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About the 2022 Teachers  

 

Oisin MacDiarmada  is considered to be one of the most talented fiddlers in Ireland today.  A graduate of Trinity College in Dublin with a degree in Music Education, Mac Diarmada has released several recordings, including acclaimed solo Ar an bhFidil on Green Linnet in 2003 and four with Teada. Founder and fiddler of the Irish group Teada, with whom he has recorded a number of albums on the Gael Linn & Green Linnet labels, Oisín is also a regular solo performer. Oisín has toured frequently in recent years with noted singer/accordion-player Séamus Begley and his wife Samantha Harvey (piano/dance), and recently co-authored ‘Fiddlers of Sligo Tunebook’ along with fellow-Sligo musician, Daithí Gormley.  Oisin’s fiddling embraces the “Pure traditional fiddling, raw and unadorned and all the better for it," (Hot Press) and has a "lonesome magnificence," (Irish Times) that only the best Sligo fiddlers ever achieve.

Fiddle virtuoso Lisa Ornstein is an outstanding interpreter of the traditional music of French Canada and Appalachia, blending compelling and inventive playing with impeccable tune choice. Befriended by North Carolina fiddle legend Tommy Jarrell while she was in her teens, Lisa quickly became an accomplished fiddler in the Round Peak style. A musical friendship with Franco-American fiddler Louis Beaudoin set her on a path to Quebec in 1978. When La Bottine -- Quebec’s internationally renowned traditional supergroup — invited her to join the band, Lisa’s projected six-month stay began to stretch, eventually lasting twelve years. While in Quebec, Lisa spent countless hours visiting with older musicians and playing in kitchens and dance halls. She also squeezed in a master’s in folklore on the life and music of master fiddler Louis “Pitou” Boudreault. She has taught, concertized, and toured extensively in North America and Europe with some of Quebec’s finest musicians, and recorded for both Smithsonian Folkways and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Her music appears on a number of La Bottine’s albums, and on critically acclaimed CDs with former bandmates André Marchand and Normand Miron.

Rachel Eddy hails from West Virginia, where she grew up steeped in Appalachian music and dance. Rachel’s multi-instrumental talents and soulful singing bring an incredibly powerful energy to the group.  In addition to her work with Ken and Brad, Rachel performs as a soloist and tours with The Early Mays. Rachel was born and raised in rural WV just south of Morgantown, where her musical family inspired her to play and sing as a little girl. She grew up listening to local fiddlers, her father among them, going to old-time festivals, and attending square dances. The old-time bug bit her early in life and Rachel now performs and teaches full-time on fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin and bass. She has recently relocated back to West Virginia after living the last 5 years in Stockholm. During that time, she invigorated the Swedish old-time scene, inspiring dozens of people to learn Appalachian music and dance. In addition to being a performer, Rachel is passionate about teaching. She has taught fiddle, banjo and guitar at the Augusta Heritage Center in Elkins WV, at Sore Fingers Summer school in the UK, and different various weekend workshops from the hills of West Virginia to Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Germany, London and Wales. Rachel’s love of music comes from the heart and she loves every part of her job from performing, to educating dedicated students, and the electrifying charge of playing in jam sessions around the world!

 

Laura Risk  grew up in the thriving San Francisco Scottish fiddle scene, learning her craft from acclaimed fiddler Alasdair Fraser.  Her distinctive sound and compelling interpretations of traditional tunes are intensely personal yet grounded in meticulous archival and ethnographic research. Laura has toured with Cordelia’s Dad, Triptych, Ensemble Galilei, and dancer Sandy Silva; served as musical director for ensembles Childsplay and Revels North; and produced seven albums, including three for fiddler Hanneke Cassel. Her research credits include articles in Ethnomusicology and MUSICultures, co-authorship of The Glengarry Collection: The Highland Fiddle Music of Aonghas Grant (Mel Bay), and the CD-booklet Douglastown: Music and Song from the Gaspé Coast, awarded the 2014 Prix Mnémo. Laura holds a PhD in Musicology from McGill University, for which she received the 2017 Governor General’s Gold Medal. 

Nova Scotia's Troy MacGillivray is from Lanark, a small community on the north-eastern shore of Nova Scotia. Troy’s commitment to music has spanned 30 years and includes both practical and academic accomplishments–most recently an M.A. in Ethnomusicology from the University of Limerick in Ireland. From as young as six years old, Troy was impressing audiences with his step dancing and soon after, fiddle and piano skills. His first teaching gig was at 13 years old at Colaisde na Gàidhlig/the Gaelic College in St. Ann’s, Cape Breton. His roots-centered approach comes from a family of proud Scottish heritage where fiddle playing and Gaelic traditions run in the bloodline. In 2012, Troy was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal for contributions to culture in Canada. Troy’s strong career has brought him around the world playing and teaching from the North Pole to Afghanistan, while his solo recordings have received numerous nominations and awards from the East Coast Music Association and the Canadian Folk Music Awards.