Topic: 2013 Festival Performers


Mary Armitage is both a traditional folk singer and a songwriter and has performed in a variety of venues in the Lower Mainland, both solo and as half of “King’s Shilling” This year Mary pays tribute to the homelands of early immigrants with a selection of traditional and traditionally inspired original songs supporting the theme “Across the Atlantic”. Mary sings a capella and with guitar accompaniment. She encourages audience participation with humour and energy, so bring your best sing-along voices.

It is with great pleasure that we once again welcome Princeton’s Member of Parliament, Alex Atamanenko, to the Festival. Alex has been singing for many years both as a solo performer and with a group called the Balladeers. He performs regularly in seniors’ homes in the Castlegar area.  Alex will be singing Canadian folk songs, songs of the 1960’s folk revival as well as songs in Russian, a language he learned at home.  Alex is joined in his performance by Lawrence Halisheff.

Aviva! is a Raks Sharqi dancer with a twist! Aviva’s love of bellydancing began with her first shimmy about five years ago. Since then she has become wholly immersed in the art form, involving herself in every class, workshop and performance opportunity available. With training from Vancouver dancers as well as from internationally renowned dancers, Aviva is well versed in the art of bellydance performance technique. She draws inspiration from both traditional and fusion styles of bellydancing as well as from her training in traditional and contemporary African Dance. Aviva takes her greatest joy in sharing her love of the art form with others. Visit her website at www.avivabellydance.com

Laura Bassett is a New Hampshire native who grew up with folk music and the sea chanteys of the Mystic Sea Music Festival. After discovering the active folk singing community in Boston, she has since moved to Seattle, where her ballad voice can be heard at pub and chantey sings.  She has a love for collecting songs that tell good stories.  Laura will be participating in the Traditional Ballads workshop.

Caitlin Marie Bell is a New York City-based folk singer from Snellville, Georgia, whose music and storytelling are primarily centred around the roots of the American folk tradition. Classically trained and inspired by the blues, Appalachian, country and classical styles on which she was raised, Caitlin writes songs and arrangements that strive to keep the American folk tradition alive. Caitlin has CDs for sale at the Festival and you can visit her website at www.reverbnation.com/caitlinmariebell

Blackthorn is a Vancouver-based folk group whose repertoire celebrates the traditional music of Scotland and Ireland as well as the folk music of English and French Canada. From lively jigs and reels to heart-wrenching airs and ballads, savour the melodies and intricately woven harmonies that bring this music to life in a new way, mixed with humour and, above all, fun. Blackthorn has CDs for sale at the Festival. Visit their website at www.blackthornband.com

Claire Boucher is a native of Sarzeau on the Rhuys peninsula in southern Brittany. Her involvement in Breton traditions started with dance, followed by traditional singing. She sings songs and teaches dances from her part of the country. She is accompanied on voice and flute by her partner Brad Hurley, who has played traditional Irish and Breton music for thirty years. Visit their website at www.coureursdeminuit.com

Les Canadiens Errants consists of Jasmine Fiona and Chantal Lemire, two Langley Fine Arts School alumni who have reunited to make music together. The duo focuses on traditional Canadian songs, sung with inspiring harmonies, accompanied by ukelele and violin. Jasmine is a ballad singer and an ardent lover of folk music of many traditions. Chantal is a violinist and music theorist. From the coasts of BC to Nova Scotia, Les Canadiens Errants will take you on a trip across Canada in song, stopping in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec, and Newfoundland.

Claddach sings traditional and contemporary songs that illuminate social and/or political aspects of the human condition.  Sometimes they choose a song just because they like it and it’s fun to sing with others. They also play Celtic tunes for dancing, hoping to encourage people to get up and dance. Claddach has CDs for sale at the festival.

Dark Willow pairs the sound of the Irish whistle, with the strong voice of traditional and contemporary songs.  David Donaldson is a wonderful composer of traditional-sounding whistle tunes and beautiful waltzes. Ellen van der Hoeven has brought her lovely voice to the Festival several times and accompanies songs and tunes with guitar and mandolin. Together David and Ellen play Scottish, Irish and English songs tunes as well as some original compositions.  This year they will be joined by Tom Rawson, of Seattle, who adds his open back banjo, mountain dulcimer, and vast repertoire of crowd pleasing sing along songs to the mix.

Erratica is an all-purpose, ever-ready kitchen party band. They perform songs and tunes from a variety of folk traditions in a variety of ways and on a variety of instruments. This year regular band members Don Davidson, Jane Slemon and Cameron Stewart welcome Michael Burnyeat as guest fiddler. Erratica has CDs for sale at the festival. Visit their website at www.erratica.ca

Et tu Fluté consists of Irish flute players Brad Hurley and Becky Deryckx. Brad began playing traditional Irish music in the 1970s and has played for dances, concerts and festival workshops all around the east coast. He appears as a guest musician on five CDs and is currently working on a duo CD with Roscommon fiddler Ellis Crean. He has also developed a popular website on the Irish flute at www.firescribble.net/flute. Becky is a more recent addition to the Irish musical tradition. She plays primarily in pub sessions in the Pacific Northwest but travels regularly to the east coast and to Ireland to expand her understanding of the music. Brad was one of her early mentors and they have remained close friends ever since.

John Gothard is a long time traditional singer and musician. During his performances with voice, guitar and English concertina, you might hear anything from sea songs and traditional ballads to songs of Irish immigration to North America.

Rosaleen Gregory was born in England with Irish, Welsh and Scottish ancestry. She first discovered traditional ballads as literature and then discovered that they had tunes.  She has been singing traditional songs and ballads for over fifty years and now has a repertoire of over three hundred songs. She has participated in many ballad workshops in Britain and Canada.  She is a regular contributor to Canadian Folk Music, the magazine of the Canadian Society for Traditional Music, and has recently produced CDs of ballads, which are for sale at the Festival.  Rosaleen will be joined onstage by David Gregory. Visit her website at www.rosaleengregory.ca

Barry Hall has been involved in traditional music since he was a child. Inspired by Pete Seeger, he learned to play the banjo at a young age and at the age of fifteen put out the Folkways LP, “The Virtuoso Five-string Banjo.” Barry is still a virtuoso banjo player. He has also embraced the blues, which he sings and plays on guitar. Barry plays guitar as though it were an extension of his body. This weekend you will hear Barry sing folk blues and banjo instrumentals.

Tim Hall is a singer of songs from varied traditions – from old-time to maritime to ragtime. He is an accomplished instrumentalist on guitar, banjo and concertina and a collector of wonderfully clever and fun songs.

Hard Row consists of Kim and Kaila Sinclair, a father and daughter duo who have been performing together for almost twenty years. With their melodic sound, they sing traditional ballads of love, loss and lament. Kaila’s soaring voice and Kim’s unique guitar styling weave around and through the music they love. With reflection and a sense of humour Hard Row connects their music with the relevance of history and the world today.

Music has always been part of Betty's Hendrickson’s life. Thirteen years ago her husband bought her her first hammered dulcimer, an instrument that she always enjoyed listening to. A few years later she surprised herself by performing at an open mike, and has performed solo and with other musicians ever since. Stewart Hendrickson plays fiddle and guitar, and sings traditional songs from the British Isles and America. He studied voice while majoring in Chemistry. He taught Chemistry for 28 years and then was a research professor before retiring to become a full-time folk musician. He studied classical violin as a kid, but gave it up in high school for guitar and singing. After moving to Washington he picked up the violin again to become a fiddler.  The Hendricksons have CDs for sale at the Festival. Visit their websites at www.stewarthendrickson.com/bettyhendrickson.html

In the Family Way is a trio consisting of Rob Corbett along with his son Chris and daughter Emily. The group has performed for many years at family functions and selected venues in the Okanagan and beyond. Their trademark sound features tight harmonies on a variety of traditional songs accompanied by guitar, mandolin, ukulele and harmonica.

The Irish Wakers met at traditional Irish jam sessions at the Wolf and Hound pub in Kitsilano. They play jigs, reels hornpipes waltzes and polkas as well as singing sea shanties and other traditional songs. They perform at pubs, fundraisers and festivals. Visit their website at www.Irishwakers.com

Stuart James is from Princeton and had this to say about his music: “I have been privileged over the years to be part of a grand conversation, of which this festival is an instance, between friends with whom I share a love of traditional music and song. In my case it is the music and song of the British Isles, and of its North American variants, both unaccompanied and with banjo. I think of this music as an act of communion, in the best and original sense of the term; that is to say, as a distillation and embodiment of the collective human experience. I hope to convey to our listeners some of the force of this tradition; of the hold it has on us; and of the pleasure it affords us. If so, I will be inordinately (and no doubt insufficiently) pleased.”

Princeton’s own Kettle Valley Switchmen consists of Jason Gasparetto and Rick Freeman on guitar, and Rick Law on bass. Together they will take us on a walk down south where the blues came from. Jason hails originally from Ontario and has performed in blues, country and rock groups in the US and Canada. Some of his inspirations have been Big Joe Turner, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Lightning Hopkins, Robert Johnson and Eric Clapton. Rick Law discovered traditional music at the Mariposa Folk Festival in Toronto and Rick Freeman has enchanted Princeton with his singing and fine blues guitar when playing with the Backdoor Blues Band.

Lemon Gin consists of Lyn Pinkerton and Jim Edmondson who have a flair for singing exquisite harmony renditions of songs of adversity and struggle without taking themselves too seriously. They have been making music together for thirteen years. Lyn pays dulcimer and banjo and Jim plays guitar. They choose their songs carefully from a repertoire of traditional Appalachian and British songs, sea shanties and other songs of work. You’ll want to sing with them. Jim has CDs for sale from his previous group – Three Strong Winds.

Hazem Matar is originally from Saudi Arabia and plays the oud, a lute-like instrument strung similarly to a twelve-string guitar. The oud dates back to ancient times and is played throughout central Asia and North Africa. Hazem has played the oud, for over 20 years. He studied Arabic classical music for oud and vocals with one of Saudi Arabia’s great masters, Ghazi Ali. Well-known for his technique and musical spirit in his home city of Jeddah, Hazem brings the Arab world’s rich musical tradition to Princeton. Hazem plays with a Middle Eastern jazz-rock fusion quartet called Tarab, whose CDs are for sale at the Festival. Visit the group’s website at www.tarab.ca

Michael and Don are Michael Burnyeat on fiddle and Don Davidson on mandolin. In 2010 twelve-year-old fiddle student Michael was asked to sit in on the Celtic jams at the Jericho Folk Club in Vancouver. Two years later he became the lead fiddler at those sessions. When asked to perform elsewhere, Michael asked Don Davidson to join him on mandolin. Michael and Don continue to play at the Jericho jams. As a duo they have performed at farmers’ markets, at UBC’s Apple Festival and at the Tipper Restaurant supper series.

Janet Michael is a Newfoundland-British Columbian. Although she has spent a great deal of her life in the theatre, music has always been a huge part of her life’s purpose. She is overjoyed to have this opportunity to share her unique musical heritage and some of the songs she has made inspired by that heritage.

Orville Murphy and Jerry Middaugh play old-time and traditional songs about the “good old days” of the civil war, prohibition, the Depression and World War II. Orville is originally from Kentucky where he learned to tell stories from Uncle Jim. He learned to play Gospel, hymns and blues on the harmonica from his grandmother and his aunt. Jerry Middaugh is originally from Ohio and has deep roots in Appalachian music. He sings and plays guitar, banjo and mandolin. Murphy and Middaugh have CDs for sale at the Festival. Visit their website at www.MurphyandMiddaugh.com

North by West consists of Jon Bartlett, Rika Ruebsaat, Simon Trevelyan and Henk Piket. The group has been singing together for many years and is well-regarded in the maritime music community. They have sung at festivals on both coasts. They are all Honorary Life Members of the Vancouver Folk Song Society and are among the founding members of the VFSS ShantyCrew. North by West has CDs for sale at the Festival. Sing along with them!

Orkestar Slivovica is Vancouver's home-grown Balkan Brass band, playing wedding and festive music from Serbia, Macedonia, and other distant and mysterious lands, where it is known as Trubachi and no such occasion is complete without it. The 8-12 piece brass ensemble plays and sings a diverse repertoire, from insanely fast dance tunes to heart-wrenching songs, often in crooked rhythms and exotic scales. Orkestar Slivovica has CDs for sale at the Festival. Visit their website at www.orkestarslivovica.org

Oxygen Orkestar from Nelson plays its own, sometimes comic, version of Balkan brass music, a genre that originated in 19th century Serbia when military bands began playing local folk music. The group is an assorted mix of mustachioed snappy dressers who play trumpet, soprano sax, trombone, tuba and snare drum. Sometimes they wander offstage and get lost in the crowd, but just follow the upbeat music and dancing girls and you will find them. Oxygen Orkestar will have you dancing in the street.

Port na Gael means “tune of the Gael”, and that’s exactly what this four-piece group plays – mostly Irish most of the time. From four-part harmonies to spirited reels, the group’s focus is on traditional music with vitality, sometimes updated with original arrangements, but always true to its roots. The occasional foray into Canadian, Scottish and English songs provides a folk influence to the lively mix.  Port na Gael has CDs for sale at the Festival. Visit their website at www.facebook.com/portnagael

The Friday evening ceili is a friendly dance that can be enjoyed by all. Dance to toe-tapping traditional Irish music played by Annie Brown on fiddle, John Gothard on concertina and Dave Marshall on guitar. The fun-loving Keri-Ann Thor will teach all the dances, making them accessible to all. No experience is required and you will feel like an expert ceili dancer by the end of the evening.

The Rabbleberries came together for Victoria’s 2005 Tall Ships Festival. They liked each other’s company so much that they thought up a band name and kept singing together. Sharon Hazelwood is a long time singing activist. She and Karen Gillmore are also members of the vocal quartet Virgo Rising. Alan O’Dean teaches autoharp, plays guitar in open tuning, and writes songs as though he were somebody famous. They will be joined by Ron Gillmore in his first appearance at the Festival. The Rabbleberries has CDs for sale at the Festival. Visit their website at www.rabbleberries.ca

Jeannette Angel is a performance artist and scholar currently living with her family in Kelowna. She comes from a French background and grew up in Manitoba where she attended the Festival du Voyageur for years. Jeannette considers singing as part of a way of life, a form of communication and a natural way to share with family and friends. Jeanette sings a capella and will be sharing her rich repertoire of French-Canadian songs.  Jeannette will also be joined by her mother Barbara Angel and daughter, Eva Rae Angel-Fox. Together they call themselves Les Racines, which means roots, and we welcome them to their first appearance at the Festival.

Brian Robertson is perhaps best known for his finely crafted songs about the west coast based on a lifetime of living and working there. His work life has been varied – commercial fisherman, cabbie, engineer, economist and historian – and from that springs the variety and depth of his subject matter. He is a purveyor of some fine songs about work, love, travel, local history and the blues as well as being a singer of rousing shanties. When he’s not singing solo, Brian is a passionate Celtic musician, performing with the Irish Wakers and as a frequent guest with The Jocelyn Band. Brian has CDs for sale at the Festival.

Chris Roe has been a lover of traditional music since she first heard the Chad Mitchell Trio in 1963. She has been a Morris dancer, a student of early music, a harp player and an active member of the maritime music community in the Puget Sound area. Her main passion is a capella singing. She welcomes audience participation. Chris has CDs for sale at the Festival.

Sarah Jane Scouten is based in Montreal but comes originally from Bowen Island. She composes modern folk and country songs that draw on Bluegrass, old-time and folk traditions. Sarah tours all over Canada with her music. This will be her third time at the Festival where she will be singing traditional songs picked up on her travels. Sarah has CDs for sale at the Festival. Visit her website at www.sarahjanescouten.com

Shanghaied on the Willamette is the lively musical duo of Jonathan Lay and Gordy Euler. They perform songs “plundered from land and sea”, including traditional Celtic, English, and Old-Time American music, especially music of the sea and waterways. They accompany their vocal harmonies with a “fleet” of musical instruments including fiddle, bodhran (Irish drum), guitars, mandola, tin whistles, harmonicas and banjo. Shanghaied on the Willamette has CDs for sale at the Festival. Visit their website at www.shanghaied.biz

Helen Shilladay began singing quite by accident in pub sessions in Derbyshire several years ago. She quickly got hooked on the companionship, the traditional songs and, of course, the beer.  She soon became a regular on the vibrant Derbyshire folk scene. Singing solo and with her duo, “Fair Game”, she has supported Anthony John Clarke, Bob Fox and her friend and mentor Lester Simpson. She also sang at festivals. Her choice of songs generally falls under the themes of sex or death (sometimes both), which gives her a large repertoire to choose from.

Skweeza has been performing together for six years. The group brings a love of traditional European music and song. You are likely to hear anything from Ladino ballads of the Sephardic tradition to Roma songs in Serbo-Croatian and perhaps a tune or two from the rural villages of England and France. Skweeza consists of Andrea Georgiev on guitar and vocals, Judith Heather on accordion and vocals and Rich Williams on melodeon, guitar and vocals.

Soft Focus consists of Marian Buechert and Steve Britten who have been performing together for thirteen years.  Marian has been singing traditional songs for almost thirty years. The duo has performed at the Northwest Folklife Festival, the BC Renaissance Fair, on radio and at many venues in the Lower Mainland. They look forward to the Princeton Traditional Music Festival as one of the musical highlights of the year. Soft Focus has CDs for sale at the Festival. Visit their website at www3.telus.net/softfocus

Sound & Fury Morris has been dancing around Seattle and the Pacific Northwest since the waning days of the last century. Morris dance traditions date back hundreds of years, their origins lost in the mists if time. Morris is a street performance tradition, typically seen outside local pubs. When the dancing is over the dancers retire to the pub to enjoy the finest ales and ciders on tap!

Phillip Tidd has been singing a capella traditional songs for more than fifty years. Raised in England in the 1950s and ‘60s, he was greatly influenced by the folk revival. A regular at the Vancouver Folk Song Society in the 1970s, he now lives in the Shuswap and sings at coffee houses. He recently spent time in England and was a regular at the Devizes Folk Club there. He is currently learning to play concertina. This year Phillip intends to focus his performance on songs with what are called “floating verses”, that is, verses that seem to float around such that they appear in several different songs.

Triskele Celtic Duo features Myranda O’Byrne on vocals and lap-stringed dulcimer and Michael Price on mandolin and harmonica. Both of them play guitar, bodhran and spoons. Their performances include traditional Irish and Scottish ballads and airs, sea songs and lively reels and jigs. Triskele has performed on radio and at festivals and special events in the Okanagan and elsewhere. In the winter months they teach music to children in a small Mexican fishing village. Triskele has CDs for sale at the Festival. Visit their website at www.triskele.shawwebspace.ca

Without a Net consists of David Lowther (who sings and plays things you strum) and his wife Mary (who sings and plays things you blow into).  Together they perform a mixture of traditional klezmer music -- traditional dance music from eastern European Jewish communities -- and original songs with a frequent political bias.  Without a Net has CDs for sale at the Festival. Visit their website at www.withoutanet.ca