GUEST ARTISTS 2017
Orly Krasner from USA
Paul Hutchinson & Fiona Barrow
3D is Chris, Julie and Nick Dewhurst. They are well-known in folk dance circles, both for their live music and for their popular recordings, and have a busy schedule playing for English and Scottish dance events and festivals up and down the country. Their roots in folk music go back many years, but they have played together as a family band since 1997, when Nick decided he would like to join in the fun!
The band is equally at home playing romping reels and sensitive slow airs, strict Scottish and purest Playford (well, as pure as you can get with two accordions, drum kit and trumpet!) They enjoy bringing the music to life with their own unique interpretations, drawing on many different musical styles, but their aim is always to fit the tune perfectly to the dance, and to provide that essential 'lift' to help keep dancers on their toes — even at the end of an evening's dancing!
Their first CD 'New Dimensions' (2004) quickly became a firm favourite with folk dance clubs, with its upbeat selection of music for country dances and contra dances, and this was followed in 2008 by their Scottish Dance CD 'Crossing Borders', which is popular in both English and Scottish circles. Then in 2011, encouraged by many of their dancing friends, Nick and Chris recorded 'Brass Tracks', a selection of favourites from the Dancing Masters which sound fantastic played on trumpet and flugelhorn. It too is proving to be a 'hit'! What will they think of next? They've done it :- “Beyond the Borders”.
The Dewhursts have been focusing on the music of Pat Shaw in this his centenary year, and Chris will be leading a workshop on Shaw's music, as well as playing for dancing.
Orly discovered English Country Dancing while finishing her Ph.D. dissertation on a totally unrelated musical topic. Intrigued by the idea of music made visible, Orly took up choreography, and then apprenticed as a dance teacher under Fried de Metz Herman, Beverly Francis, Gene Murrow, and Paul Ross. Orly now teaches regularly at Country Dancers of Westchester and Country Dance*New York, and has appeared as a guest teacher for dances, festivals, and special events throughout the USA, Canada, England, and Japan. Orly also dabbles in baroque dance but remains a committed ECD dance gypsy! In her day job, she is a professor of musicology at City College of New York.
Orly will also be doing a workshop on Charles Bolton, who is much missed. He inspired and mentored her in her early work on choreographing dances, She will also remember Fried de Metz Herman, with Fried's 90th anniversary falling in 2017
Charley Roberts - fiddle , Ian Roberts - melodeons and feet, Ian Benton - guitar, Margaret Benton - double bass
Probably the UK’s most high-energy contra dance band, Vertical Expression is what happens when you take two English ceilidh musicians on fiddle and melodeon and put them with a guitar and double bass rhythm section with a love of bluegrass and gypsy jazz, throw in some old time music and foot percussion, a bit of French-Canadian one-row box, a few Irish fiddle tunes, some Django Reinhardt-style guitar, a bit of creativity and a lot of energy and fun…
Mike has extensive folk festival experience having been calling a wide spectrum of dances and events for 34 years. Through energetic English Ceilidhs and American Contras
to barn dances you are sure to have come across him at some point. He has entertained at Sidmouth, Chippenham, Lichfield, Eastbourne, IVDVF and Broadstairs to name but a few. In 2004 He became the Dance Director at Chippenham Folk Festival.
He is a freelance caller and has worked with many different bands.He was responsible for resurrecting the Callers' Workshop & Showcase Dance for Sidmouth '98 and '99 and has introduced similar workshops at Chippenham. He began folk dancing whilst at University in 1970. Folk is very much in the family. He met his wife Rita through dancing and both sons, Chris and Adam dance too. In fact Adam also helps with the Chippenham Folk Festival as its webmaster.
Jen is a folk dance caller based in the Midlands, She calls ceilidh, contra and Playford dances to audiences of all ages and abilities. Her love of folk dancing began since before she can remember, with the yearly trips to the Old Round Party. This planted the seed for her enthusiasm for Playford dancing. At university, she joined Sheffield Ceilidhsoc and began dancing in earnest, whilst taking an active role in running the society and helping to organise the Inter Varsity Folk Dance Festival 2008. In 2009 her husband Bob Morgan (already a talented ceilidh caller) and she moved to Loughborough and discovered contras and squares at Loughborough Folk Dance Club. The next year they joined Warwick Folk and became regulars at Alcester Contra. In 2013 she started Coventry Zesty Playford, part of a movement to dance Playford dances with energy and enthusiasm. She started calling regularly in 2015, with the aim of sharing her love of folk dancing with as many people as possible. She is doing both Zesty Playford and contra.
Geoff is well known as a caller for American Squares and Contra and English Ceilidh.He has been invited to call at national dance festivals, including Whitby, Chippenham and Sidmouth, and is well respected among his peers. He has considerable experience as a dancer himself, particularly in Appalachian dancing, performing at many festivals. His experience as a dancer stands him in good stead when calling, as his sympathy with those on the floor means that he is helpful to beginners as well as extending the expert dancers.
"Geof was a latecomer to folk dancing when he and his wife were invited to join the local Walsall club in 1991. They found it fitted them like a glove and Geof started calling two years later. He now calls at most of the clubs in the area regularly and is deservedly popular. His debut at Lichfield Folk Festival was in 2009 when he called the barn dance and led the public dancing at the cathedral. Followed by a very successful Tea Dance at the 2011 Festival.
Geof also enjoys writing dances - in fact he has published no less than 9 books to date! So, does he have a favourite style? Yes - particularly impressed by John Chapman he loves doing singing calls (and he has a lovely voice for them - Ed) but equally he covers the whole range of Playford to modern dances.
Deo Volente are an accordion and flute duo based in Nottingham and formed in 2006. Dave and Victoria are experienced folk dance musicians and have become familiar faces locally and well-known on the national dance scene. They have performed at festivals and weekends including Morland, Southam, Casterton, Lichfield, Eastbourne and Chippenham.
They particularly enjoy playing for Playford and Playford-style dances – the way the beautiful tunes match with the dance moves makes for memorable combinations and magical moments. However, they are also to be found playing for other genres within the repertoire.
Dave and Victoria are both keen dancers so look out for them on the dance floor when they are not performing!
Orion's Ring was originally formed as a family barn dance band over 25 years ago. Though various members of the family have moved on to greater things,Genni (daughter) on fiddle and Steve (Dad) on accordion still form the core of the band, with Darren,( Genni’s fiance,) on bodhran . They areregularly augmented by Jacqui on flute, harp, recorders and crumhorns during her periods within the UK. Occasionally they have the benefit of Colin on bassoon, oboe and contra bassoon. Their repertoire has increased and changed over the years, and they now enjoy playing a very wide range of music, but feel that their best work is in playing for Playford-style English country dances. They have played at several of the major festivals, and are in demand across much of England for their rhythmic and danceable sound. They derive great pleasure from making the feet of those dancing and those sitting out move to the music! Steve began learning to play piano at the age of 4, but discovered the accordion when he was nine, and has been playing one ever since. Genni also began playing very young, and became involved with playing folk music soon after beginning her violin lessons. In addition to her percussion work, Rosemary is well known as a very clear and patient caller for English Country Dance. All of them love their playing, and this is clearly evident in the life they put into the music
From rural Dorset we have Rosemary Hunt, a fine teacher of both contemporary and historic English country dance. Co-editor with her husband Steve of the collection Dances from 1792, caller at dance weeks and weekends in the UK (Halsway Manor, Chippenham, Lichfield, Eastbourne), US, Belgium, and Holland, Rosemary is the resident caller at the Wareham Folk Dance Club and organizer of Dorset's popular Purbeck weekend. She also choreographs dances, setting many of them to tunes by Steve.
Paul Hutchinson & Fiona Barrow
Fiona Barrow is a Bristol based professional violinist who trained classically. ... She has played for folk dancing for many years, with the duo Bristol players, and with Paul Hutchinson, appearing at Sidmouth, Broadstairs, Chippenham Folk Festival. Paul Hutchinson has had a long musical career cooperating with other musicians to form such bands as Belshazzar's Feast which has a busy performing schedule and twice yearly tours. Among their many highlights was a nomination for Best Duo at the BBC Folk Awards in 2010.
In addition to performing and teaching, Paul is also active in community work and various local projects including a 17th century music group.
Robert is a well known figure on the English Country Dance scene as a dancer, caller and choreographer.
Originally based in the North he now lives in Gloucestershire, and regularly travels countrywide to call at dance events. He has also called at events in USA, Belgium, and the Netherlands. He is noted for his dancer-friendly calling, intending to encourage good dance performance and enjoyment by dancers.
As part of the Pat Shaw Legacy Group he has been engaged in organising and will be taking part in many special events in 2017 commemorating the centenary of Pat Shaw’s birth. He has also been encouraging others to do so too. As part of this special role Robert has been invited to travel to Pinewoods in August and the Netherlands for the Christmas Course; both of which long running events Pat attended. We are fortunate to have Robert to run some special Pat Shaw sessions at Lichfield this year.
His Saturday night will include not only dances by Pat, but also friends of Shaw, and those who have followed in his footsteps.
Maggie grew up with folk dancing – her mother played accordion and was a Scottish dancer and family parties always included ‘Sir Roger de Coverley’ and other traditional
English dances. Maggie discovered her love of International Folk Dancing at Sidmouth Festival in the early 1990s and joined the local Society for International Folk Dancing group in Birmingham. In 1996 she took over running the group, which is still going strong. She also attended the Heart of England Group in Solihull and joined their band, which in its current line-up plays twice a month for the group and also provides the music for Midlands International folk dances and occasional national SIFD events. This year her band ‘Maggie’s Mix’ (with Gordon Taylor and Rod and Frances Stradling) will be providing music for the International dancing at Eastbourne Festival for the second time.
Maggie is a keen promoter of live music for all kinds of folk dancing and has organized and led International music workshops at folk camps and recent SIFD Summer Schools as well as locally. She has been a regular at Lichfield Festival since 2000, where she has led several International dance and music workshops as well as playing with ‘the Cat’s Whiskers band’ .
Have been playing music together as Folkus Pocus since 2002, although they met a few years earlier at Cardiff University, where we both studied music. They began playing professionally for a series of dance workshops at Cecil Sharp House in London. They are delighted to be in demand regularly at festivals, weekends, evening dances and other events all over the country. In recent years they have also worked in Belgium, Germany and Holland.
Caroline grew up surrounded by folk music and has played for dancing for many years. In 2003 she won first prize in the London Fiddlers' Convention and her bright, clear sound has won her many fans. Dan's introduction to folk music came through meeting Caroline at university. His style is best described as driving but sensitive - a combination of jazzy improvisations and a more lyrical 'classical' touch - an ideal combination for both folk dance music and teaching music.
Music will be provided, and a preparatory workshop will be held on Sunday morning for those who would like a chance to run through the programme beforehand. Continuing the tradition of many years, pick up your instrument, and help to bring this year’s festival to another fantastic finale!
The Festival Band combines all the festival band musicians who are able to gather at the final afternoon session.
Would all musicians who wish to play in the band, please contact Gordon – see notes on programme pages.