I have a long musical history, starting with classical
piano as a child. I took up folk guitar in college, and then banjo and
fiddle during the folk revival of the 60's. I was inspired by the Berkeley
Folk Music Festival which took place during that era and which brought
to the West Coast some of the great traditional musicians of the 20th
Century, such as Tommy Jarrell, Roscoe Holcomb, Mississippi John Hurt,
Sam and Kirk McGee and countless others.
In the 70s and 80s I made several
pilgrimages to the East Coast and Appalachians and visited the homes
of Tommy Jarrell, Franklin George, Burl Hammons, Oscar Wright and other
great American musicians. I attended Fox Hollow, Philadelphia Folk Festival,
Festival of the Smokies, Pipestem, Galax, and other East Coast hotbeds
of bluegrass and old-timey music.
Back home I did occasional solo
performing and also played with music friends such as Jim Newberry and
Greg and Jere Canote until they deserted the Bay Area for Seattle.
Around 1975 I became involved
with my good friend Peter Tommerup in a seasonal Christmas and New Year's
production ("The Holly and the Ivy") involving beautiful but
little known songs of the the British Isles. For this production I took
up accordion, a very popular instrument in the British Isles and on
the Continent. We sang songs in 4 part harmony and did a traditional
Mummer's Play involving a sword dance. The musical part of this performance
was recently revived at the Blue Rock Shoot Cafe in Saratoga.
This period was followed by many
trips to France and attendance at some great French folk music and dance
festivals, such as Grand Bal de l'Europe, Rencontre Internationale de
l'Accordeon Diatonique, and Rencontre des Luthiers at St. Chartiers.
Intensive studying of French music and dance led me further into accordion
playing, hurdy-gurdy and French cornemuse (bagpipes).
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