Lissy Abraham is a Bay Area singer/songwriter and a CCMC founder. She was the lead vocalist and bass player in the Ballistic Cats, a roots rock band.
Kathy Barwick has been a performing and recording artist in the bluegrass, traditional Irish, and folk music fields for 40 years. She’s also taught private and group lessons on guitar, banjo, dobro, and acoustic bass, and is a sought-after music camp instructor. Kathy was a regular columnist for Flatpicking Guitar magazine, making her an in-demand instructor. Music camp credits include two stints at Steve Kaufman’s Acoustic Kamp, the California Bluegrass Association and the American River Acoustic Music camps on both dobro and guitar, CCMC, and many others. Kathy’s unique approach to crosspicking was featured in Acoustic Guitar magazine in January 2012. Kathy’s approach to teaching focuses on providing students with the tools to learn melodies by ear, create their own arrangements, and, ultimately, improvise. Kathy’s ability to break down both technique and theory in the service of playing traditional music has resulted in many “aha” moments for her students.
Steve Baughman’s CDs have made the “editors pick” list at Acoustic Guitar magazine. He is the author of half a dozen books and several DVDs on fingerstyle guitar repertoire and technique. Steve has taught at more than 80 camps across the US, Canada, and Europe. He is always available to sit under a tree and give students individual attention they need. Well, almost always.
Caitlin Belem grew up in a house full of music in northern Wyoming. She fell in love with the fiddle at a young age and continued to learn, playing saxophone and guitar, and singing through private lessons, school groups, and with her parents. She’s explored many genres, from Brazilian bossa nova and samba to Cuban son, to American jazz, blues, and swing. She’s performed in diverse venues, from thousand-seat concert halls to living rooms to TV and radio. Caitlin plays regularly with the Brazilian/Latin band Maracujá, the swing/folk duo Modern Bygones, the Basque ensemble Ospa, and The Fireants. She is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Ethnomusicology at the University of California, Berkeley.
Ray Bierl has played and sung songs from across the American landscape for well on to six decades. He’s a musical storyteller who draws on a wide range of genres and styles, including cowboy ballads, vintage rock and roll hits, traditional folk songs, Tin Pan Alley songs, and country classics.
Cary Black has worked with Howard Alden, Ernestine Anderson, Petula Clark, Dan Hicks, Kathy Kallick, The Kingston Trio, Laurie Lewis, Rose Maddox, Mollie O’Brien, Mark O’Connor, and Ernie Watts, as well as many of the brilliant musicians in the CCMC community. In 2016 Cary played on the soundtrack of Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, in the episode featuring President Obama.
Mark Bosnian is an award-winning songwriter who was voted into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame in 2001. His CD Shed My Skin was chosen by Performing Songwriter magazine as one of the top independent releases. As a member of national acts Nu Shooz and Body & Soul, he toured the U.S. and played on the “Pat Sajack Show” and “NBC Today.” He’s taught singing nationally and internationally (his voice seminars are very popular in Brazil) for over 20 years and is the author of Sing Free Now! 3 Steps to Power, Passion and Confidence.
Guitarist and singer Brian Butler is a well-known player in the Pacific Northwest music scene. He plays acoustic and electric guitar, and performs solo as well as with the Brian Butler Blues Band and several other groups. His latest album, Butler’s Blues, was awarded Best Blues Recording of 2019 by the Washington Blues Society. He performs much of his own material and many classic blues as well.
Danny Carnahan has been performing Celtic and eclectic original acoustic music for nearly 40 years. He’s written articles for a slew of magazines, published instructional books and videos, and written and recorded songs sung from here to Scotland. Based in the Bay Area, he now mostly performs with his psychedelic Celtic sextet Wake the Dead, which most recently released Deal, a CD featuring Celtic takes on the Summer of Love. Danny enjoys teaching all skill levels on fiddle, mandolin, guitar, and songwriting, and is delighted to have been part of the CCMC family for more than a decade.
Award-winning artist and Maui native Neal Chin has been both an ‘ukulele educator and performer over the course of his musical career of 20 years. His clear and direct enthusiasm for music has come to life in countless workshops, concerts, and private instruction. He’s been nominated for the Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award for ‘Ukulele Album of the Year two years consecutively, for ‘Ukulele Paintings and The Spotless Mind in 2017 & 2018. Neal has toured across the U.S. and currently lives, teaches, and performs in Seattle, WA.
Tim Connell has created a sophisticated and original global style on the mandolin. Widely regarded as one of the top North American interpreters of the Brazilian choro style on the mandolin, Tim has his own unique voice on the instrument, described in a Mandolin magazine cover story as “fiery and energetic, soulful and evocative.” Tim’s latest releases include June Apple, a nationally noted album of bluegrass fiddle tunes with guitarist Eric Skye, and MandAlone, a collection of original solo mandolin arrangements including his popular arrangement of “Here Comes the Sun.”
Music ran in the family bones, and Barry Crannell was no exception. After spending some time with rock, folk, bluegrass, and Celtic music, Barry discovered songwriting in 1996. The next year, he won the Kerrville Emerging Songwriters Contest, and was a finalist in the Wildflower and Napa songwriting contests. His lyrics are simple and to the point, and make use of the ridiculous to the sublime, giving romance the heart it deserves, and making fun of the more tender moments of life. Barry is a sought-after accompanist; his playing has been described as “clean,” “elegant,” and “sparkling.”
Nova Karina Devonie is a busy Seattle musician who delights audiences with her sensitive accordion playing, sonorous singing style, and sideways fashion sense. Interested in the amazing connection and communication that music can provide, she loves adding accordion to many styles of music. Nova divides her time between performing in bands, teaching private music lessons, and composing music with David Miles Keenan for the duo Miles and Karina. Nova has been on staff at CCMC, PSGW, and the Port Townsend Ukulele Festival, and with M&K has performed live original music scores to silent film in the U.S., Canada, and Australia.
Paul Elliott is an extremely versatile and respected West Coast fiddle player. He’s performed with The Good Old Persons, John Reischman, Michelle Shocked, Alison Brown, Buell Neidlinger, and many others. His recording credits span film, television, and radio, and a long list of recordings including Scott Nygaard’s No Hurry on the Rounder label.
Chuck Ervin is the bassist for the acclaimed western group the Sons of the Pioneers. A versatile musician, he has performed swing music with the Sylvia Herold Ensemble, folk music with Euphonia, classic country with the Michael Stadler & Mary Gibbons Band, jazz and pop with guitarist Chris Grampp, blues with guitarist Pete Madsen, and has long been active in the Bay Area’s vibrant jazz and acoustic-music scenes. He has worked with many Bay Area musicians and fellow camp instructors, including Bobby Black, Joe Craven, Ed Johnson, Jinx Jones, Laurie Lewis, Keith Little, Tony Marcus, Carol McComb, Jim Nunally, Ron Peters, Tom Rozum, Julian Smedley, Jack Tuttle, Michael Wollenberg, and Radim Zenkl. He has also performed as an actor and musician in numerous stage productions.
Marla Fibish is one of the prominent voices of the mandolin in Irish music, bringing a musicality to the tradition that is not often heard on the instrument. A dynamic performer and a sought-after teacher, Marla teaches private students and classes, online at Peghead Nation, and has been a staff instructor at many music camps, including the Mandolin Symposium, the Swannanoa Gathering, and many others.
International performing and recording artist Hilary Field has held faculty positions as the head of the guitar departments at Seattle Pacific University and Pacific Lutheran University in Washington State. Hilary is a past winner of the Northwest Young Artist Series Competition and was the first guitarist to win the Frances Walton Soloist Competition. She has released several award-winning CDs, including her debut recording, Music of Spain and Latin America, which won an award for Classical Album of the Year from the National Association of Independent Record Distributors.
Dennis Fortin has been playing guitar since childhood. Over the years he’s played a variety of music styles including rock, folk, blues, R&B, jazz, country, and bluegrass. Today he devotes most of his musical time to playing jazz, performing regularly with his gypsy jazz group Eclair de Lune. Dennis also performs regularly with On the Air and the Nu Jazz Trio. His teaching experience includes Bandworks, and more than ten years at Cazadero Performing Arts Family Camp teaching classes such as Swing Band, Pit Band, and Gypsy Jazz.
Amy Friedricks is a veteran jam leader and song leader and has been known to be the last one standing at many a jam. A versatile multi-instrumentalist, she teaches guitar, ukulele, acoustic and electric bass, and has been on the teaching staff at CCMC, Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, Moab Folk Camp, and many other music camps and ukulele workshops. Amy was the bassist/vocalist for The Quarry Persons, a Beatles tribute band, and the Dandelion Jazz Quartet. She regularly performs with an eclectic mix of musicians showcasing a range of styles including Americana, Celtic, klezmer, and swing. She is also the bassist with the Jazz Ensemble Big Band at the College of Marin.
Topher Gayle is a versatile multi-instrumentalist. He plays a variety of stringed instruments and hand percussion, and enjoys playing many styles of music. He’s especially fond of funny songs. Topher is in a number of bands in the San Francisco Bay Area, has toured with contra dance bands on both coasts, and is in demand as an accompanist for singer/songwriters. He’s often asked to lend his compositional and arranging skills, and excellent ear for harmony vocals. He’s taught at CCMC, PSGW, and Rocky Mountain Fiddle Camp, among others. From his home in Santa Rosa, California, he teaches a range of technique, theory, and workshop topics, and has published several instructional books. In all his classes, Topher emphasizes the fun to be found in playing music. He’s also a skilled luthier, especially known for his Mandonator, an adaptation of the resonator mandolin.
Nina Gerber has been playing guitar for over 30 years. She toured and recorded with singer-songwriter Kate Wolf from 1978 until Kate’s death in 1986. Since then, Nina has performed and/or recorded with Nanci Griffith, Greg Brown, Ferron, Tom Paxton, Karla Bonoff and Kenny Edwards, Lucy Kaplansky, Mollie O’Brien, and many others. Nina attended the Guitar Institute of Technology in Hollywood, where she learned how to torture her students with scales and arpeggios.
Katie Glassman is one of the country’s most renowned and decorated Texas-style and swing fiddlers. She is a three-time National Swing Fiddle Champion based in Boulder, Colorado. Katie currently tours and records with The Western Flyers, and leads her own band, Katie Glassman and Snapshot. She also maintains a thriving private teaching practice and recently opened her online fiddle academy at . As a teacher, her goal is to simplify the fiddle and help you practice more effectively and enjoyably; as a fiddler, her hope is to perpetuate quality traditional fiddle music and inspire her students to progress.
Hailing from the Midwest, Michaelle Goerlitz migrated to San Francisco in 1980 to pursue the study of congas and Afro-Cuban music. Along the way, she’s immersed herself in Brazilian and Venezuelan styles as well. People and projects she’s been fortunate to work with include Wild Mango, Samba Rio, Tammy Hall, Ed Johnson & Novo Tempo, Mark Levine, Tom McDermott, Venezuelan Music Project, VNote Ensemble, Paul McCandless, Tuck & Patti, and Barbara Higbie. Recently she traveled to Kazakhstan to play gigs sponsored by the State Department.
Chris Grampp has played jazz, blues, rock, and traditional music in bands and as a soloist for many years in the Bay Area. He has studied guitar with Tuck Andress, Warren Nunes, and Davis Ramey, and has written lessons for Acoustic Guitar magazine. He has taught for many years at CCMC, the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, and music festival workshops.
Patrice Haan is a harper, singer, songwriter, composer, and wordsmith, devoted to the healing presence of listening. She’s most familiar in the camp community for romantic and complex harmonization of jazz standards with Tony Marcus in the Oakland-based duo Leftover Dreams, as well as playing therapeutic music with Healing Muses, a Bay Area nonprofit that provides music for healing in local hospitals. She’s recorded three albums of original music—lush, melodic collections for harp, piano, and voice.
Viewing music through a wide-angle lens, Paul Hemmings utilizes the unassuming ukulele to fuse together elements of modern jazz, free improvisation, and American roots music. His proclivity for crossing musical boundaries led the venerable jazz journal Downbeat to note, “Hemmings hauntingly teases sounds out of the little chordophone that fit no stereotype.” Paul considers himself fortunate to have performed with a list of creative musicians that includes John Tchicai, Rudy Royston, Greg Tardy, George Reed, Curtis Fowlkes, Eric Alexander, Onaje Allan Gumbs, Gaku Takanashi, Duane Eubanks, and Lou Grassi, to name a few. Since 2001, Paul has been a faculty member at the Third Street Music School Settlement in New York City. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and two sons.
Sylvia Herold brings to CCMC a deep enthusiasm and knowledge of jazz, swing, and folk songs. Researching songs and developing guitar arrangements fuels her artistic passion. Sylvia loves to share that enthusiasm and, with more than 30 years teaching experience, has developed a unique method to help students advance. Her teaching credentials include Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, BC Swing, Colorado Roots Music Camp, and Ashokan Acoustic Guitar Camp. Her performance credits include Cats & Jammers and the Hot Club of San Francisco. She currently performs with Wake the Dead and the Sylvia Herold Ensemble.
Erik Hoffman fell in love with playing guitar in 1970, after a friend encouraged him to learn a blues shuffle. Studying with jazz master, Bill Thrasher, Erik learned theory as well as mapping the guitar neck with the CAGED system. In 1980, Erik discovered contra and square dancing, and fell in love with the music that drives that dance. Learning to play that music on guitar, fiddle, and other instruments is now his joy.
Originally from Montana, Coty Hogue is a singer and multi-instrumentalist whom Alice Gerrard (of Hazel and Alice) has called “an impressive young talent.“ She has released three albums and been featured on BBC radio and Sirius XM satellite radio. Her rendition of the traditional song “Going to the West“ charted #1 on the FOLK-DJ radio charts; “Oh Wind“ is featured in the independent film Neon Sky. She performs throughout the northwest with her trio and teaches banjo, guitar, and songwriting both privately and at music camps.
Karen Horner has been studying and playing the bass since age 11. She’s been in the ranks of the Bay Area Freeway Philharmonic and has performed many styles of music including jazz, bluegrass, gospel, salsa, and folk. Some of the artists she’s performed with include Linda Tillery, Kitka, Don Burnham, Rick Dougherty (Kingston Trio), Bobby Black, Will Scarlet, John Handy, and Mike Marshall, to name a few. She holds a Master’s of Music in Doublebass Performance, and has done post-graduate studies at the JazzSchool, San Francisco State, and Holy Names. Karen recently retired from teaching music in public schools in Hayward, California, and resides in Berkeley.
Classical. Brazilian. R&B. Jazz. Afro-Cuban. Pop. Rock and Roll. Funk. Folk. Ed Johnson’s mastery of so many different styles, coupled with a passion for harmony vocal and horn arrangements, all factor into a magical blend of vibrant, original contemporary jazz that has won fans and airplay worldwide. Ed’s original music is evocative of Brazilian pop, but unlike anything you’ve heard before. As a vocalist, Ed is frequently compared to Ivan Lins, Milton Nascimento, Kenny Rankin, and Michael Franks. As a guitarist and bandleader, critics often cite the lushly exotic, accessible sounds of Airto and Flora Purim. Ed has seven recording projects to his credit, in addition to producer credits for numerous artists spanning a multitude of genres. He currently performs and records with his Brazilian jazz ensemble Novo Tempo, as well as with the Americana roots band Cabin Fever NW.
David Miles Keenan is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, teacher, band leader, producer, music director, and gardener based in Seattle, Washington.
Paul Kotapish plays mandolin and guitar with Wake the Dead and the Hillbillies from Mars, and has toured and recorded with Kevin Burke’s Open House, the Hurricane Ridgerunners, Euphonia, and many others. Paul’s playing is rooted in the vintage rural music traditions of Appalachia, Ireland, and beyond, but it also embraces pop idioms like rock and country. By day, Paul is managing editor for the San Francisco Classic Voice, and he is a former editor and writer for Acoustic Guitar and Strings magazines. Learn more at guitarfish.net.
Bay Area singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Steve Kritzer is “A Man of Many Musics” (SJ Mercury News), as comfortable with Celtic, bluegrass, folk, and country as he is with rock, big band swing, and pop. Steve’s relaxed personable style on stage and teaching makes him a popular callback at festivals, concerts, and teaching camps from California to Ireland. When not teaching, recording, or performing, he’s his “own grandpa” with his 10-year-old daughter.
Margo Leduc is a much-sought-after vocal coach in San Francisco and Los Angeles. She coaches artists under contract with Sony Music, Capitol Records, and many other labels. Margo views the singer as a whole person—not just a set of vocal chords. Lessons with Margo are about hard work and heart, correcting technical problems and nurturing the creative artist within. Margo performs extensive session work, supports corporate clients, and is a voting member of the Recording Academy. Her powerful, expressive, and sumptuous voice lends itself to any style or setting.
With her mom as her harmonizing music partner, Janet Lenore became a performing singer/songwriter by the age of 15. It wasn’t long before she started expanding her skills with the mandolin, banjo and ukulele. Janet taught her first guitar classes while still in high school and now teaches ukulele as well. She has twice taught guitar and ukulele classes at the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop (PSGW) and has presented workshops at the Napa Valley Ukulele Festival (St. Helena), the Ukiah Uke-Fest, the Mendocino Ukulele Festival (Fort Bragg), Smoldering Uke (Carmel), Burning Uke (Felton), and Ukes On the Loose (Healdsburg). Janet regularly co-leads the Alameda Uke Club and the Bronco Billy’s Jam (Fremont), and has lead jams at the Berkeley Uke Club and at the Kate Wolf Festival. Janet served on the California Coast Music Camp (CCMC) Board of Directors for about 15 years, and she continues to manage CCMC’s annual Winter Retreat and the Palo Alto Festival of the Arts Webster Street stage. Her most recent recording is the ukulele-based “Pie and Other Tasty Treats.” Janet is a patient and supportive music instructor who keeps in mind how hard it can be to learn new stuff.
Guitarist/songwriter Adam Levy has created a remarkable body of work over the past 25 years. He’s been featured on recordings by Norah Jones, Amos Lee, Lisa Loeb, Tracy Chapman, Allen Toussaint, the Hot Club of San Francisco, and many other artists. He has a dozen original recordings to his credit as a solo artist as well, and has authored several instructional books and video courses. He teaches one-on-one lessons privately, worldwide via Skype, at Los Angeles College of Music, and at USC. His popular YouTube series, Guitar Tips, was launched in 2014. Adam has written dozens of feature articles for Guitar Player, Acoustic Guitar, and Fretboard Journal. Once in a while, they even write about him.
Rachel Manke has been called one of the brightest stars in the ukulele universe, and loves sharing her astounding technique and beautiful singing with audiences young and old. She’s appeared on stages that range from the Ashokan Uke Fest and Funky Frets Uke Fest to Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion.” Rachel started in the late ’90s on a $25 Hilo soprano and came to the uke world via the founders of the Ukulele Hall of Fame Museum. She first studied with Joel Eckhaus, directly learning from the well-known student of the famed Roy Smeck. Ever since, she’s continued to learn and perform, and is now a respected teacher as well. She has a penchant for Tin Pan Alley, old-time music, and is a master of the old-school uke chord solo flourish.
Tony Marcus has found joy playing many styles of music. He’s played bluegrass with mandolin legend Frank Wakefield, jug band music and blues with Geoff Muldaur, fiddle tunes with the Arkansas Sheiks, string swing with Cats & Jammers, big band jazz with the Royal Society Jazz Orchestra, weird old Hawaiian and hokum with R. Crumb and the Cheap Suit Serenaders, and honky tonk country with Rose Maddox, to name a few. Playing music has taken him from Japan to Ireland, and from Alaska to Florida in the USA. He currently performs with Patrice Haan in the vocal duo Leftover Dreams and with the country band Crying Time.
Carol McComb is a vocalist, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist with over 40 years of performing, recording, and teaching experience. She wrote a best-selling guitar instruction book and has taught thousands of people to play guitar and sing in her workshop series at Gryphon Stringed Instruments in Palo Alto. She is a frequent contributor to Acoustic Guitar magazine and has taught at several music camps around the country. Carol was a member of the popular California-based band the Gryphon Quintet, and has toured with both Linda Ronstadt and Joan Baez. She is currently one half of the duo Kathy and Carol.
Peter McLaughlin is an acclaimed acoustic guitarist, songwriter, vocalist, performer, recording artist, and music instructor in Tucson, AZ. He plays many genres and styles, specializing in acoustic flatpicking and fingerpicking techniques. He’s toured and recorded with Chris Brashear, Todd Phillips, Laurie Lewis, Tom Rozum, Jody Stecher, Perfect Strangers, The Sonoran Dogs, Junior Brown, Flying South, Titan Valley Warheads, and The John Coinman Band. In 2013 Peter was inducted into the Tucson Musician’s Museum. He is the 1988 National Flatpicking Guitar Champion.
Joe Newberry is a powerful musician and an award-winning songwriter. A frequent guest on “A Prairie Home Companion,” he sang on the 2016 Transatlantic Sessions tour, and at the Transatlantic Sessions debut at Merlefest in 2017. Joe plays in a duo with mandolin icon Mike Compton, and also performs with the dynamic fiddler April Verch.
Singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Kristina Olsen has added "author" to her quiver with the release of her e-book with embedded songs. Kristina is an award-winning songwriter whose songs have been covered by artists including Eric Bibb, Mary Coughlin, Maddy Prior and Fairport Convention. With 14 recordings of original songs (four on Rounder/Philo Records), she is typically on the road ten months a year having way too much fun.
Monica Pasqual is the winner of 5 Independent Music Awards and Six Emmy Awards. Her song “Bird in Hand” charted on both Americana and Roots Radio and was among the top 10 Folk Radio songs for 2011. In 2017 her song and video “You Can't Kill Light” garnered radio play and views on stations across the U.S. and Germany. Monica performed the song at the 2018 Women’s March. Her songs have been used on numerous network television shows, and she has composed soundtracks for PBS, the History Channel, and National Geographic Television. For the last 18 years, Monica has been a member of the popular Bay Area band Blame Sally, touring the U.S. and Europe extensively and releasing 8 albums in addition to her own 5 solo albums.
Ken Perlman is a skilled guitarist and a pioneer of the 5-string banjo style known as melodic clawhammer. He’s known for his skillful adaptations of Celtic, Appalachian, and Canadian fiddle tunes. Ken has toured throughout most of the English-speaking world and in Western Europe, both as a soloist and in a duo with renowned Appalachian-style fiddler Alan Jabbour. An acclaimed teacher of folk-music instrumental skills, Ken has written widely used banjo and guitar instruction books, including Clawhammer Style Banjo, Fingerstyle Guitar, and Fingerpicking Fiddle Tunes. He’s been on staff at teaching festivals around the world, and has served as director for several music-instructional camps, including American Banjo Camp, Midwest Banjo Camp, and Suwannee Banjo Camp. As an independent folklorist, Ken spent close to two decades collecting tunes and oral histories from traditional fiddle players on Prince Edward Island in Eastern Canada. His most recent solo recordings are Frails & Frolics and Northern Banjo.
Pierce Pettis began his long career as a writer/artist at the legendary Muscle Shoals Sound Studios in Alabama and later as a staff songwriter for Polygram/Universal Musician Nashville. Often called “a songwriter’s songwriter,” his works have been covered by artists ranging from Garth Brooks and Dion to Joan Baez and Art Garfunkel. Pierce’s fifth album for Compass Records Group (Nashville), That Kind of Love (2009), received rave reviews from XM/Sirius Satellite Radio, Paste magazine, Performing Songwriter, and many others. Father’s Son, Pierce’s new solo project for Compass Records Group, was released in January 2019 and is receiving widespread critical praise in the U.S., U.K., and Europe.
Karin Plato is a Juno award nominee and a Western Canadian Music Awards nominee. Three times she was nominated Jazz Vocalist of the Year at the National Jazz Awards in Toronto. She has appeared at concerts and festivals across Canada and has performed at concert societies in the USA. She works as a composer, arranger, music educator, and occasionally as a concert producer. She has released nine independent recordings of jazz standards and originals. Karin teaches voice, piano, and theory in her studio in Vancouver to students of all ages.
Del Rey started playing guitar when she was four years old. Rags, blues, and tunes of the early 20th century are her specialty, even as she writes new music to add to the tradition. She’s taught and played all over the world, and brings her distinctive fingerstyle approach to guitar and ukulele to her teaching DVDs on Homespun, including Boogie-Woogie Guitar, The Music Of Memphis Minnie, and Blue Uke. She has fashion sense that would make Minnie Pearl smile. Her albums can be found at .
Brian Rice began his orchestral career at age 15, playing percussion with the Northwest Michigan Symphony. After attending Interlochen Arts Academy and heading to Oberlin Conservatory, Brian had an epiphany: There's a whole world of music beyond the classical and jazz of his youth! Brian has since established himself as an expert on Brazilian music as well as other worldly genres. Brian recently performed with Brazilian master Danilo Brito at the Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, and the Savannah Music Festival, and has guest taught at universities across the U.S. and in Brazil. Currently Brian teaches the samba and Afro-Cuban ensembles at UC Davis, co-chairs the Brazilian focus at the California Jazz Conservatory, and is co-founder and Artistic Director of the Berkeley Festival of Choro. Brian’s percussion is heard on over 70 recordings. He regularly performs around the Bay Area with Wake the Dead, Cascada de Flores, and the Berkeley Choro Ensemble.
Valerie Rose is a versatile fiddler who plays a variety of styles, including Irish, Scottish, Balkan, English, Swedish, and Old-Time. She performs with Celtic band The Gallowglasses, and plays for Irish set dancing with Western Shore, for contradances with Stringfire!, and for Balkan dancing with Zabava International. She also sings, arranges, and conducts, loves to jam, and is an enthusiastic and supportive teacher.
Cindy Browne Rosefield is the Director of Instrumental Studies and the Coordinator of the Music Business Certificate at Las Positas College in Livermore CA where she also directs the Jazz Ensemble, teaches Music Theory, American Cultures in Jazz, and History of Rock & Roll. Cindy performs and records with various groups, including Wake the Dead. She has toured extensively throughout Europe, Japan, Jordan, Mexico, the Caribbean Islands, Canada, and the U.S., and performed at the Monterey Jazz Festival, Concord Jazz Festival, SF Jazz Festival, the California Jazz Conservatory, and many other jazz and folk music festivals around the world
Verlene Schermer is a San Francisco Bay Area singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist with an eclectic style that ranges from Celtic to blues and jazz. She accompanies her versatile singing on Celtic harp, piano, and guitar. Her original songs cover a wide range of topics from themes of dreaming, vision, and creative process, to poignant observations about modern living. These can be heard on her six solo recordings. Verlene maintains a full schedule of voice, harp, piano, and guitar students, and performs on her double-strung harp at Stanford Hospital for patients, family, and staff. She also plays violin, tenor banjo, Swedish nyckelharpa, and Norwegian hardinfele, and is a sought-after performer and clinician for concerts and workshops throughout the country and in Europe.
Considered the finest jazz vocal improviser in Canada by her peers, her fans, and the musicians who work with her, Jennifer Scott is an important jazz voice. She has sung with such jazz greats as Gene Bertoncini, Clark Terry, Tommy Banks, Paul Horn, and Kenny Wheeler, to name a few. She’s been nominated for Juno and Jessie Awards with Mythos and the theatre production “War of the Worlds,” and frequently teaches at music camps on the west coast.
The son of a National Banjo Champion, Tristan Scroggins was surrounded with bluegrass traditions from birth. Having performed everywhere from rural bluegrass festivals to the Grand Ol’ Opry, Tristan was awarded the prestigious Instrumentalist of the Year Momentum Award at age 22 by the International Bluegrass Music Association and in 2019 he received the Freshgrass Mandolin Award. With more than a decade of experience as a teacher and workshop instructor, Tristan has gained a reputation for his logically laid out curriculum, generous of resources, and relaxed, encouraging presence. Tristan has developed teaching materials based on achieving personal inspiration and practice techniques that allow students to overcome their personal musical hurdles.