Saturday August 29 — Friday September 4 2020, at Pinewoods Camp, Plymouth MA
2020 Staff List
Spitzer Space Telescope
The Vox Hunters
Anayis (AJ) Wright
Surprise guests . . .
. . . and our talented campers
|Our staff members are not only great performers, they are also excellent teachers, whether it be instruments, styles, or the music of a particular area, collector, or era, etc.|
|Directors: Joy Bennett and Heather Wood. Sound: Don Wade, Collegium Sound|
has been a musician all his life. He came of age during the Civil Rights era, and cultivated a powerful affinity for cross-cultural exchange. He has studied with elder musicians on both sides of the color line — in the Old-Time Southern Appalachian fiddle and banjo traditions, as well as Black Gospel and Blues. He plays this music with affection, authority, and power. Armed with a variety of instruments — vintage guitars, a fretless gourd banjo, a one-string, homemade diddley bow (aka cigar box guitar) and carefully chosen historical personal anecdotes of his encounters with senior musicians across the South — Ainslie brings the history, roots music, and sounds of America to life.
is a violin maker and musician based in Providence, Rhode Island. He has studied at Berklee College of Music and the University of Limerick, and is a graduate of the North Bennet Street School in Boston, MA where he earned his diploma in Violin Making & Repair. Picking up the fiddle and tin whistle in his mid-teens, Armand learned much of his music from renowned Irish musicians and tunesmiths Jimmy Devine and Patrick Hutchinson, both of whom helped to foster an interest in the lyrical and colorful styles of older musicians such as Denis Murphy and Julia Clifford, Bobby Casey, Johnny Doherty, and Tommy Reck. In addition to being the 2010 Mid-Atlantic Fleadh Cheoil Champion for Senior Fiddle, Armand was also a finalist at the Séan Ó Riada Gold Medal Fiddle Competition held in Cork, Ireland in 2011. Since 2010, he has taught fiddle and tin whistle for the Reynolds-Hanafin-Cooley branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Eireann in Boston. Much to Ben's delight and dismay, Armand is working on incorporating English concertina into his repertoire of instruments. Armand joins Benedict Gagliardi as The Vox Hunters.
is a folklorist, writer, singer and broadcaster. She was brought up in a family of tradition bearers, Gaelic on her mother’s side (from Skye) and Lowland Scots on her father’s. She and her three sisters lived their childhood in the Isle of Skye, "in a household where singing, playing music, dancing and storytelling were a way of life as were traditional crafts." Margaret is a fine ballad singer and is widely regarded as "Scotland’s foremost folklorist." Margaret will introduce us to waulking (a process in cloth manufacture) and other Scottish traditions.
Jake Blount is an award-winning banjoist, fiddler, singer and scholar. e has studied with modern masters of old-time music, including Bruce Molsky, Judy Hyman (of the Horse Flies), and Rhiannon Giddens and Hubby Jenkins (of the GRAMMY-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops). Although proficient in multiple old-time styles, he specializes in the music of Black and Native American communities in the southeastern United States, and in the regional style of Ithaca, New York. In 2016, Blount became the first Black person to make the finals at the prestigious Appalachian String Band Music Festival (better known as Clifftop), and the first to win in the traditional band category. In the following year, he received his B.A. in Ethnomusicology from Hamilton College and released his debut EP, “Reparations,” with award-winning fiddler Tatiana Hargreaves. He toured Scandinavia and released a CD with the Moose Whisperers in 2018. He opened several shows for MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient Rhiannon Giddens the same year, and joined Libby Weitnauer to form the duo Tui while on a tour of Australia and New Zealand. Blount has shared his music and research at the Smithsonian Institution, the Old Songs Folk Festival, and Berklee School of Music, as well as numerous other venues and institutions. He teaches fiddle and banjo privately, as well as at camps like the Augusta Heritage Center’s Old-Time Week, the Ashokan Center’s Old-Time Rollick, and Earful of Fiddle Music and Dance Camp.
is a multi-instrumentalist (ukulele, guitar, banjo, harmonica, mandolin, piano) who has been performing & teaching music for all ages since 1986. She has recorded three CD’s for families and is an active member of The Children’s Music Network. Once an active member of FSSGB, Amy now creates community music programs in southern NH such as the Second Friday Song Circle, music jams, concerts and Ukulele Playshops for adults. Her classes emphasize singing and playing for fun. Amy has taught Beginning Ukulele at all TradMaDs to date and her classes have performed brilliantly in the Camper Concerts.
is a stunningly fine singer who has kept the music alive, concentrating on the native songs of Scotland. She is from East Kilbride, where music and singing was at the heart of family life. She is recognized for her superb interpretations of traditional songs, winning Sidmouth International Folk Festival's 'Sidmouth Singer of the Year' award. Moira often performs with Carolyn Robson.
plays a broad range of American roots music: traditional fiddle styles including Appalachian old-time, blues, bluegrass, Cajun, Cape Breton, Irish, and Swing, old-time 5 string banjo, flatpicking and fingerstyle guitar covering Delta and Piedmont blues, honky-tonk, rockabilly, and swing, Cajun and Zydeco accordion, and solo and group singing. Alone or with other musicians, he plays with the drive and conviction that characterize these musical traditions.
was produced and developed in central Connecticut. He discovered folk music in high school by way of a cassette tape of CT-based band The Morgans, and immediately bought a concertina (likely aspiring to become a pirate). His style is the result of an eager student and an ill-advised teacher (both him). Although Ben never received formal lessons, his music-making was nurtured and encouraged at sessions by local trad musicians including Joe Gerhard, John Tabb, Jeanne Freeman, Jon Warner and many others. Ben can't dance a step, so he tries to make good use of his time sitting by singing and playing banjo, baritone ukulele, harmonica, or melodeon. In real life, Ben is a full-time lab coordinator at The Nature Lab at Rhode Island School of Design. Benedict joins Armand Aromin as The Vox Hunters.
is a superb finger-style guitarist and recent convert to the five string banjo. He names "the three Bs", Bach, the blues and Buddy Holly, as major influences. The New England Folk Almanac wrote, "Bennett is a deceptively inventive and intelligent fingerstyle guitarist — deceptive because, however inventive or finger stretching his playing is, it is sublimely melodic."
“... is the most versatile dulcimer player I know,” observes North Carolina dulcimer wizard Don Pedi. Lorraine’s numerous credits as a traditional singer, songwriter, teacher, and instrumentalist include her groundbreaking Shanachie release with fiddler Gerry Milnes, Hell Up Coal Holler<,/em>, a Homespun dulcimer instruction series, and two elegant Appalachian dulcimer books with Yellow Moon Press. Lorraine also plays, performs on and teaches five string banjo, mandolin and harp. Lorraine’s CD, The Opal Ring, on the Snowy Egret label, combines the traditional New England ballads of her childhood with her own songs drawn from that childhood in the Connecticut Berkshires. Reviewer Mark Flanagan observes: “Lorraine Lee Hammond opens her latest CD with some of the sweetest notes ever produced on the mountain dulcimer.” Lorraine is Music Director of the WUMB/fm SAMW programs, and past lecturer in American Folk Music and World Music at Lasell College in Newton, MA. She and her husband, guitarist Bennett Hammond, have been touring, performing, teaching, and recording together for the past thirty years.
combines spirituals and roots music, historic inspiration, and moving original songs, often in the themes of unity and social justice. He has been affiliated with the John F Kennedy Center’s Partners in Education program for over two decades, offering both multimedia performances for students and communities as well as and in-depth workshops for educators at all grade levels. His writing, research, field work and recordings have amassed an amazing repertoire of African American music, blending spirituals and freedom songs, the old with the new. He has raised awareness of the Underground Railroad in young school audiences, college symposiums, and adult concerts.
is noted as one of the most well-rounded guitarists in the Appalachian Roots scene today. Hailing from the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, the young guitarist is a quarter of the band Corner House, an internationally touring quartet, as well as securing supporting roles with Twisted Pine, Bruce Molsky, and most recently Jake Blount.
|Molly Hebert Wilson
is a stunning vocalist. "Molly lives her songs. Every word and every note is absolutely felt!” — Jane Yolen, author and poet. Molly has degrees in Irish studies and musical theater from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She was a member of NYU’s Irish Folk Group at Ireland House and teaches Irish singing and language basics to children and adults at folk schools and festivals. An experienced actress, Molly imbues Irish, French and English language songs with character and meaning, comedic to tragic. She is also a vocal coach, preparing children for performance with the Great Groove Band every year at Old Songs and Philadelphia Folk Festivals. . Back to top
is a teacher of children, a singer of old songs, sailor of old square-rigged wooden ships, and man of Chanteys at Mystic Seaport Museum. Chris primarily performs US and British traditional music, and he is attracted to the stories behind many of the songs he sings. He has played in concerts and festivals in both the US and the UK, and has led workshops dealing with a variety of traditional music forms. Chris can accompany himself on Guitar, Banjo, Fiddle, Concertina, and other things common to an average garage sale.
is a musician, performer, composer and teacher. He plays guitar, piano, fiddle, mandolin, banjo, bass, recorder, and others. He also sings, composes and leads rounds. John will be one of our dance callers.
plays a variety of harps — baroque triple, gothic bray harp, and celtic harp — as well as numerous other instruments including keyboards, fiddle, and accordion. She is also a brilliant singer and arranger. Along with her experience in classical and early music, she has been involved in traditional music since her teenage years. She has a particular love of traditional ballads and songs from Ireland, Britain, and France, and especially enjoys exploring versions of these from Canada. On various occasions she performs in tandem with her partner, John Roberts.
is a superb English singer who plays banjo, guitar, concertina, and hurdy-gurdy, as well as being a fine musicologist and music editor. He sings ballads and songs of the sea, of rural pursuits, of social and sociable situations, of industrial toil and strife, and much more. John is also noted for his renditions of Music Hall songs.
has long been a professional singer and musician specializing in traditional folk song and dance. She is widely recognized as one of the country's finest female singers.
|Spitzer Space Telescope
exemplifies "expect the unexpected." A demon fiddler, a grand singer, he is determined to push the boundaries.
|The Vox Hunters
is (or are?) Armand Aromin and Benedict Gagliardi, who are musically bound by a shared love of traditional folk music. Though originally united through Irish instrumental music, they share an enthusiastic affinity for an ever-growing amalgam of songs both inside and far outside the realm of ‘folk music’. With a pair of oft-harmonizing voices accompanied by fiddle, free reeds, and tenor guitar, The Vox Hunters present an exciting and eclectic repertoire of traditional folk songs, driving dance tunes, sean nos dancing and other musical varia. The Vox Hunters' philosophy is that the search for good songs is endless and satisfyingly so. They don't aim to fuse genres, push boundaries, or redefine 'folk music' — they simply sing songs they like to sing in exactly the way they like to sing them. Their influences and inspirations are voices in the English, American, and Irish folk music realms, but they allow their ears a long musical leash.
is among the nation’s foremost performer/interpreters of traditional music. His songs from the lumber camps, fishing villages and mountain tops of America connect 21st century audiences with the everyday lives–and artistry–of 19th century Americans. “Providing more than just rich entertainment, Jeff will leave you with a deeper appreciation of the land you live in” (Caffé Lena, Saratoga, NY). His songs, rich in local history and a sense of place, bring us the latest news from the distant past. Jeff grew up listening to the songs and stories of his father Frank Warner and the traditional singers his parents met during their folksong collecting trips through rural America. He accompanied his parents on their later field trips and is the editor of his mother’s book, Traditional American Folk Songs: From the Anne and Frank Warner Collection.
|Anayis (AJ) Wright
grew up in a musical family. She started taking cello lessons at the age of seven, and picked up concertina in early high school. Falling in love with sea shanties, she spent a semester wt Williams-Mystic, the college associated with Mystic Seaport, where she now works with the demonstration squad and the chantey program. As well as playing, AJ is a fine singer with a growing repertoire.
has been involved in folk music most of her life. As a member of the quartet Water Sign for 13 years, she explored the close-knit harmonies of both traditional and contemporary folk music. Joy is also a founding member of the all-woman chantey group The Johnson Girls. The "J-Girls" bring a sound and energy to sea and work songs that has brought entire audiences to their feet. They not only have beautiful harmonies, but raw power, allowing audiences a glimpse of the situations in which the chanteys were used. She has performed solo, with Water Sign, the Johnson Girls, Chris Koldewey, and with guest artists in the US, UK, Canada, and Europe. Joy is the Executive Director of Old Songs, Inc,, an organization that presents the annual Old Songs Festival - Music with Roots, a year-long concert series, community dances, and instrument classes.
is a veteran singer from the English revival for some 50+ years, dating from her days with The Young Tradition. She has a great repertoire of ballads, historical songs, love and agricultural songs, and a lot from the humorous side. In addition to the old songs, she has written some dynamite new ones. Over the years, Heather has also acted as agent for other artists, run folk clubs, organized weekends and other events, and written about folk music for an assortment of publications.
|Don Wade, Collegium Sound
has over four decades of experience in sound reinforcement and recording. He has worked at everything from concerts to large festivals and is particularly familiar with Folk, Classical, and Jazz. Don is co-founder of Minstrel Records, which has produced some fine albums.
rev 10 January 2020