2015 Artists Archive
Scottish & Quebecois Fiddle
Originally from California, Laura grew up in the thriving San Francisco Scottish fiddle scene, learning her craft from master fiddler Alasdair Fraser. Upon moving to Boston in 1996, Laura joined American roots band Cordelia’s Dad. By 2001, Laura had moved to Montreal to continue her successful recording and concert career. Laura’s imaginatively expressive interpretations of Scottish, Irish, Cape Breton, and Quebecois fiddle music have garnered international acclaim. “A virtuoso fiddler. Her fluency in fiddle styles from Cape Breton to Appalachia is remarkable,” raves The Boston Globe, while Folk Roots (U.K.) calls her playing “technically excellent and highly expressive.” Says Grammy-winning filmmaker Ken Burns, “Laura Risk’s fiddle is a revelation and achingly beautiful.” (Photo by Kelly Sullivan)
Bluegrass Fiddle, Technique & Improvising
RichardGreeneIn the words of one of his fellow fiddlers, Richard is “one of the most innovative and influential fiddle players of all time”. He first attained prominence with Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys in 1966 as one of Monroe’s first “northern” band members, then went on to found the revolutionary Folk-Rock group Seatrain, pioneering the first use of the electric violin in Rock. Richard’s return to acoustic music occasioned the invention of “New Grass” or “New Acoustic” instrumental music, now a mainstay throughout the world’s acoustic music festivals.
As one of Los Angeles’ premier string session players he founded the trailblazing Greene String Quartet creating the first ever amalgam of Jazz-Folk-Rock-Chamber music and producing three seminal albums. His many acclaimed releases in the folk and bluegrass world have been honored with Grammy and IBMA awards, his CD Sales Tax Toddle was Grammy nominated for Bluegrass Album of Year. He currently leads seminars on all aspects of fiddling and violin playing nationwide, teaching courses at The Mancini Institute, the RockyGrass Academy, the Festival of Fiddle Tunes, the Mark O’Connor Fiddle Camp and dozens of workshops throughout the year as well as maintaining a private instruction studio in his home.
Often compared to jazz greats Stephane Grappelli and Joe Venuti, Andy was a founding member of Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, won a Grammy with Asleep at the Wheel, and has worked with a wide range of other musicians: including Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Bob Dylan, Brad Paisley, Beyoncé, John Pizzerelli and Sir Paul McCartney.
After 22 years as the regular “Powder Milk Biscuit fiddler” on A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor, Andy has cut back on his radio job to pursue his other musical interests in the Jazz and classical fields: with compositions performed by the NY Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony and ballet companies in Boston, Brazil, Denmark, New Zealand, Slovenia, and other countries.
In the Jazz field he occasionally appears with Wynton Marsalis, (including a nationwide live broadcast New Years eve 2013) and continues with Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks (the 11-piece 1920’s & ’30’s jazz band) appearing at Newport Jazz Festival, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and other concert halls in the Northeast. Last year he won his 2nd Grammy with the band, for their work on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire; recording with Nora Jones, Liza Minnelli, Elvis Costello, Rufus Wainwright, etc. On TV he has appeared on the Conan O’Brien show, Saturday Night Live, and backed up Dolly Parton on Letterman. He currently tours with Patti LuPone as a member of her 5-piece Gypsy Drifters, in concert halls from Carnegie to San Francisco’s Davies Hall.
Cape Breton Fiddle
Andrea Beaton comes from a long line of musicians, composers and dancers. She is an award-winning fiddler, tune composer and recording artist who is known for her powerful bow and driving style. She tours and teaches internationally and is in great demand as a teacher at music camps and fiddling/dancing workshops.
She has released 5 solo albums, one duo album with her father, Kinnon Beaton, and a book of her original tunes. she also recorded an album with her family “The Beaton family of Mabou” in 2007 for the Smithsonian Institute. Most of her solo albums were nominated for awards, and her 2010 CD, ‘Branches,’ won the Canadian East Coast Music Awards “Instrumental Recording of the Year!”
Andrea travels the globe, sharing her culture as well as exploring and writing contemporary tunes. Her music, dance and comical stories are sure to delight any audience.
Andrew Finn Magill
Troy MacGillivrayAndrew Finn Magill is a fiddler/violinist who straddles genres. From Cuban Charanga to traditional Irish and Scottish music, Andrew Finn has toured with a diverse array of ensembles. Andrew’s background is in traditional Irish music, having been a two-time finalist at the All-Ireland fiddle championships starting when he was just 14. He has performed alongside many Irish luminaries including John Doyle, Liz Carroll, Altan, Flook, Lunasa, and Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill.
He has toured France with Liz Knowles & Kieran O’Hare as part of the international phenomenon Celtic Legends, and the U.S. and Canada with the Paul McKenna Band the 2009 Scots Trad Music winners of “Best Up & Coming Band.” Andrew has years of experience teaching fiddle/violin in a range of styles. Over the years he has taught many private students as well as at many private music camps. He is also an experienced composer having composed for all male a cappella groups, string quartets, jingles, film, and countless instrumental melodies in the Irish and modern jazz idioms.
Old Time Fiddle
AbbyNewtonRosie Newton grew up immersed in the rich folk music scene of Woodstock, NY, and began playing the fiddle when she was eight. Newton attended college in Ithaca, NY, where she studied Viola Performance. While in Ithaca, she found herself swept up by the area’s music scene, which infused her with a deep appreciation for the beauty and diversity of roots music. During this time she also developed a love for singing, and this, in addition to playing fiddle, forms an integral part of her performance.
Newton’s interests now span a wide range of musical styles, from Irish and old time to country and pop. Newton has taught fiddle at Sunshine Coast School of Celtic music, the Taylor Music Festival and the Black Pot Camp. She has appeared at major US music festivals (Rhythm & Roots, Newport Folk Festival, Philadelphia Folk Festival, MerleFest, DelFest) and has performed with Natalie Merchant, Chris Eldridge (Punch Brothers), and Jefferson Hamer (Anaïs Mitchell/Child Ballads). She hopes to continue traveling the world, meeting musicians of all kinds, and exchanging with them her own musical perspective.
Piano, Step Dancing
Troy MacGillivrayRaised in Lanark, Nova Scotia, his musical prowess can be attributed to an especially rare combination of commitment and bloodline. By the age of six, Troy was already impressing audiences with his step dancing skills. By 13 he was teaching piano at the renowned Gaelic College of Celtic Arts and Crafts in St. Anne’s, Cape Breton. He has completed grade seven of the Toronto Conservatory of Music for classical piano, has spent four years in a stringed orchestra and has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in music from St. Francis Xavier University.
In 2004, he was the recipient of the “Auleen Theriault Young Tradition Award” from the Goderich Celtic Roots Festival in Goderich, Ontario — an award given to an artist that shows outstanding talent and love for traditional and roots based music. In 2005/2006, Troy made his first of many appearances at Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow, Scotland where he was chosen as the winner of the honourable “Danny Kyle Stage”.
AbbyNewtonAbby is well known for her groundbreaking work in the revival of the cello in American and Scottish traditional music. In the mid-seventies, she began performing with John Cohen and Jay Ungar in the Putnam County String Band, making it the first modern string band with a cello. At the same time, she began an active and continuing recording career, performing on over 100 recordings of prominent folk artists. Abby’s solo CDs “Crossing to Scotland” (1997) and “Castles, Kirks, and Caves” (2001), have earned her critical acclaim both in the US and abroad. She has appeared on Prairie Home Companion and in 2001, Fiona Ritchie, of the nationally syndicated NPR show Thistle and Shamrock, did a feature program on Abby’s music and her influence on the folk cello movement. In addition to many workshops conducted in Scotland promoting the use of the cello as both a melodic and rhythmic instrument in traditional music, Abby has taught in the US at Gaelic Roots, the National Strings Workshop, the Swannanoa Gathering and Rocky Mountain Fiddle Camp. The combination of her teaching, performing and publishing have inspired many amateurs and professionals to enjoy playing traditional music on the cello.
Cello, Wild Stuff
RushadEgglestonRushad is an inventive cellist and composer. He was the first string player awarded a full scholarship to the Berklee college of music, and while still there he became their first active student ever to be nominated for a Grammy award! (with Fiddlers 4, including Bruce Molsky, Michael Doucet, and Darol Anger). Besides touring regularly with fiddler Darol Anger and neo bluegrass band Crooked Still, Rushad has been a guest with many famous artists including Mark O’Connor and Tim O’Brien. He has also played at many marvelous venues such as Carnegie Hall and The Kennedy Center. In addition, Rushad has made frequent appearances on national radio (including A Prairie Home Companion), taught cello at workshops and camps, written the music to a film, and performed at summer festivals from Jacksonville to Seattle.
Jake Simpson first came to RMFC in 2004 at age 12. Since then he has developed a professional career in fiddle, guitar and vocals. He was inducted into the Old Time Fiddlers Hall of Fame at age 15, the youngest inductee ever by about 40 years. Special Notice! Jake is raising funds for his first album.
Klezmer Fiddle, Ukulele
Ben Cohen is a versatile multi-instrumentalist. In addition to leading his own klezmer band, the Klez Dispensers (on accordion or simultaneous bass and tenor banjo), he plays electric bass and tuba for klezmer funk band Hal Aqua and the Lost Tribe; banjo and mandolin for Rocky Mountain Jewgrass; and archlute, theorbo and harpsichord for baroque ensemble Semplice. He nonetheless keeps his day job as an appellate lawyer in Denver.
Dance Caller, Mandolin, Southwestern Tunes
Larry has traveled throughout the U.S. and Europe playing, teaching, and calling for traditional dancing. He plays fiddle, mandolin, and guitar with the Soda Rock Ramblers, the Percolators, and the Prairie Chickens. Larry has taught at dozens of music and dance camps and festivals including the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, Ashokan, Augusta, Pinewoods, Lady of the Lake, and many more. Again this year, Larry will be conducting his very popular Southwest tunes workshop for all instruments. Larry will also be calling the evening dances, delighting both novice and veteran dancers with his fun, energetic dances, humor, enthusiasm, and skillful teaching.
Fiddle & Guitar
Arlene Patterson – Scottish fiddle. From Glasgow, Scotland, Arlene is particularly interested in shetland fiddle music and story telling. She studied with Tom Anderson and spent time in the Shetland Islands. Arlene teaches violin/fiddle in her Longmont home studio and recently founded the Rocky Mountain Fiddle Club whose mission is to encourage the playing of authentic Scottish fiddle music in Colorado.
Fiddle & More
Loretta Thompson is a high-spirited musician and singer whose versatile performances captivate audiences everywhere. Dynamic fiddling and a radiant voice echo the fervor of her Scottish-Irish and American heritage. She possesses a passionate and spontaneous enthusiasm for traditional music and dance which shines in every aspect of her life. Combining fiddle, guitar, and whistles with moving vocals, Loretta entertains with repertoires in Celtic music, American Historic and Nostalgia, Old Time Country, and more. She literally fiddled her way across Scotland and Ireland and is embraced wherever she travels for her talented fiddling and enthusiastic charm. Loretta has been featured for many years at local, state, and national Scottish and Irish gatherings, Celtic Festivals, and in concerts with a long list of leading Celtic entertainers. Loretta majored in music education and conducting, has experience as a full-time public school orchestra director, clinician, and general music teacher, and is a member of the Evergreen (CO) Chamber Orchestra. Loretta is a full-time entertainer, composer, private teacher, and plays for all forms of Scottish and Irish dance.
Steve is a talented multi-instrumentalist who has broad professional experience, including chamber/symphonic, Jazz and Dixieland, folk, and Celtic. He has performed at many Celtic, Jazz and folk festivals in the Northwest, and has numerous recordings to his credit, with his own bands and as a studio player. An experienced dance musician, Steve’s playing is driving and rhythmic, and he continues to expand the cello’s possibilities in traditional and folk music. Steve is highly regarded as a teacher, and has been named to several “Who’s Who” lists in education. Steve also brings with him over 25 years of pro bass experience with various bands and symphony orchestras, and has something to offer everyone.
Tina first heard a hammered dulcimer in 1986 while living in Ketchikan, Alaska. It quickly became her passion and soon it seemed everyone on the island had heard Tina and her band, BearFoot. Since moving to the Denver area in 1990, Tina has become a full time musician, performing solo and in small combos with fiddle, guitar or piano, and in several local contra dance bands. Along with her busy performance schedule, she teaches students on the dulcimer and bodhran. Tina has published a book of her arrangements, “Arrangements for the Hammered Dulcimer.” She has taught at several festivals including Dulcimer Festival, Irish Week at Augusta, the California Traditional Music Society Annual Summer Solstice Festival, Winterfest, the Sawdust Festival, and was a jam session leader and teacher at the Southwest Dulcimer Festival. Over the years, Tina has won many local and regional competitions, and in the years 2000 and 2015 she won the U.S. National Hammered Dulcimer Championship.
Piano, Music Theory, Orchestra, Quartets
Frank is the instrumental music and Music History instructor at the Vanguard School in Colorado Springs, ranked as one of the top 100 high schools in the country. He is a composer and song writer and has recently completed an orchestral piece entitled “Jeffy” while earning his Master of Music in composition at UC Boulder. He has his own recording studio and played fiddle professionally with a touring country band for ten years. After teaching at RMFC in 2001, he wrote “Escapes for Fiddlers,” a collection of original solo fiddle tunes, which will be available at the camp store. He will again be teaching his fascinating and popular course in music history and composing.
Cosima & Christopher Luther
Bluegrass, Viola & Fiddle Duets
Co-founders of RMFC, C&C have been studying various fiddle styles, including Jazz, Swing, Celtic, & Bluegrass, for over 20 years. They have been performing as professionals since age 8. Classically trained, they graduated with their respective Masters degrees in violin performance at the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California in Spring of 2008. Christopher earned his Doctoral degree (DMA) in viola at UT Austin in 2012. He is now Professor of Viola at the University of Northern Colorado at Greeley (Dr Christopher Luther). Cosima is conducting several youth orchestras in Southern California as she continues a career as a conductor and freelance musician in Los Angeles. Overseas appearances include Europe and Asia. In 2007, Christopher produced and released his first CD, “Personality,” which includes Cosima on several tracks. Here is a great video of Mark Luther talking about Raising Musical Children.
Anna Grace Shideler
Old Time Fiddle
Anna Grace was born and raised in Southwest Mississippi, where her mother helped to kindle in her and her siblings a love for playing, writing, and singing music. She began learning how to play the piano at age 2 and picked up the violin at age 5 and hasn’t put it down since. She attended Belmont University in Nashville where she earned an undergraduate degree in Commercial Violin Performance in 2009. She then went on to earn a Masters degree at Belmont in Commercial Violin Performance, becoming the first violinist to complete the new program. Her thesis focused on the preservation of Mississippi Fiddle Music. In 2008 Anna Grace co-founded the award-winning gospel group High Road. She continued playing, singing, writing, and traveling with the band for six years until she decided to come off the road to focus on being a mommy in 2014. Anna Grace continues to cherish every opportunity to share her love for music and especially Mississippi fiddle tunes. You can often find her posting Facebook Live recordings of her favorite fiddle tunes on “Fiddle Tune Friday”.
Kyle Murphy, Sara Murphy, Tyler Rusco & Jake Simpson
The Bogglemuffins were formed during a wonderful music filled week at Rocky Mountain Fiddle Camp 2006. After much laughter and music making, The Bogglemuffins were born: a four piece band of best friends who meet once a year to rehearse and perform bluegrass standards. Jake Simpson’s captivating vocals and lead guitar playing are complemented by Kyle Murphy’s Monroe style mandolin and vocal harmonies. Tyler Rusco holds down the groove on the upright bass while Rachel Baiman’s fiddle weaves in and out of the vocals and drives fast fiddle tunes. Two years ago, the Bogglemuffins recorded a live CD at RMFC, which has received rave reviews from campers and non-campers alike. The Bogglemuffins will team up to teach strategies of ensemble playing, conduct a Bluegrass Band Lab as well as classes in their individual instruments. The Bogglemuffins are all experienced multi-instrumentalists and band members pursuing professional careers in music performance, and have much insight to offer about interacting musically with a band, including what and when to play depending on the song, style, and instrument that you are playing.
Kyle Murphy has been attending RMFC for six years, during which he has played with The Bogglemuffins for four years. Outside of camp, Kyle attends East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee, where he is pursuing a double major in Bluegrass Music Studies and Mathematics. During the school year he plays with other students in a band known as Sons of Bluegrass. When not in school he lives in Los Angeles, where he gives private lessons. He plays with his family in the Murphy Family Band, which plays throughout Southern California and won first place in the Topanga Banjo Fiddle Contest. Along with mandolin, Kyle is an accomplished fiddle and guitar player. He specializes in bluegrass, old-time music, swing, and blues music.
Fiddle, Bluegrass Band Lab
Sara Murphy has been attending Rocky Mountain Fiddle Camp since 2006. She started playing violin when she was 6, and studies both fiddle with Richard Greene and classical violin. Currently a junior at Culver City High School, she participates in the Academy of Visual and Performing Arts (AVPA) at the high school and plays in the South Bay Youth Orchestra. In addition, she plays bluegrass fiddle in the Murphy Family Band, which plays throughout Southern California. In 2010 the Murphy Family Band won first place in the Topanga Banjo Fiddle Contest, and she won first place in the advanced fiddle category. She is honored to fill in for Rahcel Baiman as an honorary Bogglemuffin this year.
Bass, Bluegrass Band Lab
Tyler Rusco recently graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a bachelor’s degree in double bass performance. He is a prolific performer who has played in master classes for such great bass pedagogues as Albert Lazslo (Julliard), and Ira Gold (Catholic University of America). Tyler is currently bass section principal of the Casper Symphony, and has held other principal positions in the past. He is active in several genres of music, playing electric bass with local artist Daniel Luthjohn, and has been involved in several recording projects with MGB records. This year Tyler will join his fellow Bogglemuffins members, Jake, Rachel, and Kyle, to teach bluegrass ensemble playing and band member roles, as well as a class on bass technique and his approach to being a strong foundational and supporting player in any ensemble.