2016 Festival Entertainment

goatBill Grogan’s Goat

www.billgrogansgoat.com

Bill Grogan’s Goat is a collective of five Detroit musicians who have played on and off together for many years in the Detroit music scene. Over the span of their musical careers, the five have covered musical styles ranging from symphonic band music to hardcore punk rock and from solo Irish ballad singing to avant garde Jazz. All these influences come together to bring a fresh approach to classic Irish folk music, utilizing a rock band format of bass, drums, guitars and traditional instruments such as Irish bouzouki, tin whistle, mandolin, fiddle and highland pipes.

dragonwagonDragon Wagon

www.dragonwagonband.com

Dragon Wagon is Michigan Roots music at its finest! Each performance is built on originality, fun, and expert musicianship, quickly making the band one of Michigan’s premier bluegrass outfits.  Dragon Wagon’s honest sound and genuine crowd connection never disappoint, and appeal to all audiences. The combination of mandolin, fiddle, banjo, guitar, bass, and drums guarantees an infectious energy that gets every crowd dancing! The band formed in 2008, and is now based in Ann Arbor, MI.

nessa-newNessa

www.nessamusic.com

Nessa is a Celtic fusion group led by multi-instrumentalist/vocalist, Kelly McDermott, known for her dazzling flute technique and beautiful, soulful voice. She is joined by co-founder/multi-instrumentalist Rob Crozier to research and arrange the music of Nessa. This hard-working team re-imagines the ballads and dances of the U.K. and Europe, uniquely blending elements of classical, folk, jazz, funk and world music to create rich, complex musical hybrids. With no shortage of virtuosity, Nessa includes some of Southeastern Michigan’s hottest players. The band moves audiences with funky reels, “barn burner” jigs, and deep, soulful glimpses of old stories.Nessa has a mystical, dreamy side akin to the music of Loreena McKennitt, an energetic aspect not unlike Solas, a touch of global fusion a la Pentangle and Eilleen Ivers, and a depth and dimension similar to Brian Eno.

equinoxEquinox

www.equinoxtheband.net

Hailing from County Saginaw in the State of Michigan, Equinox draws its inspiration from the music of Ireland and Scotland. Playing the traditional instruments: fiddle, whistles, concertina, bodhran, flute, bagpipes, guitar, bass, drums and voice, yet, with their own unique arrangements, Equinox transforms those familiar jigs, reels, strathspeys and hornpipes into reverent music that is dynamic and contemporary.

The Band currently features Vern Pococke on low whistle, drums and vocals, Jean Marie Learman on flute, whistle, concertina and vocals, Leslie Gregory on fiddle, and Kathy Morris on guitar, bodhran, whistle and vocals. Joining Equinox on Scottish Bagpipes is Dennis Lowe. They also have many diverse visual artists join their performances to create a musical experience for the eyes as well as the ears.

Beginning nearly twenty years ago as an amateur trio sharing Irish Pub songs at social gatherings, Equinox soon added more experienced musicians and developed an ear for the Celtic Revival Bands of the 60’s and 70’s. Their repertoire grew from Danny Boy and Whiskey in the Jar to include works by O’ Carolan, the Chieftains, and Brian McNeill.  They drew more upon the musical stylings of the bands that they listened to in their youth like the Byrds, Steeleye Span, Fairport Convention and Led Zeppelin. As a result, patrons are not only invigorated by the foot-stomping music of the Celtic Genre but are also pleasantly surprised with their rich and sophisticated arrangements which take this music far beyond its traditional roots.

stonecloverStone Clover

www.stonecloverband.com

Stone Clover spins high energy antics into the traditional world of Irish music.  Not to be labeled as merely an Irish band the group draws influence from many different styles of music including, punk, metal, jazz, and folk.  They are best known for their original songs, but are just as comfortable playing traditional songs with their own arrangements.  The band is loved by kids of all ages, 1-100.  Pull up a pint and be ready for some fun!

brothercroweBrother Crowe

www.brothercrowe.com

Hailing from Detroit—and damn proud of it—Brother Crowe has hammered through over 100 shows in a year, sometimes playing three gigs in a day. But now is their time to shine.

The band consists of two brothers, Derek (vocals/harmonica/mandolin) and Paul (guitars/vocals/piano). Brother Crowe’s purpose, is honing in on an New Country/Indie Folk sound that still possesses a somewhat traditional Americana style.

Paul, who along with his brother was influenced by his father’s love of Folk music, is dubbed Brother Crowes’ main songwriter. The duo works on music together, jamming out the skeletons of tunes until they’re finished.

“Derek will then fine tune some of the melodies and the lyrics a little bit, “Paul says. “He’s the one singing them. There are a few things that he’ll truncate or maybe he’ll change a phrase up, add a half verse or a full verse from what I originally wrote.  The songs definitely go through an element where we pound them into shape.”

The focus for Brother Crowe has been on original music, while trying to branch a tad outside of the box. This is the time for Brother Crowe, with the influx of indie folk acts on the radio.

roaneRoane

www.roaneband.com

Roane specializes in Celtic, Maritime, and American folk music. Our three enchanting lassies will inspire a love for all things Celtic as they raise their voices in harmony embracing the spirit of the their ancestors. Our Laddie plays several instruments and sings the foot-stomping shanties of the sea. Journey back in time with us as we share our passion for the sea and the ancient lands of olde!

Corktown Popes Photo 3Corktown Popes

www.corktownpopes.com

Founded in early 2010, The Corktown Popes set out to create something familiar, yet unique. We began by seeking out talented musicians with a penchant for energetic live performances and a strong Caledonian soul. We have found them. We’re not a celtic band, we’re not a rock band, but we’ve been accused of both. In addition, we’ve just won the Detroit Music Award’s Outstanding World Music Artist award for 2014!

peatinthecreelPeat in the Creel

www.peatinthecreel.com

 Peat in the Creel draws from Irish traditional music roots, at times nourished by the heritage of Scotland and broader world influences, to bring forth a range of energetic dance tunes, spirited folk songs, and peaceful melodies. The group’s namesake, a phrase inspired by a popular Scottish song lyric which literally wishes a basket laden with peat for fuel, metaphorically toasts to a bountiful future. Founded in 2011, the band is cut from the turf of West Michigan and enjoys performing throughout the region. Peat in the Creel features Alison Myers on flute, whistle, and vocals; Toby Bresnahan on bouzouki, guitar, and vocals; and Mike Mulder on bodhrán.

finvarrasFinvarra’s Wren

Finvarra’s Wren is one of North America’s most exciting Irish quartets. “Making the kind of music you’d only expect to hear on the west coast of Ireland” (Metro Times),  the members of this Detroit, Michigan based band are intensely dedicated to their instruments and craft.

Jim Perkins and Cheryl Burns are well known for their sensitive yet strong vocals and the inventive musical weaving of Jim’s guitar and Cheryl’s mountain dulcimer and bodhran. Their son Asher on the button accordion and concertina and daughter Alison on vocals and fiddle are renowned across the country for their exceptional musicianship. Each member of the family have enjoyed successful careers as musical performers, teachers and recording artists.

As a family band, Finvarra’s Wren is capable of playing with a tightness and effortlessness that often evades other ensembles. Their performances have been described as “a swirl of musical tradition and performance energy” (Matt Watroba, host of “Folks Like Us” on WDET). The family bond is evident in their music as well as in their stage presence, as audiences are treated to spontaneous, good natured banter, jokes and conversation.

a2821Saline Fiddlers Philharmonic

www.fiddlersrestrung.com

 Saline Fiddlers Philharmonic, America’s premier youth fiddling show band from Saline, Michigan, astounds audiences every time the group takes the stage. The musicians, all from Saline High School, present an energetic and polished show that features a diverse range of music from American folk, fiddle, bluegrass, jazz, western swing, and Celtic traditions. Spirited vocals and Appalachian step dancing combine with the instrumentals to create an unforgettable live performance.

The Saline Fiddlers Philharmonic members are selected through competitive auditions based on musical talent and personal maturity. They balance academics, sports, school organizations, church activities, jobs and social lives with the demanding commitment to music that is required for participation in the group. They truly represent the positive side of today’s youth.

diggersThe Diggers

www.facebook.com/diggersirishmusic/

JOHN L. SULLIVAN, BILL MISIUK and LEN WALLACE are The DIGGERS, a trio of singing and playing the best of Irish and Scottish folk music with tight performances, sweet harmonies and tunes that steal your breath away.

Based in the Detroit, Michigan and Windsor, Ontario areas, they’ve made a name for themselves in a nexus that stretches from south Western Ontario to Northern Michigan, Chicago, Illinois to Ohio and they have become favourites in many Irish and Scottish communities.

Their delivery is powerful and passionate. Bill is the steady and innovative bass guitar player providing the group’s heartbeat and drive and can be seen on stage early devising new arrangements and revising old licks. Len the accordionist (and a national Canadian champion) gearing himself to rev up the audience while preparing a set of pyrotechnical reels to take your breath away. John, on acoustic guitar, is the group’s centre with clear, ringing vocal leads giving his all be it a raucous pub song or the softer ballad.

Blue CaledoniaBlue Caledonia

Blue Caledonia, Scottish music with a bluesy twist, has been performing Scottish music, song, and dance in southeast Michigan, since 2008.  This group features fiddler, Katherine Dunham, and gaelic singer, and step dancer, Ren’ee Ginell.  In 2016, gaelic singer, and Celtic harper, Carol Kappus, brought her rich Celtic talents to the group creating a well-rounded Scottish program. Katherine, Carol, and Ren’ee bring to their music their deep-seeded knowledge gained through years of study in Scotland and Nova Scotia, Canada.  Come and enjoy music, song, storytelling, and dance with Blue Caledonia at the Red Dragon stage at 1:30 pm!

Ann Arbor Celtic Harpers

The Ann Arbor Celtic Harpers play Celtic music on folk harps, also called Celtic or Lever Harps. They meet periodically, sponsor concerts and workshop, and occasionally perform. Led by Carol Kappus, a harper and singer specializing in the music of Scotland.

Irish Dance Company of Lansing

www.irishdancelansing.org

The Irish Dance Company of Lansing has promoted Irish music and dance for children in the Mid-Michigan area since 1992. Dancers from age 5 to 18 learn traditional steps and dances, and help select music and create choreography to a variety of traditional to contemporary Celtic tunes.Directed by Betsy McCartney Banghart and Meghan McCartney Scott.

CommonWealth Dance Collective

The Commonwealth Dance Collective is an ensemble of Michigan dancers who perform many styles of stepdances including Irish, Appalachian,  English, Canadian, American tap, historic routines and original choreography.  The members of the group delight in capturing the spirits of the past and the present with equal enthusiasm and sharing the collective joy of many cultures through dance.

Tartan and Thistle Scottish Country Dancers

The Tartan and Thistle Scottish Country Dancers meet weekly in the Ann Arbor to dance traditional jigs, reels and Strathspeys – the social dances of Scotland – while listening to live music and enjoying each other’s company. Dancers of all ages and skill levels are welcome.

Damhsa Ulsce Ban Mor

Irish Ceili Dancing for the family. Ceili dancing is a form of social dancing and can be enjoyed by everyone, young or old. Dances will be taught and called, and no partner is needed! Come join us and have some fun.

Emerald Irish Dance Company

The Dancin’ with Delia Irish Dance School has been offering Irish dance since 2006.  They currently offer group and private lessons in Clinton Township, Saline, Rochester and Farmington Hills.

Dancin’ Feet School of Gaelic Culture and Dance

Ren’ee Ginell has owned and directed Dancin’ Feet School of Gaelic Culture and Dance, since 1998.  Teaching and performing gaelic music, theatre, song, and dance with and for kids of all ages.  Come join her at the Dublin stage at Saturday for a fun, easy, pub dance instruction session!

Ann Arbor Morris

Morris dancing is a form of ritual folkdance that originates in England and dates back to at least the 15th century.  The Ann Arbor Morris group was founded in 1976 and is part of the Ann Arbor Community of Traditional Music and Dance.  Morris dancers traditionally dress in white, wear bells tied to their shins, and dance to live music played on instruments such as the accordion, penny whistle, or fiddle.

Nutshell

Based in Ann Arbor, Nutshell is a Celtic roots band whose repertoire ranges from high energy traditional jigs and reels, to expressive airs and songs with beautiful harmonies.  Nutshell will feature Linda Teaman on lead vocals and bodhran, Tom Voiles on flute, whistle, and vocals, and John Lloyd on guitar.

Ensoleil

Annika Socolofsky and Christine Hedden (fiddles) and Nadine Dyskant-Miller (flute) draw their roots from a variety of backgrounds: Irish, Scottish, Quebecois, and New England folk music. Together, they can be seen almost every Saturday morning at the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market.

Celtic Jam

Celtic Jam consists of musicians who play traditional Irish music on acoustic instruments such as the fiddle, banjo, harp, uilleann pipes, concertina, bodhran, guitar, string bass, and penny whistle. Members perform occasionally at local events and meet regularly for open sessions at the Chelsea Alehouse (1st and 3rd monthly Sundays, 2-4 pm) and at the Ypsi Alehouse (2nd and 4th Sunday, 2-4 pm).

Contra and English Dance Workshop

English Country Dance and Contra Dance are social dances with roots from Elizabethan England. English Dance is set to its own musical pieces, while Contra is usually danced to reels and jigs. All the dancing involves simple walking steps and the dance figures are taught before each dance and also prompted throughout the dance. In this program, we will use easy figures that can be learned in a few minutes. The goal is to have fun dancing while enjoying the very fine music provided.

About the Instructors
Ed Vincent is a Michigan caller who likes to make dancing fun and learning the steps easy.

 Brad has been playing traditional fiddle music for over 30 years, most of that for various kinds of traditional dancing.  While he can be found playing around and near Ann Arbor most weekends with bands like Big Fun and The Ruffwater String Band, he has also been hired to play for trad-focused festivals and dance events from Illinois to Denmark and Cape Breton to Georgia. Brad focuses on New England contras, English Country Dances, and traditional squares, but he also plays for Scottish and Irish set dancing, Scandinavian couple dancing, and more.

Myron Grant has been playing contra dances since the 1980’s with the Sharon Hollow String Band, and since 2011, with Big Fun. Myron is a multi-instrumentalist and singer, playing guitar, mandolin, harmonica, and the bones. His musical background crosses many styles, starting with church choir when he was a kid, to rock-and- roll, folk, country, bluegrass, contra, swing, and jazz. He has been part of various ensembles since 1968. He played concerts and festivals around the Midwest from the mid-70’s to the early 90’s with the eclectic acoustic group Footloose. From the mid-90’s to 2013, he played concerts with the swing and jazz ensemble Five Guys Named Moe. He is a founding member of both of these groups, as well as of the Ann Arbor swing and jazz ensemble, Treetown Swingtette.

Myron has made a number of recordings over the years: beginning with a “45” single with the rock ‘n roll band, Love’s Alchemy, in 1971; eight recordings (vinyl to CDs) with Footloose; and one CD with Five Guys Named Moe; He has also done studio work for Toyota and Dodge.

Ceili Dance Workshop

Ceili Dancing (pronounced “kaylee”) is a form of Irish social dancing and is a type of folk dance. It is done for the pure enjoyment of the music and the opportunity to join as a community in dance together. Ceili is often done at weddings, birthdays and other parties. The dance brings people of all ages together to meet, dance and experience the music together.  Newcomers are taught the basic steps and dance patterns, experienced dancers are near by to coach and guide, and all dances are called. Come try Ceili dancing, it is what the Irish call “craic’ (crack) — a good time!!!
About the Instructors
Brad has been playing traditional fiddle music for over 30 years, most of that for various kinds of traditional dancing.  While he can be found playing around and near Ann Arbor most weekends with bands like Big Fun and The Ruffwater String Band, he has also been hired to play for trad-focused festivals and dance events from Illinois to Denmark and Cape Breton to Georgia. Brad focuses on New England contras, English Country Dances, and traditional squares, but he also plays for Scottish and Irish set dancing, Scandinavian couple dancing, and more.

Myron Grant has been playing contra dances since the 1980’s with the Sharon Hollow String Band, and since 2011, with Big Fun. Myron is a multi-instrumentalist and singer, playing guitar, mandolin, harmonica, and the bones. His musical background crosses many styles, starting with church choir when he was a kid, to rock-and- roll, folk, country, bluegrass, contra, swing, and jazz. He has been part of various ensembles since 1968. He played concerts and festivals around the Midwest from the mid-70’s to the early 90’s with the eclectic acoustic group Footloose. From the mid-90’s to 2013, he played concerts with the swing and jazz ensemble Five Guys Named Moe. He is a founding member of both of these groups, as well as of the Ann Arbor swing and jazz ensemble, Treetown Swingtette.

Myron has made a number of recordings over the years: beginning with a “45” single with the rock ‘n roll band, Love’s Alchemy, in 1971; eight recordings (vinyl to CDs) with Footloose; and one CD with Five Guys Named Moe; He has also done studio work for Toyota and Dodge.

Fiddle Workshop – About the Instructor

Michael Gavin is an accomplished fiddle, banjo, guitar, and bouzouki player from Detroit, Michigan. His love for Irish traditional music began from birth- his father is Co. Clare-born fiddler Mick Gavin, who taught Michael fiddle from and early age. Michael has shared the stage with legends such as Kevin Burke, Liz Carroll, and Paddy Keenan, and has toured with acclaimed dance show Atlantic Steps. In addition to his virtuosity on strings, Michael is also a fine singer. He teaches fiddle, banjo, and guitar locally, and performs with his father and brother, uilleann piper and flute player Sean Gavin, at events and festivals across the Midwest.

Tin Whistle Workshop – About the Instructor

Colleen Shanks began playing traditional music at age 11, when she first heard an early recording of The Chieftains. It was love at first listen, and within weeks she had acquired her first tin whistle. Soon after she began learning flute and uilleann pipes. She learned much of her music from Clare-born fiddler Mick Gavin, and the late Dublin uilleann piper Al Purcell. In 1999, she was a member of the Detroit Groupai Cheoil that won a 2nd place award at the All-Ireland fleadh in the group competition.
She has toured with the Nashville based band The Celts (as featured on PBS) for their North American Christmas tour, and is a regular performer in the Crossroads Ceili show at The Ark, Ann Arbor, as well as festivals and events throughout Michigan.
In addition to performance and instruction, Colleen chairs the Detroit Irish Music Association CCE Branch, and is the co-founder of the Strayaway Child Concert Series, both of which strive to preserve and promote traditional Irish music and culture in Michigan.

Bodhran Drum – About the Instructor

Tristan Pruss has drawn on a wide range of influences in Irish music, first immersing himself in the vibrant traditional music scenes in Chicago and Galway before returning to his native Michigan in 2007. He’s studied with countless great players and teachers locally, as well as at the Old Town School of Folk Music, the Irish Music School of Chicago, and the Craiceann Bodhrán Summer School on Inis Oírr. An accomplished piper and whistle player as well, he has been teaching bodhrán through the Detroit Irish Music Association since 2012. He’s appeared on stage with Michigan Emmy-award winning singer-songwriter Kitty Donohoe, Ann Arbor-based band Ensoleil, and legendary uilleann piper Paddy Keenan, and is a veteran of countless sessions on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as both sides of Lake Michigan.

Step Dance Workshop – About the Instructor

Elise Gregory is teaching the step dance workshop and is from U of M’s LIAM Irish Dance Performing Group and teaches Irish dance at Ann Arbor Rec & Ed.