2019 Festival ARTISTS
BAKITHI KUMALO &
The south african all-stars
Bakithi Kumalo, bass
Morris Goldberg, saxophone, flute, vocals
David Bravo, piano
Maciek Schejbal, drums, percussion
with a special guest to be announced
Born in Soweto, South Africa, Bassist Bakithi Kumalo came to international attention in 1986 for his work on Paul Simon's album Graceland, which won the 1987 Grammy Award for Album of the Year. Kumalo’s distinct style combines African rhythms and melodies with American pop music. He started playing bass at the age of seven filling in with his uncle’s band. He has released four albums as a solo artist, as well as three award-winning children’s albums with his wife. Kumalo is a two-time Grammy Award winner, and he continues to write music and tour the world. In addition to touring with Simon for over 30 years, he has performed or recorded with numerous artists including Sting, Herbie Hancock, Gloria Estefan, Joan Baez and Cyndi Lauper.
the whispering tree
The Whispering Tree is a Franco-American duo from Beacon, NY consisting of singer/songwriter Eleanor Kleiner and multi-instrumentalist Elie Brangbour. Kleiner and Brangbour craft richly immersive folk-rock brimming with evocative lyrics, nature imagery, perspectives from travel, and a panoramic musicality that encompasses traditional folk, indie rock, classic rock, and 1960s pop and rock n’ roll. They met while attending music school in London and soon began collaborating as a duo. The Whispering Tree has released four albums since then, and recorded with other musicians including Pete Seeger and Lorre Wyatt on their album A More Perfect Union. Their latest album, Invisible Forces, was released in 2018. They self-produced the album, which was recorded in Beacon, NY alongside fellow Hudson Valley musicians Otto Hauser, Will Bryant and James Hearne. Invisible Forces was ranked #1 album and #1 artist on the International Folk DJ chart in September 2018.
Born and raised in Scotland, singer-songwriter Lorkin O’Reilly was exposed to music at an early age and the sounds of his mother’s native Ireland. After moving to the U.S. in 2014, he made his way to upstate New York. While working on a farm, he found an old acoustic guitar in the basement of the farmhouse, and it was then that he began to focus on writing. Now based in Catskill, O’Reilly has been making a name for himself as a songwriter. His music blends old-country inspired open tuning similar to that of Bert Jansch, Nike Drake and Dick Gaughan with direct and personal reflections and poetry. O'Reilly released an EP in 2015 and his full-length album, Heaven Depends, was released in Summer 2018. With songs that range from traditional reels to twanging Townes-esque imagery, Heaven Depends is a musical representation of an immigrant’s journey.
Bear Grass is an indie rock band from Troy, NY that is built around the songs of Katie Hammon. The band was conceived as Hammon's solo project and released its first album In The Light in 2011. Hammon’s sultry pipes leave them devastated, but the band's blend of folk, rock, and homespun trip-hop soothes their wounds. Hammon's roots in the pacific northwest shape the character of the music with lyrics often referencing the people and places from her childhood memories. Drawing on influences like Laura Veirs and Dave Bazaan, the music is sometimes subtly dark, but always thoroughly captivating and melodic. Bear Grass has performed across the East coast since 2013 and released their sophomore album LEFT in August 2018. Bear Grass was nominee for Best Alternative/Indie Artist of the Year at the Capital Region’s inaugural 2019 Eddie Awards.
Jules Taylor is a singer-songwriter, record producer and multi-instrumentalist. Originally from Texas, he currently resides in the Catskill Mountains. Growing up in South Texas left an indelible mark on his musical compositions. Traditional Mexican folk music, Classic Country, and Texas Blues influences have shaped his songwriting, groove, and musical tonality. His third album, Mountain Time, was released in 2018. Paula Cummings (NYSMusic.com) writes, "His vocals are as weathered as an old highway sign and as inviting as your favorite mom and pop diner”. Jules is known for ‘live looping’ during his solo performances. Using only an acoustic guitar, and a variety of floor pedals, he creates sonic landscapes far beyond your typical singer-songwriters.
Jay and Ray
Jay and Ray have performed for numerous children and their families throughout the Northeast. The passion they both have for music comes from fond childhood memories and families that encouraged and inspired musical learning. Their performances are energetic, silly and fun, rooted in play based learning. They explore rhythm, melody and movement through their original songs, and the vision of their teachings is to make learning music about joy. Jay and Ray founded their own music program for children in Connecticut. In addition to holding music classes in Greenwich, Darien and New Canaan, they present classes at schools
Elzbieta Trec is a flutist born in Poland. A classically trained musician, she studied there before moving to the U.S., performing both solo and in orchestras. Elzbieta has performed throughout NY City with Edwin Vasquez and Sublime Groove at venues including Webster Hall and The Bitter End. She improvises in many of her performances. Now a resident of the Windham area, she is a regular participant of the “Windham Noise” music sessions.
Robert "Cue" Gerhards
Combining his skills acquired over more than 40 years as a woodworker, finisher, luthier and working musician, Robert “Cue” Gerhards is known throughout the industry for his expertise, integrity and passion for achieving uncompromising quality. He is the founder of Gerhards Guitarworks, a full-service custom guitar shop located in Windham, NY. As the head of a leading custom shop for nearly 14 years, Cue pioneered many of the exotic and artistic color combinations, techniques and finishes that did not previously exist and are widely replicated today. In addition to offering complete services including basic setups and repairs, restorations and refinishing, Cue creates custom handcrafted guitars. Specializing in fine finishes and restorations, he regularly services numerous world renowned luthiers and is the exclusive finisher for several leading American luthiers..com