Featured Artists - 2018
Rob Brereton workshops:
Thomasina Levy workshops:
In honor of Nutmeg's 15th year, we look back at our heritage. Before Nutmeg, Connecticut had the Housatonic Dulcimer Celebration, and two of its organizers were Thomasina Levy and Rob Brereton. We're thrilled to have them together as featured artists this year.
Rob Brereton is considered one of the pioneers in contemporary mountain dulcimer playing. His years of studying classical guitar have polished his playing style while his degree in music theory and composition has given him a fresh approach to arranging.
Rob was one of the first dulcimer players to arrange extensively in chromatic and other alternate tunings. Although he specializes in the standards and early jazz tunes of Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, and the like, Rob is equally adept at playing the more traditional Celtic, Appalachian, old time, and other dulcimer repertoire.
He has taught all levels of dulcimer at most major music festivals and folk schools across the country, and even organizes occasional Dulcimer Cruises. In addition, Rob teaches K-6 music and has many private students. He also composes, arranges, and he directs several choirs near his home in CT. His album, "Someone to Watch Over Me," is available for download on iTunes, CD Baby, and most other music download sites.
Ted likes to take music that was written for other instruments or groups, and “Yoderize” them – that is, adapt them to the dulcimer while maintaining the spirit of the original. He’s done that not only with classic rock songs, but also with classical pieces. He also plays folk tunes and religious music, and in addition, he has composed many pieces of his own. He just released his sixth CD, “Songs from the Orchard,” which includes the song that made him famous, “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.”
Not only will Ted be performing and teaching hammered dulcimer workshops for advanced, mid-level, and beginning players, but he’ll also tell about his unique experiences of the past year in a special session on Friday titled, “Being Viral.”
Jeff Berman workshops
Mimi Jong workshops
Susan Powers workshops
Growing up with a jazz musician for a father, a mother who loves to sing, and a drummer for an older brother who introduced her to the music of the Beatles, Jody Marshall absorbed the strains of many different musical styles - from swing-era standards and Dixieland jazz to pop, rock, and folk. So began an eclectic love for music that continues to nourish her imagination today.
Jody began singing harmony with her mother when she was four years old, and couldn't wait till she was old enough to take piano lessons. But it wasn't until much later, when she began playing the hammered dulcimer, that her musicality found its true voice. Now she is well known for her lively and expressive style, as well as for her creative arrangements of both solo and ensemble pieces. In keeping with her varied musical tastes, she is equally adept at playing Celtic jigs and reels, Renaissance and medieval dance tunes, classical music, and other genres. She delights in finding and adapting pieces that sit well on the dulcimer but aren't normally heard on the instrument, mining material from the likes of J. S. Bach, BBC television shows, the Allman Brothers, and Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson. Jody is also an innovative piano player with a style all her own, by turns driving a powerful rhythm for a rollicking reel or softly lilting a gentle waltz.
She has taught workshops at Nutmeg twice. She’s been a featured performer or instructor at many dulcimer assemblages, such as the Augusta Heritage Arts workshops, the Upper Potomac Dulcimer Festival, the Northeast Dulcimer Symposium, and the Pocono Dulcimer Winterfest. Other performance credits include the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Smithsonian Institution, the Kennedy Center, and the White House. She was a founding member of the DC-based folk trio, Ironweed, and also performed extensively with the award-winning Celtic bands, MoonFire and Connemara. She has released four CDs. Jody was nominated as best folk instrumentalist by the Washington Area Music Association.
Other Artists - 2018
Rich Carty has been teaching hammered since 1992 and also playing mountain dulcimer for 35 years, and is one of the founding members of the Greater Pinelands Dulcimer Society. He is also co-owner of Pinelands Folk Music Center, located in Mount Holly, in south Jersey.
Cliff Cole has been playing hammered dulcimer since 1985. His background is in percussion, and he has studied various types of music including rock, blues, jazz and folk. His folk group, DayBreak, has been performing together for over twenty years and has produced six CDs. Cliff is a founding member of the Quakertown Area Dulcimer and Autoharp Society (QUADAS), serves on the board of Perkasie Patchwork Coffeehouse, and is a member of the Nutmeg Team.
Sam Edelston is on a quest to bring both mountain dulcimers and hammered dulcimers into widespread public awareness. In the process, he has gained a reputation for bringing many kinds of modern, "mass-appeal" music to the mountain dulcimer, his music has been heard in over 190 countries. But before that, he was playing rock, pop. and classical music on the hammered dulcimer. He has performed and taught (mountain dulcimer) at festivals as far away as Kentucky, Minnesota, and Louisiana. He also plays guitar and banjo, and is chair of this festival.
Ron Ewing has been playing mountain dulcimer since 1970, and has built over 1,700 during that time. He is especially known for his innovative designs, including the baritone, dulcimette, dulcimer capo, the 1½ fret; and his lively renditions of Irish, Appalachian, and Euro dance tunes. He lives in Columbus, Ohio.
This is Rudy's fifth time as a workshop leader at Nutmeg bringing his love of blues and classic rock to the Mountain Dulcimer. Rudy has been playing piano, harmonica, mountain dulcimer, and djembe for close to five decades Rudy lives in Maine where he gives music lessons, plays piano weekly at the Muddy Rudder Restaurant, performs regularly in several bands, and is Music Director for the Royal River Community Players theater group. His Grandkids call him "Grand-dude." During the day he is Chief Procurement Officer for the Maine University System.
George Haggerty is an accomplished dulcimer builder, teacher, and player. He and his wife, Mary, are sponsors of their annual festival in Vermont, “August Dulcimer Daze,” which recently celebrated its 25th year. George now teaches mountain dulcimer playing and building at The Putney School in Putney, VT. He has one CD, “Just Friends...One More Time.” And for the first time, we welcome him to Nutmeg.
Deb Justice has been playing hammered dulcimer for over 25 years. She plays mostly old-time and Irish music, but has also had fun with everything from Balkan to klezmer to '30s swing. She currently lives in Ithaca, NY, where she teaches and manages the Cornell Concert Series.
Marya Katz is a retired National Board Certified music teacher who still lives and breathes music in her daily life. She has led dulcimer workshops at many festivals, teaches private students, composes, and performs with the folk group Simple Gifts of the Blue Ridge. She recently taught a week-long workshop at Perelandra in NC; she will be teaching there again in June 2019. And somehow, she still finds time to direct the choir at her church and pull weeds from her gardens at home in Blacksburg, VA. She has had her original compositions published in Dulcimer Players News and online for the dulcimersessions.com magazine, and has published several books of traditional arrangements and original compositions. Her newest venture is a book of "practical" theory for hammered dulcimer players, titled "Building a House of Basics."
Dian Killian, who performs as DK and the Joy Machine, is a championship-winning, New York City-based mountain dulcimer performer and singer-songwriter known for "rocking out" on dulcimer and playing in innovative ways -- plucking, strumming, sliding, and bowing. Her debut album, Shy One, was lauded by Curve magazine, Alt-Country Forum, and other blogs as "rootsy Americana that directly touches the heart" with songs that are "quirky and smart and with sultry vocals and intricate dulcimer playing." She has performed widely in the Eastern US, and Europe, and recently performed at the Philadelphia Folk Festival.
Ellen Pratt has been playing mountain dulcimer since 1999, and has been writing her own music since 2004. Her style of playing is a mix of traditional and contemporary. She enjoys the hard fast strumming old time music and jam tunes with both the dulcimer and banjo, but also enjoys the quieter, more contemporary chord style with fingerpicking on dulcimer. Ellen has taught at the Albany Mountain Dulcimer Music Festival and the Pocono Winter DulcimerFest, and she teaches and co-coordinates Vermont's August Dulcimer Daze.
Don Moore is the leader of Connecticut's Dulcimer Folk Association (DF#A), which has been bringing together dulcimer players and other folk musicians for over 20 years. Don was instrumental in the founding of Nutmeg.
Brett's philosophy is that "anyone can make music, regardless of age, musical ability or knowledge!” He is a full-time musician who teaches hammered dulcimer, mountain dulcimer, bluegrass banjo, clawhammer banjo, beginner acoustic guitar and mandolin. Brett has created a series of instructional CDs for hammered dulcimer, has a lesson series available on YouTube, and also teaches lessons via Skype and FaceTime. He had the largest class at the 2016 Dulcimer Funfest in Evart, MI, and the largest classes at the Ohio Valley Gathering for the last two years. Brett tours promoting traditional American music. He has released a total of eight recordings, of which seven are currently available. Additionally, his original composition, "Gettysburg Rain," is featured in the soundtrack of “The Path of the Wind,” a 2010 movie which features Wilford Brimley.
Sally Rogers is renowned not only in the dulcimer world, but also in the broader worlds of folk music and children's music. She is an award-winning recording artist with over a dozen albums, and also has released a children's video and a children's picture book. Sally has performed all over the USA and widely in Europe, plus China and Lake Wobegon. In recent years, Sally has focused more on teaching and as a Master Teaching Artist for the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, she has brought music into the lives of thousands of Connecticut's young people. Her latest CD, with Claudia Schmidt, is "We Are Welcomed."
Bill Ruyle is a hammered dulcimerist-percussionist-composer-collaborator who has been in the NYC new music and dance scene for over 30 years. He was introduced to the hammered dulcimer by his dad, who built one for fun as a woodworking project. Bill has played hammered dulcimer for numerous theater productions, film soundtracks, and recordings, including Last Forever, Frida, Sin Nombre, Big River, The Secret Garden, and the Broadway production of "Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark" -- as well as ensembles such as Mitra Sumara (Persian pop) and the Locrian Chamber Players. He's also done productions of La MaMa Experimental Theater Club's Trojan Women Project around the world over the past four decades.
Carol Walker is a happily retired high school choral teacher (recipient of the NJ Governor's Teacher of the Year Award in 2003), and performs on mountain dulcimer, piano, harp, and upright bass. Her folkloric research singlehandedly brought traditional music of the Isle of Man to the mountain dulcimer, leading to a CD of Manx tunes, "Alas, the Horse Is Gone," as well as two books of "Tailless Tunes." Carol's instructional works include the three "DNA* Dulcimer Ditties" book/CD sets, as well as DVD on the Homespun label. Her newest book, Her newest book, "Classical Dulcimer for Wascally Wabbits," which draws on her early musical tutelage under Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny -- and which may have been partly inspired by her own video success with an instructional dulcimer DVD, directed by Happy Traum of Homespun Tapes. Carol is married to professional, world-class touring guitarist Toby Walker.
Jon Weinberg has been playing hammered dulcimer and guitar for contra dances, concerts, wedding ceremonies, and coffee houses throughout New England for over 25 years. He teaches hammered dulcimer lessons to students both in person and online via Skype. A regular performer and workshop leader at dulcimer festivals across the country, Jon created and leads week-long Hammered Dulcimer Chord Camp workshops in New England and North Carolina each spring and fall. Jon is a founding member of the contra dance band Wild Card, and released his first CD "About Time" in 2013.
Dwain Wilder, founder of Bear Meadow Folk Instruments, has been building mountain dulcimers since 1991. He regularly gets orders from as far away as Europe, Great Britain, and the Far East. Dwain is also one of the few dulcimer builders who takes on apprentices and teaches them the craft. In addition to his instrument building, Dwain has also published poems in various periodicals and collections, and writes occasional essays on Zen practice.
Nina Zanetti is the 2008 National Mountain Dulcimer Champion. She comes to the mountain dulcimer from a diverse musical background, including choral music, violin, viola, piano, and shape note singing. She plays regularly at churches, historic sites, and community events and has taught at dulcimer festivals throughout the country. She has published nine books of tablature arrangements for mountain dulcimer, and is featured on Masters of the Mountain Dulcimer Play Music for Christmas (CD). She has recorded a CD of solos and duets with Bill Collins, as well as two solo CDs, Beside Still Waters and Winter’s Light.
Dwain Wilder - mountain dulcimers
Ron Ewing - mountain dulcimers & capos
Folk Craft Music
George Haggerty - mountain dulcimers, and more
Rich & Mary Carty - hammered dulcimers, mountain dulcimers, and more