experimentation and unique harmonic sense on both the mandolin and the tenor guitar. Baron plays with fiddler Julia Plumb in their duo Velocipede and runs MandoLessons, a website offering free online mandolin lessons.
Sandy started playing the five-string banjo about 60 years ago, and he started playing penny whistles and flutes about 50 years ago. That’s when he first became passionately involved with contra dancing and playing for dances.
In the 1970’s, he was a founding member of the Roaring Jelly dance band (which is still going strong) and the Common Ground quintet. Back then, he also played occasionally with Dudley Laufman and the Canterbury Country Dance Orchestra. He subsequently spent over 20 years as the founder and director of two long-standing community contra dance bands, both of which are also still playing for monthly dances: The Berlin Country Dance Orchestra (Berlin, MA), and Oh, CONTRAire! (Westford, MA). He has recorded with a number of traditional musicians, including Tony Saletan, Jay Unger, Jerry Robichaud, and Trapezoid. He has also played for many well-know dance callers, including Dudley Laufman, Ted Sanella, Larry Jenkins, Tony Parkes, Lisa Greenleaf, and Sue Rosen. (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.
Ellen Gawler is a celebrated fiddler, masterful in many styles, including Irish, French-Canadian, Maritime, Shetland and New England. Her fiddling possesses sparkling clarity, authentically rooted in tradition while at the same time inventive and playful. Her lively delivery of traditional fiddling has sent many a contra dance hall into whirling delight with soaring melodies and driving rhythms. (more…)
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…)
Molly Gawler grew up on Buttermilk Hill on a small farm in Maine. She plays fiddle, banjo and sings in the “Gawler Family Band” as well as her trio of sisters, “The Gawler Sisters.” She grew up playing music with the traditional roots passed on to her from her Mom and Dad – Ellen and John Gawler. Molly is also a professional dancer which has taken her around the world. At fiddle camp, Molly teaches the beginners, and often enjoys sharing movement of all kinds including dance and parkour.
Daniel is a Philadelphia-based cellist, student, and teacher. He’s played with the Richardson Chamber Players, the Delaware Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Philharmonic, and various other ensembles and contradance bands. He released “Ride EP,” a DVD of original multimedia art, in 2012. He co-founded and served as artistic director of the Ottsville Traditional Arts Center in Bucks County PA from 2013-6, and has also taught at Maine Fiddle Camp, Fiddle Hell, Summertrios, Princeton in Asia, and Open Access to Music Education. He endeavors to make his cello teaching as accessible as possible to all, and to emphasize the participatory nature of the traditions he teaches.
Nancy 3. Hoffman is a classically trained pianist and works nationally as a music theater director. Nancy 3. Is a founding member of The Casco Bay Tummlers Klezmer Band, (http://www.cascobaytummlers.com/) playing Eastern European Jewish folk music for over 30 years. She brings her love of this music to spice up the mix at Fiddle Camp.
She leads The Maine Squeeze accordion ensemble, playing international folk music. Her solo work includes international cabaret and her one-woman rendition of Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta The Mikado. She is also director and curator of the world’s only Umbrella Cover Museum. Nancy 3. lives on Peaks Island and migrates to Key West, Florida for the winter. Her middle name is really 3.
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…)
Bennett Konesni grew up in Appleton, Maine, 10 miles downstream of Maine Fiddle Camp. He was naturally drawn into the strong communities of old-time music, sailing, and farming in the area. At thirteen he shipped as a deckhand aboard local schooners, sailing Penobscot Bay and learning the traditional work songs of the tall ships as he raised sails and hauled anchor. Later, at Middlebury College, Bennett co-founded the student farm and spent six months studying Zulu farming songs in South Africa. (more…)
Carter plays banjo with his band “Jerks of Grass” and also plays for dances. He has a unique repertoire and we are pleased to have him on staff at camp
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
Eric McDonald has been instructing and performing on the mandolin for a number of years. In addition to his experience in the world of traditional music, Eric spent two and a half years studying at Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he learned from some of the best including mandolinist John McGann and cellist Eugiene Friesen. Exposure to jazz and other styles come through in his playing. Eric has spent the last three years touring with bands such as The Dave Rowe Trio, Matching Orange, Jaded Mandolin and others. You can hear him on many independent recordings by Boston based artists, and you can catch him teaching at the Passim School of Music in Cambridge.
Nina began her love affair with the ukulele at the tender age of 8, after her parents went to Hawaii and brought back a sweet little soprano with painted Hula dancers. One night, after months of plucking and strumming, her brother stepped on that Hula gem, thus ending the happiest period of her life. Four decades later, on a whim (and to spite her brother), she picked it up again and started The FLUKES (Falmouth Library Ukulele Society) and has been blissfully plucking, strumming and singing once again, along with 30 of her new best friends. When not parading around with ukulele in hand, Nina can be found tooting her own French horn in the Portland Symphony Orchestra. You can reach Nina at: email@example.com or 207-774-0717
Élisabeth Moquin will teach beginner and intermediate Québécois step dancing. She is a young fiddler and dancer who has been dancing for many years and has studied with the best dancers in Quebec. There will be traditional music to help with the rhythm.
Steve Muise has been fiddling his family’s Downeast Style for many years. (His parents are 1st and 2nd generation Nova Scotians) He founded the Franklin County Fiddlers, a group of high school musicians that tours around Maine and way beyond displaying, promoting and learning about fiddle styles. Steve is a graduate of Berklee College of Music, and is a stringed instrument teacher in the MBRSD schools (Farmington area). Steve was honored with the “Maine Music Educator of the Year” award in 2007 from MMEA. Steve enjoys playing all styles, ranging from Downeast (maritime), Québécois, Celtic, and jazz, and can be seen playing music with his dad Paul, Boréal Tordu, Frigate, Muisette and the Franklin County (more…)
Helen Newell started playing violin at the age of three, and has spent every year of her life at Maine Fiddle Camp, including in utero! Helen grew up playing both folk and classical fiddle, performing in notable orchestras and chamber groups, as well as playing gigs and contra dances with the Newell Family Band and her contra dance band, Volution. Helen is currently attending Berklee College of Music, studying jazz, folk, and classical violin. Helen also has a private violin studio and is also a personal trainer and nutrition coach.
Neil Pearlman is emerging as one of the traditional music scene’s most innovative young artists. Legendary Cape Breton fiddler Jerry Holland said that “watching Neil’s hands on the piano is like watching two spiders on crack!” His piano style is rooted in Cape Breton traditions while drawing on latin, jazz and funk influences. The result is a exciting new sound that remains true to its traditional roots. An accomplished Cape Breton step dancer and mandolinist as well, Neil grew up in the family band Highland Soles and (more…)
Julia lives in Belfast, Maine where she plays music, grows a yard full of spring bulbs and miniature fruit trees, and teaches fifth grade at Captain Albert Stevens School. Julia has always loved the percussive interplay between traditional music and dance forms and has enjoyed soaking up bits and pieces from players and dancers throughout New England and in Québec, Ireland, Brittany, and the southern Appalachians. Julia performs with Baron Collins-Hill in their duo Velocipede (www.velocipedemusic.com). In addition to teaching at Maine Fiddle Camp, Julia hosts freefiddlelessons.com, a site with YouTube fiddle lesson videos and learning materials.
John started his very early musical life as a drummer, but by some miracle got hooked on traditional music in his teens.
Upon moving to Maine in1989, he helped establish the North Whitefield Contra Dance with famed caller Ted Sannella and the bands Calliope and The Usual Suspects, and continues playing for dances today with Henry Road and Sassafras Stomp.
John’s been teaching fiddle at Maine Fiddle Camp from the start, and more recently offering beginning/intermediate harmonica. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 338-0296.
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@example.com 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. He taught an afternoon workshop in 2016 and Doug spied on him. He must have liked what he saw, because lo and behold, he put him on the staff! 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, his wife Joanna and their son Evan are perennial campers at August week 1.
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.
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.
Steven Weiss began blowing harmonica when he was four years old. His father and grandfather both played the mouth organ as well. Growing up in the more popular cross-harp rock/blues/boogies styles, he began playing straight harp (melodies rather than chords or blues)- traditional, mostly old-timey, tunes on the harmonica in 1970, hanging out with southern tow boat pilots on the Ohio River near where he went to college. This was followed by many years living in Maine playing for contradances, folk clubs, concerts, festivals and playing back-up for other performers. (more…)
Fred ‘s (guitar, percussion, vocals) musical debut occurred on the floor of his parents’ kitchen, surrounded by pots and pans, long before he ever heard of Ginger Baker or Gene Krupa. For the most recent 45 years he has been performing and recording oldtime, string band, hillbilly, rockabilly, blues, bluegrass, jazz, swing, minstrels, ragtime and Americana music. His trio, Waxlips, made award winning waves in North Carolina in the mid-80’s and (more…)