Andy Reiner, an award-winning fiddler, composer and educator originally from Lexington, MA, began playing at age five with the Reiner Family Band. He has since developed his own style featuring creative, rhythmic melodies, and thoughtful fusing of world styles. Earning a BM in Violin Performance from Berklee College of Music in Boston launched Andy into a flurry of touring and teaching around the globe - including Heavy Metal with Devil in the Kitchen, Folk/Hip-Hop with FiddleFoxx, Swedish/Appalachian with Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers, Electronic/Celtic with Firecloud, and Bluegrass with The Earth Stringband, which toured Southeast Asia on the 2011 American Music Abroad tour for the State Department and Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Also known as the "Skiing Fiddler," Andy skis every month of the year and many of his compositions are influenced by mountains and nature. Andy currently tours both as a solo artist and with groups Half Pelican, Whitewater Ramble and Andy Reiner and Jon Sousa, and composes fiddle tunes, songs, new works, and arrangements for string orchestra. He teaches improvisation, composition and fiddle styles privately and at schools, universities, and at music camps across the US.
Jerry Bryant - Voice, Guitar, Ukulele, Sea Shanty Master
Jerry brings to Rustic Roots an enthusiasm for making music the old fashioned way: free of amplifiers, stages, and formalities. A nationally-known scholar of traditional sailor songs, Jerry’s repertoire of chanteys, drinking songs, and bawdy verse is deep. He has also explored the roots of American, English and Irish balladry, and brought back gems that are still hair-raisingly alive hundreds of years after they were created. Jerry loves signing ancient songs around campfires – a perfect match for this camp.
A surprising variety of instruments have made their way into the orbit of the songs Jerry sings. For this year’s Rustic Roots he’ll share his skill on guitar and uke (though we expect him to also pack his concertina, banjo, bones and whatever else he can fit in the car).
Jerry has brought the power of traditional music to audiences all across the continent. He’s been a mainstay of the Mystic Seaport Sea Music Festival since 1984, and has sung performed from California to Maine. He was on the faculty of the Meadowlark Music Camp for 14 years, and has released several recordings. A songwriter, too, he follows the tradition for inspiration, creating future folk songs.
Raised on a small farm in Spokane, Washington, Joy Adams began playing the cello at age 15 and is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music. Despite a string of classical adventures that included winning Musicfest Northwest, attending the Aspen Music Festival, soloing with the Spokane Symphony, and touring with the Selden String Quartet, Joy ultimately returned to her roots, joining an old-time band, the Windsor Folk Family, during her last year at Eastman. Recipient of a Mancini Fellowship at the Frost School of Music (where she also taught bluegrass songwriting, contemporary improvisation, and led the Frost Fiddle Band), Joy completed her Doctorate in 2016. She teaches for the American Music System and Denver School of the Arts, and has been on the faculty of fiddle camps in Boston, Charleston, Maine, Connecticut, New York City, and Sandpoint, Idaho. She has made over a dozen concerto appearances and has shared the stage with major artists such as Bruce Hornsby, Ben Folds, Bobby McFerrin, and Chick Corea. Recent highlights include releasing Trifecta, a CD of Indian fusion music, publishing Fiddle Club Favorites for the Cello, touring the Northwest with fiddle-cello duo Half Pelican, and performing at the 2017 Big Sky Big Grass festival with Darol Anger and the Furies. In her spare time, Joy enjoys eating pie and climbing on things.
Rustic Roots teaching artists are inspiring players, educators, jam leaders and chefs. Some workshops are instrument specific but many include mixed instruments or even just voices and are geared towards jamming strategies/repertoire and musical goals.
Ian Haegele - Bass
Originally from Wauwatosa, WI, Ian lives in Colorado’s Front Range. He started playing bluegrass and folk music around 2007, playing around Wisconsin at various venues and bluegrass festivals. After catching the bluegrass bug and playing in school orchestras and jazz bands, he got his BM at CU Boulder on double bass. Though focusing on orchestral and solo bass repertoire, most of his nights and weekends were spent jamming and immersing himself in the vibrant local acoustic music community of the Boulder area. Ian found that his classical studies only enriched his true musical love: playing bluegrass/fiddle/newgrass styles.
Since then, Ian has been performing in several Front Range acoustic bands: Long Road Home, The Martin Gilmore Trio, and Thunder and Rain. With these groups, he has played at many Colorado festivals, toured around the US, played on Vancouver Island, toured Ireland, and plans on never stopping. He also has performed with several orchestras around Colorado and Wyoming, and has played on stage with local and national touring acts including Jayme Stone and the Jeff Austin Band.
Currently, Ian is working on his Masters in Music at UNC Greeley, as the bass teaching assistant, studying with Colorado Symphony bassist, Nicholas Recuber. He also is doing a Masters certificate in UNC’s new Bluegrass and Folk Studies program, studying with Eric Thorin.
Violinist and Nyckelharpa* virtuoso Sandra Wong has toured nationally and internationally as a solo artist and in many magical musical collaborations. Her current projects include “Kaleidoscope" with Ty Burhoe and Bill Douglas; "Marrakech Express" with El Yesefi Samir, Brett Bowen and Dexter Payne, "From The Fjords to the Andes" with Victor Mestas, Gonzalo Teppa and Jill Fredrickesen; Roger Landes, Sandra Wong and Beth Gadbaw, and collaborations with a wide breadth of musicians working with diverse genres of music. Sandra creates and personally facilitates musical study trips to different countries leading people into the heart of individual folk cultures through the music and dance of each country. She strives to nurture a deep love of music and the arts in both children and adults. She teaches privately and in group settings in Boulder, Colorado and wherever her music takes her. Sandra is passionate about sustainability and donates a percentage of all CD sales and concert ticket sales to organizations working to create sustainability in all aspects of life; environmental conservation, species protection, alternative energy innovation, education, equal rights, and more. *The Swedish Nyckelharpa is a 16 stringed, keyed instrument played with a bow.
Salty Dick - Dirty Songs
Richard “Salty Dick” Docker is a professor of ethnomusicology at Harpswell Community College in Cundy's Harbor, Maine. He has studied and performed traditional sailor music and dirty songs for decades, and has crewed on sailing vessels. He has a P.H.D in scatology from Pudendia University. He sings and plays concertina, banjo, and button accordion. His recording “Uncensored Sailor Songs” has earned him fans across the planet.
Sandra Wong - Fiddle, Nyckelharpa
Multi-instrumentalist John Holenko has been playing and performing music all his life. From Traditional Folk to Classical to Rock, John has performed on acoustic and electric guitars, mandolin, banjo, and historic Medieval and Renaissance instruments, both as a soloist and ensemble player. While receiving degrees in Classical Guitar Performance from The New England Conservatory and University of Southern California, John also played and studied Renaissance music, and later, Medieval music. John performed and recorded with the Medieval ensemble Sonus. John has played with The Charleston Symphony Orchestra and the Spoleto Orchestra. His own group, The Hungry Monks, performs original and traditional music, both acoustic and electric. He is also a member of the group Porto Seguro, playing Brazilian chorus and bossa nova.
John runs Hungry Monk Music, a music teaching studio with over 10 teachers, in Charleston, SC. He is also active in the American Music Systems, residencies through the South Carolina Arts Commission, Charlotte Children’s Theatre in Charlotte, NC, and at the Cuyahoga Valley Environmental Education Center in Ohio, where he has also been Artist-in Residence. John has made a number of recordings including a solo guitar recording, three Hungry Monks recordings, and guest appearances on several other artists recordings. Mr. Holenko has published several editions with Mel Bay Publications.
Hazel Ketchum began her performing and song writing career as a drummer in country bands at age 14. After performing throughout Northern California and Las Vegas, NV Hazel started music school to study classical guitar, lute, voice and composition. Since receiving her Masters in Music from the University of Southern California in 1989 she has had a lively career giving classical concerts, playing with the Medieval ensemble Sonus and lute duo Rossignol. Currently, Hazel performs with her band the Hungry Monks and they have 3 CDs featuring her original songs. Hazel also performs with Irish fiddler Tom Morley in their “band of two” Banna de dhá. Hazel continues to play percussion and drum set with the blues trio The Harrows and lute with the Baroque trio Corde Cantanti. Hazel’s music is also the focus of two children’s CDs “Big as the World” and “Say Darlin’ Say”. In 2012 Hazel premiered her first commissioned work “Heloise and Abelard – a masque” for Counter Tenor, Alto and instrumental ensemble.
Hazel is in demand as a music teacher and directs music studies for the Cooper School, Oak Grove Montessori and Hungry Monk Music. In the summers Hazel teaches with her husband John Holenko for the American Music Camps that have been held at the Berkley School of Music in Boston, Charleston, SC, South Shore Conservatory in Hingham, MA and Portland, Maine. You can also find Hazel teaching music at Green River Preserve in North Carolina where she her musical performances and classes combine with outdoor experiences. Hazel has been part of the very successful collaboration with naturalist, educator and musican Ian Sanchez. Their project Science Songs Rock has produced one CD and engages children in musical science projects in schools through out the South East. Hazel lives in Charleston with her family and together they run Hungry Monk Music where students of all ages come to play music, dance and sing.
Jake Schepps has made a name for himself as a banjo renaissance man, an artist with not only an adroit touch on his instrument but an intrepid, imaginative vision for contemporary string band music. While his nimble touch and deep sensitivity to the five-string banjo’s idiomatic qualities are deeply rooted in traditional and progressive bluegrass styles, it’s his insatiable curiosity and open spirit that have brought him to the exciting frontier of new acoustic music.
In 2015 Jake’s Quintet released Entwined. The music on Entwined represents some of the first ever long-form works written by classical composers for the traditional 5-piece bluegrass string band, an ensemble that was minted when banjoist Earl Scruggs joined Bill Monroe and his Bluegrass Boys in 1945. An Evening in the Village: The Music of Béla Bartók (2011) finds common ground between the piquant beauty of Bartók's take on Eastern European folk melodies and the big-sky vibrancy of new American acoustic music. This exploration continues with his innovative online music subscription Round Window Radio, a music series seen through the prism of the 5-string banjo. As a bandleader, his groups the Expedition Quartet, the Jake Schepps Quintet, and now Round Window have performed around the country and abroad, playing festivals, concert halls, jazz clubs, and even an esteemed NPR Tiny Desk Concert. Jake is a skilled and conscientious educator, having taught at NimbleFingers, Berklee College of Music, British Columbia Bluegrass Workshop, University of Northern Colorado, and producing an instructional DVD Modern Banjo Ideas & Techniques.
Enion Pelta-Tiller - Fiddle, Voice,
Enion Pelta-Tiller began classical violin studies at age 3, but her education was always supplemented by improvisation lessons from her jazz guitarist father. By 16 she had taught herself to compose impromptu melodies in styles from classical sonatas to East Indian ragas and jazz standards. Enion attended Peabody Institute in Baltimore, MD, working towards a viola performance degree, while also studying english at Johns Hopkins.
Eventually she landed in NYC, where she performed cutting edge music straddling punk, free jazz, and classical with various local musicians, and landed a gig with the crown prince of Hungary’s New Wave music scene, Menyhart Jeno, as the violinist in Mr Con and the Bioneers. She traveled to Hungary in the summer of 2001 to play the main stage at the Pepsi Sziget, Europe’s largest music festival, playing immediately before Run DMC and Morcheeba.
Upon her return she focused more on composing and performing the music she and David had been working on together, and the two decided to make a life of it. Enion has performed onstage with Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart, Bob Weir and Vince Welnick of the Grateful Dead, Darol Anger, Darrol Scott, John Cowan, Fareed Haque and many others.
David Tiller began playing guitar at age 8, spurred on by his musician father. His childhood in Virginia was spent learning the abundance of bluegrass and Celtic and rock music there, but by age 14 he was enriching his knowledge with classical and jazz guitar training at the North Carolina School of the Arts, and began exploring the mandolin. With a diligent practice schedule and great aspirations, David took on the mandolin full time in his late teens, and was a founding member of the celebrated High Sierra Festival Record label’s band ThaMuseMeant, based in New Mexico. In ThaMuseMeant’s 8 year history, they toured all over the United States, sharing stages with the likes of the Dave Matthews Band, Sheryl Crow, Ricki Lee Jones, Blues Traveler, String Cheese Incident, Leftover Salmon, YMSB, Greg Brown, and many others. In 2000, when the band broke up, David moved to NYC to follow his heart and study jazz, where he met Enion Pelta, a member of Brooklyn Browngrass. They began writing together and formed the group Taarka to feature their music.