SAM REIDER AND THE HUMAN HANDS
Jazz pianist turned roots musician, Sam Reider is redefining American music on the accordion. He’s been featured at Lincoln Center and on NPR, and performed alongside pop stars, jazz and folk musicians ranging from Jon Batiste and Stay Human, Bluegrass mandolin prodigy Sierra Hull to Venezuelan cuatro virtuoso Jorge Glem. For his debut record as bandleader, Too Hot To Sleep, Reider has assembled a “staggeringly virtuosic band” (RnR Magazine) of young bluegrass and jazz musicians called The Human Hands. Irresistible melodies, fiery improvisation and otherworldly sounds collide in what Songlines Magazine has dubbed "mash-up of the the Klezmatics, Quintette du Hot Club de France and the Punch Brothers.”
The Human Hands have featured some of the best and brightest from the worlds of jazz and roots music: Violinist Alex Hargreaves (Turtle Island Quartet, Sarah Jarosz, Béla Fleck), saxophonist Eddie Barbash (Late Night with Stephen Colbert, Jon Batiste and Stay Human), guitarist Grant Gordy (David Grisman, Darol Anger, Aoife O'Donovan), mandolinist Dominick Leslie (Michael Daves, Tony Trischka, The Deadly Gentlemen), guitarist Roy Williams (Stephane Wrembel), and bassist Dave Speranza (Jim Campilongo).
Reider grew up in San Francisco, the son of a musical theatre composer and klezmer musician. He began performing at a young age, and was interviewed on Marian McPartland’s “Piano Jazz” on NPR when he graduated high school. At Columbia University, he fell in love with American folk music. While writing his senior thesis comparing the songwriting of Woody Guthrie and Ira Gershwin, Sam began studying bluegrass and old-time music, transcribing the fiddle melodies for the accordion and learning to sing the songs.
This set him off on a journey that has taken him from back porches and dive bars to concert halls and major festivals in practically every state in the country. Representing the U.S. Department of State as a musical ambassador, Sam has travelled to China, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Turkey and Azerbaijan, carrying his accordion on his back everywhere he goes and collaborating at every opportunity with international artists. http://www.samreidermusic.com
Jeremy Kittel is an American violinist, fiddler, and composer. Fluent in multiple musical genres, he composes original music that draws from traditional roots, jazz, Celtic, Classical, electronic, and more.
Kittel performs with his group Kittel & Co., as a soloist with orchestras, and in collaborative and supporting roles with many of today’s leading artists. In demand as a composer and arranger, he has worked with Abigail Washburn and Bela Fleck, My Morning Jacket, Aoife O’Donovan, Camera Obscura, Jars of Clay, Yo Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, Laura Veirs, Sara Watkins, and the Grammy-winning Turtle Island Quartet (of which he was a member for five years). He has also recorded with artists such as Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile, Mark O’Connor, Fleet Foxes, and Mike Marshall.
Kittel & Co. ("Kid-dle and Koh”) inhabits the space between classical and acoustic roots, Celtic and bluegrass aesthetics, folk and jazz sensibilities, and has performed at venues such as Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Celtic Connections, and A Prairie Home Companion. The group released its debut album, Whorls, in 2018, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard bluegrass chart. The album features Kittel along with mandolin phenom Josh Pinkham (named “the future of the mandolin” by Mandolin Magazine) transcendent cellist Nathaniel Smith (Sarah Jarosz and Kacey Musgraves), guitarist Quinn Bachand (Ashley MacIsaac and Natalie MacMaster) and hammer-dulcimer wizard Simon Chrisman (acclaimed for bringing a new tonal flexibility to the instrument). Bluegrass Situation calls Whorls “a feat of new acoustic, string band-rooted chamber music…. whimsical, alluring, and magnificent,” while Earmilk says Whorls is “...a devastatingly beautiful album… a stunning melting pot of classical and folk music, featuring some of the greatest musicians in the genre.”
In 2015, Kittel collaborated with acclaimed singer-songwriter Aoife O’Donovan and orchestral maven Teddy Abrams to compose “Bull Frogs Croon,” a new symphony work featuring O’Donovan and Kittel as soloists. In 2016, Jeremy was commissioned by the Konzerthaus Berlin to compose a new piece for the centennial of Yehudi Menuhin’s birth; “A Compass in the Tempest” premiered that spring and featured celebrated violinists Daniel Hope, Roby Lakatos, L Subramaniam, Gilles Apap, Didier Lockwood, and O’Connor. Kittel’s newest orchestral piece draws from the deep well of multicultural American Revolutionary and Civil War music, and will be premiered with the Orlando Philharmonic.
Believing passionately that music and the arts are central to the human experience, Kittel enjoys teaching music through workshops and clinics at diverse programs such as Berklee College of Music, Belmont University, The New School, International Music Academy of Pilsen, Zurich University of the Arts, Mark O’Connor Strings Camps, the Swannanoa Gathering, Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School, and the University of Michigan.
Kittel has a master’s degree in jazz performance from the Manhattan School of Music and received the 2010 Emerging Artist Award from U of M (his alma mater). He is also the recipient of awards including the US National Scottish Fiddle Championship and six Detroit Music Awards, and has contributed to many Grammy-nominated recordings. He was also the first recipient of the Daniel Pearl Memorial Violin.
“One of the most exceptional violinists and fiddlers of his generation…” - WGBH
“[Kittel & Co.]... takes the string band tradition to marvelously rarefied levels of collective virtuosity…. thrillingly spontaneous.” - Times UK
"At the Vanguard of a whole new movement in fiddle music." - Martin Hayes
“The music Kittel is making now has all the precision and virtuosity of the best classical players, but the wonderfully devilish, explosive drive of the best stringbands." - HearthMusic
“Equally skilled in the worlds of jazz, classical, and Celtic fiddling… an exhilarating stage presence" - Strings Magazine
"Every project I have had the honor to work on with Jeremy, he has lifted the songs so far beyond what they were when they came to him…” - Tucker Martine, Flora Recording & Playback
“One of the great violinists and creative musicians of his generation." - Teddy Abrams, Louisville Orchestra
In their own words...
The music we make is always changing as we grow. As we grow, the reflection of that growth shows in our writing. We can't control how you receive it when you listen, but when you do, just know that we hope it inspires faith and purpose within you. http://www.shinypennyofficial.com/
You never know what's gonna happen next at a Bing Futch show. Using Appalachian mountain dulcimer, Native American flute, ukulele and a pedal board equipped with a loop station, he deftly navigates the varied waters of traditional and modern Americana with passion, wit and a genuinely huge heart for sharing music with a crowd.
Known for his musical shape-shifting, Futch switches the channels on style with every new song, sung in a limber tenor voice and woven together with the other instruments. His casual way with any audience, coupled with a fierce originality on the lesser known mountain dulcimer, makes each show a one-of-a-kind and good-timing romp.
As a nationally touring solo performer he's headlined at such events as The Walnut Valley Festival, The Florida Folk Festival, Old Songs Festival, The Big Muddy, Kentucky Music Weekend and Common Ground On The Hill.
With a strong love for traditional music, Futch has enjoyed a career on both sides of the folk and rock divide, first as guitarist for CCM post-punkers Crazed Bunnyz in 1986 and much later in 1999 as co-founder of Mohave on mountain dulcimer. That band, with bassist Mike Burney and drummer McGyver, took off after their debut performance at the House of Blues at Walt Disney World and over the course of the next seven years would become a crowd favorite and open for the likes of Molly Hatchet, St. Somewhere and The Crests.
In 2006, Futch began performing solo at county fairs and festivals across the country. He has recorded a number of albums and published several music-education books including the best-selling "Blues Method For Mountain Dulcimer 101." In 2014, Bing won the "Solo Artist" award in the Central Florida Blues Challenge competition, earning a coveted entry into the 2015 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN, where he advanced to the semifinals, gaining new notice and fans for himself and this unique instrument. Several months later, Bing competed in the 2015 Central Florida Blues Challenge and won the Solo/Duo Award for the second year in a row, which led him back to Memphis to compete in the 2016 International Blues Challenge. There, he advanced all the way to the finals and was named "Best Guitarist" in the solo-duo category, despite competing solely on the mountain dulcimer.
Futch's music has also been featured in film, video, on stage and in exhibits at the Orlando Museum of Art. He was composer and musical director for "The Jungle Book: A Musical Adaptation" at Stage Left Theater in Orlando, Florida. He also contributed music to the soundtrack of The Castle of Miracles attraction at Give Kids The World Village in Kissimmee, Florida.
Futch can often be found teaching music workshops at various festivals and colleges, presenting music education programs at schools and libraries and producing episodes of his video podcast Dulcimerica which has been viewed by over a million people worldwide and is currently in its 11th year.
In traveling over 35,000 miles a year, Futch's home away from home is a 32 foot long Jayco Greyhawk that has been dubbed "Marahute." While off the road, he lives in Orlando, Florida with his wife, Jae, and a menagerie of critters.
2016 International Blues Challenge Finalist Winner - "Best Guitarist (Solo/Duo)" Award
"A master of the mountain dulcimer" - Connections Magazine
"He plays the dulcimer like Jimi Hendrix. He has this ability to communicate a sensual energy when he's onstage" - Tom Shed, Florida Folk Festival organizer
"...a high-energy solo performer and frontman..." - Music Connection
"Musical Tabasco!" - The Orlando Weekly
The Half Step Sisters
Indianapolis natives, The Half Step Sisters consists of Katie Burk and Julia Conway. Highlighting harmonies and a variety of vocal styles, Katie plays fiddle and Julia plays double bass. They first joined musical forces in 2008 to develop their own take on the folk and acoustic roots music they both love. The Half Step Sisters were chosen to perform on NPR's A Prairie Home Companion Duet Competition in 2012. Out of 1,000 applicants nationwide, Katie and Julia placed third. The Half Step Sisters are happy to be accompanied by D. Mark Conway on guitar and Dan Thompson on drums.
BLACK VOICES OF INSPIRATION
Established at Purdue University in 1975, The Black Voices of Inspiration Choral Ensemble is made up of student and community individuals committed to the performance of music enhanced by the musical traditions and experiences of African/African Americans. The ensemble’s concert literature includes spirituals, jazz, blues, anthems, hymns, traditional and contemporary gospel, African American folk music, formally composed works, and other traditional and contemporary styles within the African Diaspora. The Choir is currently under the direction of James E. Dekle, Jr.