Kala Ramnath (2016)

(Both concerts) "incredibly lyrical playing... one of the greatest musicians on the planet.” -San Francisco Chronicle

The contemporary torch bearer of the Mewati Gharana, Kala Ramnath stands today amongst the most outstanding instrumental musicians in the North Indian classical genre. Born into a family of prodigious musical talent which has given Indian music such violin legends as Prof. T.N. Krishnan and Dr. N. Rajam, Kala began violin studies at age 3, under the strict tutelage of her grandfather Vidwan. NARAYAN IYER. Simultaneously she received training from her aunt Dr. Smt. N. RAJAM. For fifteen years she put herself under the training of Mewati vocal maestro, Sangeet Martand PANDIT JASRAJ. This has brought a rare vocal emotionalism to her art.

Kala has performed at all the major music festivals in India and dozens of music festivals worldwide, such as North Sea Jazz Festival in Cape Town, South Africa, Celebrations of India's fiftieth year of Independence in Europe and the Festival of India presented by Government of India in Dhaka Bangladesh.  She has also extensively toured the United States, Canada, UK, Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, Italy, France, Belgium, Greece, Russia, South Africa, Seychelles, Middle East, Trinidad, Kenya, Tanzania, Australia, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Mauritius etc.  www.KalaRamnath.com

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Roy "Futureman" Wooten (2016)

(Both concerts) FROM DRUMS TO SYMPHONIC WORKS -                    Roy "Futureman" Wooten is a modern day renaissance man, a groundbreaking drummer, an inventor, composer, and a five time GRAMMY Award winning member of Béla Fleck and the Flecktones. Audiences became curious when he first appeared in 1988 playing a "Drumitar" – his own invention, using a unique hand drumming technique which allows him to play the drum set electronically with his hands and fingers instead of drum sticks...

Futureman's rhythmic, melodic, harmonic and symphonic explorations led him to compose a new kind of music and a series of large musical works. Young Roy Wooten remembers "I used to keep a quote in my wallet by Miles Davis that said "the melody would be found again in the rhythm of the drums and the bass".  With this new approach to melody, Futureman created his own original ballet dedicated to the many stages of Matriarchy, entitled "Evolution d' Amour" along with a prequel Symphonic work dedicated to Le Comte de Saint Germain, "the Secret of Kings". He composed an " Aesthetic Mathematics" translation of Pi and the golden ratio into a rhythmic and symphonic musical message and also an 8 movement symphonic work and a screenplay for his passion project "CHEVALIER - To Play & To Fight" - A true story celebrating the extraordinary life and times of a mix-raced 18th century composer, conductor, virtuoso violinist and sword fighter who rose from slavery to legendary status.

"It's no accident" Futureman says "especially now that I have realized my own way to melody, harmony and rhythm, that I now see the drumset as a piano and the piano as a drumset".  FuturemanLive.com- Flecktones.com 

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Jody Stecher (2016)

(Both concerts) Jody Stecher's deep and vivid music has inspired four generations of musicians and music lovers on five continents. A renowned singer and multi-instrumentalist regarded as one of America's leading traditional folk artists, Jody has collaborated with David Grisman, Jerry Garcia, Peter Rowan, Alasdair Fraser, Krishna Bhatt and Kate Brislin to name a few. His Grammy nominated, Indy Award winning recordings span bluegrass, traditional old-time and Indian classical.  Jody is known for his "ability to capture the essence and core of traditional music" and "to crystalize the spiritual essence of a song while making it his own". Accolades include " a creative master", "achingly expressive" and "a national treasure".  David Bromberg said, "Jody Stecher was basically my teacher. He opened my ears to more beautiful music than anyone else ever did... more than I ever knew existed. He is also one of my favorite musicians on Earth to play with."  "A high, hotly honed voice, sometimes cutting through melodies like a scythe, sometimes unfolding like fine old velvet, warm and worn just right, beyond his years. His guitar, fiddle and mandolin playing are the stuff for which the critical cliches "soulful" and "masterful" were invented. Singing like the ghost of himself, lost in the foggy ruins of time and dreams, Stecher lands the most elusive catch of all – the truth." -No Depression  "sublimely honest vocals" -Sing Out!

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Sean Watkins (2016)

(Weed concert only) Sean Watkins co-founded Nickel Creek when he was just 12 years old, kickstarting a career that’s taken him from the stage of the Grammy Awards to the top of the bluegrass charts. The groundbreaking trio's platinum selling albums earned them a Grammy Award and the respect of musicians and fans everywhere.  Along the way, he's become a masterful guitarist, singer and songwriter and a member of many different groups, including the touring bands of legendary singers Jackson Browne and Lyle Lovett.  Following the 25 anniversary tour of Nickel Creek, Sean has released two solo albums. He is currently touring in support of his brand new album What To Fear.  SeanWatkins.com

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Paul Kowert (2016)

(Weed concert Only) Paul Kowert is recognized as one of the best young bassists in the world. A student of world renowned bassist & composer Edgar Meyer, Paul is known for his monumental work as a member of Grammy Winning supergroup Punch Brothers (alongside Chris Thile), and Dave Rawlings Machine (with Gillian Welch), as well as Mike Marshall's Big Trio, Haas/Kowert/Tice, and many others. As a member of Punch Brothers, Paul has toured extensively throughout the US, UK and Europe, contributed music to "Inside Llewyn Davis," "This is Forty," and "The Hunger Games,"and appeared on Conan, Leno, Letterman, Jools Holland, A Prairie Home Companion, Austin City Limits and the Coen Brothers' concert documentary "Another Day, Another Time. "PaulKowert.com-PunchBrothers.com

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Jesse Harper (2016)

A powerfully deft songwriter, singer, guitarist, arranger, and a charismatic performer, Jesse Harper is a founding member and lead singer of acclaimed supergroups Old School Freight Train and Love Canon. A resident of Charlottesville Virginia, Jesse has played thousands of concerts in North America and Europe and performed with many of his musical heroes including David Grisman, Madeleine Peyroux, k.d. lang, Jason Mraz, Josh Ritter, Ricky Skaggs and others. His latest release, One True Thing, draws from his signature synthesis of early Jazz, Classical, Folk and Pop music, featuring Jesse's songwriting and collaborations with all of the geniuses he is lucky enough to be friends with.

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The Bee Eaters - T&T Clarridge

(Both concerts) Featuring hammer dulcimer wizard Simon Chrisman with 6-time Grand National Fiddle Champion siblings Tristan and Tashina Clarridge, The Bee Eaters combines "chamber music's finely calibrated arrangements with bluegrass's playful virtuosity and pop music's melodic resourcefulness" according to The Boston Globe.  Tashina has performed at Carnegie Hall with renowned bassist Edgar Meyer, and has toured with Mark O'Connor, Laurie Lewis, Tony Trischka and others.   An innovative cellist, Tristan is a member of internationally acclaimed group Crooked Still and has toured with Natalie MacMaster, Darol Anger, Mike Marshall, and Bruce Molsky.
www.BeeEaters.com

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Scott Nygaard (2016)

(Both concerts) Scott Nygaard is one of the most inventive and original guitarists in bluegrass and acoustic music. His solos, a seamless amalgam of bluegrass, folk, and jazz influences, shift easily from breathtaking virtuosity to soulful melodic musings and his accompaniment is always intriguing, supportive, and propulsive.  He has two solo recordings of original compositions, and has worked with Tim O'Brien, Laurie Lewis and Darol Anger, earning him numerous Grammy nominations. Scott excels at bluegrass, jazz, Cajun, old-time, western
swing, rock and roll, and traditional Swedish and Irish styles.
"A phenomenally talented stylist"–Downbeat - ScottNygaard.com

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John Herrmann & John Engle (2016)

(Weed concert only)  A master of Appalachian mountain music, John Herrmann has played banjo for 50 years and traveled the world performing for thirty plus years, with extensive touring in France, Germany, Italy and Japan.  Equally adept on banjo, fiddle, mandolin, bass, and guitar, he has recorded at least fifty records on labels such as Rounder, County, and Sugar Hill, (most notably with Art Stamper and Ralph Blizard), and performed numerous times at the Smithsonian Folk Festival, and the National Heritage Award Ceremony.  Together he and North Carolina fiddler John Engle focus on the North Carolina fiddling style and on African-American folk songs that pre-date the strict blues form, from a time when music passed freely between black and white rural communities.

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Dominick Leslie (2016)

(Weed concert only) Though only 26 years old, mandolinist Dominick Leslie has spent every one of those years immersed in bluegrass and acoustic music, and his innovative style and musical curiosity are informed by these deep roots. He has studied with mandolin masters David Grisman, Mike Marshall and Chris Thile, won numerous mandolin championships, and performed in France as a member of Mike Marshall's Young American Mandolin Ensemble. He has toured with Missy Raines, The Bee Eaters, The Grant Gordy Quartet, Noam Pikelny and Friends and The Deadly Gentlemen.

 

 

Keith Little (2015)

(Weed concert only) Keith Little is a nationally acclaimed vocalist, recording artist, composer, and producer. Adept on guitar, banjo, mandolin and fiddle, Keith has been an important member of many influential bluegrass/country bands (Country Gentlemen, Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, Lonesome Standard Time), and sung on Dolly Parton's GRAMMY winning recordings "The Grass Is Blue" and "Little Sparrow", and "Another Country" by the Chieftains.  An amazing vocalist, Keith is also a featured member of the David Grisman Bluegrass Experience, and the Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band. His compositions have been recorded by Crystal Gayle, Claire Lynch, Tim O'Brien, and the Whites (among others).

Luke & Rachael Price (2016)

(Weed concert only) Luke Price is a talented young multi-instrumentalist known for pushing genres, styles, and fellow musicians into new territory while delicately respecting the great musical traditions that have come before.  A masterful Texas fiddler, Luke began competing in fiddle contests at age 7, going on to win a long list of fiddling championships, including the Grand National title the past 2 years running, and the Grand Masters in Nashville TN.  While continuing to carry on the Texas fiddling traditions, Luke began to expand his playing to many other styles, namely; jazz, soul, blues, funk, bluegrass, and pop.  Rachael Price is a phenomenally gifted vocalist and songwriter - together they form the Old Soul Pop duo, Dean!  Watch a beautiful video of Dean! here.

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Ben Krakauer

(Both concerts) Ben Krakauer is a phenomenal banjoist, ethnomusicologist, and composer, with a strikingly original style drawing on Jazz, Bengali folk music, bluegrass (he toured with David Grisman), and old-time American music.

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Duncan Wickel (2016)

(Weed concert only) Young violinist, composer and multi-instrumentalist Duncan Wickel is quickly becoming known for his stylistic mastery of Jazz, Irish, Old Time and Bluegrass music, captivating audiences and fellow musicians with his creativity as well as the subtle authenticity and chameleon-like ease in which he blends and changes styles. The Boston Globe said "[he is] as persuasive in a traditional Irish ballad as he is country fiddling or ripping through cascading classical flourishes or atonal double stops" –The Boston Globe.
Duncan first performed with legendary Irish guitarist and singer John Doyle at age 14, and has since collaborated live or in the studio with a diverse array of musicians ranging from multi-platinum rap artist Wyclef Jean, to Irish and Celtic music stars such as John Doyle, Cara Dillon and Cathie Ryan, to jazz greats like Ada Rovatti Brecker, Clay Ross, Matuto and folk, rock and singer songwriter greats like The Duhks and Mark Simos. He has performed at legendary music venues like NYC's Blue Note and the Kennedy Center, and toured with Tapeire, a groundbreaking Celtic, jazz and hip-hop music and dance show from Scotland that was featured on Broadway in NYC.
Duncan also received rave reviews by the Irish times, the Irish Music magazine, Dirty Linen for his debut CD with Traditional Irish trio 'the Red Wellies'.

www.DuncanWickel.com

 

Maeve Gilchrist (2015)

(Weed concert only)  Maeve Gilchrist is "a phenomenal harp player who can make her instrument ring with unparalleled purity" (Dirty Linen)  Born and raised immersed in folk music in Edinburgh, Scotland, Maeve fuses her Scottish roots with the colors and freedoms of jazz and other improvisational musics to produce a fresh and unique new sound.  An in-demand member on the traditional music scene in Scotland as well as the US, she performed at events such as the opening of the Scottish Parliament, the Celtic Connections Festival and the International Edinburgh Harp Festival.  Her solo project is called ‘THE OSTINATO PROJECT’, an exploration of the harp with a focus on each hand working as an individual voice.

Watch Maeve in duet w/ Roger Tallroth at the 2011 Shasta String Celebration here, and in duet with Nic Gareiss here
www.MaeveGilchristMusic.com

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Paul Brown (2015)

(Both concerts) Paul Brown is a master of traditional southern music with a passion for truth and wisdom, and the voice to share it. He recently concluded 14 years in executive, editorial and on-air positions at NPR in Washington, his last as the network's top-of-hour morning newscaster.
As a young child, Paul learned songs his mother had learned as a kid in Piedmont, Virginia. His playing bears influences of the North Carolina and Virginia masters he sought out and studied with as a young man, such as Benton Flippen, Tommy Jarrell, Luther Davis and Robert Sykes. He has recorded and produced highly regarded albums of traditional musicians, and appeared at camps and festivals around the U.S. since the early 1970s.                     http://www.brownpaul.net/

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Billy Contreras (2015)

(Both concerts)  Lauded by many as one of the greatest jazz violinists alive, Billy Contreras toured for years with country music legend George Jones until his death, and has recorded for the likes of Willie Nelson.

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David Grier (2015)

(Weed concert only) A masterful bluegrass guitarist with a sharp wit, David Grier is "a willful, accurate instrumentalist who's every note seems to run through a bright, intelligent sieve. He maintains an unqualified standard of excellence... always with a knack for unorthodox surprise". (Claire Lynch) Grier is featured on the Grammy Winning recording, "True Life Blues-The Songs of Bill Monroe" and is a three-time IBMA Guitar Player of the Year.
www.DavidGrier.com

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Ryan McKasson (2015)

"The bow drives across the strings, thick and throaty, creating a pulsing sound that feels more of muscle than tendon...a compositional sophistication that is cinematic, transporting, and tantalizingly modern", wrote The Boston Globe. Ryan McKasson has gained a reputation as a performer, composer, collaborator, and teacher. In 1996 he was the youngest to win the National Scottish Fiddle Championship.  Ryan tours with The McKassons,  and renowned contra dance band The Syncopaths.  Hhas recorded with Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas, Hanneke Cassel and others...  RyanMckasson.com

Dave Cory (2015)

(Both concerts)  Dave Cory is a leading exponent of irish tenor banjo, known for his driving impeccable rhythm, innovative variations, and abounding virtuosity coupled with profound understanding of the traditional idiom.

 

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