Exploring World Rhythm, Fun With Percussion
Nery Arevalo brings decades of workshop and live performance experience to Grassroots Culture Camp this year. He is a percussionist raised in Cambridge, MA and an immigrant from El Salvador, Central America. He started playing drums at an early age and attended Elma Lewis School Of Fine Arts. Babatunde Olatunge (Nigerian drummer, educator, social activist and recording artist) was the drummer in residency at the school during this time and also Nery's mentor. Nery's professional musical journey started with the James Montgomery Blues Band from Boston. He later went on to become part of NPR'S Mountain Stage band for the next 5 years. He has played with the likes of The Bob Thompson Unit, The Horse Flies, Donna The Buffalo, Sherry Belafonte, Lanzallamas, Morikeba Kouyate, Nag Champayons, and Manhattan Transfer.
Cajun Rhythym Guitar, Electric Bass
Philippe Billeaudeaux was born in Lafayette, LA on July 31, 1985. He learned folk standards as a teenager with his aunt and uncle while also playing with rock bands in the area. Philippe joined the progressive Cajun group Feufollet at age 23 and has recorded 4 releases with the band including their Grammy nominated album En Couleurs. Along with Feufollet, Billeaudeaux has toured and recorded with the Lil' Band of Gold, Dr. John, Cedric Watson, and many other Louisiana artists. The bassist is also a member of the long time Lafayette-based experimental rock group the Amazing Nuns.
Intermediate Old Time Fiddle, Singing for Adults
When Claire was offered the opportunity to learn the violin in elementary school, it was a no brainer for the eager eight-year old. She already knew she loved making music from her passion for singing, which had begun around age four when she would record herself "singing on the radio" on a cassette recorder. Claire dove into the violin without inhibition, even presenting her teacher with little songs she had written for the class to play. Her love of playing took her through her school years and on to the State University of New York at Fredonia, where she continued her classical studies. Eventually, Claire grew tired of the rigorous, cookie-cutter ways of the classical world and sought out other opportunities. She immersed herself in bluegrass, folk and old-timey music and found that she loved how free and pure the music seemed to be. She joined up with friends in school to form an Irish rock group and eventually was introduced to members of Driftwood by a mutual friend in 2008. Today, Claire continues to write, perform and travel with Driftwood full time.
SingSong for Children
Lori Burke is an award-winning singer/songwriter from northwest Pennsylvania. She’s a freelance songwriter for Sesame Street and a member of the Sesame Alumni group. Her viral parody of Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass" currently has 443,000 views on You Tube and has gained the attention of The Huffington Post and the Today Show. Lori has written and performed music for over 15 years with the Tiger Maple String Band, as a solo artist, and has created a successful children’s concert series at local parks and libraries. She has accompanied artists such as Jim Avett and has opened for Emmy Award winning actor Tony Hale. Lori has written and released 2 independent CDs (Hold On & You Are Loved), and is working on her first children’s book. Lori is currently in her 8th year teaching preschool music. She lives with her husband, 2 kids, and 2 lovable bulldogs in Edinboro, Pennsylvania.
Barb Carbon is a folk/roots-rock musical artist from Georgia, USA. She performs as a solo act, as well as with her musical partner, Arrie Bozeman, in the band The Ain’t Sisters. Carbon’s influences are rooted in the beautifully raw, gritty sounds of Shovels and Rope, The Avett Brothers, and Lucinda Williams, and the earnest, inspired songwriting of Patty Griffin, The Indigo Girls, and Brandi Carlile, among others. Barb makes music that is as accessible as it is personal. A masterful poet, Carbon is able to strip away the layers of her own experience, exposing the nerve and laying her finger on the emotional essence of our shared struggles and hopes. Playfully exploring genres, she delivers her art dressed with a punk rock edge, an Alt-country drawl, or the trappings of kick drum-driven Americana, but at the core of her diverse catalogue beats the heart of folk music, which has always existed for the same reason - to tell our truth. Carbon’s forthcoming debut album, The Fighter, is due out in early summer 2019. Marrow, the debut record from The Ain’t Sisters, was released November 23, 2018, and is available on the band website www.aintsisters.com.
Jeff’s a co-founding member of the bands, The Horse Flies and Boy with a Fish, and has been playing banjo uke since 1984. He loves simple, steady, flowing rhythm and drone and likes the uke for supporting fiddle tunes as well as writing more contemporary songs. He’s taught at lots of different festivals, fiddle and music camps, and dance camp weekends, and he’s written music, sung, and recorded by Natalie Merchant; used by Oliver Stone in his film, Any Given Sunday; used by MTV’s Rock the Vote; and more. With his wife, Judy Hyman, and sometimes The Horse Flies, he’s created music for or contributed music to over 20 feature and documentary films. More info at: www.j2filmmusic.com, www.thehorseflies.com, www.boywithafish.com
OLIVER BATES CRAVEN
Beginning Fiddle, Improvisation, Songwriting
Originally from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Oliver Bates Craven is a Nashville-based singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. The oldest song of a folk-singing preacher, his diverse musical upbringing included a family band, a decade of classical violin lessons, and ultimately skipping football practice to teach himself guitar holed up in his room with Hendrix records. Oliver has spent the last ten years as a professional musician, and from intimately crowded folk clubs to sold-out festivals, has found himself on North American and European stages more than a thousand times. A founding member of the revered band The Stray Birds, he has collaborated with such artists as The Wood Brothers, Keller Williams and Mandolin Orange, and has worked in studios with producers such as Dan Knobler (Lake Street Dive, Rodney Crowell) and Larry Campbell (Bob Dylan, Levon Helm). Stepping out of the band dynamic squarely to the center of the stage, he finds a voice and a style more uniquely his own. Critic Michael T. Baker remarks, “Oliver is like if J.J. Cale and Bonnie Raitt had a son.” A poignant writer with soulful and powerful vocal instrumental deliveries, accompanied by a dynamic sense of performance that honors nuance and originality, his musicality is one of a seemingly effortless focus, and a clearly impassioned and tangible joy.
Anusara Elements Yoga
Hilary believes that movement is an inherent form of inquiry; a way to ask the deepest questions about who we are. She was brought to yoga by her mother and grandmother when she was ten. These women and her teachers Amy Abelson, Rachel Bush and Denise Hatch inspire her to offer yoga as a liberation practice. Hilary began her formal training in the Sivananda tradition and has since become a licensed Anusara Elements Teacher. She completed her Anusara Teacher Training and Immersion at Lakshmi Living Arts. Her classes invite awe at the complexity and beauty of the human body and softness in the seat of the heart. Poetry and science inform her understanding of body science and spirit alike.
Hilary offers - Anusara Elements Yoga - Anusara is a heart-centered, alignment-based practice that blends physicality with story, the body with spirit and attitude with action. This class will be medium-paced and mindfully designed to cultivate awareness. Use the body as a terrain to explore universal principles and better know yourself.
Beginning Old Time Guitar
Best known for bass playing in old time music, my first love has always been the guitar. Chordal color is important tome and I've employed it in tunes I've written that have gone on to be well known favorites. With forty years of work in old time rhythm sections, I've developed a distinctive style with an emphasis on smooth solid rhythm. My approach is to lay down a blanket of sound for the fiddle and banjo to dance around on top of. Years of teaching experience on bass and in band labs, now applied to guitar, promises to make make this a very productive and fun class. Some of the basics we'll talk about and learn in this class are the 4 main keys, the chords of those keys, how to make them, and substitutions where appropriate. We'll also talk about different ways to walk from chord to chord, guitar runs(whether and where to use them) and the importance of right hand rhythm. We'll learn guitar chords to tunes and you will have a chance to play them along with a fiddler.
THOMAS BRYAN EATON
Electric Telecaster Guitar (developing lines, country stylings), Improvisation
Thomas Bryan Eaton has been honing his skills as a musician since he first fell in love with sound at the ripe old age of 3. That fateful Christmas, he got an old gray walkman with a record button on it that set his imagination running into a wild world of sonic explorations that continue to this day. Thomas can often be seen coaxing sweet sounds out of a telecaster or pedal steel, working his melodious magic while singing his own songs or chiming in on harmony vocals when called for. Behind the scenes, there’s even more. An avid songwriter with a lifetime love of the recording process; there’s never a dull moment at Thomas’ home studio. Whether it’s demoing a new honky tonk tune, twisting knobs for an avant-garde synth noise experiment or mixing a freshly cut live band rock ’n’ roll track, there’s always something happening. Thomas is also an avid music educator, having taught private lessons for 15+ years and at various music camps around the country, notably as a staff member of Augusta Heritage Center’s “Classic Country Week” for 9 years now. While mostly on the road as a featured member of Miss Tess & the Talkbacks, Thomas can also be found fronting his own band, Hobson’s Choice; as well as lending his talents to J.P. Harris, Kristina Murray, Western Centuries & more.
The Business of Getting Your Band Out There
Mollie Farr, singer and songwriter from Nashville, TN, grew up singing in jazz ensembles and in the theater. She graduated from the New College of Florida with a degree in Music and French language. After writing her thesis on the ethnomusicological tradition of the accordion in southwest Louisiana, Mollie began working with Ann Savoy to compile, transcribe, and translate her upcoming book on the subject. Now Mollie is working on her debut record in addition to running her own booking and management company, Lost Buffalo Artists. Mollie has taught singing/culture classes at Virginia Key culture camp as well as at Blackpot camp in Lafayette, LA and has shared the stage with artists such as Donna the Buffalo, Richie Stearns, and the Duhks.
Accordionist Preston Frank has been laying down his blazing bayou boogie and fearless yet traditional Louisiana zydeco for decades. His trademark swamp groove is a combination of zydeco, funk and soul, cooking up a smooth, flowing Creole sound that makes you start to move. The jumping rhythms and festival vibes rest in this hands while his fingers work magic on the diatonic accordion. Firmly planted in his musical roots for almost 50 years, Preston Frank remains an important force in preserving traditional zydeco and Creole French music.
Scrubboard, Cajun and Zydeco 2-Step
Sally Freund has been dancing and festival teaching for 30 years. Her style is easy and her classes are about connecting and moving to the beat so you can be nothing but happy when your dancing. She keeps close traditional ties with Louisiana where the heart of Cajun and Zydeco pulses and brings that joy back north.
Finger Picking Style Banjo, Songwriting, Singing Duets
Musician – Composer – Actor
A founding member of the Hotmud Family, a twenty-four year veteran of Rhythm in Shoes and a 2010, Ohio Heritage Fellow, Rick Good is recognized and respected for his driving banjo, swinging guitar, heartfelt singing and crafty songwriting. With his wife and long-time collaborator, Sharon Leahy, Rick has made a life of creating critically acclaimed performance art, rooted in American traditions. He currently plays regularly with three fine bands: ShoeFly, Good & Young and the Red Clay Ramblers.
Writing songs and composing music since his early teens, Rick’s first CD of all original songs, Nova Town, was released in 1997, followed a few years later by a full-length theatrical production of the same name with a script he also wrote. In addition to Nova Town, his original music written for theater includes Rambleshoe (with Jack Herrick of the RED CLAY RAMBLERS) and Banjo Dance, for RHYTHM IN SHOES; The Dayton Stories Project: And That’s My Story for the HUMAN RACE THEATER COMPANY, and several productions for MAD RIVER THEATER WORKS and the ZOOT THEATER COMPANY. Rick’s music also appears in the films, Dream Catcher (Ed Radke, 1999) and Gravel (Steve Bognar, 2003).
Early in the afternoon of July 4, 2010, at the Cityfolk Festival in Dayton, Ohio, the Ohio Arts Council presented Rick with the 2010, Ohio Heritage Fellowship. In honor of lifelong achievements that have had a lasting positive impact on the excellence, vitality and public appreciation of the folk and traditional arts in Ohio. The award recognizes Rick’s 40 year career as a musician, actor, writer, educator and advocate of America’s musical roots, including his work with the Hotmud Family and Rhythm in Shoes. Later that evening, Rhythm in Shoes closed the Festival with the last performance of their twenty-three year run.
Bobby Henrie's early days as an astounding child prodigy shaped his talent and love of eclecticism which includes most traditional music from old-time country to rockabilly and swing. As a guitarist with an unorthodox (flipped, lefty) technique, he can rip through a heady brew of raw roots rock, blistering flatpicking, smoking blues or smooth jazz. His vocal style is heartfelt, well honed and true to the style whether it's tough rocking or sultry swing. Bobby holds a degree in Jazz Guitar from SUNY Geneseo and is adept at writing material with a classic yet contemporary flair. He's played and competed at many prestigious festivals including Galax (Virginia) and Union Grove (North Carolina) Fiddler's Conventions, Winfield (Kansas) Guitar Festival, Wheatland and Berkshire Bluegrass festivals. In addition to the Goners, Bobby plays in the bluegrass bands, Cornerstone & Paris Texas. He is a original member of the Gypsy Jazz band - The Djangoners - and continues to perform with his 4 brothers in the Henrie Brothers StringBand that formed in 1974. Bobby recently launched a solo project to celebrate one of his guitar idols - Doc Watson - with an album dedicated to him titled "Doc Rememberances".
Advanced Old Time Fiddle
For decades Judy has taught at music camps throughout the U.S.; she is honored to be returning to GrassRoots Culture Camp. With roots in Appalachian fiddle music, classical violin, and modern rock, Judy is a co-founding member of alt-trad band, The Horse Flies, who toured extensively in the U.S., Canada, and Europe and recorded many albums, including releases on MCA and Rounder Records. Judy also composes music for film and received an Emmy Award for her score for the documentary “The Cultivated Life: Thomas Jefferson and Wine”. Judy toured and recorded with the remarkable Natalie Merchant several times, appearing on Merchant’s albums, The House Carpenter’s Daughter, Leave Your Sleep, and Retrospective. A project emotionally special to Judy is Late Last Summer, an album of her original waltzes, which she recorded with her dad, jazz pianist/composer Dick Hyman. Judy has been featured in Electronic Musician Magazine and several times in Fiddler Magazine. She was included as one of 20 master fiddlers in a booklet/cd set celebrating Fiddler Magazine’s 20th anniversary. This year she was commissioned to create a new waltz to celebrate Fiddler Magazine’s 25th anniversary.
Teaching Approach: In each of Judy’s classes you’ll learn a tune (or two?). Judy will teach the basic notes and then focus on bowings for achieving the danceable rhythm and fluid sound characteristic of old-time Appalachian music. You’ll also learn about alternate tunings, phrasing, and ornamentation. The tunes and techniques will be broken down and clearly taught so that you can learn by ear. Be sure to bring an electronic tuner, a recording device, and extra strings. www.judyhyman.com
Intermediate/Advanced Cajun Fiddle, Honky Tonk/Country Band Lab
Songwriting, Triangle, Cajun Song
Kelli Jones is a Louisiana transplant hailing originally from Raleigh, NC. During her thirteen years in the Lafayette area she has quickly become a veritable force in the local music scene and today she is an internationally acclaimed fiddler, singer and songwriter. Performing regularly with the Cajun trio T'Monde, as a duo with her longtime musical accomplice Joel Savoy, and also as the fiddle player and songwriting force in the genre-bending, yet Cajun-rooted band, Feufollet. She has appeared on countless Louisiana recordings. Kelli has also been touring as a a singer and fiddle player with the Alabama-based singer songwriter John Paul White (formerly of The Civil Wars).
Choreography, Ashtanga Yoga, Singing Duets
“Union is the heart of my work. The rhythm of breath, the power of intention, practicing and teaching, seeking strength, flexibility, balance, the joy of connection, the authority of truth; this fuels each day of discovery and challenges me to reach for the heavens. I am thankful to the many teachers that have shared their knowledge and wisdom. I am grateful especially to the generous laughers I have known, for they remind me not to take life too seriously. “ www.leahygood.com/sharon
Sharon Leahy is a dancer, choreographer, musician, teacher and director. From 1987 to 2010, Sharon created a body of award-winning, critically acclaimed work for RHYTHM IN SHOES, the dance and music company she co-directed with her husband, Rick Good. With a diverse and talented group of performing artists, Sharon brought to life a vision for dance/theater/music as one entity capable of expressing the joys and woes of contemporary life with the vocabulary of traditional forms.
Themes of her work have included: time, sacred space, forgotten myths and histories, home, family, pretense, relationship and death. She has worked extensively with physical comedy, created historically accurate recreations of vaudeville, and choreographed musical theater and entertainments from the professional to the high school level.
Sharon has taught dance and choreography at the University of Dayton, where she spent six years as an Artist in Residence. There she facilitated cross-department collaborations using dance and theater to explore and explain science, literature, religion, education, world culture, painting and social trends. She also developed a teacher-training program for education students, integrating movement education into the classroom.
Sharon has created original dance/theater works for the dance ensemble at the University of Dayton, as well as Wright State University, Antioch College, the University of Akron and Williams College. She has taught master classes at numerous colleges and universities throughout the country. Influenced by the work of Ann Bogart and the SITI COMPANY, with whom she studied both Suzuki and Viewpoints techniques, Sharon’s natural instinct for directing has developed into a dynamic, lively and introspective style of physical theater where vision meets invention.
Notable among recent projects is her first Dance for Camera film, Carry it on…, mask productions of The Pearl and The Tragedy of Hansel & Gretel for the ZOOT THEATER COMPANY and, for the HUMAN RACE THEATER COMPANY, Brother Wolf, a retelling of the Beowulf legend. With an eye towards universal themes both social and cultural, Sharon’s original work is produced with fearless conviction and a refined eye for details. The results can be provoking, soothing, disturbing and entertaining.
NEA Choreography Fellow – 1991, 1992-94, 1995, 1997
Ohio Arts Council Choreography Fellow – 1989, 1992, 1994, 1996
Culture Works Opus Award for Artistic Excellence – 1996
Ruth St. Denis Creative Choreography Award – 1983
Wheatland Music Organization – Carry it on… Project
National Endowment for the Arts
New England Foundation for the Arts National Dance Project
Ohio Arts Council
Miriam Rosenthal Foundation
Dayton Centennial of Flight Celebration
Aaron Lipp (guitar/banjo/mandolin/bass/organ/harmonica/dobro/vocals) has been pursuing old time and bluegrass music for years locally after an eight year stint touring across the world as a multi-instrumentalist and singer spanning several genres.
Aaron is from Naples, NY and has been a professional musician since age 16. From performing on stage, recording in the studio and teaching lessons, he has found his place in music . Throughout a multitude of different genre adventures and instrumentation, he has found home in traditional Appalachian old time music, classic bluegrass sounds, and the blues - all fused into a new sound of the next generation, while paying tribute to the traditions of our ancestors.
Aaron grew up in a musical family and began playing piano at age four. Throughout childhood, he picked up other instruments such as drums, bass, guitar, trumpet, organ, harmonica, and more. Coming from a musical family he was surrounded by all types of music from a very young age. From folk and bluegrass to rock and blues, these early years were the foundation of a long musical journey. Later in May 2006, Aaron joined Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, a local Rochester Original Roots Reggae and Dub band. He played a multitude of instruments for the group including Rhodes, Clavinet, Hammond B3 Organ, slide guitar, harmonica, wurlitzer, lap steel, guitar, and banjo. In a span of six years. During this era, Panda put out two live albums - "Live Up! Vol.1 & 2", and two studio albums - "In These Times" & "Country." Giant Panda toured constantly all over the country logging nearly half a million miles on the road. Panda later released "Steady" and "Bright Days" which feature Aaron on many instruments and harmony vocals. Throughout these years on the road and little time at home, Aaron dove heavily into Old Time and Bluegrass music, learning the traditional practices of clawhammer banjo, bottleneck slide guitar, dobro, flatpicking guitar, blues harp, old time fiddle and upright bass. Sacred steel music on the Hammond Organ and Lap Steel guitar was heavy in motion for the next musical touring adventure.
In March 2013, Aaron began touring with internationally renowned pedal-steel funk/soul guitarist Robert Randolph & The Family Band playing Hammond B3 Organ, Keyboards, Guitar and sang backup vocals for the group. During this time, he shared the stage with Buddy Guy, Taj Mahal, Anders Osbourne, The Slide Brothers, and more as well as performing on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with David Letterman, and the Kelly and Michael show. The group toured through Europe in early summer 2013 as well as a heavily scheduled album release tour of "Lickety Split" on the mainland United States.
Since early winter 2013, Aaron has taken an extended hiatus from touring to pursue several musical projects as well as diverse original songwriting. He has been the frontman and principal songwriter of the local group The Cabin Killers who have performed at many regional venues and festivals. Aaron also spends time working on several Bluegrass and Old Time musical projects with members of The Henrie Brothers. He can be found playing regionally with bands such as The Cabin Killers, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, The Campbell Brothers, Axis Armada, Richie Stearns & Rosie Newton, South Hill Cider String Band, The Prickers and The Henrie Brothers, just to name a few.
Jennie Lowe is a prominent songwriter and performer with a formidable catalog of original work under her belt. She has toured internationally while earning high esteem for her unique songwriting style and performances. Jennie firmly believes that every one has an inherent ability to create music and looks forward to sharing her process with others. She is currently working on her fifth solo album.
"When Jen sends me a song to soak in, it tends to stick around for days after just one listening. The woman is haunted by song and she exercises them little devils by singin' the hell out of ‘em... what's left is angelic and tends to stick around here for days stuck floating just above.”Howe Gelb
Born in the heart of Texas and raised in Ithaca, troubadour and avid street performer from the subway of nyc to street corners in Mexico, to the bars and cantinas of the desert. Blending styles of Mariachi, Flamenco, Country, and the Blues to make songs that are uniquely American.