Colorado Friends Of Old Time Music And Dance

Bands, Callers, and Who’s Who

Airdance is a dynamic and exciting contradance band which offers the listener a vibrant, contemporary approach to the traditional New England dance repertoire. Led by acclaimed fiddler Rodney Miller, Airdance is equally at home on the festival or concert stage, yet rooted in the many small dance halls across New England. Since the formation of the band in 2000, they have played at festivals, concerts, dances and dance weekends from coast to coast, and in the summer of 2003 toured the UK. Irish and Scottish, French-Canadian and Cape Breton, New England chestnuts and American old-time: all find their way into the Airdance tune bag, along with contemporary compositions in the traditional styles.

The basic elements that define the traditional New England dance band are the fiddle and piano, and both are central to the Airdance sound. Miller’s fiddle leads with his own unique blend of virtuosity and danceability, balancing personal expression with the functional needs of providing rhythmic dance music. Mary Cay Brass’s piano style takes in elements of Irish drone-style accompaniment and the exuberant swing of French-Canadian music, and produces a solid yet wonderfully varied underpinning for the whole band. David Surette ranges freely back and forth between the roles of melody and accompaniment, playing lead lines and swapping solos with Miller as well as locking into the groove with the rhythm section. Stuart Kenney’s bass provides depth and oomph; he’s the heartbeat of the band, while Sam Zucchini adds drive and spark with his tasteful, exciting and rock solid drumming.

Airdance has produced two fine recordings for the Great Meadow label; their latest, Flying on Home, was released in the spring of 2003. “It’s extremely rare to find a band that can make dance music so great to listen to without losing some danceability,” England’s Folk Roots magazine noted in lauding their first release, “and this lot succeed wonderfully.”p Of course, if you’re among those listeners who are also Air-dancers, you already know that. Visit Airdance at www.airdance.cc.

Miranda Arana
Miranda Arana is originally from western New York and currently teaches world music at the University of Oklahoma. She spent her twenties living in Southeast Asia. After studying traditional Vietnamese flute with master artists while working with Vietnamese refugees in the Philippines, and during a two-year stay in Hanoi in the early 1990s, she became a member of the Phong Nguyen Ensemble, one of the premier traditional Vietnamese ensembles in the United States. She has also toured with Tibetan pop singer, Dadon Dawadolma, performing at Carnegie Hall in NYC in 1996. Since moving to Oklahoma in 1999, she has played Latin American folkloric music, Celtic music, and Middle Eastern music at fairs, festivals, schools, universities, and private functions throughout Oklahoma and neighboring states. Her recent passion is to play for local contra and English Country dances.

Anita Dolan
Anita Dolan credits her discovery of Old-Time music to a chance meeting of Chris Rietz of the Elderly Music store while living in back-woods Michigan in the 60s. From then on it became a powerful force in her life.

Anita is one of just a handful of Old-Time style musicians who has been around the local music scene since before the creation of CFOOTMAD. She mentions names of musicians like Ray Chatfield or Dave and Dixie Luellen who were around then. She was one of the original musicians at the first “Boulder Dance” at the Niwot Grange in the late 70s and also the original fiddler in The Grange Hall Flyers, a band that played dances for many years.

Dave Brown
Dave Brown and Anita were responsible for collecting the tunes that everybody learned to play and in the process gained them both national recognition. “She is a gracious hostess as well,” said Pam Brown referring to the countless jam sessions Anita has hosted in her home over the years. Dave describes Anita’s music as “powerful, energetic, dynamic, textured, creative and driving Southern Appalachian fiddling.” At the mid-winter Bluegrass festival last year a ticket-taker was heard to say, “If your name’s Anita Dolan you get in free!”

Currently Anita resides in Boulder, but not for long. She plans to move to Galax, Virginia to seek a less hassled life and to explore the music scene there. Anita is excited about her up-coming move, but in the meantime you can find her working in the horticulture business or fiddling on Wednesday nights at Jeff Haemer’s music jam. Thanks, Anita, for sharing your music with us!!

The members of Arís (ar-EESH) met at the session table at the Irish pub Conor O’Neill’s in Boulder and at various local bluegrass jams. Although they come from a wide variety of musical backgrounds, they find common ground in the haunting melodies and driving rhythms of the Emerald Isle. Their obsessive need to play this music led to the formation of Queen Anne and the Barley Boys early in 2002, which was changed to the Irish word meaning “again” after Annie, at the Festival of the Mabon in September, overheard real live Irishmen using it to mean “play it again, Seán.”

Their eclectic backgrounds lead them to play roots music from other parts of the world as well, including everything from bluegrass to Bulgarian.

On the fiddle, Ann Federowicz was classically trained starting at the age of 10. She lived in Vail for three years where she played bluegrass with The Minturn Ramblers, later turning to Irish music with Four Mile Stone. She moved to Boulder two years ago to participate in its active music scene. She counts fiddlers Liz Carroll, Kevin Burke, and Eileen Ivers, as well as vocalist Paul Brady and members of Solas, as her main influences.

On fiddle, banjo and bouzouki, Mark Brissenden moved to Boulder 18 years ago to attend graduate school and learn how to rock climb, but quickly decided that he preferred playing bluegrass music with Against the Grain and The Pickabillies. He started playing Celtic styles after a trip to Ireland in 1991, and currently plays bouzouki and fiddle with Bedlam Abbey and Skean Dubh.

Annie Sirotniak began playing guitar at 14, and mandolin 7 years ago. In the Colorado bluegrass community, she’s played with Howlin’ Dog Moon, and currently plays mandolin and sings with the Sweet Pine Quartet. By day a physical therapist, she’s a former professional bike racer and coaches the CU women’s cycling team. She plays guitar, bouzouki, mandolin, and fiddle with Arís.

Balance and Swing
Balance and Swing, composed of Sue Reading, John Reading and Tina Gugeler have been providing high energy music for the Front Range contra dance scene since 1993. All three were part of the founding members of ContraFusion. From there, they formed the trio to ease rehearsal scheduling and to lower costs allowing them to land more paying gigs. The group proved to be very popular and in 1995 became the regular band for the monthly Zesty Contra dances. BAS has performed at a variety of festivals and dance camps and each individual can be found lurking in other constellations of bands throughout the region, such as Balance The Wave, Delicate Balance, More Delicately Balanced, and The Librarians. See Balance and Swing’s website..

Balance The Wave
Sue Reading, John Reading, Tina Gugeler, and Marni Rachmiel. See Balance and Swing.

Barb Kirchner
Her website

Bernie Chalk
Caller Bernie Chalk is England’s foremost caller of American square and contra dances, and has called dances across the United States, Canada, and Europe. Bernie began calling at the age of sixteen, and has been strongly influenced by the calling of Ricky Holden, whom he first heard in the 50s. Ricky was one of the leading callers of the American square and contra dance revival that had begun in New England. Bernie Chalk and the London Barndance Company were instrumental in popularizing American dance in England.

Bill and Patti Cummings
Find out more about Bill & Patti.

Bill Tomczak
Clarinetist & saxophonist Bill Tomczak relocated to Colorado from New England in recent years. "I have been playing primarily for contra dances and dance weekends since the early eighties.

"My primary band is The Latter Day Lizards. We play a very improvised form of contra dance music and just have a really good time. People keep asking for us, so I guess we do okay." Come on out and hear Bill's playful, toe-tapping improvisations -- you'll be glad you did.

The Boulder Bogtrotters
An eclectic dance band consisting of two fiddlers (? and Charlie Martin) and three utility infielders (Pierce Martin, Duffy Keith and Doug Rippey) playing a sometimes mystifying variety of instruments. We indulge in a mix of southern Appalachian, New England, Celtic, Ragtime and other tunes with energy and abandon! The Boulder Bogtrotters never stumble into the swamp of taking ourselves too seriously.

Duffy Boyle

Duffy’s been dancing and calling square, contra, and traditional dances since the early 80s. First came the love of dance (to recorded music), then the love of playing for dance (piano, guitar, hammered dulcimer), then came exposure to “always live music” of the CFOOTMAD (and other) dance communities. Duffy returned to CFOOTMAD after some time off with family, and supports the community as caller, instructor, dance series coordinator (Denver), membership coordinator, and Board member.

Bruce Molsky
One of the most influential fiddlers of his generation, Bruce Molsky is also a remarkable guitarist, banjoist and singer. His high-spirited music melds the archaic mountain sounds of Appalachia, the power of blues and the rhythmic intricacies of traditional African music.

Chris Kermiet
Chris Kermiet has been calling and teaching traditional American squares and contras since the 1970s. He comes from an extensive music and dance background. His mother was Pauline Ritchie of the singing Ritchie family from Viper, Kentucky, while his father was Paul Kermiet, one of Colorado’s premier old time square dance callers.

Chris grew up with square, contra and folk dance. His father ran a summer dance camp, the Lighted Lantern, for 30 years (1946 - 1976) during the time that Chris was growing up. The Lighted Lantern camp was a mecca for square and folk dancers who came from all over the United States and Canada to spend a week dancing with some of the finest callers and teachers in the country. Chris learned from all of them, and became intrigued with learning more about the other Celtic dance traditions that influenced American squares and contras. He learned Scottish dance from Bruce McClure and C. Stewart Smith, Welsh from Vyts Beliajus, and English from May Gadd and Genevieve Shimer.

During the last five years, as well as being in demand as a caller and teacher of traditional dance, he has created choreographies for a number of performing groups and theatre companies.

He is currently available to lead contra and squares, as well as English and Scottish country and ceili dances.

Some thoughts from Chris:
Building a Dance Community
Experienced Dances

The Clayfoot Strutters
The Clayfoot Strutters—featuring Pete Sutherland, Jeremiah McLane, and a host of fantastic musicians.

A self-styled “new England Contra Dance Jam Band,” they specialize in fusing traditional American immigrant music, progressive pop and jazz, with hot dance floor grooves from the Latin, Swing, Afro-pop, Zydeco and Cajun worlds. Prepare yourself for incredibly hot dancing.

Dave Brown
Dave’s an amazing guy. He’s a mellow, good natured, self-taught computer programmer, who has a talent for going in the right direction.

Dave picked up his first fiddle at age 28, and with 4 beginner lessons from violinist Bob Stern (Isack Sterns nephew), he taught himself to play! He met and married banjo player Pam Ostergren in San Diego, and together they moved to Denver in 1974.

Dave played the very first Denver contra dance in 1978. On stage with him were Pam Brown and Mike Billlings. Clark Bueling (Skirt Lifters band) and Joel Chrissman joined in not long after. The first dances were held at the 6th Avenue Community Church and were ostensibly a 6 week Denver Free University class taught by callers Paula Kermeit and Frances Waller.

As time went by, other musicians were finding out about the events and dropping in. Many great musicians came to play, such as Karl Dise, Anita Dolan, Jeff Haemer, Roger Fantz, Mike “Woody” Woods, Teri Rasmusson, Mark Brissenden and Steve Burnside among others. Said Anita Dolan, “Dave was a premier fiddle player who inspired everybody.”

Dave became a tune collector for the group, bringing in fresh tunes from Clifftop, WV and Mount Airy, NC festivals. Dave cited fiddlers Anita Dolan and most recently Larry Edelman as influences to his playing. Dave likes playing for the dances and is currently playing in 2 bands—The Dreaded Wolftones and Poultry in Motion.

You can find Dave laying down his exemplary old-time fiddling with his buddies at the Wednesday night jam sessions in Boulder and at select contra dances throughout the year. Larry Edelman from the band Poultry in Motion said, “Dave’s pleasing, powerful playing promotes plenty of propulsion in Poultry in Motion.”

The Contrarians

Crowfoot plays contemporary Celtic music, a fusion of Appalachian, French Canadian and Irish traditions. Known for their unstopable energy, trancelike grooves ad captivating diversity — their multiple instruments, but also their vocal harmonies. Way exciting! Listen to them online. Members include Adam Broome (guitar and cittern), Nicholas Williams (flutes and piano), Jaige Trudel (fiddle, cello). Contact them: (207) 293-3341.

David Surette
Guitar, mandolin, bouzouki for Airdance, one of New England’s finest guitarists, David Surette has long been known as a top-notch accompanist, fluent in various styles, and equally at home on the mandolin and bouzouki. He maintains an active teaching schedule and is head of the Folk Music department at the Concord (NH) Community Music School. He was awarded an NEA travel grant in 1994 to study the traditional music of Brittany, France, and has written a book of Celtic guitar arrangements for Mel Bay Publications.

Deb and The Pariahs
Deb and The Pariahs delight audiences with their not-so-traditional interpretations of traditional Celtic dance tunes. While Deb Carstensen plays the fiddle, the Pariahs (Eric Olson on uilleann pipes, Rodney Sauer on accordion, and Mark Brissenden on tenor banjo) dominate the stage with their inherent loudness. In the wrong hands, the results can be devastating, but the Pariahs know how to have a good time.

Deb Carstensen
Her web page. Deb Carstensen’s fiddle music has inspired many happy feet at CFOOTMAD contra dances. She started playing classical violin when she was 10, and played through her first year of college. Then she did not touch the violin for 15 years. In 1990, she picked it up again and decided that she wanted to play for the fun of it and for the “right brain” of it. She looked for a teacher who could help her learn to play by ear and improvise, and found Ron Jones at Swallow Hill. Deb says, “He does a great job at teaching classical violinists to play folk music, and therefore fiddle! I immediately was attracted to Celtic music, and here I am today.”

Deb likes playing for dancers, whether contra, or Irish Step dancers or cloggers. She loves dancing herself, and so tries to find music that she would enjoy dancing to. She adds, “I try to play in such a way that it lifts the dancers and drives them up and down the halls!” One of her secrets is to surround herself with excellent musicians. She often plays with Tina Gugeler (hammer dulcimer), and they like to add other musicians—keyboard, guitar, flute, etc.—to add rhythm and new dynamics to the sound. The two of them, with various combinations of other people, have formed the bands Highstrung, Unstrung, Restrung, Wellstrung, and Unstrung Heros. “Whatever the band,” she says, “I am playing with some of the finest musicians in the area.” She has also studied at fiddle camps and workshops with some of the best fiddlers in the world, including Alisdair Fraser, Buddy McMaster, Jerry Holland, Martins Hayes, Kevin Burke and many others. She says, “This has really helped me get the essence of the different Celtic idioms and helped me appreciate the music even more.” In conclusion she says, “Fiddling has opened a world to me that is filled with some of the best people I know and I am extraordinarily lucky.”

Delicate Balance
Sue Reading, Eric Levine, and John Reading. See Balance and Swing.

Desperate Measures
Joel Hayes, Seth Houston, and Rodney Sauer

Devin Nordson
Devin was dragged to his first contra dance in 1994 and was instantly hooked. Later, while attending grad school at the University of Hawaii, he was drafted into calling, mentored by Cindy Holmes. Devin lives in Boulder, and calls and dances contra whenever he can. Recently, Devin married Laura Robeson at sunset on the beach in Maui. They decided to blend their names together, and are now Devin & Laura Nordson.

Dominick Leslie
His web site and his page on MySpace.

Doug Rippey

Doug Woody

The Dreaded Wolftones
Dave Brown; Doug Rippey

Ed Hall
I am not particularly drawn to difficult dances. My peak experience as a dance caller is to create a magical moment where the dancer, the movement, and the music are one. I suppose I have a reputation for choosing “flow-y” dances, and to attempt enough clarity of explanation that perhaps no walk-through is needed.

Set dancing of one sort or another has been part of my life since high school. In 1972, in suburban Baltimore, MD, I along with some classmates joined a Western Square Dance club. By 1973 I had started calling dances. This activity continued and increased through my college years in Pennsylvania and in my subsequent move to the Boston area. By 1983 I was teaching a club square dance class every week, and calling at least two other dances per month.

In 1981, some of my square dancer friends invited me to the Concord (Massachusetts) Scout House contra dance. I wasn’t an instant convert, but over the next few years my contra dance activity increased; I was certainly more drawn to the music of contra dance than that of Western Squares. Also in 1981 I began playing the hammered dulcimer. The Celtic and New England music I loved and learned to play went hand-in-hand with my interest in the dance. In 1985 I moved to Southern New Hampshire and found the contra dance community much more friendly than in Massachusetts, and began regularly attending the Nelson (NH) Monday night dance which was an open band — open caller format. An opportunity came in 1986 when a scheduled caller didn’t show up at one of the more professional local dances. I filled in with what contras I could remember and a few made up on the spot; I was out of the closet. There was a considerable overlap of my square and contra dancing and calling career, but there was an inexorable shift — I did my last club dance gig in 1987 at the National Square Dance Convention.

Back in the early 1990s I was part of a 4-person New England band called “Storm in the Tea.” Amongst us we had two callers, and typically split the calling and playing of each gig. We were drawn to what was at the time a rather untraditional style: instead of playing tune sets Celtic-style or fairly straight, we tried to modulate the energy through a set of tunes to create a definite mood.

I moved to Denver in 1995, and have found this — the land of some of my youth back in the 1960s — to be home. Since my move here, I have been primarily a dance caller rather than a musician up until recently. This too is slowly changing, as I have begun playing with Southwind for contra dances during the past year.

Having worn both hats — as a dance musician and a caller (sometimes at the same gig), I feel that forming the dance experience around the music is paramount. As a contra dance caller, I’m not particularly drawn to complexity. If you want that, do club square dancing.

Eleanor Fahrney
Eleanor FahrneyEleanor’s passion for calling is second only to her love for dance. The same high energy she shows on the floor motivates beginning and seasoned dancers alike across the country. She has a knack for calling to families and calls to children like they are the future of dance. Her repertoire includes long lines, squares, circles, and trapezoids.

Ellen Klaver
Ellen is a musician, singer-songwriter, and square dance caller. She performs traditional, original, and contemporary acoustic music of the Americas on guitar, banjo, and assorted other instruments and percussion. She has been a member of a number of acoustic bands in the area for the last twenty years, probably the best-known being the MotherFolkers, a yearly showcase concert of women that has been on sabbatical for the last two years. She also has performed solo at numerous benefits, festivals, events, and peace, justice, environmental and labor gatherings.

She has produced two cassettes of music, both bilingual (one side English, the other in Spanish), Daughter of the Earth and From the Wind. A third recording of all- original music called Promise of Spring is being completed and she is currently also recording with the Two Spirit Medicine Society singing traditional, spiritual, medicine, and inter-tribal songs of the Americas.

Her songs have been featured on recordings for Leonard Peltier, a Native American political prisoner, and on recordings by Peg Millett, an environmental activist, and Magpie, an acoustic duo.

She has shared the stage with Mitch Walking Elk, Magpie, Larry Long, Utah Phillips, Alice DiMicele, Joanne Del Carpino, Jon Sirkis, and many others and has participated in numerous events, festivals and cultural presentations throughout North and Central America. She also co-produces ¡Corriente!, a weekly program of Latin American music on KGNU and has been a public affairs and music programmer on KGNU since 1985.

Eric Curl
Eric began calling contra dances in California around 1995 kind of on a whim, he says. Front Range dancers got to experience Eric's calling after he moved here in late 2004. "Thanks to the gracious willingness of local dance organizers to book me as an unknown, I began calling local area dances." When he's not dancing, calling, or jamming, he enjoys hiking, backpacking, traveling and flying. Read more about Eric in the January/February '06 Attic Windows, cFOOTMAD's newsletter.

Eric Levine

Fifth Reel
Fifth Reel has been playing for contra dances and special events like Robert Burns Suppers, weddings, parties, and St. Patrick’s Day celebrations on Colorado’s West Slope since 1995. The band produced a CD in 1999 under its former name of Blarney Pilgrim. Consisting of piano, fiddles, clarinet, hammered dulcimer and bodhra. Fifth Reel plays Irish and Scottish, Old-Time, Jazz and Ragtime music.

The members of Friendzy met through the Boulder Irish music session. They formed the band in the summer of 1998 and have focused on playing for contra dances and céilís. They play “high-energy” dance music, much of it Irish and Scottish in origin, but also like incorporating other influences, such as French-Canadian tunes.

Michelle Huber – Fiddle – Michelle, a Denver native, began her violin studies in the public school system. After nine years she took a twelve year hiatus from the violin to pursue other interests. A little over four years ago she was exposed to the world of fiddle music and has not put down the fiddle since. Michelle plays mostly Irish and Scottish dance tunes, with a few New England and French Canadian tunes thrown in for good flavor. Her goal is to get those dancing feet up and floating off the ground. She also plays in Banshee, a band geared toward performances and private functions.

Rock Eggen – Flute, pennywhistle, guitar – Rock began playing guitar(rock-and-roll style) at the age of twelve. He gravitated to Irish music, taking up first pennywhistle and then flute, in his twenties. In his native Salt Lake City, he played with an Irish Band, Tenpenny, and also a folk instrumental and sea chantey group, Yankee Clipper. He is a self-taught musician. Rock has been in Denver for about 20 years. He is the proprietor of the Eggen Violin Shop, where he makes and repairs violins, violas, and cellos.

Michael Reid – Keyboard and English concertina – Michael has played piano, off and on, since he was six. He started contra dancing in the early 1980s while living in the Washington, D.C. area, and it changed his life . . . literally, as he met his wife dancing! Wanting a more portable instrument on which to play dance tunes, he took up accordion and then concertina, later joining an established band, Tanglefoot. He moved to Boulder in 1997 and helped form Friendzy in the summer of 1998. He especially enjoys New England and French-Canadian tunes. His 1903 Wheatstone Aeola concertina is his pride and joy. Thanks to Friendzy for their wonderful music at our dances!!

Furry Mountain String Band
Furry Mountain String Band was formed when fiddle player Anita Schuneman and banjo player Lori Nitzel decided to find a way to combine their love of animals with their love of old-time music. Dave Brown and Doug Rippey liked the idea and immediately joined the band. The idea is simple: provide music at no cost to local/regional animal rescues and humane societies, to help with fundraising efforts, volunteer appreciation events, member/donor parties, and other similar occasions. Please contact us if you'd like us to play for your organization!

We're also available and always happy to play for humans! Contact: http://www.myspace.com/furrymountainstringband

Gina St. Brigid
Gina St. BrigidAfter loving dancing for ten years in the Colorado contra dance community, Gina began her contra dance calling career in 2000. She enjoys collecting contra dances from the great callers and structuring the dances to give an “exuberant, aerobic variety so when people go home they feel like they really danced and had a great time.” People can expect a pleasant sense of humor and a sense of giddy energy in her calling techniques... Also, she’ll start singing if you don’t pay attention. Gina is also a dedicated mother, an accomplished singer, a certified massage therapist, and birth doula. Love is all there is!!! Namaste.

Gold Mine Trio
John Reading, Bill Tomczak, and Sue Reading

Grandview Victorian Orchestra
offers 'elegant music from times gone by'. The orchestra players commingle with Balance & Swing. A website.

Grant Gordy
His web site and his page on MySpace.

The Grouchy Geezers
As long as they remember to take their medications, The Grouchy Geezers are not really that grouchy at all, but are usually busy delivering high-energy old-time and celtic-influenced dance tunes. Founder Joel Hayes, on fiddle, also composes many of the band’s tunes. He is aided by Jeff Haemer on mandolin and banjo, and Ron Sommer on guitar. Also visit Three-Legged Stool for more info.

Gypsy Caravan
Gypsy Caravan Gyspy Caravan was conceived at the Moonfestival in the fall of 2009. Clarinetist and guitarist Ed Secor and fiddler Lucia Thomas met at a Balkan tunes workshop, and jamming together later they realized that they both had an itch to play in a contra dance band. Their instruments seemed to already agree, and after driving away Lucia couldn't get the thought out of her head. She and her friend Aeryk Parker often defiled the pristine halls of their music school with raucous Irish tunes, bringing up apologetic professors asking them to please not stomp so loudly. Lucia asked Aeryk to join her band, knowing that the wailing of his saxophone would add even more to the mix that his bodhran already fit so snugly. After struggling to find a good rhythm player, pianist Keegan Boyle came in as our knight in shining armor only a week and a half before our first gig. His playful attitude towards theory and chords with his love for high energy dancing made him the perfect fit, and Gypsy Caravan came into existence. .

High on the Hog
High on the Hog is an energetic group of young musicians from Nederland who play old time string band music, with a focus on traditional American fiddle tunes and other early, rural country music predating the onset of bluegrass in the 1940s. Originally from St. Louis, they moved here a couple of years ago, and haven’t settled down yet. They make an exciting, “can’t keep your feet still” kind of music. Visit High on the Hog’s website. Also see High on the Hog’s discussion Yahoo! Group.

Jamie Laval
Jamie Laval TrioEsteemed for his intensely passionate and subtle performance style, Jamie Laval instills the rich tradition of Celtic music with a vigorous and unmistakably personal expression.

Jamie is the current U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion. He can be heard every Monday night on national TV playing the theme song to the popular family drama “Everwood.” Jamie has played solos on movie soundtracks for “Wild America,” “Barney’s Great Adventure,” and “Finding Home,” and was featured on the NBC Today Show. He has entertained on cruise ships around the world and in 1994 performed for the Queen of England when she visited British Columbia.

Jamie’s music making is born out of his Scottish and Irish roots. After his student years at the Victoria Conservatory of Music he traveled extensively, immersing himself in a wide variety of musical styles including classical, jazz, and folk. Jamie now resides in the Skagit Valley countryside of Washington State, USA and enjoys a vibrant professional music career. He concertizes and records with many of the best folk musicians in the Seattle area, including guitarist Hannsjoerg Scheid, pipe master Tyrone Heade, cittern player Stanley Greenthal, and bassist Jon Hamar. Jamie is also a very active contra dance musician. See Jamie Laval’s website...

Jim X. Borzym
Jim X. moved to Colorado in 1988. At that time he already had under his belt ten years of dancing, calling, concertina playing, and event organizing. In his following fifteen years with CFOOTMAD he’s been a frequent caller, the Attic Windows editor for two years, the founder of the Tea Dance series, the President of the Coordinating Committee, and the first President of the Board of Directors, now ex officio.

Some of Jim’s other artistic pursuits include teaching historic social dance at the annual Vintage Dance Week and other festivals nationwide; hosting the annual, privately-sponsored Columbine Ball in Denver every spring; and serving on the building committee of the Village Arts Coalition in the effort to construct a new ballroom and dance center in Boulder. He helped establish the Rocky Mountain Ragtime Festival, served a term on the Board of Boulder’s Dairy Center for the Arts as local artists’ liaison, and continues to host various series of live music dance events in Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, and mountain resorts. Jim is a leader and an instigator in our social dance community.

Jim got a leg up on dancing when he was young, watching his parents and grandparents rhumba and polka at community and family events. He first caught the dance bug while attending a contra dance in his last year of college. “My college years would have been a lot brighter had I found that crowd of dancers and musicians while I was a freshman.”

Jim had a brief taste of true New England dance before moving to Missoula, Montana, where living was really to begin. He learned to call squares in the traditional way. Why? It was necessary because the local caller was about to leave town! Jim called dances in barns and saloons, and at festivals and wildman parties under the full moon. He was featured at community dances in many towns in the northwest region. He stimulated the dance communities in Missoula and Kalispell/Whitefish, which developed the annual Bear Hug Festival.

Jim moved to Santa Barbara, California five years later at a crucial time for that contra dance community... The main caller was moving away. (What! Again?) Event organizing was in transition from a one-man show to collegial and consensus-organized volunteer group. “In addition to our crazy stuff like the 66-foot diameter parachute we draped over our outdoor summer dance pavilion, I also liked the feelings within our group. It was lighthearted! And, on every-other monthly meeting, we took a break with champagne and lady-finger desserts!”

Jim helped SBCDS create links with other California and national callers and musicians. He relocated the dances to the Carrillo Ballroom with its famous sprung floor, and started the annual Harvest Moon Festival. During his California years Jim performed with Jonathan and Sylvia’s Hollywood-style swing dance troupe and began his study of vintage ballroom dance.

During a brief stint near Chicago — where Jim re-directed his professional career from solar and mechanical engineering to acoustical consulting for performing arts facilities — he studied vintage dance extensively with Richard Powers and the Cincinnati community. He has since been on the staff of their annual vintage dance week specializing in the couple dances of the ragtime and early jazz music eras — namely, one-step, foxtrot, tango, waltz, and swing. This enabled him to join the Tapestry dancers upon moving to Boulder, where he created several settings of ragtime-era dance for dramatic performance. These were performed widely, including at the early years of Jim’s annual dressy social ball, the Columbine Ball and Tango Trot.

In the past half dozen years a fascination with early tango evolved into a series of contemporary Argentine-style tango events. “Tango is best when the cranial activity is balanced with the visceral embrace of the dancers. Have fun with your partner!”

Jim’s many dance-related activities — the annual Ball, the Buckhorn Camp summer dance weekends, the Sunday afternoon Tea Dances series, calling contras and squares, and teaching people to dance throughout the Front Range — all contribute to the web of sociable dancing to live music that Jim Borzym likes to inspire.

Jim’s interest in acoustics and historic structures led to several early CFOOTMAD grants for audio systems. His plan for the current year includes more work on improvements at the Temple Ballroom. Look for Jim X. calling or teaching at many of our CFOOTMAD events.

Joan Bryant
Joan leads English Country and Scottish Country dance sessions in Colorado Springs. She is the organiser of the Little London Assembly (Colorado Springs was called Little London because of the English who had properties there in the 19th century). She has taught at dance camps such as the Rocky Mountain Dance Roundup.

Joel Hayes
Joel Hayes’ life as a fiddler began when he took up the violin in grade school, but then it stalled in the seventh grade. Years later, while attending the 1989 Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas, he was inspired by the music of Doc Watson and the bands Hot Rize and New Grass Revival.

The next year of his life was pivotal musically. While living in Lawrence, Kansas, he picked up the fiddle and also discovered contra dancing! When he moved to Greeley, Colorado in 1991 he began taking fiddle lessons from violinist and fiddler, Eric Levine. He attended the “Berea Christmas Dance Week” in Kentucky where Gib Gilbert, the host at the time, nudged him into playing for the late night contra dance (his first!). Not long after that, Joel joined an open mike night at a Denver Contra Dance hosted by fiddler Anita Dolan. On stage with him were musicians Deb Carstensen, Tina Gugeler, Denise Berg and John and Susan Reading. Several of those musicians, including Joel, formed the great band Contrafusion.

His mentors include Eric Levine and Old-Time fiddler Dave Brown. Joel has become one of our “crossover musicians,” able to play both New England and Old-Time musical styles. Currently starring in 2 bands, look and listen for Joel in The Off Beats (Joel, Marni Rachmiel, and Rodney Sauer) or in Late for the Dance (Joel, Jeff Haemer, and friends). In his day job, Joel is a lawyer for people with disabilities.

John and Mary Brock
John and Mary Brock lead the popular “Weston Country Dance Band,” playing for dances all across the southern part of England. Their styles vary from 17th century English Country Dances to hot American hoedowns and reels. They have appeared at the major festivals in England, and will perform this year at the Sidmouth Festival, England’s largest and best-known folk festival. They have been featured musicians at the Christmas Country Dance School in Berea, Kentucky.

John Reading
John Reading has the best of all worlds. He gets to play with great musicians, takes his wife with him almost always, and basks in the glow of the dancers as they move to the strong piano bass lines and rhythmic chords he so enjoys. If you listen carefully, you’ll hear the influence of his former life as a jazz musician in the Boston area.

Karen Fontana
See Karen’s website.

Kathy Tucker
Twenty years ago, the “Faulty Dog” rag at a Dartmouth College freshman orientation dance introduced Kathy Tucker to the world of New England dancing and to contra dance. Immediately hooked, Kathy spent her college years contra dancing throughout many little New England towns and continued dancing when she returned to her native Colorado. A challenge (or rather inspiration) from Suzanne Plaut gave Kathy the courage to call a dance at one of CFOOTMAD’s Open Caller nights. Help from local callers such as Jim X. Borzym and Chris Kermiet and opportunities calling for CFU classes and beginning dancer workshops gave Kathy experience. Six years later Kathy is a regular and popular caller at Front Range contra dances. In planning an evening’s dance, she tries to find interesting dances, maybe with an unusual twist, appealing to both experienced and new dancers. Kathy finds the best part of calling is the opportunity to work with wonderful musicians. And her biggest challenge is not to over call but to trust dancers will work (or dance) it out.

Music has always been part of Kathy’s life. Beginning with piano, she is currently taking violin lessons and five years ago was an original member of “Tobatana” a marimba ensemble. Tobatana has recorded a CD that will be released soon.

Ken Perlman
Ken Perlman is considered one of the top clawhammer banjo players in the world, known in particular for his skillful adaptations of Celtic tunes to the style. He draws his material from traditional sources—the music of Scotland, Ireland, Cape Breton, Prince Edward Island and the American South. His approach to the music, however, is highly innovative. He has developed many new instrumental techniques, and much of his repertoire has never before been played on five-string banjo or guitar. Don’t miss his appearance at the Denver dance!

Ladies' Choice

Larry Edelman
Larry Edelman Larry Edelman has been playing traditional music for more than 25 years. He has played guitar and mandolin in several bands—including Devilish Merry and The Percolators—and currently plays driving fiddle in two Colorado-based bands, Poultry in Motion and The Soda Rock Ramblers. He appears on recordings on the Wildebeest, Kicking Mule, and Piggysnout labels. Check out their website at The Soda Rock Ramblers.

Larry is also The Percolators’ dance caller and teacher. He calls a variety of traditional dances from different regions of the USA including square dances, contras, circles and some unusual formations. He is an avid dance researcher and has studied traditional dances of the USA. Larry has traveled widely throughout the United States and in Europe, delighting both novice and veteran dancers with his humor, enthusiasm, skillful teaching, knowledge of dance history, and colorful calling.

Larry Edeman will be touring Europe during October, 2003, calling and playing with The Percolators. The Percolators will be playing for dances throughout Denmark and will be featured at Dance Weekends in Belgium and the Czech Republic. Visit The Percolators website for information on the band and their itinerary.

Timepieces: Vintage Originals
First time ever on CD! Classic dance-music program of original tunes, all composed by caller/mandolinist Edelman. Accompanied by a great assortment of musicians from around the USA: C.W. Abbott, Laurie Andres, Sandy Bradley, Greg & Jere Canote and L.E. McCullough with guests Hilary Field, Andrea Hoag, and others. To order email Larry Edelman or order online.

The Latter Day Lizards
from their website:
The Lizards are a New England based dance band featuring a trio of musicians fervent with the desire and talent to ignite flames under dancing feet. With a wide ranging and hopelessly eclectic repertoire including everything from Irish and Scottish traditional jigs and reels to Balkan, blues and swing tunes (often juxtaposed next to each other) the Latter Day Lizards bring excellent musicianship, playfulness, drama and unrelentingly infectious rhythm to their dance performances. With Peter Barnes on piano, guitar and flute, Bill Tomczak on clarinet, sax and drum and Dave Langford on guitar and fiddle, they blend swing, rock-and-roll and jazz influences with traditional foot-stomping dance music to make an innovative, spontaneous and rhythmically inflammatory sound.

The Librarians
Sue Reading, John Reading, and Marni Rachmiel. See Balance and Swing.

Lost Woody
Anita Schuneman, Dave Brown, Linda Askew, and Scott Mathis

Louisville Sluggards
Joel Hayes, Rodney Sauer and Dave Firestine (mandoline player with Steam).

Mark Brissenden
Mark Brissenden believes that playing for dancing was the original motivation for playing music, and for that reason he prefers the dance setting as his source of inspiration and experimentation. He has been playing for CFOOTMAD dances for nearly 20 years, and shows no sign of giving up yet.

You can catch him playing fiddle with The Pickabillies, or guitar and banjo with The Grouchy Geezers and with Deb and The Pariahs.

Mark Turbin
Mark started calling to help provide enough callers for all-night dances in Indiana and Illinois in the 1980’s. Since then, he has called at regular dances, dance camps, weddings, wilderness restoration projects, fund-raisers, and business conferences up and down the Rockies from Montana to New Mexico. Contras are his passion, so that is what he calls the most, with occasional circles and squares for variety. He loves to help a roomful of dancers, experienced or not, have great interactions with the band and with one another. By choosing dances that flow naturally from one figure to the next, he encourages dancers to enjoy listening and dancing to the music and dancing with everyone else in the hall. His goal is for caller and dancers alike to help everyone have a good time. To him, that is the Community Spirit that makes old-time dancing so much fun. Email Mark.

Marni Rachmiel
Marni is an inveterate dance gypsy and incorrigible Gilbert & Sullivan-ophile. This helps keep things interesting for her bandmates in Balance The Wave, where she plays flute, saxophone, and sings (not all at once.....)

Mary Cay Brass
Piano,accordion for Airdance, from Putney, Vt., Mary Cay Brass has been playing piano and accordion for New England contradances for 20 years. She also plays in the Greenfield Dance Band as well as numerous other band combinations. She has produced two CD’s - “Green Mountain” and “Full Swing” - with 3 great Vermont fiddlers, Becky Tracy, Mary Lea and Sarah Blair. She is the founder and musical director of two community choruses which focus on community-based music from a variety of world cultures. She has appeared at festivals and camps from coast to coast and overseas.

Meadowlark, Tim Macomber, Richard Jones, Holly Williams & Kim Harris.

The Masaqua Pumpkinheads
The Pumpkinheads are Larry Edelman, Jason Dilg, Jessica Johnson, and Ellen Rosenberg.

McGinty’s Wake
McGinty’s Wake is old time, bluegrass and celtic music. Formed from members of an informal jam group in Nederland, Colorado these fine folks enjoy playing for contra dances in the Front Range area. The band includes: fiddler Jerry Naro, mandolin and banjo player John McGinley, guitarists Chris McCowan and Hughes Moir, and bassist Lynda McGinley, with occasional fiddler Charlie Martin. Come join us any Thursday evening in Nederland, Colorado for a practice session. Contacts: Lynda McGinley 303 258 7757, or Jerry Naro 303 258 7014.

Mock Turtle Soup
See Mock Turtle Soup’s website.

Mont Alto
The Mont Alto Ragtime and Tango Orchestra was formed in 1989 by Rodney Sauer to play at the first Columbine Ball. The band includes pianist Rodney Sauer, violinist Susan Hall, cellist Kevin Johnson, clarinetist Brian Collins, singer Susan Rogers, and newest member James Becker on cornet.

Mont Alto takes its name from a small station on the narrow gauge Switzerland Trail railroad that used to run from Boulder to Ward. On the day in 1898 when Mont Alto Park’s dance pavilion opened, the businesses in Boulder were closed for the day so that people could go picnicking and dancing.

Mont Alto’s goal is to play ballroom dance music with taste, style and humor while avoiding kitsch. Mont Alto looks for rare and forgotten pieces, especially those of the teens and twenties, and its repertoire now fills a closet with a rather unwieldy collection of almost a thousand dance orchestrations of varying quality. The repertoire runs from ragtime one-steps and two-steps to romantic tangos and waltzes. Mont Alto is one of the few groups in the country that has had a long and successful career playing for "vintage" dancers, and the support and quality of dancing at the series has been improving every year.

During Rodney’s searches for dance music he discovered the forgotten genre of “photo play music,” written for silent film accompaniment. In 1994 Mont Alto scored its first silent film, and since has created scores for over 20 movies. Mont Alto’s scores have attracted national attention, and have lead Mont Alto to perform locally in Colorado as well as touring to Kansas and California. They have recorded scores for seven silent films on video releases.

Mont Alto has four recordings: dance music on Oh Me! Oh My! and Notoriety; and silent film music on Cinema: Silent Film Music by J.S. Zamecnik, and their most recent project Cinema 2: Destiny.

More Delicately Balanced
Sue Reading, Eric Levine, John Reading, Tina Gugeler, and Marni Rachmiel. See Balance and Swing.

Nils Fredland
See Nils Fredland’s website.

Pam Brown

Patricia Danscen

Pat Tognoni

Pat Tognoni’s contagious smile, and energetic and whimsical calling spread the passion of dance wherever she goes. Her clear and concise teaching and welcoming smile will engage both new and experienced dancers and keep them dancing all night long! Pat’s repertoire includes contras, squares, circles, and traditional reels. She has called dances across Colorado, and in Missouri, Kansas, Utah, Wyoming, Pennsylvania and Maine.

In addition to calling, Pat plays double bass and guitar, and performed with a clogging troupe for 12 years and can often be seen clogging while calling a dance.

Paul Somlo

Paula Connolly

Peachbottom Creek
Jennifer Duncan, fiddle; Kate Lawrence, banjo; and Keith Akers, bass. We’ve been around since late 2002, specializing in old-time music; we’ve played often for CFOOTMAD dances in Denver, Boulder, and Colorado Springs. We’ve also presented concerts at retirement homes, and accompanied the Hoofin’ High Country Cloggers. We enjoy singing harmony vocals, as well as playing a wide variety of reels, waltzes, and other dance tunes.

The Pickabillies
A bluegrass and swing band in the outside world, The Pickabillies added old-time tunes to their repertoire and started playing for CFOOTMAD dancers in 1998. Founder Randy Flipse on guitar joined forces with Mark Brissenden on fiddle, Dave Griffin on banjo/mandolin/dobro, and Roger Franz on bass to bring an inventive, improvisational approach to the contra-dance sound. Visit the Pickabillies website.

Pig’s Eye Landing
The Pig’s Eye Landing band sails in for their first ever Denver appearance! Internationally known, this band plays hot fiddle driven tunes with rockin’ jigs, reels, polkas and waltzes! With four recordings under their belt, they are ready to take us to P.E.L. heaven! The 5 person band plays everything from fiddle to feet percussion, from bouzuki to drums and vocals. This is the band not to miss! Visit the PEL website...

Popcorn Behavior
Popcorn Behavior (now known as Assembly) was formed in 1993 with the release of their self-titled debut, when Thomas and Sam were 13 and Stefan was 10 years old. Since then they have released two more albums, 1996’s “Journeywork” (with Keith Murphy making his first appearance, as a guest) and 1999’s “Strangest Dream,” (the first album with the full quartet) all of which have received rave reviews. On St. Patrick’s day of 1998, Popcorn Behavior was featured in an interview with Noah Adams on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered!

The Quartet’s Natural Beginnings
Their parents, the famous Peter and Mary Alice Amidon, are versatile and widely respected performing and teaching artists. They’ve made their mark over the past twenty years by dedicating themselves to traditional song, dance and storytelling. Peter and Mary Alice are familiar faces at the major northeast U.S. music and dance festivals and are equally at home doing a concert of stories and songs for adults or children, calling a contra dance for adults or a community dance for all ages. Brothers Sam and Stefan Amidon are seasoned veterans, having toured with The Amidon Family across the US and Europe since their earliest years. It was this influence that precipitated the coming together of this fine group.

Sam Amidon (now age 20), a committed fiddler from the age of three, is now among the most highly regarded in the Eastern United States’ crowded field of Irish-style players. Younger brother Stefan’s (now age 18) singular approach to the Mideastern dumbek is only the best-known souvenir of his many and continuing adventures in the percussion world.

Band member and a prolific tunesmith Thomas Bartlett (age 20) initiated his first classical piano lessons at age six, but a scant dozen years later his extraordinary talents find him in demand as a theater accompanist, performing solo piano recitals, and earning him top honors in concerto competitions. He spent a year studying in London with world-renowned classical pianist and teacher Maria Curcio.

Keith Murphy—of the highly-regarded trio Nightingale—provides his trademark driving guitar, mandolin and Quebecois-style footwork, not to mention his smooth energy and stage-wise artistry. Add his remarkable vocal presence and disarming smile and you’ve got the Popcorn mix!

What Others Have Said:

Visit www.assemblymusic.com.

The Possums
The Possums are Dave Brown, Anita Schuneman, Jason Dilg, Jessica Johnson, and Ellen Rosenberg.

Poultry in Motion
Poultry in Motion, one of the West’s premier old-time string bands, has been dazzling Colorado dancers and listeners since 1997. Well-recognized by their unique blend of memorable melodies and rollicking rhythms, “Poultry” plays a rich assortment of lively, traditional American fiddle tune. Poultry’s rich repertoire spans the U.S. and a typical performance includes beautifully haunting tunes from Appalachia, sprightly toe-tappers from the great Midwest, and a handful of original compositions thrown in for good measure. All told, the band members offer more than 120 years of tune playing experience. They represent a special breed of musicians who, while retaining respect for the older traditions, are fully capable of bringing their music to a contemporary audience.

Dave Brown makes up half of Poultry’s twin-fiddling sound. Born in Toronto, Canada and raised in Iowa, Dave began fiddling in California in the early 1970s and has been playing for square and contra dances around the Front Range since 1974. Rounding out the twin-fiddle department is Larry Edelman. Larry has played guitar, mandolin, banjo-uke, and fiddle with popular concert and dance bands in Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. area.

Frailing the five-string banjo is Thom Curdts who immigrated to Colorado from Virginia and Florida via his many world travels that included a stint playing in a square dance band in Guatemala and in folk festivals and clubs in New Zealand. Born in Chicago, Ellen Rosenberg moved to Colorado after a detour dipping into the traditional dance scene in rural New Hampshire and Maine. Ellens life was transformed when she heard her first old-time fiddle tune and has been devoted to playing back-up guitar ever since.

Last, but certainly not least, Pat “Rocco” Carbone, anchors the band on his upright bass. Originally hailing from Cleveland, Ohio, Pat is equally at home on bass, guitar, or banjo and in a variety of musical styles.

The Pragmatics are Barb Kirchner, Mark Brissenden and Steve Winograd.

Pullet's Surprise
Fiddler ? and gypsy jazzists Don and Stefan Doucette, guitars and stand-up bass, playing contra tunes with a new flavor. Yumm!

Purple Pandemonium
Dave Brown, fiddle; Anita Schuneman, fiddle; Kate Lawrence, banjo; Holly Williams, guitar; and Keith Akers, bass. If you’re looking for driving old-time fiddle music, with enough musicians to create a bigger-than-average sound, turn to Purple! Formed in August 2003, this band has played for Zesty and Boulder dances, and at Washington Park. At our first gig we tried to color our hair purple. It worked, sort of, but the purple color didn’t really stand out in the band members who had brown hair. Now we have settled on a different tack for justifying our name, while maintaining a semblance of respectability: we wear purple clothes (shirts, dresses, scarves, whatever) to all of our gigs. When dancers see us on the schedule, they wear purple too!

Purple Zephyr
Viki Lawrence (fiddle and concertina), Vicki Tiedeman (fiddle), Ed Secor, Ed Hall and Kim Harris.

The Rabbit Rousers
Anita Schuneman - fiddle, Dave Brown - fiddle, Doug Rippey - Guitar, Pat Carbone - Bass

Richard Myers

Rick Smith

Rock-it is a new band formed by John and Sue Reading from Balance & Swing and Kate & Pat McCracken from the Toe Dusters Stringband.

Rodney Miller
Fiddler for Airdance in 1983, Rodney Miller was designated a “Master Fiddler” by the National Endowment for the Arts. He is widely considered to be the foremost exponent of New England style fiddling. A uniquely American blend of French Canadian and Celtic influences. Over the past 30 years, he has toured the U.S., British Isles, Australia and Denmark, performed and taught at hundreds of music and dance festivals, and recorded over ten fiddle albums. In 1999, Rodney and David Surette were invited to represent the state of New Hampshire and play at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the Mall in Washington, D.C. Rodney is a master violin-maker employed by Stamell Stringed Instruments in Amherst, Ma.

Rodney Sauer
Once the youngest person in the world, Rodney Sauer is now too old to be a child prodigy. He has been playing piano and accordion for square and contra dances up and down the front range of Colorado for over 20 years, providing rhythmic support to a variety of bands, duets, and trios. He's been playing monthly dances with Eric Levine in Fort Collins since 1986, but is also a member of Deb and the Pariahs, Unstrung Heroes, The Boulder Hat Band, and often shows up with Teri Rasmusson, Sandra Wong, Bonnie Carol, and anyone else who needs a one-man back-up band. His musical interests include folk dance music, vintage ballroom dance, and silent film scoring with his nationally touring quintet, the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra.

Ron Young
Ron Young has been calling contra dances in Grand Junction and in other West Slope venues since 1999. When not calling, he plays hammered dulcimer and bodhran with the band Fifth Reel.

Ryan Drickey
His page on MySpace

Sam Zucchini
Percussion for Airdance, when not playing with Airdance (or cooking, gardening and sleeping), Sam makes music for kids of all ages with his award-winning band, “the Zucchini Brothers,” and produces this trio’s internationally syndicated radio show, “Live! at the Clubhouse” (which can be heard any time at the band’s website zucchinibrothers.com). Sam has played and recorded with an assortment of artists including: Jay Ungar & Molly Mason, Carly Simon, Donald Fagen, David Bromberg, John Sebastian, Phoebe Snow, the Gibson Brothers, Levon Helm, and Pete Seeger.

Sandia Hots
The seeds of the band were first planted in 1998 in the Rio Grande Valley, with the crimson peaks of the Sandia Mountains in the backdrop. Named for a local variety of chiles, the Sandia Hots ripened into a well-known and respected musical force in the Albuquerque and Santa Fe music and dance communities. Transplanted to Colorado during the year 2000, the band continues to develop and grow in the music and dance scene in Colorado. /p>

Their musical repertoire consists of lively Southern Appalachian dance tunes and songs, cowboy and early 20th century swing numbers, songs, and dance tunes from New Mexico, Mexico and southern Arizona.

On the fiddle, Liz Stevens picked up the violin in grammar school and hasn’t let go since. She names old time fiddling legends like Clayton McMitchen and Tommy Jarrel as her inspirations. Liz has been a regular fiddler for CFOOTMAD dances since 1989. Michael Gallagher, playing five-string and tenor banjos, fiddle, and button accordion, was a regular player in the Philadelphia area since 1975 with bands such as the Jubilo String Band and the Sly Dogs. Scott Mathis, playing mandolin, has probably been a musician in all his lives. In the 60s he joined a rock and roll band and the music hasn’t stopped since. On guitar and vihuela is Linda Askew. Originally from West Texas, Linda is a master at playing rhythm guitar for southern old time dance tunes, Cajun melodies, the irregular rhythms of guiachi fiddle music, and Italian café songs.

They are again based in New Mexico - sandiahotsband.com - or a website on FolkMADS

Sandra Wong
Sandra plays driving, haunting melodies and harmonies in the genre of Irish, Old-time and Bluegrass. If you haven't danced to her music, you are certainly in for a treat. Humble and sweet, she appears unaware of her ability to captivate a room with her charm and oustanding musicianship. Her love of music is absolutely apparent! Shes writes of herself: "Although I was too young to remember, my parents tell me that I displayed a real love of music from a very early age. My lullabye was Beethoven's 5th (I could not fall asleep to anything else!)." Find out more about Sandra on her website.

Scott Mathis
Scott Mathis is a member of CFOOTMAD, a musician who plays for our contra dances, and a retired dance coordinator for the Castlewood Dance. He plays in a number of popular local bands Sandia Hots, Lost Woody, Soda Rock Ramblers, and New Solstice Serenaders for dances along the Front Range and in Santa Fe and Albuquerque.

Scott was born in Lima, Ohio and grew up mostly in Kettering. Upon his parents acquiring a TV and hi-fi he “went musical” with American Bandstand, Everly Brothers, collecting DooWop/Oldies, etc. Circa 1966 70 he co-founded the legendary “Movin’ Henry Band,” and in 1983 the FolkMADS (New Mexico Folk Music and Dance Society) in Albuquerque.

Among Scott’s passions are... Performing and leading workshops at international music and dance festivals; collecting interesting musical instruments and field recordings (and sharing the latter with other seekers); the mandolin’s role in Old-time, Irish and Bluegrass music; the furtherance of traditional music and dance; and spending time learning traditions, music, and culture from icons such as Cleofes Ortiz and Antonia Apodaca. Scott studied Guachi fiddle tunes with Elliot Johnson on the Tohono O’odam Reservation in Arizona.

“I lobby for diversity,” Scott says. “The Sandia Hots play Mexican waltzes and polkas... More square dances, and community dances.”

Scott moved to Denver a few years ago along with his wife and partner Linda. They appreciate their friendships within the local old-time music scene. Scott writes, “We were welcomed with open arms and have settled down rather nicely. Thanks y’all.”

Seth Houston
His web page. Seth is at the University of Colorado College of Music. He is a choral director and composer. He is a member of nationally touring bands such as Lift Ticket and locally appears with Sandra Wong and with Desperate Measures.

The Soda Rock Ramblers

Viki Lawrence (fiddle and concertina), Vicki Tiedeman (fiddle), Emily Verplank (piano) and occasionally Ed Hall (hammered dulcimer and percussion).

"Step in Time"
"Step in Time" includes Deb Carstensen, Ed Secor, and Rodney Sauer.

Steve Ruby

Stuart Kenney
Bass, banjo for Airdance, one of the most in demand upright players on the contra circuit, Stuart’s musical interests range from New England contradance music to Cajun and Blues. He is also a member of Wild Asparagus and the Greenfield Dance Band. Stuart cut his Cajun teeth with the legendary, Dewey Balfa, and has appeared at the Ashokan (NY) Fiddle and Dance workshops and many festivals throughout the country and overseas. Although Stuart’s music has brought him coast to coast, his musical home is at the Guiding Star Grange in Greenfield, Ma., where he plays for and hosts many dances.

Sue Reading
Sue Reading learned to play fiddle in New England in the early 70s. She had contact with some of the finest fiddlers in that region and has played consistently with contra dance bands and traditional musicians since then. She relocated to Colorado in 1991 with John and became involved in the traditional music community. Sue has a large repertoire and enjoys playing anywhere, anytime.

Teri Rasmusson
It’s hard to imagine CFOOTMAD without Teri Rasmusson. She’s been an integral part of the dance scene here since its beginnings over twenty years ago. That seems like a very long time now, but Teri’s been organizing and running dances since then! Incredible!

Teri was born into a musical family in Nova Scotia, Canada, and began playing harmonica and “button box” at an early age. She went to elementary and high school in Canada and Scotland where she learned to play clarinet. She continued with clarinet in college which she played in the orchestra in California.

After college she worked as a fire fighter for the National Forest Service, and was transferred to Colorado to fight fires. Teri toured with “The Moving Company” — an international Celtic/Jazz Band and maintains a license in Music Therapy.

In Colorado she soon found the local musicians playing traditional music — “Dave Brown and Anita Dolan were probably the first.” In 1980 she started a community dance at the Niwot Grange which has become the Boulder Contra Dance which she has coordinated ever since. She joined forces with Paula Kermiet and Frances Waller who were holding dances in Denver, and together with several other folks they formed CFOOTMAD.

Teri plays piano, guitar, flute, and mandolin, as well as writes dance music, and performs for kids and adults. Ask her about buying a copy of her tune book! Her sense of community, her longevity, her lack of burnout, her continuing enthusiasm for traditional music and dance, and her service to CFOOTMAD are all quite amazing. She does not mind being married to a bagpiper (it comes in handy), has a daughter, Harriet, who is an up and coming fiddler and good at taking money at CFOOTMAD Dances. Teri currently performs professionally with Charlie Provenza, Rodney Sauer, Eric Levine (Eric for about 20 years) Chris Kermiet and when time allows; Bonnie Phipps, Johnny Cunningham, Mark Graham, Tim O’Brien and The San Francisco Scottish Fiddlers. Teri is available as a music teacher for both children and adults.

Tina Fields calls contra and other traditional American “barn” dances, with the goal of creating maximum joy for all. Dancers have said she is known for her effervescent sparkle, great sense of timing, clear projection, singing style, patience with new dancers, collaborative way of working with bands, and comfortable humor. Tina brings day job skills as a college professor to her dance teaching. She is also a versatile singer, ceremonial facilitator, voiceover artist, and storytelling orator. She has been on staff for various dance camps as both contra caller and songleader. See her calling schedule (and more) at: Contra Dance Calling.

Tina Gugeler
Her web page. Tina first saw 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, Bear Foot. She played on the docks for cruise ship tourists, at weddings, dances and at the Alaska Folk Festival in Juneau.

Since moving to the Denver area in 1990, Tina has become a full time musician. She performs solo, in small combos with fiddle, guitar, or piano, and in several local contra dance bands, such as Balance and Swing and variations of High Strung. Along with her busy performance schedule, she teaches students on the dulcimer and bodhran and has won a few hammered dulcimer competitions including the 1992 Colorado state championship, the 1994 Long’s Peak Scottish Games Championship, and brought home third place in the 1998, second place in the 1999 and won first place in the 2000 National Hammered Dulcimer Championships in Winfield, Kansas.

Tina appears on recordings by Denver’s High Strung and the dance band Contrafusion.

Toe Dusters Stringband
See Toe Dusters Stringband's website.

Wendy Graham

  Wendy Graham (Durango, CO), self-described "dance maniac,”
  serves up delicious and nutritious dances for all. With
  infectious enthusiasm and a smile, Wendy calls regularly
  throughout the southwest, and tours nationally and
  internationally. She helps run Durango's contra dance, and
  two dance weekends: FolkMADness (New Mexico) and Stellar Days
  & Nights (Colorado). Find out where in the world Wendy is or
  watch a hip-hop-inspired contra dance at

Tuney Loons

Unstrung Heroes

The Usual Suspects
The Usual Suspects are Kim Harris on piano, Doug Woody on fiddle, and Tim Macomber on mandolin.

Viki Lawrence
Viki organizes the Denver Waltz Nights, and plays fiddle and concertina in the band Southwind. Viki also plays with Purple Zephyr and is a caller for contra dances.

Also see...
Bands + Callers on Jared Gottlieb’s Colorado Contra Dancing.

Email Webmaster Updated Sunday, February 29th