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2010 Golden Toad Camp special guest teachers:

Väsen

Olov Johansson--nyckelharpa, Mikael Marin--viola, and Roger Tallroth--12 string guitar

 

"The Botanist" performed at The Freight and Salvage in Berkeley April 1, 2009

Väsen

 

Vasen

Vasen in Japan

Vasen Trio

 

www.vasen.se

Olov Johansson and Mikael Marin started playing together as teenagers around 1980. During the early 1980's they would regularly visit Curt and Ivar Tallroth and Eric Sahlström, older musicians who lived nearby in the Uppland region, where they would play and learn traditional music from them. In this way they became a link in the living tradition that Swedish folk music has enjoyed through the centuries.

In 1989, at a music gathering in Røros, Norway, Olov met Roger Tallroth and asked if he would like to try to jam on nyckelharpa and guitar for a bit. Roger declined, intent at that moment on taking a shower. Fortunately, the shower was occupied, so Roger returned with his guitar, and they played for the rest of the day and far into the night. Among the witnesses to this fateful jam session was Olle Paulsson, who thought it was the best music he had ever heard, and made a promise to start a record label if they were willing to be recorded for a CD (and thus Drone Music was born).

The following summer Olov became World Champion of both the modern chromatic and older historical nyckelharpas at the first-ever Nyckelharpa World Championships at Österbybruk, Sweden. The added momentum for the first CD recording, which was entitled "Olov Johansson: Väsen." Väsen is a Swedish word with many meanings: spirit, noise, a living being, essence among the most prominent. It was originally meant to just be an album title, but soon people were calling to book the band "Väsen" and the name stuck.

Initially some traditionalists (or something else, it wasn't many at all) in the Swedish folk music community showed some resistance to Väsen. While Olov and Mikael were playing fairly straightforward folk music duets, Roger's guitar definitely provided a different twist on Swedish traditional music. Yet it's exactly the guitar chordings and rhythms that also attracted an entirely new audience, and the band's popularity gradually grew, along with their international reputation. The group have now released 15 albums between 1990 and 2009, and tour around the world every year. In the fall of 2008, Väsen was one of the featured headliners of the World Music Expo in Spain.

Väsen will be teaching "Swedish Ensemble" at Golden Toad Music and Dance Camp.

In 1990, Olov became the first world champion of the nyckelharpa. He began to play the nyckelharpa in 1980 as a fourteen-year old, and was named a 'riksspelman' (master musician) in 1984. Olov has studied with the legendary Curt Tallroth and Erik Sahlström. He is regarded as one of Sweden's most prominent nyckelharpa players, and is an inspiration for numerous young performers on the instrument. He is teaching regularly at the Eric Sahlström Institutet.

Apart from his association with Väsen, Olov has also played with groups such as Kronos Quartet, the Nyckelharpa Orchestra, as well as solo performances. He has also recorded and toured with the chart-topping Swedish rock group Nordman, and has played on the albums Early Music (with Kronos Quartet) and his solo project, Storsvarten (released on NorthSide).

Olov Johansson will be teaching "intermediate/advanced nyckelharpa" at Golden Toad Music and Dance Camp.

Olov Johansson

Olov Johansson

www.olovjohansson.se

 

Mikael Marin

Mikael Marin

www.myspace.com/mikaelmarin

Mikael is a violist who isn't satisfied with merely playing "second fiddle." His influences are literally unlimited in their scope, and oscillate between Schöenberg and the Beatles. He became a national fiddler in 1983, and was chosen to play in a world orchestra under the direction of Leonard Bernstein in 1989.

When not performing with Väsen, he composes, produces, and arranges music for artists such as Mikael Samuelsson, Nordman, and Kronos Quartet. He composed (together with Mats Wester) the opening music to the World Police and Fire Games in Stockholm, 1999.

Mikael can be heard on several recordings, for example Nordman (with Nordman), Barfota (with Mikael Samuelsson), Ånon (with Ånon Egeland, released on NorthSide), and Flow my Tears (with The Forge Players).

Mikael Marin will be teaching "intermediate/advanced viola" at Golden Toad Music and Dance Camp.


With his specially tuned guitar (A-D-A-D-A-D), Roger has developed a distinctive sound of his own. In addition to the guitar, he plays the Swedish bouzoki and octave mandolin. Roger received his first guitar when he was thirteen. Since then, he has studied at Sjövik Folkhögskola and Örebro. He has about 50 followers throughout the world using his tuning, a number still growing. He has given numerous seminars around Europe and the US. Roger has performed together with Nordman, Annbjørg Lien, and the Gunnel Mauritzson Group, among other artists, and has also participated in several stage and theater productions.

Roger's discography includes Nordman (with Nordman), Felefeber, Prisme, Baba Yaga, and Aliens Alive (with Annbjørg Lien), Siluette and Raisu Äut (with the Gunnel Mauritzson Group), The Horse and the Crane by Ale Möller (on NorthSide) and Kat Kombat (Kombat). He also produced the self-titled début album of the group Draupner (on Caprice). Roger is a member of Väsen.

Roger Tallroth will be teaching "intermediate/advanced 12-string guitar" at Golden Toad Music and Dance Camp.

Joey Abarta

Joey Abarta

Joey Abarta will be teaching Irish bodhran drum and uilleann pipes at Golden Toad Music and Dance Camp.

Jason Adajian found his love for folk dancing during elementary school Square Dance afternoons. At age fifteen, while working at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire of California, he took up Scottish and Irish set dancing, realizing that this jolly activity was a brilliant way to have a dynamic physical interaction with equally jolly young women. In his late teens, Jason joined the Pipe & Bowl Morris Men and the Newcastle English Country Dancers, known worldwide for their athletic tempos and dynamic mating-dance attitudes, often considered unorthodox and bucking of more staid 'traditional' styles. He strongly believes that the earliest forms of these British ritual and social dances were along these lines, much as the other dances of Western and Eastern Europe remain to this day, and happily teaches in this style.

Still an active ritual dancer and accomplished dance musician himself, Jason is also well versed in the dances of Greece, France, Bulgaria and Galicia, to name but a few. He has taught Morris Dance, Long sword and English Country Dancing to adults and school children for over twenty years and has held long tenure at the Lark Camp of Mendocino, California. He is not currently wanted by the authorities.

Jason Adajian will be teaching "Morris Sword Dance," and "English Folk Tunes" at Golden Toad Music and Dance Camp.

Jason Adajian

Jason Adajian

www.BrunoBand.com

 

Mark Bell

Mark Bell

www.helmmusic.com

Mark Bell started playing Middle Eastern percussion in 1972 and got his first gig that same year playing for Bal Anat. He performed many years in both Arabic and Persian nightclubs in the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas, as well as many California Renaissance Faires. Nightclubs include the Baghdad, the Casbah, Apadana, Cabaret Tehran and Delilah's where he worked on a regular basis. Mark has traveled and studied percussion extensively throughout the Arab world.

A partial listing of percussionists he has studied with include Mahmoud Hamouda in Egypt and Farhadman in Iran. This experience is reflected in his playing. This is why Arabs and Persians as well as American audiences appreciate his style.

Mark plays Arabic tabla (a hand drum also known as doumbek or darbukka), toumbak or zarb (a Persian hand drum), tabla beladi or davul (a type of bass drum usually played with sticks), and various instruments of the tambourine/ frame drum family.

He also performs with the Armenian group, Mirage, the Arabic/American fusion band, Light Rain, the Greek group, The Aegeans, the Turkish group, Tufan, and, occasionally, with the Balkan group, Panacea. Mark won a Grammy in 2005 for his tracks on Beautiful Dreamer - Songs of Stephen Foster Mark recorded the song Autumn Waltz with friends Henry Kaiser, Robin Petrie, and Paul Hostetter.

Mark Bell will be teaching beginning and advanced Middle-Eastern drum at Golden Toad Music and Dance Camp.

Toby Blome and Fred Bialy have been a part of the Bay Area Scandinavian Music and Dance Community for more than 20 years, participating in dozens of workshops across the U.S. and in Sweden and Norway.

Toby has taught Scandinavian couple dancing in numerous settings, including 4 yrs. at Mendocino's Lark Camp. She takes particular pleasure in helping beginners discover the joy of Scandinavian folk dancing. Fred has frequently partnered with Toby in teaching and his many years studying Scandinavian folk music has strengthened his skill at giving his partner clear leads.

Fred and Toby will be teaching two daily classes in Scandinavian Couple Dancing. Music will be provided by Peter Michaelsen, a very talented and sought after fiddler and dance musician from Seattle. So bring out those dance shoes and discover the joys of turning with your partner to the hypnotic pulse of the Swedish polska! (Leather soled shoes helpful).

Toby Blome and Fred Bialy will be teaching Scandinavian couple dancing at Golden Toad Music and Dance Camp.

Toby Blome and Fred Bialy

Toby Blome and Fred Bialy

Evo Bluestein

Evo Bluestein

www.EvoBluestein.com

Multi-instrumentalist and singer Evo Bluestein brings to his music a rich legacy of American folk tradition, brilliant interpretation and original composition.

Evo is the 2009 inductee to the Autoharp Hall of Fame. Considered one
of this country's most accomplished Appalachian-style autoharpists,
Bluestein is equally known as a performer and teacher of old time
fiddle, button accordion, guitar and banjo. His repertoire includes songs derived from Appalachian, Cajun, zydeco, blues and other styles of music.

As an independent contractor, Bluestein has been teaching folk music and dance throughout California for over 25 years.

Evo Bluestein will be teaching a kids music class called "Introduction to Music through the Autoharp (a Holistic Music Experience)," and an all ages class for "contra dance" at Golden Toad Music and Dance Camp. Adults are also welcome to participate in these classes.

Dan Cantrell began composing at age 11.  Since that time he has continued performing and writing music of all kinds featuring his main instruments, the accordion, piano and musical saw.  In recent years his attention has been focused on the study of music from Eastern Europe as well as composing for film, dance, and theatre. 

He has composed music for over thirty films, several plays, a variety of dance groups and pieces as well as other eclectic performances and events.  His rich arrangements are known for their acoustic instrumentation and creative experimentation. His extensive jazz, classical, and modern musical training, paired with years of work and study of folk music and tradition give him the ability to compose original music that humbly outshines traditional forms. 

In recent years, Dan received an Emmy award as well as the Golden Gate award for his work on documentary films.  He also recently had the honor of recording with one of his personal musical heroes Tom Waits.

Dan Cantrell will be teaching beginning piano accordion, and Balkan accordion at Golden Toad Music and Dance Camp.

Dan Cantrell

Dan Cantrell

www.bellowhead.com

 

Chris Caswell

Chris Caswell

www.ChrisCaswell.net

Chris Caswell is a Renaissance man of the Celtic Arts. He plays tin whistle, Irish flute, highland bagpipes, English concertina, chromatic button accordion, bodhran, Scottish snare and he sings. But first and foremost he plays the Celtic Harp.

He appears on nearly 30 recordings, with production credits on many. He has toured extensively in the U.S. and Europe, and frequently directs music for Scottish and Irish shows. He's the co-founder of the highly regarded Sebastopol Celtic Festival, and his company, Caswell Harps (www.caswellharps.com), has built over 650 harps and can be counted among the world's premiere harp makers.

Chris Caswell will be teaching harp, penny whistle and holistic music theory at Golden Toad Music and Dance Camp.

Kevin Cloud came out of his mama singing and basically never stopped. After years of  lessons he realized it was amusing but ultimately unreasonable to try to sing "Okie from Muskogee" while accompanying himself on the flute, and began to teach himself guitar
vocal-accompaniment in his early teens, eventually becoming a moderately competent player quite by accident (if you don't count the years of classical-guitar lessons in college).

    Kevin is one of the most versatile musicians around, having at one
time or another played almost every instrument and style of music known to earthlings, and studied with dozens of extraordinary teachers, including about half the other instructors at Golden Toad and half the camp Gurus, too.  Some highlights include a BA in Music Theory and Composition, as well as studies with Maestro Ali Akbar Khan, Slavko Silic, Ross Daly, Ali Sinan Erdemsel, Maestro Omar Ait-Vimoun Mokhtari.

From one week to the next you might catch him playing kaval with the Berber band, sax with the Blues band, guitar with the waltz band, flutes and mandos with the Morris band, oud with the Middle-Eastern band, double-bass, banjo and blues-harp with the Jug band, and/or singing in English, Spanish, French, Arabic, Tamazight, Farsi, Turkish, Hawaiian, Armenian, and made-up languages. He has anchored hundreds of all-styles music sessions at his Bay Area studio, and is an insightful and patient natural-born teacher who has never ever beaten a student with a stick.

He has sung the part of MacHeath in a thrash-jazz adaptation of "The
Threepenny Opera" and composed music for numerous plays and short films. He also occasionally builds Celtic harps with Chris Caswell, makes the finest modern-style cajónes available at his own company
www.berkeleyboxworks.com , and thinks Vasen is pretty much the best band in the world, unless it's Ross Daly's current outfit.

Kevin Cloud will be teaching beginning guitar & ukulele and Middle-Eastern ensemble at Golden Toad Music and Dance Camp.

Kevin Cloud

Kevin Cloud

www.berkeleyboxworks.com

 

Ron Collins

Ron Collins

Ron Collins will be teaching "beginning Morris Dance," and "advanced Morris Dance" at Golden Toad Music and Dance Camp.
Dave Cory will be teaching Irish tenor banjo, and co-teaching advanced Irish tunes with Darcy Noonan at Golden Toad Music and Dance Camp.

Dave Cory

Dave Cory

Alan Davidson

Alan Davidson

 

Alan Davidson plays violin and the Grecian Lute.

Al grew up as a child in a small farming community in California's Central Valley.  Although his father disliked all forms of music, and his family had no money to pay for a school band instrument, Al had a passion for music.  Instrument-less, he decided to try out for his third-grade pre-chorus... only to be rejected.  Through tears of bitterness, Al vowed to one day become a great musician, one that other musician's would search out for knowledge and inspiration (and if not that, then he would at least become a drummer)!

Al's passion eventually led him to the motherland of music--Greece!  He spent several years there, tracking down fine musicians, drinking ouzo, attending celebrations, drinking retsina, hanging out in music taverns, drinking metaxa, always on the lookout for other musicians... and a free drink.  Al eventually learned the secrets of the Greek modes and harmonies, and now, some thirty-odd years later, he wants to share those secrets with you.

In his spare time, Al raises children, apricots, and long dogs with short legs.

Alan Davidson will be teaching "Greek music," and "backing Greek music" at Golden Toad Music and Dance Camp.

David Feldthouse is a drummer/percussionist from Santa Cruz who grew up in a musical family.  David has taught and performed in a variety of settings all over the country.  He is well known in the belly dance community.

David currently performs with the Feldthouse Family Band, and accompanies some of the Bay Area’s finest artists.  David is eager to bring the rhythms and songs of the world to you.

David Feldthouse will be teaching general drum and rhythm at Golden Toad Music and Dance Camp.

David Feldthouse

David Feldthouse

 

Sol Feldthouse

Sol Feldthouse

 

Sol Feldthouse will be teaching double wide bass at Golden Toad Music and Dance Camp.

Malaika Finkelstein was raised by the strange and fascinating wild
ferrets of Folkalandia. In 1996, when she was found by an American
surveying party, she could communicate only through dance.

Since then, she has lived in San Francisco, where she has been dancing, teaching, and performing swing dance, learning to speak human language, and earning an MA in education.

Malaika Finkelstein will be teaching beginning swing dance, and intermediate swing dance at Golden Toad Music and Dance Camp.

Malaika Finkelstein

Malaika Finkelstein

Heather Frankly-Arent

Heather Frankly-Arent

 

Heather Frankly-Arent has an extensive dance background, with roots in ballet, belly, salsa, tango, swing and contemporary jazz.

She has founded and co-directer her own cabaret dance troupe for the past 2 years, as well as solo directing a dance project for six months in 2008.


Heather also has an early childhood education certificate, and is CPR and first aid trained. She is currently working of curriculum for her own children's dance classes in Oakland and the greater bay area.

Heather Frankly-Arent will be teaching two childrens dance classes called "Rhythm and Movement, the Foundations of Dance," and "Around the World through Dance, a Children's Cultural Experience" at Golden Toad Music and Dance Camp. Adults are also welcome to participate in these classes.

SPECIAL NOTE: Heather will be unable to join us for the 2010 Golden Toad Camp due to unforseen circumstances. Heather plans to re-join us next year for the 2011 camp

Steve Gardner is a fiddle player, music educator, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who has toured America and Europe many times, performed with Grammy Award winning band Blues Traveler, recorded for Grammy Award winning producer Bobby Ozuna, played with Decca/Sony artist Danni Leigh and is a founding member of Culann's Hounds. He studied Viola performance at SFSU with the Alexander String Quartet's Paul Yarbrough and at the Aaron Copeland School of Music with Danny Phllips of The Orion String Quartet.

Steve has recorded for artists as diverse as Culann's Hounds, Freeway (Rockafella), Goapale (Skyblaze), Jake One and The Darktown Rounders. His experience in Irish, Country, Blues and Classical music has been earned on on some of the biggest stages around. Steve is the artistic director and co-founder of Roots Music.

Steve Gardner will be teaching one-on-one fiddle lessons (all levels) at Golden Toad Music and Dance Camp.

George Grasso

George Grasso

 George started playing traditional music in the mid 90's. Playing in his high school music program lead to apprenticing at a woodwind repair shop & taking the music major classes at his local junior college. After purchasing his first "good" keyed Irish flute in '98 Irish music became more than a hobby.

Craving more playing time with others, he began backing tunes as well. What started in the early 00's as a way to get more playing time, grew into a love of guitar/bouzouki and backing tunes.

 In 2007 after bartending about 4 years, George spent his savings on instruments and a 7 month trip to Ireland. In 2009 he competed at the mid-west fleadh in Detroit, taking 2nd in senior flute. That qualified him to compete at the All-Ireland competition in Tullamore and was a great excuse to head back to Ireland.

 He has taught privately in Santa Cruz for years, and at a summer music camp for teens for most of the 00's. Teaching by ear or with music, technically or simply, he does so with patience & encouragement.

George Grasso will be teaching "backing Irish music" with a focus on the Irish Bouzouki, and Irish Flute at Golden Toad Music and Dance Camp.

Sean Hathorn will be teaching "Flamenco Guitar" at Golden Toad Music and Dance Camp.

Sean Hathorn

Sean Hathorn

 

Kevin Hughes

Kevin Hughes

www.BrunoBand.com

Kevin Hughes has being playing music since the third grade when he convinced his parents to buy him a recorder so he could play in the recorder group.

He has taught English Country dance since 1992, and has worked with the Newcastle Country Dancers for 20 years as a dancer, musician, and director.

He plays mandolin, fiddle, bagpipes & hurdy-gurdy.  He continues to perform with The Brunos and spent the last two years touring with the medieval band Wolgemut.

Kevin Hughes will be teaching English country dance and beginning mandolin at Golden Toad Music and Dance Camp.

Zoe is a proud member of The Indigo, recently on the road touring their new show Le Serpent Rouge. She has been touring with "Bellydance Superstars" since the fall of 2005 and can be seen performing on their new Tribal Fusions DVD. She recently finished filming her debut instructional DVD, to be released in the fall. Combining talents with David Satori and Tommy Cappel to form the band Beats Antique, which released the album Tribal Derivations last spring, Zoe is currently working on its sequel.

Recently nominated for Zaghareets "Best Interpretive Artist 2007", Zoe is an inarguably innovative dancer, whose unique take on Tribal bellydance takes influence from Art Nouveau, tango, Breakdance, and Indian classical dance.

Zoe Jakes will be teaching "tribal belly dance," and another specialty belly dance at Golden Toad Music and Dance Camp.

Peter Jaques

Peter Jaques

www.huzzam.com

Peter Jaques has been a fixture of the Bay Area Near Eastern music scene since 1995. His style combines traditional Turkish, Greek, & Balkan Rom styles with his own, deeply soulful approach. He performs principally on the Bb clarinet & trumpet, as well as alto saxophone, Egyptian nay (reed flute), & Turkish G clarinet.

Currently Peter directs the Brass Menažeri Balkan Brass Band, and plays with Rumen Shopov's Orkestar Sali; former Kitka director Juliana Graffagna's Black Olive Babes; Stellamara, a Middle-eastern/ Balkan/ world fusion ensemble led by Sonja Drakulich; and Gamelan X, a hybrid processional gamelan orchestra based on traditional Balinese baleganjur.

Peter Jaques will be teaching intermediate Turkish clarinet, and Turkish music theory at Golden Toad Music and Dance Camp.

Myra Joy figured out how to open her sister’s violin case at the age
of three, and demanded (politely, I'm sure) a cello once she reached
the ripe old age of six; she has been playing and performing ever
since. 

In 2004, she completed her B.M. in cello performance with
Jean-Michel Fonteneau at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Myra is a founding member of Elameno Quintet and has collaborated with musicians including The Black Brothers, Hans York, KITKA, Dan
Cantrell
, Hamed Nikpay and the pickPocket Ensemble. She leads strings
and cello classes for SFCM outreach and CSMA in Mountain View as well
as teaching privately.

Myra Joy will be teaching beginning violin/viola/cello, and kid's violin/viola/cello at Golden Toad Music and Dance Camp.

Myra Joy

Myra Joy

www.MyraJoy.com

Larry Klein

Larry Klein

www.lohrasb.com

Larry Klein has been playing music since he got his first guitar at age seven. He has played just about every genre of music over the years. In the last ten years, he has studied Turkish oud with Ustad Necati Celik & Ali Sinan Erdemsel; Persian Tar with Mohammed Nejad, Ashkan Qafari & Mohammed Reza Lotfi; and Afghan Rebab with Ustad Rahim Khoshnavaz of Herat. Larry has also studied the Andaluse Music of North Africa from Maestro Omar Ait-Vimoun.

In addition to having a deep love and appreciation of Middle Eastern music, Larry has become fluent in Farsi and is currently studying Turkish.

He continues performing with a variety of other groups including The Brunos and Azidan Andaluse Music Ensemble when in the USA. He is currently studying music and language extensively in Turkey where he is begining the second year of his residency in Istanbul.

Larry Klein will be teaching beginning Turkish Bağlama Saz, and intermediate Turkish Bağlama Saz at Golden Toad Music and Dance Camp.

Ric first picked up the guitar in the early sixties and began playing folk music.  Songwriting entered into the mix as well as some rock n’ roll, boogie, finger styles, and a foray into open tunings. He is said by some to be one of the last of the great…

Whoa…!   This writing about myself in the third person is just a bit too weird for me.

Acoustic guitar has been a constant in my life for almost fifty years.  The trumpet was my childhood instrument but I soon found that it didn’t work out so well at the beach, so…

Somewhere back down the line I began to noodle with some blues licks and have been unsuccessfully trying to noodle my way back out ever since.  I took it to heart when I was told that the only way out is through, so I have delved deeper and tend to write my own lyrics – I can get just so far on “woke up this mornin’” or “my baby’s left me” and the like – although in actuality I did and she has.

At Golden Toad camp, it is my intention to combine some instruction with some jamming, as playing with others can  not only be fun but instructional in itself – so I intend to encourage all skill levels and instruments.

Ric LaShever will be teaching blues guitar at Golden Toad Music and Dance Camp.

Ric LaShever

Ric LaShever

 

Darcy Noonan

Darcy Noonan

One of the finest young fiddlers on the Californian Irish music scene,
Darcy grew up in Albany, CA. She has played the fiddle since the age of
six resulting in remarkable technique. Making the difficult transition from classical violin to traditional fiddle flawlessly, Darcy has acquired her own, authentic style and repertoire which is the trademark of a good fiddler.

Darcy has made numerous trips to Ireland, focusing on Galway named by some "The Heart of Traditional Music".

Darcy Noonan will be teaching Irish fiddle, and co-teaching advanced Irish tunes with Dave Cory at Golden Toad Music and Dance Camp.

Michael Riemer has been learning and performing Irish set, step and ceili dancing in the Bay Area for nearly 15 years, with groups including Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann, the Celtic Dance Ensemble, and Siamsa le Cheile.  He has been fortunate to learn from a wide range of teachers, including Larry Lynch, Janis Reynolds, Jim Belcher, Brian Cleary, and Patrick O’Dea.  For about seven years now he has also been teaching, both through regular classes and at dance camps and workshops.

As a musician who frequently plays for Irish dancing as well, Michael likes to emphasize the strong connections between traditional Irish dance music and the style and footwork of the relevant dances. 

Michael Riemer will be teaching "Irish set dance," and "Irish Ceili dance" at Golden Toad Music and Dance Camp.

Michael Riemer

Michael Riemer

Elizabeth Strong

Elizabeth Strong

www.StrongDancer.com

Elizabeth Strong is one of the top belly dance fusion artists on the dance scene in San Francisco.  She performs as a soloist as well as a collaborator with other great dancers including Rachel Brice, Zoe JakesJill Parker and Mira Betz.
 
 In over a decade studying and performing, Elizabeth Strong has traveled frequently to Turkey and Eastern Europe to study dance and culture, always returning to her home in the San Francisco Bay Area for further inspiration. Elizabeth works with local artists and musicians, participating in everything from very traditional Rom and Jewish events, to absurd circus, and cutting edge performance art.

Elizabeth’s recent works include: choreographing and performing in Ultra Gypsy’s 2006 Undulation, collaborating and performing with Rachel Brice, Mardi Love and the Toids in the Pogonometric Revue Tour in 2006, performing at California’s Herdeljezi Festival presented by Voice of Roma in 2006 and 2007, and a recent tour with the Belly Dance Superstars. Elizabeth Strong has performed and taught throughout the United States and Europe independently and at the top tribal festivals.

Elizabeth Strong will be teaching "High Egyptian belly dance," and "Folkloric belly dance" at Golden Toad Music and Dance Camp.

These virtuoso roots musicians specialize in the down-home sounds of the American South. Their musical palette includes Appalachian story-songs and bluegrass breakdowns, classic country blues, Louisiana Cajun dance music, and paso dobles from Puerto Rico.

Eric's flatpicking on guitar and mandolin is exceptional for its purity of tone, speed, and soulfulness; Suzy is a powerful singer, an award-winning fiddler and Cajun accordion player who has apprenticed with older generation Louisiana Cajun musicians under an NEA Fellowship.

Founding members of many influential roots music groups including the Black Mountain Boys, Any Old Time, the Klezmorim, and the California Cajun Orchestra, Eric and Suzy have also worked with Jerry Garcia, Maria Muldaur, David Grisman, Peter Rowan, Darol Anger, Laurie Lewis, the Savoy Doucet Cajun Trio, the Texas Sheiks and many other fine musicians.

Eric and Suzy Thompson will be teaching Cajun music and old-time southern blues at Golden Toad Music and Dance Camp.

Eric and Suzy Thompson

Eric and Suzy Thompson

www.EricandSuzy.com

Sue Williard

Sue Williard

Sue Williard went folkdancing for the first time in 1971, and fell madly in love immediately…

Since then she has danced with groups all over the U.S. and in Europe, has been in several performing ensembles, and has continued to learn dances and songs wherever she finds them. 

She started teaching dances to everyone she met in the 1970’s; as a result she has taught Balkan dances to every age group, at schools, camps, dance weekends, ranches, bus stops...currently she lives in San Francisco and teaches mainly with several Bay Area dance groups and at Lark Camp in Mendocino, CA.

Sue Williard will be teaching Balkan folk dance, and Children's Balkan folk dance at Golden Toad Music and Dance Camp.

Derek Wright has been a musician all of his life. Growing up in New Orleans, he was a jazz bassist, saxophonist, and percussionist. He began learning Afghan music from David Brown, Brian Steeger, and Ernie Fischbach in the mid 1990s. Other Afghani music teachers have included Tameem Afzali, Zia Khawaja, and Bizmillah Iqbal. Derek started playing the oud in 1997. His teachers have included Solomon Feldthouse and Ali Sinan Erdemsel. In 2002, he moved to the Bay Area and began studying North Indian classical music (both vocal and instrumental) with Ustad Ali Akbar Khan. He has continued to study at the Ali Akbar College of Music, using the oud to imitate the style of the sarode.

Derek is also a passionate student, performer, and teacher of
Brazilian music (mostly percussion and vocal). He has studied
numerous styles from the vast musical heritage of Brazil, has traveled there many times to learn, and regularly trains and performs with Brazilian masters who live in the Bay Area.

Derek Wright will be teaching a class on North Indian classical music theory and practice, and the Afghan ensemble at Golden Toad Music and Dance Camp. Both classes are open to students with any instrument, and no prior experience with either genre is required.

Derek Wright

Derek Wright Golden Toad Camp

 

Danielle Smith

Danielle Smith

A trans-stylistic performer with an insatiable passion for movement.

Danielle Smith, a contemporary American dancer since age 7 with a background in jazz, classical ballet, and modern, is a practitioner of ethnologically diverse dance from Middle Eastern/Bellydance to Japanese inspired Butoh and many others.  Diversity, celebration, interpretation of music, the world at large, and focused energy inspire the core of her movement practice.  

After attending Alfred University for Fine Arts in New York, Danielle moved to Portland Oregon to explore her multi-faceted artistic passion.  

She now dances with RevelMe! and The Underscore Orkestra.  Both groups showcase live music and dance inspired by Balkan, Klezmer, Gypsy Jazz and Swing both traditional and original.  Danielle is a member of Znama Dance Company and Mizu Desierto Butoh Theater; and is also a founding member of the non-profit World Folk Traditons. When not on tour, performing around the globe, Danielle teaches fine arts and crafts as well as dance to students of all ages.

Danielle Smith will be substituting for Heather Frankley-Arent this year, teaching two childrens dance classes called "Creative Movement!," and "Around the World through Dance" at Golden Toad Music and Dance Camp. Adults are also welcome to participate in these classes.