TradMad Camp

TradMaD 2023, Saturday August 26 — Friday September 1, 2023, at Pinewoods Camp, Plymouth MA

2023 Staff List

Sadly, Reggie Harris cannot join us this year because of illness.

Check out the staff websites below to see whether they are streaming any concerts, or to get their CDs, etc. Support live music.
Sheila Kay Adams
Scott Ainslie
Armand Aromin
Margaret Bennett
Amy Conley
Alex Cumming
Andy Davis
Elsie & Ethan
Benedict Gagliardi
Beppe Gambetta
Elsie Gawler
Joe Jencks
Chris Koldewey
Chris Newman
Máire Ní Chathasaigh
Federica Calvino Prina
Sally Rogers
Cedar Stanistreet
Ethan Stokes Tischler
The Vox Hunters
Surprise guests . . .
. . . and our talented campers
Our staff members are not only great performers, they are also excellent teachers, whether it be instruments, styles, or the music of a particular area, collector, or era, etc.

Directors: Joy Bennett and Heather Wood. Sound: Don Wade, Collegium Sound

Sheila Kay Adams Sheila Kay Adams
is a seventh-generation ballad singer, storyteller, and claw-hammer banjo player, born and raised in the Sodom Laurel community of Madison County, North Carolina, an area renowned for its unbroken tradition of of unaccompanied singing of traditional southern Appalachian ballads that dates back to the early Scots/Irish and English Settlers in the mid-17th century. Adams learned to sing from her great-aunt Dellie Chandler Norton and other notable singers in the community such as, Dillard Chandler and the Wallin Family (including NEA National Heritage Fellow Doug Wallin). In addition to ballad singing, Adams is an accomplished claw hammer-style banjo player and storyteller.
Sheila's website
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Scott Ainslie Scott Ainslie
has been a musician all his life. He came of age during the Civil Rights era, and cultivated a powerful affinity for cross-cultural exchange. He has studied with elder musicians on both sides of the color line — in the Old-Time Southern Appalachian fiddle and banjo traditions, as well as Black Gospel and Blues. He plays this music with affection, authority, and power. Armed with a variety of instruments — vintage guitars, a fretless gourd banjo, a one-string, homemade diddley bow (aka cigar box guitar) and carefully chosen historical personal anecdotes of his encounters with senior musicians across the South — Ainslie brings the history, roots music, and sounds of America to life.
Scott's website
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Armand Aromin Armand Aromin
is a violin maker and musician based in Providence, Rhode Island. He has studied at Berklee College of Music and the University of Limerick, and is a graduate of the North Bennet Street School in Boston, MA where he earned his diploma in Violin Making & Repair. Picking up the fiddle and tin whistle in his mid-teens, Armand learned much of his music from renowned Irish musicians and tunesmiths Jimmy Devine and Patrick Hutchinson, both of whom helped to foster an interest in the lyrical and colorful styles of older musicians such as Denis Murphy and Julia Clifford, Bobby Casey, Johnny Doherty, and Tommy Reck. In addition to being the 2010 Mid-Atlantic Fleadh Cheoil Champion for Senior Fiddle, Armand was also a finalist at the Séan Ó Riada Gold Medal Fiddle Competition held in Cork, Ireland in 2011. Since 2010, he has taught fiddle and tin whistle for the Reynolds-Hanafin-Cooley branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Eireann in Boston. Much to Ben's delight and dismay, Armand is working on incorporating English concertina into his repertoire of instruments. Armand joins Benedict Gagliardi as The Vox Hunters.
The Vox Hunters' website
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Margaret Bennett Margaret Bennett
is a folklorist, writer, singer and broadcaster. She was brought up in a family of tradition bearers, Gaelic on her mother’s side (from Skye) and Lowland Scots on her father’s. She and her three sisters lived their childhood in the Isle of Skye, "in a household where singing, playing music, dancing and storytelling were a way of life as were traditional crafts." Margaret is a fine ballad singer and is widely regarded as "Scotland’s foremost folklorist." Margaret will introduce us to waulking (a process in cloth manufacture) and other Scottish traditions.
Margaret's website
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Amy Conley Amy Conley
is a multi-instrumentalist (ukulele, guitar, banjo, harmonica, mandolin, piano) who has been performing & teaching music for all ages since 1986. She has recorded three CD’s for families and is an active member of The Children’s Music Network. Once an active member of FSSGB, Amy now creates community music programs in southern NH such as the Second Friday Song Circle, music jams, concerts and Ukulele Playshops for adults. Her classes emphasize singing and playing for fun. Amy has taught Beginning Ukulele at all TradMaDs to date and her classes have performed brilliantly in the Camper Concerts.
Amy's website
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Alex Cumming Alex Cumming
is a traditional singer, accordionist, pianist, and dance caller hailing from Somerset, England, now living in Brattleboro, Vermont. He performs songs and tunes from around the United Kingdom and America with a great depth of knowledge of the tradition. Alex has made his mark on the folk scene with his rhythmic, danceable accordion style, strong voice, and his fun and engaging stage presence. After over a decade of performing with bands such as The Teacups and Bellwether, Alex is finally recording his debut solo album along with Max Newman & Audrey Knuth. Look out for news of release in Fall 2023. Alex is Artistic Director of Revels North, and bookings manager for Live to Your Living Room.
Alex's website
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Andy Davis Andy Davis
is known nationally as one of the finest piano accompanists for contra dance music and is an outstanding performer on piano accordion and banjo. He taught music in several schools in Brattleboro, where he makes his home, and runs the successful operation of New England Dancing Masters, with recordings and publications that make New England dance forms available for use in schools. Andy is a leader of popular community dances. He was a longtime member of Nowell Sing We Clear.
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Elsie and Ethan Elsie & Ethan
Elsie Gawler and Ethan Stokes Tischler are New England based songsters, on fiddle, guitar, vocals, cello, and banjo. They bring together their unique musical backgrounds to create a rich original sound that is alive with their love for the music they make together. They deliver original and traditional songs and tunes that come straight from the heart. Elsie and Ethan have each shared their music and spirits with audiences across New England and beyond while maintaining a deeply rooted connection to the thriving Vermont and Maine based folk music communities from which they've emerged.
Elsie & Ethan's website
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Benedict Gagliardi Benedict Gagliardi
is a Providence-based singer and musician whose style has been shaped by the eclectic musical of New England. He is a versatile and inventive Anglo concertina player who wields the instrument equally well for song accompaniment as well as tunes. Likewise, Benedict is an avid researcher of old songs (especially those related to Rhode Island, insects, and various other themes), an advocate of oral tradition, and an organizer of local social singing. In real life, he works full time at The Nature Lab at Rhode Island School of Design. Benedict joins Armand Aromin as The Vox Hunters.
The Vox Hunters' website
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Beppe Gambetta Beppe Gambetta
In a world dominated by the trends and logic of the market, Beppe Gambetta’s playing and singing stand out. His is an inspired music that avoids relying solely on his technical excellence; instead, it also reveals the innermost feelings of a brilliant, playful mind that is always exploring and innovating while staying firmly rooted in tradition. He naturally and seamlessly bridges the shores of two continents, creating a musical fusion of American roots and the Ligurian tradition, emigration songs and folk ballads, steel-string guitars and vintage harp-guitars. Beppe is married to Federica Calvino Prina.
Beppe's website
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Elsie Gawler Elsie Gawler
is a multi-instrumentalist and songster rooted in Maine's traditional folk music and culture. With her family, the Gawler Family Band, she has played throughout the state and beyond, sharing traditional fiddle tunes, songs, and original works since she was six years old. From this foundation she has branched out and launched her debut solo album, Sweet As Honey. The album is a collection of nine original songs inspired by sacred connection to earth and community. While continuing to play regularly with The Gawler Family Band, her other projects include duo Elsie & Ethan (with Ethan Stokes Tischler), and trio The Gawler Sisters. She has also been a long-time member of the group Childsplay.
Elsie's website
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Joe Jencks Joe Jencks
is an international touring musician, award-winning songwriter, and celebrated vocalist known for his performances of musical beauty, social consciousness, and spiritual exploration. A 20-year veteran of the international folk circuit, Jencks has released 15 CDs in that time. Merging conservatory training with his Irish roots and working-class upbringing, Joe delivers engaged musical narratives filled with heart, soul, groove and grit. Blending well-crafted instrumentals and vivid songwriting, Jencks serves it all up with a lyric baritone voice that has the edgy richness of a good sea-salt caramel.
Joe's website
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Chris Koldewey Chris Koldewey
was born into a family with a rich maritime history. His lullabies as a child were songs of the sea. Raised by the water on the north shore of Long Island, he was influenced by the wonderful enclave of performers of traditional folk music. Chris performs a wide range of traditional and contemporary folk music with a focus on the songs of the sea, from lively and boisterous to heartwarming and emotive. accompanying them on a variety of acoustic instruments or singing them a capella. Chris worked at Mystic Seaport with the Chantey and Interpretation Departments for 20 years, giving him a wide range of practical and insightful perspectives into the songs of the 19th century. He crewed the last wooden whaling ship, the Charles W. Morgan on part of her historic voyage in 2014. Chris' 32-year career in teaching public school music gives him a natural and experienced approach in presenting folk music to children as well as "non-children." He engages his listeners and encourages audiences to sing along.
Chris's website
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Chris Newman Chris Newman
is "one of the UK's greatest musicians" (BBC Radio 2). He's played with luminaries of folk (Máire Ní Chathasaigh, Boys of the Lough, Aly Bain), jazz (Stéphane Grappelli and Diz Disley) and comedy (Fred Wedlock). He received a silver disc for producing Fred's hit Oldest Swinger in Town. "Newman's playing boggles my mind" Flatpicking Guitar, "Dazzling" Acoustic Guitar, "Guitar-playing of astonishing virtuosity and versatility" Songlines. Chris has been principal guitar tutor for Newcastle University's Folk B.Mus. course since its inception. His fourth solo CD Still Getting Away with It, a celebration of his 40-year career, is "Astonishing - a must-buy for any guitar player." Scotland on Sunday, "Dazzling... guitar-playing to be marvelled at" Daily Telegraph, "Beauty and virtuosity from a master craftsman at the peak of his abilities" Maverick. His partnership with Máire Ní Chathasaigh tours worldwide and has made seven acclaimed duo and two quartet albums.
Chris on Wikipedia
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Maire Ni Chathasaigh Máire Ní Chathasaigh
Máire is "the doyenne of Irish harpers" Scotland on Sunday, sole harpist recipient to date of Irish music's most prestigious Award, Gradam Ceoil TG4 (Traditional Musician of the Year), and one of Ireland's most influential traditional musicians - described by the late Derek Bell as "the most interesting and original player of the Irish harp today". A multiple All-Ireland and Pan-Celtic winner, she developed profoundly influential techniques for harp performance of traditional Irish music, heard on her New-Strung Harp (1985) - the first harp album to concentrate on traditional Irish dance music: "a masterpiece of virtuosity… a milestone in Irish harp music" The Irish Examiner. Her "celebrated virtuoso partnership" (The Daily Telegraph)with Chris Newman has made seven duo and two quartet albums and toured in twenty-two countries worldwide to venues ranging from the tiniest of village halls and historic European churches to palaces in Kyoto and Istanbul, London's Barbican, Sydney's Town Hall and Cologne's Philharmonie. "Their blinding technique, sizzling Irish reels and hot jazz improvisation brought an extended standing ovation" The West Australian. Her 2015 CD with her sisters, Sibling Revelry, was "Blissfully beautiful" Songlines, The Daily Telegraph, The Irish TImes.
Máire's website
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Federica Calvino Prina Federica Calvino Prina
graduated in classical guitar at the Conservatory of Milan, then she became a passionate enthusiast of Renaissance and Baroque dance and she is currently a teacher and directs various summer schools and workshops for dancers, teachers and musicians in Italy and Europe. Beside these activities, she did much research about traditional Italian dances all over the Country (West Piedmont, Mountains of Emilia Romagna region, South Italian regions, Sardinia…) and she teaches these repertoires in various workshops. She collaborates on the project of the “Virtual Theatre” with the University of Milano, an experiment of Virtual Reality applied to dance and opera theatre. The “Virtual Theatre” hosts performances and virtual artists: the choreography of the Baroque Dance is the chosen topic to explain to the public how a dance is created and staged. Federica's husband is Beppe Gambetta.
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Sally Rogers Sally Rogers
is a gifted performer and musician, but she is also a passionate educator, always trying to find the best window into learning. She is committed to using her skills as an educator, artist, and musician to help ALL learners reach their highest potential as human beings. Then sing about it! .
Sally's website
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Cedaar Stanistreet Cedar Stanistreet
grew up playing both classical violin and traditional fiddle music, and studied violin performance at the Crane School of Music. For the past ten years he has played for contra dances across North America with bands including Nor’easter, Cardinal Direction, Maivish, and Cloud Ten. His spirited, rhythmic playing and clear tone keep dancers on their feet. In between gigs, Cedar can be found at home in Brattleboro, VT, growing vegetables, baking bread, and birdwatching. He also repairs violins, violas, and cellos.
Cedar's Facebook page
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Ethan Stokes Tischler Ethan Stokes Tischler
is a Maine-based musician/educator with roots in the Champlain Valley of Vermont. For the last many years, he's been teaching, performing, and recording music, mainly in Burlington Vermont and Mid-Coast Maine. Alongside his own solo projects, he plays with Elsie Gawler as Elsie & Ethan, and with the Gawler Sisters and theGawler Family Band. As a teacher, he appreciates working with music learners of all ages, and strives to pass along key foundations and theoretical concepts in music alongside a genuine joy and lightness in music-making as a whole.
Ethan's website
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The Voxhunters The Vox Hunters
is (or are?) Armand Aromin and Benedict Gagliardi, who are musically bound by a shared love of traditional folk music. Though originally united through Irish instrumental music, they share an enthusiastic affinity for an ever-growing amalgam of songs both inside and far outside the realm of ‘folk music’. With a pair of oft-harmonizing voices accompanied by fiddle, free reeds, and tenor guitar, The Vox Hunters present an exciting and eclectic repertoire of traditional folk songs, driving dance tunes, sean nos dancing and other musical varia. The Vox Hunters' philosophy is that the search for good songs is endless and satisfyingly so. They don't aim to fuse genres, push boundaries, or redefine 'folk music' — they simply sing songs they like to sing in exactly the way they like to sing them. Their influences and inspirations are voices in the English, American, and Irish folk music realms, but they allow their ears a long musical leash.
The Vox Hunters' website
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Joy Bennett Joy Bennett
has been involved in folk music most of her life. As a member of the quartet Water Sign for 13 years, she explored the close-knit harmonies of both traditional and contemporary folk music. Joy is also a founding member of the all-woman chantey group The Johnson Girls. The "J-Girls" bring a sound and energy to sea and work songs that has brought entire audiences to their feet. They not only have beautiful harmonies, but raw power, allowing audiences a glimpse of the situations in which the chanteys were used. She has performed solo, with Water Sign, the Johnson Girls, Chris Koldewey, and with guest artists in the US, UK, Canada, and Europe. Joy is the Executive Director of Old Songs, an organization that presents the annual Old Songs Festival - Music with Roots, a year-long concert series, community dances, and instrument classes.
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Heather Wood Heather Wood
is a veteran singer from the English revival for some 50+ years, dating from her days with The Young Tradition. She has a great repertoire of ballads, historical songs, love and agricultural songs, and a lot from the humorous side. In addition to the old songs, she has written some dynamite new ones. Over the years, Heather has also acted as agent for other artists, run folk clubs, organized weekends and other events, and written about folk music for an assortment of publications. She is treasurer and program chair of The Folk Music Society of New York.
Heather's website
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Don Wade Don Wade, Collegium Sound
has over four decades of experience in sound reinforcement and recording. He has worked at everything from concerts to large festivals and is particularly familiar with Folk, Classical, and Jazz. Don is co-founder of Minstrel Records, which has produced some fine albums.
Don's website
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rev 3/19/23