San Francisco Free Folk Festival

2001 SFFFF
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2001 Auditorium Stage Performers
Local and National Favorites

Lisa Aschmann Avalon Rising
The Black Brothers Briarwood
Broceliande Alexandra Drattell
Dunsmuir Scottish Country Dancers Hali Hammer
Sylvia Herold, Patrice Haan, and Connie Doolan Jeanie and Chuck's Classic Country Roundup
Kuddie The Loose Canons
Lowiczanie Polish Folk Ensemble Gunnar Madsen
Michael McNevin The Misty River Band
Oak, Ash & Thorn Faith Petric
Shahrzad Persian Dance Acadamy The Shut-Ins
The Waybacks World Harmony Singers

Lisa Aschmann


Lisa Aschmann has an emotional style that's pure, simple and sincere. Her musical styles include plenty of folk, R&B, jazz, gospel, country, pop, bluegrass, Latin & Celtic-infected music.

Lisa has appeared in a variety of venues, including The San Francisco Folk Festival, Western Workers Labor Heritage Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, International Womens' Music Festival in Beer Sheva, Israel and house concerts. Her book, 500 Songwriting Ideas for Brave and Passionate People is a source of inspiration for songwriters and is published by MIX Books, and distributed by Hal Leonard, NYC Lisa has given many songwriting workshops all over the country, including The Puget Sound Guitar Workshops, California Coastal Music Camp, Belmont University, Vanderbilt University, Camp Harmony and Nashville Songwriters Association International. She could give one in your town, too.

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Based in Oakland, CA, Celtic rock band Avalon Rising is known for its unique sound -- a blend of original rock, Celtic, and Medieval music. Their rich melodic acoustic/electric sound features brilliant male and female vocals over intricate instrumental arrangements, supported by a vibrant Middle Eastern and Celtic-flavored rhythmic background. Their line-up includes: Celtic harp, 12-string and electric guitars, electric fiddle, flute, bass, mandocello, drums, and vocals.

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Avalon Rising
The Black Brothers


The Black Brothers, Michael and Shay, are part of Ireland's undisputed "first family of song," which also includes brother Martin and sisters Mary and Frances Black. Best known for their strong singing voices, the Brothers draw on a large and varied repertoire, a wide spectrum of Irish songs, from contemporary singer-songwriters to traditional sea chanteys. Michael and Shay are Bay Area residents. Michael emigrated here in the early 1990's and plays regularly in local pubs and clubs, as well as touring extensively in the United States. Shay arrived here in 1994 and specializes in the sea shantys as well as more contemporary songs of Northwest England and Scotland.

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Broceliande plays Celtic music from the British isles and the Medieval and Renaissance music of the European courts, castles, and countrysides. Featuring stellar vocal and instrumental harmonies, their entrancing sound is built on the interweaving of up to 4-part vocals with the lyrical music of the Celtic harp, octave mandolin, cello, guitar, flutes, whistles, percussion, harmonica, and melodian.

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Dunsmuir Scottish Country Dancers


The Dunsmuir Scottish Country Dancers are one of the demonstration dance teams of the San Francisco chapter of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society. Frequent participants in the San Francisco Free Folk Festival, the group will both perform on the main stage and lead a workshop. They are delightful to watch and dance with, communicating the combination of elegance and power unique to Scottish Country Dance.

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Hali Hammer is an award-winning singer-songwriter who originally hails from New York but has been living and performing in the Bay Area since 1984. Well-versed in an assortment of musical styles, she draws from folk, blues, country, rock and ballads in the songs she writes and plays. Hali works for Berkeley schools, bringing her guitar to class. She is a regular performer with Freedom Song Network. She has done several recordings and is currently working on a new CD. Hali is accompanied by Randy Berge on lead guitar, Paul Herzoff on harmonica and Vince Charming on bass.

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Hali Hammer
Sylvia Herold, Patrice Haan, and Connie Doolan


Sylvia, Patrice and Connie met by chance at the Starry Plough and have been performing to select audiences for about a year. The trio has just completed a series of songs, forming part of Sylvia's newest and eclectic recording project (which they desperately hope will be ready for the Folk Festival concert!).

As well as being a member of the jazz trio, 'Cats and Jammers', Sylvia is well-known throughout the Bay Area as a folksinger and in recent years has gained acclaim for her solo traditional album "A Bowl of Crystal Tears". Connie has a background in jazz singing and stage musicals, and was part of the well-respected women's ensemble 'Calliope' in Oregon before moving south. Patrice is the newest arrival to the Bay Area music scene. Bringing a background in church and folk club singing in western Canada, she has now inveigled her way into the jazz scene, folk harp society, fiddle tune sessions (with harp), and as much singing as can be fit into a day.

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Jeanie and Chuck Poling have been performing together as a duet or in bands ever since they met at the SF Folk Music Club in 1982. On guitar and mandolin they perform all kinds of country music - bluegrass, old-time and honky-tonk - with an emphasis on songs of unrequited love, illicit love and, of course, faded love.

Joining Jeanie and Chuck are Charlie Brown on guitar, and Calvin Murasaki on fiddle. Charlie, whose high tenor voice blends in to produce sweet harmonies is a wonderful addition to the group. Calvin, an accomplished classical violinist and teacher, is one of those rare classical musicians who also plays in various popular styles, from those of his native Hawaii, to jazz, blues, rock, and country. Together they share a common love for the straightforward honesty, the unrestrained emotions, and the spirited delivery of country music.

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Jeanie and Chuck's Classic Country Roundup
Loose Canons


The Loose Canons are a women's world song ensemble--mostly a cappella-- springing from a rounds workshop at Camp Harmony in 1993. The Canons have been getting together informally for years. The Loose Canons debuted as a performing group last fall under the direction of Jillian Tallmer. Current Canons are Debra Tayleur, Melissa Sarenac, Lisa Rhode, Jonnie Pekelny, Joyce Wermont, Yolanda DeByle, Greta Hryciw, Patty Caplan, and Jen Bauman.

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Lowiczanie Polish Folk Ensemble has been performing the music, song and dance of both the gentry and the village life of Poland for the past 25 years. Well known for their authentic and extensive costume collection as well as their dynamic repertoire created and taught by Poland's best-known master choreographers, Lowiczanie has traveled throughout the West as well as to Poland and has won two awards from the Poland's Ministry of Culture for their efforts to preserve and present traditional dances and culture.

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Lowiczanie Polish Folk Ensemble
Gunnar Madsen


Gunnar Madsen is an award-winning composer, actor, singer, and writer. He is perhaps best known as founder, songwriter and performer with the internationally acclaimed acapella group The Bobs. Their first album, released in 1984, led to a Grammy nomination for Mr. Madsen. Since then, The Bobs have released five more albums with Gunnar and Mr. Madsen has received seven consecutive ASCAP songwriter's awards for his work.

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Michael McNevin's songs read like short stories; sometimes familiar, sometimes strange, but always vivid, with a pure eye for Americana. A tireless traveler and troubadour, McNevin plays the stages of clubs and festivals across the U.S., penning numerous and poignant tales of the people and towns he comes across. His live shows are full of stories from the road, highlighting a melodic, seasoned voice, intricate guitar work, and a down-to-earth sense of humor. Michael has won a succession of songwriting awards, including the Kerrville, Napa Valley, and Columbia River New-Folk Competitions.

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Michael McNevin
The Misty River Band


The Misty River Band, where Folk, Country and Bluegrass Converge. This exciting Pacific NW band consists of four women, (two of whom are mother/daughter) who blend their voices in beautiful harmony & accompany themselves with guitars, fiddle, accordion, banjo, bass and percussive instruments. Their sets include arrangements of familiar folk songs, country and bluegrass melodies, lighthearted oldies, Celtic tunes, mysterious haunting ballads, originals & much, much more.

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One of the great folk singers of the Bay Area with a limitless memory for song, Faith Petric has made an enormous contribution to the preservation of folk music, lending her own home as the office for the San Francisco Folk Music Club. As Utah Philips says, "Faith doesn't make up songs, she harvests them ... these outrageous and wonderful songs, culled from a bevy of extraordinary minds, represent those wild, satirical, quirky, offbeat, and endearing traits that characterize the lady herself."

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Faith Petric
Shahrzad Persian Dance Academy


Shahrzad Khorsandi was born in Tehran, Iran and immigrated to the U.S. in 1980. She has been involved in Persian dance since childhood. Shahrzad has combined her formal training in dance with her intuitive understanding of Persian aesthetics, to develop a formal structure for teaching classical Persian dance. In 1996 she founded Shahrzad Dance Academy, a non-profit organization through which she trains students in Persian dance. The Academy has produced 2 instructional Persian dance videos.

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What can I tell you of the Shut-Ins? An acoustic combo with guitar, ukulele and other instruments. Most important, they feature close harmonies in the style of early 20th century acts such as the Blue Sky Boys and Louvin Brothers.

The Shut-Ins have a special place in their hearts for upbeat songs of pain, longing and, occasionally, happiness. Add to this an affinity for the bizarre and a smattering of Hawaiian music, and you get a unique combination of musical influences that simultaneously reveres and deconstructs traditional, folk, and country music.

E-Mail 'em at

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The Shut-Ins
The Waybacks


The music features acoustic guitar, mandolin, fiddle, bass and brushy drums with harmony vocals ... but what do you call it? "Americana?" "Newgrass"? "Crabgrass?" maybe? "Acoustic Mayhem" is the term that best sums up the sound of The Waybacks ... it's everything from Kumbaya-free folk to cowboy jazz, Tin Pan Alley, space-jam, both country and western, Celtoid, agnostic gospel, beat poetry, Grappelli-esque swing and eccentric originals.

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The World Harmony Singers perform choral music from African, South American, European, and American Gospel traditions, and is an outgrowth of a new choral program at the Mountain View-based Community School of Music and Arts (CSMA). Daniel Steinberg, the founder and director, has been a teaching and performing musician with many Bay Area folk ensembles, including the Hillbillies from Mars, for over twenty years. With the establishment of this chorus, he brings to fruition his vision of community building through music. Members come from the southern and central Peninsula, and as far away as San Francisco and the East Bay. The chorus is open to everyone, with no prior singing experience required; for information on joining in September, e-mail or call CSMA at (650) 961-0342.

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World Harmony Singers

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