2017 Zigzag Workshop faculty
Master Fiddler and clawhammer banjo player, Janie Rothfield (Pennsylvania, USA), has been playing old time music since her early teens. Over her 30+ year career, she has played at concerts, festivals, workshops and music camps throughout the UK, the USA, Canada, and Australia. In addition to performing with Hen’s Teeth, she performs with numerous other musical projects and bands, including contra dance supergroup Coracree, with Scottish singer Allan Carr, Panache Quartet (Four Fiery Female Fiddlers), Little Missy with her daughter Shona Carr and The Janie Rothfield Old Time Trio. A talented and experienced music teacher, Jane is also the creator and director of the unique and popular music camp, Janie’s Jumpstart. Janie has made over a dozen recordings of her award winning brand of old time and original music over the years and her latest CD, Out of Thin Air, features 13 of her own original tunes and songs. Find out more www.janerothfield.com
Nathan Bontrager (Lancaster PA/Cologne Germany) is a unique and versatile musician with musical chops rooted firmly in the traditional old time and folk genres. As well as being a world-class classical, jazz and experimental music cellist, he has performed throughout Europe and the US as an old time fiddler, clawhammer banjo and guitar player. Nathan has collaborated with musicians like Brian Slattery, Aaron Jonah Lewis and Harry Bolick, and regularly plays with the Ol’ Timey Messengers in Paris and the UK/US traditional band, Root & Branch. Nathan hails from the North-Eastern USA but currently lives in Germany, where he has studied Baroque Cello and Viola da Gamba in Masters programs at the Essen and Koeln conservatories. In addition to Appalachian and other traditional folk forms, Nathan is quite active in the improvised and new music scenes throughout Europe. Recent and upcoming projects include touring with Marc Ribot and the Young Philadelphians, concerts with Gerry Hemmingway.
Leela Grace is a nationally-known singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, recording artist, percussive dancer and teacher of music and dance originally from Missouri. Since moving to Portland, Oregon in 2007, she has built a tremendous following, teaching popular banjo, by-ear harmony singing, and Appalachian clogging classes. In 2014, Leela embarked on the new adventure of motherhood when her daughter was born. In late 2015, Leela and her family moved to northern Vermont following a job opportunity for her partner, Seth. After many “adventures” in the snowy northern lands of the east, she returned to the Pacific Northwest in the fall of 2016, inspired and ready to resume teaching and performing in her home community.
Leela has performed and taught nationally for over 25 years, first with her family, and now as a solo musician and with her sister Ellie Grace (as Leela and Ellie Grace). She has earned critical and audience praise for the “great depth and insight” of her original songs, which have been featured on NPR’s All Songs Considered and chosen for inclusion on a “Best of Portland Acoustic Music” compilation CD. She picked up the banjo as a young teen and has developed her own exceptional clawhammer banjo style, marked by clear, bright melodies and powerful rhythm. Leela is also recognized as a dynamic percussive dancer whose style draws most strongly from Appalachian clogging, but also incorporates Irish step dance, rhythm tap, body percussion, and much more.
Sophie Vitells Enloe
is a fiddler and music teacher in Portland, OR. She is classically trained, but discovered Old Time music at the age of 16 and fell deeply in love with the music and the community surrounding it. Sophie has performed and recorded with a number of old time, folk and country bands, including the Macrae Sisters, The Caleb Klauder Band, and Hopping Jenny, and has taught and performed at many music festivals and workshops. She has co-taught the Portland Stringband Class with Maggie and Patrick Lind since 2005, and runs the annual Portland Fiddle Camp for Kids with Kate O’Brien. Sophie also has a private Suzuki and fiddle studio in NE Portland. Sophie loves to work with students of all ages, and strives to help her students to develop the skills and enthusiasm they need to pursue any genre of music.
is an old-time musician, dance caller, and mama to two, singing and dancing 6 1/2-year-olds. She loves calling family dances and loves the Pacific Northwest old time music scene for its many opportunities to make music with friends of all ages. Steph is offering Family Sing and Dance Along sessions on Saturday and Sunday.
2016 Zigzag Workshop Faculty
Erynn Marshall and Carl Jones are old-time musicians and inspired tunesmiths. They are married – in life and music. When they play, their instruments and voices blend like two forks of the same river. Southern song-duets and soaring fiddle, guitar, mandolin, banjo tunes comprise their diverse concert sets. They play with ease, spontaneity and vitality. While rooted in the traditional sounds of older players, this duo stays true to their own muse. Carl’s honest songs can make your heart ache. Erynn’s spirited fiddling can enthrall. Together Carl & Erynn’s expressive, musical meanderings can transport the soul.
Husband and wife duo of Charlie Beck & Charmaine Slaven, started performing together as Squirrel Butter after meeting at a music festival in 2005. Sharing a deep love of traditional music, they explore the genres of old-time, early bluegrass, blues, country, & cajun while adding their unique perspective to these traditions and threading these influences into their original compositions. Multi-instrumentalists, they play banjo, guitar, fiddle, steel guitar, step-dance, and sing in harmony. Occasionally, Squirrel Butter appears with guest musicians to form a trio or quartet.
Olivia Horgan teaches fiddle in Portland, Oregon. She loves working with young children and their parents to create a joyful learning experience. Born in England to Irish parents, Olivia grew up steeped in classical and Irish music. As a child she participated in music camps around the country, including Interlochen and Meadowmount School of Music. She strives to cultivate a friendly and supportive community among her students and their families.
Steph Noll is an old-time musician, dance caller, and mama to two, singing and dancing 5 1/2-year-olds. She loves calling family dances and loves the Pacific Northwest old time music scene for its many opportunities to make music with friends of all ages. Steph is offering Family Sing and Dance Along sessions on Saturday and Sunday.
2015 Zigzag Workshop faculty
Our visiting featured artists were Betse Ellis and Clarke Wyatt. They led several workshops Saturday and Sunday and were available to jam and give pointers all weekend.
Betse Ellis plays fiddle and sings like nobody’s business. Her years with The Wilders proved her passion for Ozark tunes and an unstoppable stage presence. Her early violin studies continue to shape her musicianship through technique and composition. Clarke Wyatt has an original and innovative approach to three-finger banjo. His background as a pianist and composer inform his banjo method as much as his love for old time music.
Sophie Vittels & Isaac Enloe thaught a Kids Stringband & Instrumental Workshop (fiddle, banjo). Steph Noll thaught a family “Sing & Dance Along Workshop.”
Isaac Enloe loves all things banjo: playing, talking, collecting, and geeking. He especially loves to explore traditional, regional up- and down-picking banjo styles. Isaac will be teaching a banjo workshop of Tommy Jarrell’s “Bravest Cowboy” on Saturday evening and co-leading the Family Jam with Sophie Vitells Enloe on Saturday morning.
Sophie Vitells Enloe is an old time fiddler and music teacher in Portland, OR. She teaches fiddle and violin to players of all ages, and has played with a number of old time and country bands. Sophie has performed and taught workshops at many music festivals, including the Alaska Folk Festival, the Berkeley Old Time Music Convention, and the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes. She loves figuring out squirrelly old tunes and playing them with her husband, Isaac. Sophie will be leading an Old Time Fiddle Workshop for Kids and Family Jam on Saturday morning with Isaac Enloe. On Saturday afternoon, she will teach a fiddle workshop on Tommy Jarrell’s “Bravest Cowboy.”
Steph Noll is an old-time musician, dance caller, and mama to two, singing and dancing 4 1/2-year-olds. She loves calling family dances and loves the Pacific Northwest old time music scene for its many opportunities to make music with friends of all ages. Steph is offering Family Sing and Dance Along sessions on Saturday and Sunday.