The program, selected by Jim Oakden, will be a mix of contras, English, French and Breton dance and music, display dance, squares, couple dances, singing, music programs, and some surprises. Because of the tremendous response to last year's music workshops, we plan a third track of music workshops with our talented staff. Please check back here for updates.
|Kerry Elkin Band featuring Kerry Elkin, Laurel Martin, Dan Compton||Charlie Hancock (piano, accordion)|
|Jim Oakden (winds and strings)||Shira Kammen (fiddle)|
|Barbara Slone (accordion)||Danny Carnahan (fiddle)|
|Gary Breitbard (accordion)|
BRUCE HAMILTON has been doing English Dancing, both country and Morris, since 1967, and calling since 1971. He started the San Jose English dance and founded the Deer Creek Morris Men. He's taught week-long workshops at Mendocino, Pinewoods and Buffalo Gap, and weekend workshops all over North America, as well as being the "house caller" for country-dance tours of England. He's also put together and run a semester-long caller¹s class.
He's also been Scottish Country Dancing and teaching for the same length of time ("I love them both!", he says.) Bruce and his wife Jo share a weekly class, and have also trained Scottish dance teachers.
By day, Bruce is a computer scientist at Agilent Technologies. "I don'¹t have any hobbies besides dancing -- not enough nights in the week!"
MIKE RICHARDSON, from Seattle, Washington, teaches and composes English Country and Contra Dance, and plays a sprightly fiddle. His composition, "The Road to Dendron", was featured at the Portland English Ball, and he's published a book of contra dances, "Crossing the Cascades." Mike's folksy, playful style and intriguing dance selection won him raves at his 1992 and 1998 Fall Weekend appearance, and we look forward to his English and Contra sessions at Fall Weekend this year. See Mike's Home Page for a fuller bio.
From IAN ROBB's website: "As a solo performer, or in one of his many other musical liaisons, Ian Robb has performed at clubs, concerts and festivals from coast to coast throughout North America and abroad, and has developed a reputation as one of Canada's finest performers in the "anglo-celtic" musical traditions. He is also well-known in folk music circles in the USA, both as a performer and for his regular column in that country's best-known folk music magazine, Sing Out!"
Ian sings with the popular folk group Finest Kind, dances with Thames Valley International, and has taught Northwest Morris (processional morris in large groups) at BACDS's Mendocino English Week.
Check out Ian's website.
RAY PRICE is a multi-talented Welshman with expertise in the music and dance of Celtic peoples, including Breton dance. He plays, he teaches dances (including very popular sessions at the Free Folk Festival), and he maintains the Spiral Dance web site. Ray plays with Shira Kammen as Finistere and with Shira and Jim Oakden as Trouz Bras; click here for more info.
Ray's speciality is the teaching of the community dances of Brittany. These dances are performed in circles and spirals at the Breton 'Fest Noz' (night festival or feast). Breton dances are from the ancient Celtic tradition and are danced by everyone in a town/village from the moment that a child can walk until the end of her/his life. The music is traditionally played on the bombarde (rustic oboe) and biniou (bagpipe), both which are loud!
Ray also specialises in the couples dances of the Berry, Bourbonnais and Auvergne regions of France. The bourrée, schottische, polka and valse etc. are performed at the weekend 'Bal Folk' and are traditionally accompanied by the hurdy gurdy (vielle à rue) and the French bagpipe (mussette).
The dances of Brittany and France are Ray's speciality, but he has also travelled in the rest of Europe and has collected circle dances from the Balkans, Greece, Israel, USSR and beyond! Ray composes new music and choreographs circle dances in the "old" style.
He plays the English border bagpipe, English medieval bagpipe, Breton bagpipes (veuze), Bulgarian bagpipe (gaida), various strings, percussion and he sings. >
ALEX NAAR is a familiar figure in the Bay Area morris scene. He has previously taught a very successful Bampton workshop at Fall Weekend, and his other interests include ceilidh and contra calling.
Alex Naar has been morris dancing for over 22 years. He has danced with the Marlboro Morris Men, the Bouwerie Boys, Thames Valley International(with Ian Robb) and the Paradise Cove Morris Men. He was a finalist in the jig competition at the Sidmouth festival in England. This year he will lead a workshop in Pub Dances.
SHIRA KAMMEN's fiddling was a hit at English Week in 1999 and 2000, the Playford Ball in 2000, and Fall Weekend. She's been a highlight of many Christmas Revels shows. She has a degree in music from UC Berkeley. She is a member of Ensembles Alcatraz, Project Ars Nova, and Medieval Strings. She has performed and taught around the US and the world, and is at home in many musical genres, including English and Breton.
Here is Shira's website.
JIM OAKDEN has gone through a succession of musical stages, from early music to traditional. Jim has been a staff musician at many West Coast camps including Fall Weekend, both by himself and as part of the GUPpies, and is currently active as a musician for English country dances, contras, Irish and Cape Breton sessions and dances from Brittany. Jim led the band for the 2000 Playford Ball.
CHARLIE HANCOCK's piano and accordion are familiar sounds at BACDS dances. He plays for English, contra, and Scottish country dancing, and plays a bit of jazz for fun. His main band these days, the Contrabandits, have been Fall Weekend favorites in recent years, and he played at the 2001 Playford Ball. Charlie's website.
KERRY ELKIN is one of the most dynamic and respected contra musicians in the country. He is a fixture on the East coast dance and festival circuit, as well as at such West coast venues as the Festival of American Fiddle tunes in Port Townsend. Kerry has made one previous Monte Toyon appearance. In his two highly acclaimed and influential albums, Fresh Fish and Soir et Matin, Kerry introduced a suite of tunes that have since become "show-off" favorites among contra musicians. Kerry¹s fiddle style is both melodic and driving, and he has a knack for making difficult tunes sound effortless, and bringing new life to old favorites.
LAUREL MARTIN is a traditional Irish fiddle player who apprenticed formally with master fiddler Seamus Connolly of Country Clare as preparation for performing and teaching the traditional fiddle styles of Ireland. She attributes her own distinctive fiddle style to her fascination with the music of masters like Michael Coleman, Paddy Killoran, and Paddy Canny.
An adjunct professor of Irish music for the Boston College Irish studies program, Laurel serves on the music faculty of Phillips Academy in Andover and takes private students as well. She performs often at concerts and festivals throughout New England, and has been heard on radio in Boston and in Ireland. Highly respected for her knowledge and commitment to perepetuating the old traditional styles, she is sought-after as a teach and performer of traditional Irish fiddle musc.
Laurel and her mentor, Seamus Connolly, have collaborated to produce "Forget Me Not: Fifty Memorable Traditional Irish Tunes", a book and CD set soon to be released by Mel Bay Publications. more info.
DAN COMPTON plays fiddle, guitar, and button accordion. Based in Portland, Oregon, he has been active in the Pacific Northwest folk music scene and beyond for over 20 years, performing at many festivals and music- and dance camps - as well as the odd pub gig, contradance and ceili. Dan also teaches extensively and has written and performed music for film and theater.
A lapsed classical guitarist (he has a master's degree!), Dan has long explored adapting traditional tunes to the guitar - for some of that, listen to his solo guitar recording Walking in the Neighborhood. He is also no stranger to the guitar's ability to accompany traditional dance music and has performed in this role with fiddle players such as Kerry Elkin and Randal Bays (Dan appears on Randal's recent recording The Salmon's Leap).
Dan's interest in fiddle music focuses on the styles of Ireland, Quebec and Appalachia -- partly the result of numerous musical rambles to these regions. He also has an affinity for Breton music. These styles also surface in many of the tunes he writes. He recently came out with a collection of his fiddle tunes entitled The Walk Home, and is at work on a recording of original music.
Dan plays with the Portland-based band Jigsaw and recorded with them the CD Cut Up the Floor. He also performs with multi-instrumentalist Mark Roberts, fiddler Erin Shrader, the Portland band Raven, and the new dance band Pied-a-Terre featuring Erin, piper Rob Barrick and piano/box player Fran Slefer.
Accordionist BARBARA SLONE has been playing French music since the summer of 1989. She and Alan later formed the quartet "Les Campagnards" with Bruce Culbertson and Gary Breitbard.
On the English front, Barbara started with Berkeley Morris and then became a founding member of Palo Alto's Mayfield Morris & Sword. She is currently the musician for Alex Naar's team, Paradise Cove.
DANNY CARNAHAN is one of the Bay Area's best-known Irish musicians, and plays for English dancing as well. Recently, as part of Wake the Dead (a group doing traditional Irish interpretations of Grateful Dead songs) he has become even better-known.
Danny Carnahan has been performing, producing, and recording Celtic music for over 20 years, playing octave mandolin, guitar, fiddle, cello, and singing. He toured extensively with Celtic harpist/storyteller Robin Williamson, and has an extensive discography of releases with other artists (Chris Caswell, Robin Petrie...). Originally trained as a classical cellist, he has in recent years gone back to his roots and begun playing in dance bands and baroque ensembles when not pursuing his Celtic career. Danny also teaches commercial music, studio recording, and songwriting at several Northern California community colleges and writes for Acoustic Guitar and Mandolin Magazine.
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