Performers A to Z

A
Alina Celeste
Alina Celeste is a folk influenced kid's music performer. She emphasizes traditional folk songs with a modern twist, bringing an eclectic mix of genres into the world of Children's Music that is playful, fun and stylish.
Amber Cross
Originally from Maine, Amber traveled over 3000 miles to bring her old time style and her powerful voice to the west coast of California. Commonly referred to as "The little girl with the big voice," Amber is becoming known for her unique straight forward style of singing and has been likened to that of an old Smithsonian recording. She writes from her own life's struggles and experiences delivering her stories with unforgettable power and emotion.
American Nomad
American Nomad is a new acoustic group in the widely eclectic Bay Area music scene. Rooted in Americana and folk/swing traditions, their carefully crafted original music maintains a modern relevance. Smart songwriting, catchy lyrics, tight rhythms, rich harmonies, and strong musicianship have already begun to earn American Nomad a reputation as a band that intrigues listeners from a wide variety of musical tastes and backgrounds. Keeping in line with the ancient troubadour tradition, American Nomad draws from the spirit of travel and authentic life experience.
Anne & Pete Sibley
Have you noticed the sudden proliferation of folk duos? They're everywhere! Anne and Pete Sibley occupy a position at the forefront of this phenomenon. Their voices mesh with presence and subtlety. Their original songs are warm and full of emotional conviction. Bluegrass Now Magazine calls them: "One of the sweetest, most soulful and hauntingly beautiful duets in the business."
B
Berkeley Morris
Morris dancing is a form of ritual folkdance that comes from the Cotswold region in western England. It is ritual as opposed to social dance-that is, its purposes go beyond fun, although it also is fun. Danced to both traditional and modern music, sometimes with handkerchiefs, sometimes with sticks, Morris dance may be part of the universal urge to influence and honor the unknowable forces that govern our lives.
Blind Lemon Pledge
A steaming bowl of Delta and Chicago blues, a dash of New Orleans, a taste of country, and a teaspoon of rock, all flavored with a unique songwriting sensibility, create the tasty gumbo that is Blind Lemon Pledge. This San Francisco based quartet, featuring bluesy vocals, guitars, bottleneck slide, fiddle, mandolin and bass, plays a combination of blues classics, re-imagined rock/pop standards and sparkling originals.
Bob Reid
"There isn't a group of kids anywhere in the world that can resist Bob Reid!" Pete Seeger
Bollywood Fire
Bollywood is India's answer to the classic Hollywood movie musicals. Bollywood Fire will be performing a bollywood sequence that includes a fusion of styles including Bollywood freestyle, Rajasthani and Bhangra.
The Bolos
When Don Burnham isn't playing with his famed western swing band Lost Weekend, he entertains audiences with the Bolos. They'll be playing cowboy songs, Don's wry originals, and a sprinkling of swing classics for good measure.
Brooks Hunnicutt and Friends
Brooks Hunnicutt is one of those unsung music industry heroes not so many have heard of but everybody has heard. She is a singer's singer who has shared the stage with everyone from Steven Stills to Helen Reddy to Rod Stewart to Kris Kristofferson. Even a terrible car accident last year will not mange to keep her from performing at this year's fest. She's fully recovered and ready to close the fest in high style. Brooks will be joined by musical friends Robert Thornton Kent, Lori Oz, and Jean Anne Chapman Richardson
C
Claussen & Cadora
Multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriters Leslie Claussen and Joe Cadora met as members of the Bay Area rock band, the Mercuries. Since then they have occasionally played as an acoustic duo while Joe pursued Celtic music with Tinker's Damn, and Leslie toured behind a solo album, then took some years off to have her daughter, Helena. Claussen and Cadora are now back with a vengeance, kicking off their new musical partnership at SFFFF. Expect to hear stellar harmonies and dazzling fretwork in an eclectic mix of songs and instrumentals ranging through many genres.
The Creak
The Creak plays an action-packed mix of music rooted in the bluegrass tradition while drawing inspiration from sources as varied as the Beatles, the Bill Evans Trio, the Hot Club of France, James Brown and Slayer. With a hard-swinging rhythm section, memorable melodies, and beautiful instrumental interplay, The Creak captivates audiences of all ages.
CW & Mr Spoons
Are they a two man one man band? A two man jug band orchestra without the jug? However you count them, count on them to bring western ragtime guitar and the Wonder Bucket contraption to life. Deeply rooted in traditional ragtime, western and swing music, much of their material is original. Toe tapping, lively and hot, there's nothing else like it around. CW fingerpicks rags on an old steel bodied National guitar as Mr. Spoons amazes all with his home-made Wonder Bucket. Their music fans include western, hot jazz and traditional Americana enthusiasts, and son, you too!
D
David Maloney
David Maloney is best known as one half of the duo, Reilly & Maloney. In recent years he's been recording solo, and a recent CD of 15 original songs, One Day More, was nominated for a Grammy.
Dirty Cello
If you've never heard Jimi Hendrix, BB King or Guns and Roses on cello, well, then you've never heard the cello. Rebecca Roudman plays cello like a demon windstorm possessed. She and her band will leave you clapping along and calling out for more.
Dogwatch Nautical
A very talented group who sing lively songs and tunes of the world's oceans and rivers, and of those who work them. Members include: Gary Keep, Roger Bramble, Claire Norman, Shay Black, Robert Hill, Craig Johnson, and Steve Aultman.
Doug Adamz
Doug Adamz has composed songs for the Kronos Quartet and the Joffrey Ballet. He is also admired for his guitar playing talents and his wry and absorbing original songs.
The Driftless
The Driftless is a sweet and rowdy quartet of Santa Cruzians, Megan Saunders (mandolin, banjo and vocals), Blair McLaughlin (fiddle, guitar and vocals), Rob Smith (guitar, vocals) and Jeff Kissell (bass). Drawing from folk, blues, old time and bluegrass to build their own unique sound, they write songs about places they've been, friends, lovers and local wanderings.
Dunsmuir Scottish Dancers
Come and see this joyous form of Scottish Dancing as Dunsmuir Scottish Dancers dance the classic ballroom dances of Scotland
Dustbowl Revival
The band describes themselves thusly: Once upon a time, a brass band and a string band decided to come together to form a ragtag musical army called The Dustbowl Revival
I call them: Party in a box. These are not musty revivalists. They play a unique self-minted Dixieland meets rockin' folk blues style with such relish and flair you'll feel like you're hearing these old time sounds for the very first time.
E
The Easy Leaves
The last time Kevin Carduci and Sage Fifield played the SF Free Folk Festival, they were just beginning to make a name for themselves. Now this dynamic duo headlines some of the biggest venues in town with their catchy country folk sounds.
F
"Faith's Favorites" Sing-Along
In the spirit of the Friday night folk club gatherings, a handful of folks will share Faith Petric's favorite songs. Singing along encouraged.
H
Hali Hammer Band
The Hali Hammer band plays mostly original music by award-winning singer/songwriter Hali. She is accompanied by Randy Berge on lead guitar and Paul Herzoff on harmonica, both songwriters as well. The music is a variety of styles from sweet ballads to folk-rock numbers.
Holly Tannen
Recently an old cache of flyers from past SF Free Folk festivals was unearthed. Holly Tannen's name featured prominently in fest line ups, then disappeared mysteriously about 10 years ago. Where has the dulcimer-playing, self-described "Mistress of Folklore" been all these years? A quick scan of her web site reveals that she's been, among other things, teaching anthropology, writing scholarly journal articles, and raising money for Julian Assauge's defense fund. Whatever she's been up to, you can bet it wasn't boring.
J
Jeanie & Chuck
The line up has changed over the years. One fact remains. Jeanie and Chuck Poling are the absolute heart and soul of the local country/folk/bluegrass music scenes. They met in Faith Petric's living room during the twice monthly song swap. They were in a band in the mid 80s with Smelly Kelly and Scott Young from Red Meat. They run a monthly bluegrass jam at the Plough and Stars that has incubated some of the best local talents of the day. And for one of the happiest married couples I know, they sure know a lot of cheatin', heartbreakin', romance-sure-sucks songs.
John Gwinner
Autoharp like you have never heard before
Joshua Lowe & the Juncos
The Santa Cruz Weekly calls them: a down-home band that is more throwback than revival. With an appreciation for the acoustic life and a gather-'round-the-mic-y'all recording style, this is a group that understands the strength of a good song and how to let it stand on it's own.
Justin Farren
Singer-songwriter from Sacramento. He's described by the Sacramento Bee as a "storyteller with an impeccable voice, a guitar and a head full of funny, tender and engaging observation".
K
Kapalakiko Hawaiian Band with dancers
Kapalakiko performs not only to entertain their audiences, but to cultivate knowledge about the rich history of Hawai?i through music and dance. They provide "the good stuff" in the mele ku?i tradition. They use both traditional and western instruments and the various genres of Hawaiian music to emphasize the beauty of the Hawaiian language, lyrics, and poetry to complement the hula.
L
Leah Ray Mendez Trio
The Leah Ray Mendez Trio includes: Leah Ray Mendez (vocals/guitar/harmonium/harp), Mauricio Mendez (bass/mandolin), and Beau Silver (percussion/electronics).Their songs are somber and melodious. Elegantly bluesy folk originals that stir the soul.
Les Amis Zydeco
Les Amis Zydeco has its roots in the swamps of deep South Louisiana, and in the Bay Area Cajun/Zydeco dance scene. They strive for an authentic sound whether they're playing Cajun, Creole, or Zydeco. They love playing for dancers and hopefully that shows. Some band members are long-time Cajun/Zydeco dancers, and it shows in their focus on dancer enjoyment by drawing on their ingrained knowledge of what makes for an enjoyable dance evening.
Leftover Dreams
Tony Marcus and Patrice Haan are one tall duo with sky high talent. Tony is best known for his guitar wizardry with the Cheap Suit Serenaders and Cats & Jammers. Patrice is a Canadian-born songstress who casts a spell of her own with her sultry vocals. Prepare for lovely renditions of lost jazz classics and a sweet swinging romantic vibe.
Lighthouse String Band
The Lighthouse String Band plays mostly Irish and Scottish traditional music, but also love to play American old time tunes.
Lisa Aschmann
The SF Free Folk fest faithful have clamored for Lisa's return for the last decade. Now they get their wish. Lisa Aschmann is a prolific professional songwriter, a singer, and an educator. She has recorded six CDs of her own and has had hundreds of songs recorded by major artists in almost every genre, including bluegrass, jazz, country, folk, inspirational, pop, and R&B.
The Littlest Birds
What began as two friends sitting down to play some music together has turned into a beautiful (and busy) musical endeavor. The warm interplay of clamhammer banjo and bowed cello, the easy blend of voices, and the inspiring original music have been thrilling audiences around the United States.
Los Arribenos with dancers
The music and dance of old California. Los Arribenos de San Francisco will present authentic songs of historic California, including some dancing, tying in with an earlier dance workshop presented by bandmember Jim Letchworth. The group of eight includes voices, guitars, percussion, fiddle and various wind instruments. The group performs in authentic clothing of Mexican-era California.
M
Madhuri Kishore Kuchipudi School
Kuchipudi is an south indian classical art form originated from Andhra Pradesh, South India. The beauty of this art form is spread world wide. Its known for its beautiful facial expressions and graceful movements.
Mark Lemaire and Twilight
Mark performs with his partner, vocalist Cindy van Empel, as Mark Lemaire and Twilight. The songs Mark and Cindy sing are personal, but everyone can identify with them. They sing of the vicissitudes of love and the strange surprise of middle age creeping up on us.
Maurice Tani and 77 el Deora
Ben Foster says: Maurice Tani's 77 El Deora is a California-based alt-country band that has been amassing a loyal fan following with their distinctive vocals, well-crafted songs, and simple organic sound ever since the band's formation in 2004.
McCoy Tyler Band
I asked a friend once what bluegrass is nowadays when everyone is calling themselves bluegrass. He said: "It's bluegrass if it's good. Guess you could say the same thing about folk. The McCoy Tyler Band from Santa Cruz are folk the same way Graham Parsons and Emmylou Harris are folk. McCoy's voice reminds me of Parsons when he wasn't trying to twang so hard. That's what I like about the MTB sound. They achieve pleasing harmonies, solid ensemble sound, and a homespun original sound effortlessly. Folk music for people who think they are tired of folk music.
Misisipi Mike
Mike is famed for being in nearly a dozen bands at any given time. One night he did 4 different gigs in 4 different bands. You've got to be pretty darned good to be in that kind of demand, not too mention swift-footed. He plays impeccable covers, righteous originals, and is one of the driving forces in the Bay Area Americana music scene.
Morgan Manifacier
Manifacier is a singer-songwriter who grew up in the small-town brushes of southern France, learning piano and guitar from a young age; he taught himself the subtle beauty of music, which he now combines with a modern approach to song-making to release 'Grande'.
Mountain Dojo
Mountain Dojo is a musical meeting of the minds featuring Toshio Hirano and Dave Berry. Toshio is famed for his spot on renditions of Jimmie Rodgers' songs. Dave Berry adds his Appalachian roots to the classic country standards.
O
Old Belle
Old Belle doesn't hail from the coal mining hills of Kentucky. They formed in the wilds of the Outer Richmond. And they don't date back to the heyday of the folk revival. In fact they got together all the way back last year sometime. The songs are unapologetically folk. Nothing arch and snarky here. Just simple chords, sweet & soulful melodies, jangling claw hammer banjo and mandolin. They sound right out the Great Old American songbook. Only all the songs they sing are self-penned. They are so friendly and accessible you want to invite them over to the porch for some moon pies and sarsaparilla.
Open Mic
The open mic is open to all. Sign up starts at 12 noon. First come first served.
P
Page Brownton & the Mojo Navigators
The MOJO NAVIGATORS covers the broad range of Americana - rhythm and blues, delta blues, gospel, Appalachian ballads, and the full spectrum of American folk music, the cultural heritage of the people of the British Isles and their descendents in the rural subcultures of the American South.
Pete Kronowitt
A talented singer/songwriter who composes smooth contemporary folk originals in the James Taylor/Jackson Brown vein.
Peter Daldry
Peter Daldry is an award-winning singer/songwriter from Clydebank, Scotland and he performs Scottish and Irish music as well as self penned songs. His version of the song " I wish I Was in Glasgow" from my Cd " Under a Leaden Sky" has been nominated for best A Cappella in the 12th Annual Independent Music Awards.
The pickPocket Ensemble
Entrancing instrumentals for the world cafe featuring cello, accordion, woodwind, banjo and percussion. It's like you're sipping your White Russian on a busy street corner off the Champs-Elylees while an American backpacker plucks a mournful banjo near a Romanian gypsy caravan. And the whole scene meshes seamlessly into the soundtrack of your best egalitarian dreams.
Q
Quake City Jug Band
When it comes to the Quake City Jug Band, the name of the game is fun. There will not only be fun, but big ol' dancin' mess o' fun as the QCJB is joined by East Coast Swing dancers. Year after year they remain one of the most popular acts at the FFFest.
R
Ragtime Skedaddlers
The Ragtime Skedaddlers are Dennis Pash on banjo-mandolin, Nick Robinson on mandolin, and Dave Krinkel on guitar. They play rags, cakewalks, marches, waltzes, and latin-tinge pieces from vintage mandolin and guitar sheet music arrangements.
Red Shoes
Teenage sisters sing and play cello, fiddle, and ukelele.
Robert Thornton Kent & friends
Robert Thornton Kent & friends is a loose knit family of performers, singers, music lovers, and behind-the-scenes music legends who come from all over-Georgia, Vermont, Oklahoma-just to play our festival. This is one friendly, talented bunch who played the Fest first last year, made a bunch of new friends and fans, and, fortunately for us, have decided to join us again this year.
Russ "The Muleskinner" Whitehead
Vikki Lee and Russ "The Muleskinner" Whitehead know how to cause trouble. These two popular musicians have shared the stage with Albert Lee, Glen Glenn, and Ramblin' Jack Elliott, among others. They will present a nearly acoustic show featuring hooky, melodic songwriting, and even yodeling!
S
Samuel Roland
Samuel Roland is a singer/songwriter originally from New York but a Bay Area denizen since 1988, so he considers himself a Californian at heart. Having grown up in a socially and politically active family, he brings a touch of Phil Ochs to his protest songs, while incorporating a wide range of rock and folk-rock styles. Intensely personal and yet accessible to his fans, Roland strives to develop each song as a unique piece.
Sister Sirens
Sister Sirens is a progressive belly dance troupe out of Martinez, CA. Their unique style crosses many nations and genres to provide the audience with a performances they'll never forget.
Some Good Music
Susan Giba and Tatiana Tilley are Some Good Music. Two great voices with amazing harmonies, some guitar and a little percussion. They say they purposefully defy genre labeling - so come out to listen and have a good time.
Spark and Whisper
Spark and Whisper is an indie-folk band led by singer/songwriters Velvy Appleton (vocals, acoustic/electric/slide guitars) and Anita Sandwina (vocals, guitar, mandolin). "Spark & Whisper is now a serious force in modern folk", Paul Liberatore, Marin IJ
Splinter Group with John Maxwell
Seasoned by over 20 years making music together, Fredi, Gail, and Peter have simmered their harmonies into delicate and savory blends on familiar standards, contemporary and traditional folk tunes, and an occasional silly song. Accompanied by the soulful sounds of Peter's acoustic guitar, everything The Splinter Group does will touch your heartstring or funnybone.
T
The T Sisters
The T Sisters are a genuine sister singing group based out of the San Francisco Bay Area. They sing traditional and original songs influenced by blues, jazz, bluegrass, country, folk and other musical traditions which the three marinated in as they grew up. The T Sisters are praised for their seamless, elaborate, ringing three-part harmony vocals which they interweave into an eclectic repertoire of a cappella and instrumentally-supported music. The T Sisters band grooves with bass, drums, piano and guitars, and the sisters' a cappella music will enchant and sometimes haunt the attentive listener.
Tina Louise Barr
Autoharp like you have never heard before
U
Uni and her Ukulele with Deidre Egan
Uni is Heather Marie Ellison. Uni is only one of Heather's many musical adventures (she even recorded an album with Johnny Otis in another life!), but it's the one she's been at the longest and is best known for. It's not easy to sum up the Uni experience in a short blurb. Super-heated vintage romanticism wrapped up in an eccentric pink bow. She'll sing you into submission with one of finely-crafted retro-sounding love ballads then belt you across the chops with a uke-driven Bruce Springsteen rocker. But it'll hurt so good.
V
Vikki Lee
Vikki Lee and Russ "The Muleskinner" Whitehead know how to cause trouble. These two popular musicians have shared the stage with Albert Lee, Glen Glenn, and Ramblin' Jack Elliott, among others. They will present a nearly acoustic show featuring hooky, melodic songwriting, and even yodeling!
W
Whiskey and Women
Whiskey and Women are Renee de la Prade (button accordion, vocals), Joan Wilson-Rueter (fiddle, guitar, vocals), and Rosie Steffy (fiddle, percussion, uke, vocals). You know Renee from Culann's Hounds. Or maybe Joan from Barbary Ghosts. Both of them play in the Accordion Babes Revue (and are featured in this year's Accordion Babes Calendar). With Renee's little sister Rosie, they Cajun, Celtic, and stompin' Americana. Hey, dancers! They get the crowd moving.
William Florian
The New Christie Minstrels were a 60s folk revival group known for such classics as Green Green and Today. The group roster is a veritable who's who of music icons, including Randy Sparks, Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark, Kim Carnes, and Kenny Rogers. Carrying on the tradition is William Florian. William Florian is your host and guide through the classic American folk songbook, featuring classics by John Denver, Peter Paul and Mary, Pete Seeger, and, of course, the New Christy Minstrels.