KAREN ALLEY, the 2014 National Hammered Dulcimer Champion, was playing the fiddle at a folk festival in 2004 when she discovered the hammered dulcimer, and quickly found that she could make much nicer sounds on the dulcimer than she could on the fiddle. To her family's relief, she put down the fiddle and began dragging dulcimers with her to festivals and concerts all over the country. Though she loves to perform, her main passion is sharing the joy of the hammered dulcimer with students in private lesson and festival workshop settings. Her repertoire ranges from Celtic to classical to hymns to show tunes, and her style combines percussive techniques with the rich harmonies and broad dynamics that make the dulcimer one of the most expressive instruments used in the folk community. When she's not playing the dulcimer, Karen is a glaciologist specializing in the ice shelves of the Antarctic Ice Sheet. She also teaches in the geology department at the College of Wooster in Ohio.
For more than 40 years, KAREN ASHBROOK has been a pioneer and an advocate in the development and revival of the hammered dulcimer nationally and internationally!
It began in 1976 when Karen built her first dulcimer as a high school project. For five years she lived overseas in pursuit of Irish music and learned her craft in the pubs of England and Ireland, while taking time to travel in Europe and Asia. Karen plays a wide variety of musical styles including Irish, Appalachian, Belgian, English, classical and Jewish. She teaches and performs with her multi-instrumentalist husband, Paul Oorts, at festivals and music camps
Karen also works as a therapeutic musician and is passionate about using dulcimer music for healing and encouraging other musicians to do the same. For more information visit her website at www.karenashbrook.com
JANITA BAKER has been playing mountain dulcimer for over 35 years; through her recordings, books and appearances at festivals and workshops across the United States she has become well-known for her teaching skills and Blue Lion Dulcimers, which she builds with her husband Robert. As a solo performer on the mountain dulcimer, Janita presents her audiences with a wide range of musical experiences including classical, traditional, delta and country blues, ragtime, swing and original instrumental pieces. A gifted story teller, Janita delights her listeners with a warm and personal sharing of her music and introduces to her audience and her students the incredible complexity, variety and beauty of the mountain dulcimer.
KEN BLOOM has given solo concerts all over North America since 1974. These have included appearances at many major Folk Festivals and clubs in the U.S. and Canada. In the past he has been a regular performer at the Vancouver, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Owen Sound, Philadelphia, and Mariposa Festivals as well as appearing in major venues across the country and appearances on A Prairie Home Companion. More recently, his appearances have been closer to home. His North Carolina presentations include: The Stokes Stomp, Hiddenite Center, Turkey Festival (Raeford), Red Springs Highland Games, Mt. Airy Storytelling Festival, and many others. These programs include the traditional music of this country as well as Celtic and Eastern European selections. He usually uses Concert zither, Northumbrian-smallpipes, guitar, clarinet, bowed dulcimer and Minstrel banjo, but he will often include other instruments and traditions as well. He tries to introduce audiences to unfamiliar sounds in an entertaining way and expand their musical view of our ever-shrinking world. Ken has been a featured instructor in a new venture coordinated by Lois Hornbostel, "PLAYING THE BOWED DULCIMER" for the past two years at the Western Caroline University Mountain Dulcimer Week which was also offered in 2005.
PAM BOWMAN has played guitar from the time she was young. Her father was a guitarist who played and sang on a local, Michigan station in the 50's. Pam is a native of the Evart (Funfest) area, hailing from Marion, Michigan. It was in this dulcimer rich region that she first heard and saw a hammered dulcimer being played by a friend's father, while still a teen. It was nearly 10 years later when she noticed it's unique tones drifting through the air of a local, historic craft shop, that she inquired about the dulcimer in the recording, and thought to herself..."I'm old enough to buy one of those now!" Since that time she has been performing with the hammered dulcimer for 19 years as a duo with Jeff Gardner on guitar, and with a five piece group called Just Jammin' - performing gospel/country/bluegrass music. In 2005 Pam entered and won the Southern Regional Hammered Dulcimer Competition in Mt. View, Arkansas. Pam gives private lessons and group lessons on the hammered dulcimer, as well as teaching work-shops and performing at various festivals. Pam also performs her unique hammered dulcimer style and arrangements for many other venues. She has eight recordings available, as well as 2 instructional books on the hammered dulcimer and a series of instructional cd's focused on hymns.
LINDA BROCKINTON has been playing music since age 11. A flute major in college, she became accomplished and played with the Arkansas Symphony, during its inception years of the late 60s. While Linda always dreamed of being a music teacher, she put that dream on the back burner to raise her children. In the late 80s, she took up the mountain dulcimer. Linda had the desire to become proficient enough to teach others how to play.
Linda won the Southern Regional Dulcimer Championship in 1999 and was the first woman to win the National Mountain Dulcimer Championship in 2001. Since then, she has been teaching around the country at dulcimer, folk and Irish festivals. Linda is also available for club workshops.
DAVID BROOKS has been playing guitar and banjo for 50 years. He first learned from the banjo player in “The Stephen Foster Story” in his hometown of Bardstown, KY. Five years later, David was the banjo player in that outdoor musical. For the past 12 years, he has played clawhammer banjo for the weekly contra dances in Louisville. He has taught banjo and guitar at Kentucky Music Week for the past 6 years and leads a monthly jam in Louisville. He has written occasionally for Banjo Newsletter and has authored 11 Kindle ebooks of tablature for clawhammer banjo. He is active on the Banjo Hangout web site, writing tab for others and providing advice.
When SUE CARPENTER first played a mountain dulcimer in 1981, she was immediately captivated by its simplicity and challenged by its fingerpicking possibilities. Her innovative fingerpicking style has won her many awards including 2005 National Mountain Dulcimer Champion.
As an instrumentalist, Sue is best known for her expressive style and exceptional technical ability. As a teacher, she is well known for her challenging, highly organized and intensive methods, nurturing patience, and energetic enthusiasm mixed with a healthy dose of fun. Since 1983, Sue has taught and performed at various dulcimer festivals and camps from Maine to California, and in 2015 she taught at the Nonsuch Dulcimer Annual Weekend in England.
Born in Quakerstown, PA, Sue likes to think that her love for the mountain dulcimer was rooted in her Pennsylvania Dutch heritage even before she knew about dulcimers or their German zither heritage. After years of playing piano and organ, Sue finally felt "at home" when she picked up a dulcimer for the first time, knowing that this was the instrument she had been unconciously searching for all her life.
MARY CARTY is a life long resident of Burlington County, New Jersey, and brings her Native American heritage into play with her handmade baskets. Many of her traditional baskets are shapes and styles with which her Lenape ancestors would have been familiar. She is a true artist and innovator who does not like to have her creativity stifled by following rigid set patterns. This is a concept Mary often stresses to her students. "I don't just teach people how to make baskets; I teach them how to be basket makers,” she often says. On the other hand Mary has a healthy respect for tradition. This is why she has researched and makes traditional baskets which her Lenape ancestors would have made. It is this blending of tradition and creativity that makes Mary Carty's baskets both unique and highly collectible. A talented basket weaver, Mary has won many awards for her original basket designs through the years, and has admirers throughout the world.
TOM CUNNINGHAM has been playing music for over 50 years, and is best known for playing for contra dances from coast to coast with the Coffee Zombies, and for his one-man show, FiddleTales, which incorporates fiddle playing and storytelling. He has taught fiddle, mandolin and guitar at the Louisville Folk Music School, Sweetwater Center for the Arts, Calliope Folk Music Society, Augusta Heritage Center, and the Heartland Dulcimer Festival. He recently traveled to Denmark to play for a group of dancers from Berea, KY.
ALAN DARVEAUX’s interest in the Appalachian dulcimer and love for Berea came during his college years at Illinois State University. Students from Berea working with Alan in northern Illinois introduced him to the dulcimer during his visits to Berea. Since that time he has followed the lore and lure of the truly American instrument. Moving to North Carolina Alan spent his time visiting traditional builders in the mountains of Appalachia. Learning their craft and perfecting his playing. In 2001 Alan was awarded the first dulcimer champion of Kentucky. Upon retiring from his special education teaching position Alan has spent his time developing his avocation in the world of “dulcimania”. Alan has been honored with 2015 Kentucky State Dulcimer Champion and winner in the “original tune” category.
MARGE DIAMOND is best known in the dulcimer world for airbrush painting on t-shirts of dulcimers and other musical instrument patterns. You will see her shirts walking around at almost every dulcimer festival or gathering! Marge's speciality is creating a painting of your own dulcimer on your clothing! Her paintings are beautiful, but she is also known for her other crafts, including sock monkey making! This summer at KMW she will be teaching how to make her "sock critters" and have lots of fun dressing them up! Maybe we can get some critters to participate in the Theme Day events during KMW!
Marge is the mother of 5 and grandmother of 12 and has had a lifetime of creative crafting and arts, with painting and sewing her greatest loves. She is also an accomplished dulcimer player and a familiar face at jams!
For the past eleven years, MATTHEW DICKERSON has been delighting audiences with his sweet and cheerful style of playing the hammered dulcimer.
He developed a keen interest in the instrument in his early teens after learning a variety of other instruments, including guitar and penny whistle. Celtic music led him to discover the unique and pleasant sound of the Hammered Dulcimer.
His first dulcimer was one he built from scratch, and after teaching himself to play, he quickly became an accomplished artist with the talent and skill necessary to win the Mideast Regional Hammered Dulcimer Competition in 2012. Shortly after this achievement, he entered and won the National Hammered Dulcimer Championship at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas. He produced his first album “When I’m Happy & I Know It” in August 2014 and is currently working on his second album due to come out in Fall 2017.
With a genuine appreciation for great music and talent in multiple genres, he continues to reach for new heights in both style and performance as he joins the ranks of the best dulcimer players in the country
KMW 2018 sits at the heart of DAN EVANS’ US tour this summer – he loves coming to Kentucky and this will his 5th visit to KMW and his 18th international tour overall.
Dan plays almost exclusively fingerstyle and often in DAA, his favourite tuning. He accompanies songs with chords and arranges folk melodies as airs, composes pieces for and about nature and has also composed minimalist music for the dulcimer.
With 5 professionally produced CD albums, released to critical international acclaim and with professional distribution globally, Dan is the leading UK player on the mountain dulcimer and he has won the hearts of audiences on both sides of the Atlantic.
As a child seven year old WAYNE FERGUSON and his brother, Lemuel, played with modeling clay their mother, Lillian, made from salt, flour and blue food coloring. Wayne has been creating clay objects since and has been a teacher and exhibiting artist for fifty years. He has mentored many clay artists and has been an artist in residence through out Kentucky from Benton to Harlan. Wayne is represented in many collections ,most notably the Reverend Al Shands Collection and the Kamm Teapot Collection. He has also worked on several archaeological projects in the Tucson Basin and the Chiricahua Mountains. He has visited the potters of Mata Ortiz Mexico on two occasions as early as 1978. Building and firing Japanese style anagama kilns has been a personal journey since 1974. Wayne will have an exhibit of his most recent work at the George Ohr- O’Keefe Museum in Biloxi Mississippi in March 2018.
JEFF FURMAN is a multi-instrumentalist (mountain dulcimer, clawhammer banjo, guitar, autoharp, and string bass) who has been playing old-time music since 1980. Primarily a banjo player for many years, Jeff developed a rhythmic and melodic style of playing which has heavily influenced his dulcimer playing. He has an extensive repertoire of old-time fiddle music which crosses over to a strong interest in Celtic music. Jeff has performed individually, along with his wife, Janet, and with several old-time string bands at numerous fiddle festivals, public and private concerts, public schools, and dances across the United States. He has played on multiple recordings including music from Ireland, Scotland, the Appalachian Mountains, and American folk tunes.
Jeff has won numerous dulcimer competitions in North Carolina and Virginia. Most notably, he was Champion Mountain Dulcimer player at the Fiddler’s Grove Festival in Union Grove, NC numerous times, and he has also won awards on the mountain dulcimer at the prestigious Old Fiddler’s Convention in Galax, Virginia. Jeff’s playing has been described as fluid and expressive, and, in his hands the mountain dulcimer becomes an instrument capable of creating a wide array of moods, emotions, and feelings.
BING FUTCH can often be found teaching music workshops at various festivals and colleges, presenting music education programs at schools and libraries and producing episodes of his video podcast, "Dulcimerica", which has been viewed by millions of people worldwide and is currently in its tenth year.
Futch is well-known for his wide variety of musical stylings, giving equal time to traditional and contemporary Americana. In 2016, he entered the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee and went all the way to the finals where he was awarded "Best Solo Guitar", despite having been the only mountain dulcimer performer in the event.
TULL GLAZENER, from Indianapolis, IN, has been sharing the music of the mountain dulcimer through performances and workshops at festivals throughout the country since 1986. He enjoys adapting all kinds of music to the mountain dulcimer, including aires and waltzes, rag-time, traditional/old-time, contemporary, classical, and jazz. He has produced 5 recordings, is the author of 4 instruction books, and has produced a series of "learn-at-home" teaching CDs. He has served as a columnist for "Dulcimer Players News", and has been included on 2 of the "Masters of the Mountain Dulcimer" recordings produced by Susan Trump. In addition to the mountain dulcimer, Tull also plays hammered dulcimer and button accordion, and is a member of the "Family Reunion String Band" as well as the "Half Way Home" trio, both based in central Indiana.
DANA GRUBER is a mountain dulcimer performer and instructor from the Greater Cincinnati area who has been playing the dulcimer since 1997. Her music is a blend of both modern and traditional music, along with some original compositions. Her unique arrangements explore the contemporary side of the mountain dulcimer and add a new dimension to traditional tunes.
HANK GRUBER has been playing guitar since he first learned to play electric guitar in the Air Force. He soon transitioned into acoustic guitar and has studied Spanish and classical guitar along the way. He has made an art of accompanying other acoustic instruments but can step into the lead with ease. Hank and his wife, Dana Gruber make up an instrumental duo of mountain dulcimer and acoustic guitar. Their music is a blend of contemporary and traditional favorites, along with their own original compositions.
DAVE HAAS lives in Charleston, WV and has been playing the mountain dulcimer since 1990. He teaches dulcimer in both private and group settings, and was the founding member of the Almost Heaven Dulcimer Club in Charleston. Dave loves to share the mountain dulcimer and its history with schools, churches, civic organizations, and has even brought the dulcimer to those in prison! Dave is a popular instructor at dulcimer festivals, and has taught and performed in 22 of the United States and in the United Kingdom. He is known for his gentle, fun, and enthusiastic teaching style. Dave has released seven dulcimer instructional books/CDs, four instrumental dulcimer CDs, and a popular dulcimer chord chart.
Dave also enjoys teaching science as a Chemistry Professor at the University of Charleston. One of his favorite teaching activities is to sing chemistry songs (on dulcimer and guitar) with his students. In addition, Dave plays the guitar, sings, and enjoys leading music on Christian retreat experiences such as Kairos Prison Ministry, The Walk to Emmaus, Cursillo, and Teens Encounter Christ (TEC).
ERIC JARBOE is enjoying his of retirement after 40 years of teaching orchestra and band in southeastern Indiana. Eric is a bass specialist who performs regularly on string bass (Classical, Jazz, & Bluegrass), tuba, and bass guitar. Eric is also an accomplished hammered dulcimer player.
As a member of the Kentucky Arts on Tour Directory, LORINDA JONES brings the roots of American music to her audiences through the music of the mountain dulcimer and folk harp. Lorinda has authored numerous books and recordings, and in addition, is a board certified music therapist. She teaches and performs at camps and festivals all over the United States, has 3 books published by Mel Bay Publications, and teaches private and group lessons on mountain dulcimer and folk harp. Lorinda has experienced a varied career in music, ranging from that of a band director, private and public school music instructor from preschool through college, to work as a music therapist. She continues to appreciate and discover her musical roots through the playing of Celtic and American folk music as a performer and recording artist.
JOHN KEANE began his career as a music educator following graduation from Northeast Louisiana University in 1985. He has taught band, choir, private applied lessons, and general music on every level from kindergarten through college. John has written and arranged music performed by high school and college bands throughout the United States. He is also an accomplished performer on tuba and percussion. John and his wife Karen reside in Shreveport, Louisiana and enjoy traveling the country performing and teaching workshops for the mountain dulcimer and Native American flute communities.
KAREN KEANE began her career in music education following graduation from Northeast Louisiana University in 1988. She has taught music on every level from early childhood education through college. Karen has taught private applied flute, composed music, and adjudicated many musical performances during her career. She is also an accomplished performer. Karen and her husband John reside in Shreveport, Louisiana and enjoy traveling the United States performing and teaching workshops for the mountain dulcimer and Native American flute communities
DAN LANDRUM's hammered dulcimer playing has taken him from street performing in Chattanooga, TN to Olympic Ceremonies, Presidential Inaugurations, multiple festivals around the country and major stages in hundreds of cities from the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles to New York's famed Madison Square Gardens. Since 2003, he's been a soloist in the Yanni Live tour, which was recently televised as a PBS special. In 2006, Dan and his wife, Angie, took over publication of the internationally distributed Dulcimer Players News magazine, in print since 1974.
ANNE LOUGH is an internationally known traditional musician with over thirty-five years experience in performance and teaching. A native of Springfield, Virginia, Anne has been around music all her life and began playing and singing folk music as a young teen. She has continued to share her love of music through the years while raising four daughters and completing a Music Education Degree from Murray State University, Murray, Kentucky, and a Master of Music Education Degree from Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC. Now living in Western North Carolina, she devotes her full time to festivals, workshops, performances and school residencies.
In addition to being a frequent instructor in mountain and hammered dulcimer at the prestigious John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC., Anne has taught and performed at the Swannanoa Gathering, Western Carolina Dulcimer Week, Augusta Heritage Dulcimer Week and at numerous other festivals and workshops throughout the country and in Ireland, Scotland, England and Belgium. Equally at home on guitar, autoharp, mountain and hammered dulcimer, Anne's mastery is impressive. Her artistic interpretation, sensitive playing style, versatility and skill as an instructor have earned her national acclaim.
Anne is also well known as an instructor and performer of traditional singing, storytelling, folklore, folk dance and the shaped-note tradition, but her repertoire ranges from classical music to old standards, show tunes and sacred music. Her programs have delighted and inspired all ages from day-care and pre-school children to Road Scholars.
For decades folksinger/songwriter/storyteller ANNE MacFIE has been a member of a regional community of mountain dulcimer players encompassing several states. She lives in Appalachian Kentucky, where she has collected some of the ballads and stories of her extensive repertoire. Since 1969, Anne has performed professionally, throughout the continental United States and has toured in eleven European countries. For ten years she has directed the Great American Dulcimer Convention.
After hearing Peter, Paul and Mary in a concert, MADELINE MacNEIL knew she had another life’s journey. She retired from teaching school in her mid-twenties and became a guitar-playing folksinger. Not long afterwards she lived and performed in Shenandoah National Park for six years and met the mountain and hammered dulcimers. The journey continues. Her performances include many concerts and workshops, recordings, and books written independently and for Mel Bay Publications.
ERIN MAE, formerly Erin Rogers, has developed a unique and progressive style of playing mountain dulcimer learned by jamming at bluegrass festivals and old-time sessions. She performs extensively in the band Scenic Roots, carrying the rhythm section with her signature percussive chop and flat-picking fiddle tunes with impressive dexterity. She won the National Mountain Dulcimer Contest in 2004 and graduated in 2010 from South Plains College's Commercial Music program as the first ever mountain dulcimer major . Erin is also a survivor of Hodgkin's Lymphoma and played dulcimer through all of her chemotherapy treatments. The music she culls from her instrument will lift the spirit and heal the soul.
With a half century of performing experience, SUE MASSEK’s journey has taken her throughout the United States, Canada, Italy, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. She has performed as a solo artist and as banjo player for The Reel World String Band. For over 40 years Reel World used its music as a tool for social justice in venues as diverse as the coal fields of Appalachia to the Lincoln Center in New York City. They were the Kentucky Conference for Community and Justice 2011 Lauren K. Weinberg Humanitarian Award Honorees. Their archives have been inducted into the University of Kentucky’s Special Collections Library.
Sue is Kentucky Arts Council’s first Community Scholar and a Master Artist for their Master/Apprentice Grant Program. She apprenticed under legendary Kentucky artists Lily May Ledford, Clyde Davenport and Blanche Coldiron.
Sue’s 2015 CD, Precious Memories rose to #2 on the International Folk DJ list and she was the #2 folk artist. She was joined on the CD by famed folk musicians Alice Gerrard and Si Kahn. This CD accompanies the one woman play about Sarah Gunning which is Sue’s first acting endeavor.
Sue grew up in Kansas in a family of traditional musicians spanning several generations. They passed down a rich repertoire of ballads, gospels, and fiddle tunes as well as a passion for old time music. Sue has called Kentucky home for over 40 years and is deeply devoted to Appalachia and its people. She is a flatlander by birth and a hillbilly at heart.
JENNIFER McWHIRT has been captivated by photography ever since she was given her first 35mm camera over 30 years ago. In addition to running a shop supporting American artisans, Jen can be found teaching photography to students in the Tennessee/Kentucky/Alabama area.
If you are interested in learning more about my methods, please check out my blog(which features tips for photographers of all skill levels) and my Facebook page.
JEFFREY MILLER is in pursuit of a Master’s of Arts in Theatre at Miami University and received a B.A. in Theatre from Northern Kentucky University. A teaching theatre artist, musician and performer for 18 years, Jeffrey has performed with a variety of theatre companies in over 75 productions in the region. One of Nancy Barker’s original “kids”, Jeffrey has been teaching adult and youth Mountain Dulcimer classes for over 20 years. A member of the group “Next Generation” with Katherine Whitaker, “State of Mind” was recorded at the age of 14 in 2000. He has performed his original songs and traditional arrangements on stages at a variety of regional festivals including Pine Mountain, Kentucky Music Weekend, and Ohio Valley Gathering. Jeffrey has taught youth and adult folk music, storytelling, and theatre at festivals throughout the Midwest. In three years of touring shows and workshops with Madcap Puppet Theatre, he explored the way in which puppetry can be used to teach morality and imagination with youth through community and performance. Jeffrey seeks to pursue an MFA in Theatre for Youth, Acting or Acting Pedagogy and further explore the methods in which performance can enhance civic dialogue with youth. He aims to be a tenured professor in the Fine Arts, bridging theatre, traditional folklore, and music into a cohesive exploration of the Arts in America.
JIM MILLER has been playing and performing traditional music for the past 40 years. An accomplished instrument builder and teacher, he has taught workshops at numerous festivals as well as won many awards for his musicianship including first place on dulcimer at both Galax, VA and Fiddler's Grove, NC. For twenty years, Jim was the owner of the Hampton Music Shop, in Hampton, Tennessee, where he handcrafted over 750 hammered dulcimers. He has played with Celtic, Bluegrass, Swing, Blues and Old Time bands, and has done session work on many recordings.
In addition to being an accomplished performer and workshop leader, Jim also is an enthusiastic jam facilitator who likes to get everyone involved. His "chord signing for the harmonically impared" is legendary. He plays guitar, banjo, octave mandolin, mandocello, bass, steel drum, percussion, hammered and mountain dulcimers as well as his own off-the-wall musical inventions, which are always entertaining..
The music of SARAH MORGAN embodies her respect and joy of folk music and her creative approach to arranging. Backing traditional Appalachian melodies and haunting old time tunes with fresh harmonies and a progressive drive, she lends a new feel to seemingly "old" tunes, while accompanying pure and heartfelt vocals with the unpretentious sound of the Appalachian dulcimer. Folk, Americana, and Old-Time roots are brought to the forefront at live shows, where only Sarah and her dulcimer can be found behind the microphone, creating a subtle yet powerful sound that brings the relevant music of the past to todays audience.
SARAH MORGAN started her musical journey at 7 years old and has fallen in love with traditional and folk music through the years. A native of East Tennessee, Sarah has incorporated the rich musical heritage of the area into her music. At 18, Sarah placed 1st at the 2012 National Mountain Dulcimer Championships held in Winfield, KS. A year later she went on to become a finalist in the 2013 International Acoustic Music Awards. She has also won other titles, including Mid-Eastern Region Mountain Dulcimer Champion, Kentucky State Mountain Dulcimer Champion, and Southern Region Mountain Dulcimer Champion. She currently studying Traditional Music and Appalachian Studies at Morehead State University.
Belgian-born PAUL OORTS performs on harp guitar, 10-string cittern, mandolin, and musette accordion, most often with his wife, hammered dulcimer player Karen Ashbrook. He is very active in the world of English, Contra, and Vintage dances in the DC-Baltimore area. With the trio Goldcrest he has performed at dance events all over the US.
As both teacher and staff musician, he has been on faculty at many week-long camps like the Augusta Heritage Center (WV) the Swannanoa Gathering (NC), Common Ground on the Hill (MD), Kentucky Music Week, Pinewoods (MA), Timber Ridge (WV), Hill County Acoustic Music Camp (TX), Hey Days (CA) and the Volksmuziekstage in Gooik (Belgium). During the academic year, Dr. Oorts teaches Italian and French at Loyola University in Baltimore. Visit his website at www.pauloorts.com.
AARON O'ROURKE’s exploration of the mountain dulcimer began in high school at a time when his only musical experience consisted of playing bass in a punk rock band. In the fall of 2002 Aaron began his first dulcimer lessons and in 2004, Aaron attended Western Carolina University’s Dulcimer Week on a youth scholarship. The next year, Aaron was invited back as an instructor.
In a short period of time, Aaron became one of the headlining names at many dulcimer festivals across the country including, Dulcimer Week at the Augusta Heritage Center (David & Elkins College) in Elkins, WV, Kentucky Music Week in Bardstown, KY, Redwood Dulcimer Day in Santa Cruz, CA, Nutmeg Dulcimer Festival in Middletown, CT, Suwannee Dulcimer Retreat in White Springs, FL and many more. To date, Aaron has authored seven instructional books for mountain dulcimer.
In 2010, Aaron won the National Mountain Dulcimer Competition held at the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, KS. Aaron is also a past winner in the Florida Old-time music competition held in Dade City, FL and the Southeastern Regional Dulcimer Contest in Mountain View, AR.
RICK QUISOL, aka "Dimestore Dandy", began strumming simple ditties on his ukulele as a way to unwind after an evening of playing drum gigs. Since then, he has developed a large repertoire of Early Jazz, Country Western, Blues and Pop tunes and has had the pleasure of opening for uke virtuoso, Jake Shimabukuro and performing on a Lucas Film documentary about Tin Pan Alley music. He brings his professional performing experience to the classroom and passionately shares his technique knowledge to make playing the ukulele an enjoyable experience. A San Francisco Bay Area native, Rick lives in Louisville and performs with his Hot Jazz combo, The Derby City Dandies and teaches at the Louisville Folk School. Page 1 of 1 Rick Quisol, aka "Dimestore Dandy", began strumming simple ditties on his ukulele as a way to unwind after an evening of playing drum gigs. Since then, he has developed a large repertoire of Early Jazz, Country Western, Blues and Pop tunes and has had the pleasure of opening for uke virtuoso, Jake Shimabukuro and performing on a Lucas Film documentary about Tin Pan Alley music. He brings his professional performing experience to the classroom and passionately shares his technique knowledge to make playing the ukulele an enjoyable experience. A San Francisco Bay Area native, Rick lives in Louisville and performs with his Hot Jazz combo, The Derby City Dandies and teaches at the Louisville Folk School.
MARTHA RICHARD has been playing the hammered dulcimer both as a solo performer and a member of the Heartland Dulcimer Club for over 20 years. She enjoys playing the "lovely" tunes as well as the feisty fiddle tunes during festival jam sessions.
Martha is a long time instructor at several festivals in the Midwest. Recent teaching engagements include the Spring Mill Retreat, the Heartland Dulcimer Club Festival, the Evart Funfest, and Kentucky Music Week and Winter Weekend. She has a strong group of hammer dulcimer students who meet on a regular basis in Elizabethtown, Ky. Martha has been the Festival Coordinator for the Ohio Valley Gathering for the past three years.
It is a privilege to teach new players and see the joy they have playing this fine instrument.
SAM RIZZETTA: The scenic Shenandoah Valley and mountains of West Virginia are home to a rich musical heritage. When Carrie, my wife, and I moved east in 1968, it seemed a perfect area to enjoy the beauty of nature, learn music within the Appalachian tradition, and pursue my lifelong fascination with stringed instruments. Today, our shop and home sit between two streams on ten wooded acres, where the cardinals, hawks, deer, wild turkey, cats, and fish are interrupted only occasionally by the sounds of woodworking tools and dulcimer music.
Music captured me at a very early age. My uncle Earl Nott from Montana would occasionally visit us in Illinois where I grew up. As a child I would sit on the floor at his knees for hours while he played the banjo. I couldn’t imagine anything more wonderful. When I was old enough to be trusted with tools, I used my father’s basement workshop to build crude banjos and guitars. I am certain that the instruments and my playing were awful, but I was persistent. A passion for art eventually lead to adding carving and mother-of-pearl inlay to my instruments.
JERRY ROCKWELL is one of a handful of folk musicians who, since about 1970, have been national and international advocates for the mountain dulcimer. He is an accomplished player, teacher, and custom builder of this American folk instrument. Jerry specializes in the gentle, soothing, and hypnotic sounds of Celtic airs, waltzes, and folk tunes, and is committed to helping his students explore the dulcimer in the deepest and fullest way possible. He lives and works in the Appalachian foothills of southeast Ohio, and regularly teaches mountain dulcimer at workshops across the country. In July of 2007, he performed, taught, and lectured at a folk festival in Siglufjord, Iceland.
AMBER ROGERS is a talented multi-instrumentalist and band leader for Scenic Roots. She has been immersed in bluegrass and old-time American music since she was a little girl, beginning her music training with fiddle and piano at age four. By high school, she had learned to play most stringed instruments, and even tried her hand at bagpipes for a few weeks. She now commonly performs on fiddle, clawhammer banjo, and hammered dulcimer; but can be found playing bass, guitar, or mandolin at bluegrass jams across the country. In addition to her instrumental mastery, Amber's voice is a driving force in Scenic Roots' sound, with a rawness reminiscent of the old Appalachian hills. Indeed, her voice has an innocence and purity that makes it instantly accessible and likeable.
MARTIN ROLLINS has worked extensively as a visual artist / educator for the Kentucky Arts Council’s Artist-in-Residence program, The Speed Art Museum, The Asia Institute Crane House, The Kentucky Center, and Jefferson Community and Technical College. While most know Martin’s landscapes and cityscapes in oil pastels, he also works in watercolor and other media as well.
TONI SAGER has been playing the autoharp for since 1994, after getting an Oscar Schmidt as a Christmas present. She had seen a lady playing one at the Fraley Mountain Music Festival at Carter Caves State Resort in Ky. and fell in love with the instrument. Toni mostly plays chord style as she plays along with husband Gary, who plays the mountain dulcimer. She has taught beginner workshops at several regional festivals. She really enjoys getting folks started on the autoharp. Toni and Gary have done occasional performances at several dulcimer festivals. They reside in Waverly, Ohio where they own "Prussia Valley Dulcimers Acoustic Music Shop".
STEPHEN SEIFERT's teaching and playing has made him a favorite with dulcimer players all over the country since 1991. In that time, he's been a featured performer at hundreds of dulcimer festivals and other music events including Kentucky Music Week in Bardstown, KY, Dulcimerville in Black Mountain, NC, the Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins, WV, the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC, the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View, AR, Stringalong near Milwaukee, WI, the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, KS and The tono American Music Festival, in Tono, Japan.
Stephen has been a dulcimer soloist with the Nashville Chamber Orchestra, now know as Orchestra Nashville, since 1996 and is featured on their Warner Classical recording of Connie Ellisor and David Schnaufer's Blackberry Winter, a concerto for mountain dulcimer and string orchestra. The piece continues to be in regular rotation on many classical stations around the U.S. (The recording album is titled "Conversations in Silence" and can be sampled and purchased on iTunes.) Stephen most recently performed this piece with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, and the Montpelier Chamber Orchestra.
DANNY SHEPHERD has been a performing musician for over 45 years. During his early years as a drummer he joined the band at school and played in local rock bands. While attending Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN he received his draft notice and enlisted in the US Army. During his 21 year career as a Military Musician he taught percussion at Armed Forces School of Music in Little Creek, VA, performed across the United States, Central/South America and the Caribbean. His final assignment was as the Enlisted Bandleader with the 79th Army Band, Ft Clayton, Panama.
He has presented dulcimer, ukulele, bodhran, and folk percussion workshops at the Kentucky Music Educators State Conference, Kentucky Music Week, Yellowbanks Dulcimer Festival, Gateway Dulcimer Festival, Ohio Valley Gathering, UNICOI Dulcimer Festival, Henderson Dulcimer Festival, and Red Hill Dulcimer Festival and Heartland Festival.
Danny has performed at the UNICOI Dulcimer Festival, Kentucky Music Week, Yellowbanks Dulcimer Festival, Gateway Dulcimer Festival, Ohio Valley Gathering, Henderson Dulcimer Festival, and Red Hill Dulcimer Festival, the Derby Day Arts Festival, and the Arts Council International Festival.
RUTH SMITH Dirty Linen Folk & World Magazine says, "Ruth Smith's touch on the hammered dulcimer is absolutely magical, with exquisite phrasing, highlighting the range of the instrument especially on her own pieces." Ruth is known for bringing the softer side of the hammered dulcimer to life. Dulcimer Players News says she is, "very sensitive to the nuances of the music, allowing each tune to breathe." Ruth employs hands-on teaching techniques that place special emphasis on playing expressively.
A native North Carolinian and musician from a very young age, Ruth records and performs with her husband, Steve, specializing in Celtic Appalachian music. Her compositions and arrangements have been featured in Dulcimer Players News and on NPR's All Things Considered, All Songs Considered, Thistle & Shamrock, XM & Sirius satellite radio, Direct-TV and Dish Network, and Highlander Radio Network.
STEVE SMITH, from the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. is an ASCAP award-winning songwriter and Appalachian musician. Dulcimer Players News says, "He is a master storyteller and the perfect vocalist to convey the meaning of his lyrics. His songs stand out for their imagery and melodic strength . . . on par with John Denver's songs." Steve teaches workshops nationwide on songwriting, guitar, clawhammer banjo, and ukulele. Dirty Linen World & Folk Music Magazine says "for the traditional, Steve Smith's clawhammer banjo adds a rich, true sound." Steve taught recording/audio production for 18 years at Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina, and previously worked in the recording industry in Nashville, Los Angeles, and Hawaii. Steve, along with wife Ruth, produce and engineer all of their CDs. Steve also teaches music business workshops on music production, recording, performance techniques, as well as music copyrights, clearance, and licensing.
Ranked as the most influential dulcimer player of the last decade by readers of Dulcimer Player News, RICK THUM has made his mark on every aspect of the hammered dulcimer world. Rick is perhaps best known for his festival performances, which have regularly earned him the “most popular performer” title at the largest national dulcimer festival. He brings a combination of passion and friendly accessibility to his teaching that makes his workshops and master classes favorites at festivals across the country, and has tapped this teaching experience to produce the best-selling instructional CD series for hammered dulcimer, the “Original Song of the Month Club”. Rick is also the designer of the highly-regarded ‘Professional’ hammered dulcimer, bearing his name. Yet for all his time in the studio, onstage, in the classroom, and in the luthier’s shop, Rick is most at home at a late-night jam session, where you might even find him playing instruments other than the dulcimer from time to time.
SUSAN TRUMP has been a favorite instructor and performer on the dulcimer scene for the past thirty years. She is known for her clear teaching style and interesting, playable arrangements. She has authored four books. Her latest book/CD set is Music from the Muse is a collection of twenty-one original pieces for Intermediate players. She has written a book with CD of O’Carolan arrangements, A Classical Collection, and Novice Level Chords and Fingering Book/ CD. She also has currently available, Lessons in Your Living Room, a monthly subscription series mailed to your home, which includes the TAB and instructional CD for separate arrangements for novice and intermediate-and-up level players, backup chords, duet parts, intros and endings.
Susan is the producer of the classic Masters of the Mountain Dulcimer series, featuring instrumental selections from many of the finest players in the country. The third in the series is Masters Play Music for Christmas. She has four solo CDs to her credit. Her newest CD, Songs of Faith and Hope, a collection of inspirational, uplifting songs for everyone is being touted as her best ever! For more information visit www.susantrump.com.
Mark Alan Wade
Mark Alan Wade
MARK ALAN WADE performs throughout Europe, Asia and North America as a soloist on dulcimer and trumpet. His unique style is the result of his 25 years of traditional dulcimer playing blended with his formal classical training on trumpet. His most recent CD, Grass Roots, pulls together Grammy award-winning friends to showcase the virtuosity of the dulcimer. He brings Celtic and world music to life and loves to revitalize familiar classical pieces. A National Champion himself, 6 of his students have also won the National Contest. Mark also loves teaching beginners and has published 7 dulcimer books to help them get started right. Mark lives in Akron, OH with his wife and two sons. Visit MarkAlanWade.com or find him on Facebook for more!
HUNTER WALKER of Beckley, WV is a performer and teacher of Old-Time Music that he aims to preserve. His virtuosity on mountain dulcimer and clawhammer has garnered multiple awards at prestigious venues. When not entertaining as part of Long Point String Band, teaching, or competing, you'll catch him jamming!
MARY-JO WARD is a multi-instrumentalist but she loves to teach her favorite -- Autoharp. She teaches all levels from absolute beginner to advanced Melody playing.
She teaches Autoharp, mountain Dulcimer and hammered dulcimer in her home town of Dayton, Ohio, and does presentations on Appalachian music and instruments to audiences in schools, libraries, churches and service clubs. She has taught at multiple festivals in Ohio, Indiana and the deep South Southern Strings in Mississippi. This is her first year at Kentucky Music Week.
PAM WEEKS is a multi-instrumentalist, singer, and contra dance caller from Bowdoin, Maine, who believes in sharing the "joie de vivre" of traditional music and dance with everyone! Pam is fiddler and singer in the Maine-based Cajun dance band, Jimmyjo & the Jumbol'Ayuhs, sings and plays several instruments in the folk trio, T-Acadie, plays fiddle and mountain dulcimer in the Maine contradance band, Scrod Pudding, and also performs solo or with guitar player and caller Bill Olson. She teaches private lessons in fiddle, viola, cello, guitar, mandolin, mountain dulcimer, piano, flute, sax, and voice and is a mainstay teacher at Maine Fiddle Camp, teaching mountain dulcimer, piano, cello, fiddle, and voice to all ages. Pam is an accomplished tunesmith and has composed scores of tunes, from lively jigs and reels, to entrancing airs and beautifully flowing waltzes. Some of them can be found on her two solo recordings, “Waiting for the Perseids” and “The Trestle Bridge”.
TISH WESTMAN has been a builder and player of the Bowed Psaltery since 1997. She also builds and plays the Mountain Dulcimer. Tish has taught one or both instruments at several music festivals such as Spring Augusta, Coshocton Dulcimer Days, Fort New Salem Dulcimer Festival, Patty Fest, Mt Dora Auto Harp and Dulcimer Festival, Kentucky Music Week, Ohio Valley Gathering, Folk College and many others. She has performed many places but most famous would be Mountain Stage and Tamarack. Winner of the Mid-East Regional Mountain Dulcimer 2007, 2nd place for West Virginia State. Singer and songwriter.
Each year CATHY WILDE travels around the U.S. to play her tinwhistles, flutes, and uilleann pipes (the uniquely Irish bellows-blown bagpipes) with regional, national and international musicians and recording artists in genres from classical to old-time, from Bluegrass to rock 'n' roll, and from Christian to indigenous music. Cathy is also a member of two popular regional bands: "na Skylark," and the Irish-Bluegrass band "Cloigheann."
DAVID WILSON is a founder of the Undergrass Boys, a long running acoustic, fusion jam band and is also a founding member of Radio Flyer, who won the KFC/City of Louisville competition for the best new bluegrass band in 1985 (runner up was 14 year old Alison Krauss with her group Union Station). David has been seen for decades at folk and bluegrass festivals all over the U.S. and Canada. He also appears in the Billy Bob Thornton movie Crystal and is part of the soundtrack.