PNW Contra Dance Callers and Bands

Callers

Name

Home

Description

Adam Carlson Seattle, WA  
Amy Wimmer Seattle, WA Tom & Amy Wimmer are mainstays of the Seattle dance scene. They’ve
each been calling contras for many years, and they also organize the
weekly Seattle Friday dance at Phinney Ridge. Together they strive to
create a program tailored to the dancers’ skills and tastes, building on
skills through the evening, always with fun, interesting dances.
Andrea Nettleton Georgia Nationally known caller who always leaves you happy
Barb Kirchner Colorado  
Carol Piening Olympia, WA  
Christa Torrens (Boulder, CO) Christa is an upbeat, enthusiastic caller known for her clear, concise teaching and short walkthroughs. Her dance selection and smooth voice have delighted dancers across the West and Midwest. She loves to get folks of all experience levels moving, grooving and having fun.

Christa especially enjoys the energy and community emphasis of contra dance. She called her first dance in 2012, and has been calling regularly since. She calls the occasional English Country or square dance, but her focus is contras. She’s been a work gypsy and makes a point of joining the dance and calling communities wherever she lives.
Cindy Rakowski Richland, WA  
Drew Tronvig Eugene, OR  
Elinor Preston Portland, OR Elinor Preston has been delighting dancers with her calling and varied dance programs for many years. She has been calling dances and teaching workshops in the Northwest, and other parts of the country since 1988. She is recognized as a superb dancer and excellent teacher, and she is known for her succinct instruction as well as her grace and humor when faced with malfunctions of equipment or other unexpected program challenges. Elinor is well versed in a variety of dance styles including contras, squares, circles, and English Country Dances. In addition to calling for community dances, she also calls for weddings, birthday parties, and other special occasions.
Eric Curl Seattle, WA Eric started calling in 1996 and called in California and Colorado before moving Seattle in 2006. A mechanical engineer working for Boeing, he now enjoys calling in Washington, Oregon and British Columbia on a semi-regular basis. In his spare time, he likes to hike, snowshoe, camp, visit friends and family, play music, and of course, dance and call.
Erik Weberg Portland, OR Erik has been calling contra dances and English Country dances for over twenty years. He has called local dances, festivals and weekends in many parts of the USA and Canada and has developed a style and repertoire that dancers enjoy very much. His musical aspirations include playing wind instruments with the contra dance band Joyride. Erik lives in Portland, Oregon where he is active in the music and dance scene and is co-organizer of the annual Portland Megaband contra dance.
Gordy Euler Portland, OR Gordy has been calling contra dances up and down the West Coast since at least 2000, and has also written some dances. He likes to orient newcomers gently and with humor, teach succinctly, present a program with a variety of dances, and have the dancers dance to the music as much as possible. As a musician and dancer, Gordy knows all sides of the dance community and has a great instinct on communicating effectively with bands and dancers.
Holly Berry Eugene, OR  
Jana Rygas Eugene, OR Jana danced her first contra in 1979 and has been calling dances since 1985, in the midwest, on the east coast, and since moving to Oregon, throughout the northwest. She aims to give beginners confidence and all dancers success quicklythen to let the music and the exhilaration of the dances themselves take over.
John Gallagher Seattle, WA  
Joyce Miller Sacramento, CA Joyce Miller began contra dancing in the early 1990s in Sacramento and the Bay Area. After her calling debut in 2000, it didn’t take long for Joyce to become one of the most sought-after callers in Northern California. Joyce has called throughout the western states and into Canada, spreading the gospel of dances selected for maximum enjoyment and taught with clarity and wit. As a caller, her goals are to match the program to the dancers, showcase the musicians, and avoid gimmicks. On the other hand, when the spirit moves her, Joyce has been known to call a singing square.
Karen Marshall Anacortes, WA Karen Marshall started calling contra dances in 2008 for the Bellingham dance community and since then has called dances from Vancouver BC to Olympia. She’s known for her energy on the dance floor and likes to call contra dances with the same enthusiasm and joy. She also periodically calls dances for Scottish communities. When she’s not attending a dance camp somewhere in the Northwest, she can either be found working or dancing in Seattle or enjoying spending time in her true home base of Anacortes, Washington.
Kat diFoxfire Wilson Gig Harbor, WA A recent transplant from Missouri to the Pacific Northwest, Kat Wilson now lives in Gig Harbor, Washington, and is calling the Eugene dance for the first time. Kat has been dancing since 1999 and calling since 2003. Known for her artful dance selection and her calm, concise and confident teaching style, she likes calling contra dances that flow so she can shut up sooner and let the dancers enjoy the band. Kat also enjoys calling other formation dances and contra medleys, so dancers are in for a delightful evening.
Laura Mé Smith Seattle, WA The ever-gracious Laura Mé Smith has been delighting dancers with her top notch teaching and rapier sharp wit since 1980. Cutting her calling teeth in Anchorage and Fairbanks, she took her skills with her to Minneapolis and then on to Seattle where she currently resides with her handsome husband/chiropractor and the most beautiful and loving blue and gold macaw in the world, Max.Laura Mé’s repertoire consists of a variety of dances, from squares through contras to English Country Dance, as well as many styles and types of couple dances and a smattering of folkdances. Her teaching method is efficient, using clear and concise instructions. This leaves more time to enjoy dancing to the wonderful tunes these dances use. She is known from coast to coast for helping dancers of all skill levels achieve maximum fun, from raucous wedding reception bashes to elegant balls. You will enjoy her entertaining way with the dance as much as she enjoys calling.
Laurel Thomas Portland, OR Laurel Thomas started calling contra dances at Portland’s open mike night in 2008. Since then, she has called for the regular dances in Portland, Eugene, Corvallis, Bend, Vancouver, Olympia and Tacoma. She has also called at Salem’s Camp Westwind. Dancers appreciate her clear teaching, articulate calling and her ability to choose fun, lively dances that have good flow. “In a mixed crowd my goal for the evening is not only to call dances that are accessible to beginners yet still fun for more experienced dancers, but also to make sure that there is an element of challenge built into the program that allows newcomers to increase their skills.”
Lindsey Dono Tacoma, WA Massachusetts transplant Lindsey Dono is rapidly establishing herself as a Northwest mainstay. With her serene teaching, meticulous programming, and sunny demeanor, Lindsey transforms absolute beginners into confident regulars. Known for her creativity on the dance floor, Lindsey incorporates knowledge of waltz, swing, and blues to lead a variety of workshops, including the ever-requested “advanced contra flourishes.” By day, Lindsey is a devoted research scientist.
Luther Black Seattle, WA  
Lynn Ackerson El Cerrito, CA Lynn’s huge collection of dances (including over 800 contras) keeps growing as she tries to keep the dancing fresh and interesting even for long-time dancers. This Spring, she’ll be calling at two weekend camps in the Bay Area (Monte Toyon and Balance the Bay), a festival (NEFFA) and various dances in New England, along with various west coast dances. In the summer, she’s on staff at two weeklong camps for the very first time: Folklore week at Mendocino, and American Dance and Music Week at Pinewoods. Even while all of these events are going on, she finds time to attend other dance weekends as “just a dancer” to keep remembering the joy that is found in the dancing and the music.
Marianne Tatom Letts Seattle, WA  
Marlin Prowell Bellingham, WA A long-time caller from Bellingham, Marlin Prowell is well-known for his clear teaching and confident selection of dances. In addition to fine contras, Marlin calls many other formations including squares and can lead dancers through delightful evenings. An extremely versatile caller and dance organizer, Marlin has called at many dance camps throughout the Pacific Northwest and also for the techno-contras in Seattle.
Mary Devlin Portland, OR Mary Devlin’s infectious spirit of joy and fun makes her one of the Northwest’s favorite callers for both contras and English country dance. And, she’s a favorite around the country! Mary calls dances that emphasize great connections “feel good” dances B “I love to call dances that propel dancers into a flow state, in symbiosis with the music and the dance.” New and experienced dancers from coast to coast love Mary’s quick and explicit teaching, her clear, crisp calling, and her flowing dances.Mary Devlin leads contras, triplets, squares and English Country dance. She’s known for calling dances that emphasize great connections and feel-good flow and for clear, brief and friendly teaching. Mary also teaches style workshops, workshops in dance calling and in neurolinguistic programming (NLP) insights applied to dance leadership.Besides calling and dancing, Mary was President of the Country Dance & Song Society (CDSS) from 2003 to 2006. She also served on the CDSS Board of Directors and the Executive Board from 1996 to 2001. Mary has been Program Director for two CDSS English-American dance weeks at Pinewoods and for two BACDS English Country dance and music weeks at Mendocino. She has twice been on the Portland Country Dance Community (PCDC) Board. Mary was Dance Instructor for Portland’s 2004 Christmas Revels.Touring has taken Mary to the mid-Atlantic states and the Southeast (with KGB, with Larry Unger and Elke Baker, and with Rex Blazer and Anita Anderson), to the Northeast (with Rex Blazer and Anita Anderson), and to several East Coast states (with Footloose). Mary has called dances, taught workshops, and appeared at camps and festivals throughout the U.S., in Canada and Europe.
Michael Schuh Seattle, WA  
Mike Richardson Seattle, WA  
Mitchell Frey Moscow, ID  
Nan Evans Portland, OR Nan Evans is a beloved caller of English Country and Contra Dances from the rainy Pacific Northwest. Nan brings a commitment to the joy of dance and the magic of community to dance groups around the country. Nan is well known throughout the Northwest and beyond for clear teaching, a warm and welcoming style, and a love of dances that flow – whether highly spirited or beautifully graceful. Nan is at home with small groups in the great room in the co-housing community where she lives or with hundreds of dancers and beginners on the floor at a crowded Northwest Folklife Festival in Seattle. Nan has been a featured caller at Lady of the Lake for both the summer and fall camps, at Monte Toyon for the San Francisco area fall and spring dance camps, Cascade Contras sponsored by the Eugene dance community, and at the Heather and Rose Suttle Lake Camp. Nan often works with her husband, Fred Nussbaum, Portland’s premier dance music cellist.
Pat Nash Port Orford, OR (has moved East)
Rich Goss Portland, OR Rich was introduced to contra dancing in 1990 in Austin, Texas and was immediately hooked. He began calling dances in 1992 with the help of a good friend, and called at open mikes at the Austin Wednesday contra dance. Expanding his contra horizons to include regular calling gigs, playing for and organizing dances, he has a feel for what makes a dance fun, and a concise teaching style that makes contra dancing seem easy. A recent transplant to the west coast, Rich is now living in Portland, Oregon, calling and dancing in the Pacific Northwest. A dance gypsy his whole dancing life, he has collected many interesting and fun dances in addition to composing a few dances of his own. Rich played with the band Mockingbird in Austin, and currently plays with Cascade Crossing. He also plays with the Celtic band Talisman.Rich has called dances from Vancouver, BC to San Diego, CA to Houston, TX, for events ranging from large to small, novice to experienced. He enjoys calling fun accessible dances with a clear concise teaching style. Always with a good natured, easy going style.
Ron Bell-Roemer Bend, OR  
Ruth Lowengart Ashland, OR Ruth Lowengart hails from Ashland, where she is their mainstay caller. Ruth organized and called dances in the San Francisco area for years until moving to the Rogue Valley in the early 90s. Since then, she has been a popular caller in the region and has occasionally visited Eugene to call our dances. We are delighted to welcome her back.
Sandy Strand Seattle, WA  
Sherry Nevins Seattle, WA Experienced caller Sherry Nevins from Seattle has long delighted dancers throughout the Northwest with her exciting calling and fun evenings. She delights in working with all sorts of bands and making dancers happy. At Folklife, she has called contras with marimba ensembles and western swing bands. In addition to her extensive array of contras and squares, she has written many well-known dances and also specializes in calling family dances designed for the very young dancers and their parents. A mainstay of the Seattle dance scene, Sherry has organized the weekly Thursday dances for more than 25 years.
Stacy Rose Coos Bay, OR Stacy Rose is a contra dance caller, folk dance teacher, and musician in the Coos Bay area. For many years, she has been one of the organizers and callers at the lovely Greenacres Grange dance near Coquille. Stacy is a clear and confident teacher, and she truly enjoys sharing delightful flowing contras with the dancers.
Sue Baker Hood River, OR Sue has been calling dances all over the Pacific Northwest since 2001. Sue says “Dancing is a joy and I try to make every one a wonderful experience for everyone in the hall.” From her store of “dorky” wedding dances to complex technical dances, she’s danced most of them and draws on the ones she thinks each crowd will like and be successful at. And as she likes to add, “It’s just a dance.”
Susan Petrick Palo Alto, CA and Reno, NV By profession Susan Petrick is a cognitive psychologist who does software usability research for Intuit in Reno, Nevada and in the San Francisco Bay area. In contra dance circles, she has been teaching and calling for ten years and is a local treasure rapidly gaining national prominence. Her efficient guidance, expert pacing, and gracious manner make even complex dances accessible to all. Susan travels and calls throughout the country in addition to up and down the West Coast. She also regularly leads popular workshops on waltz, hambo, and other couple dances.
Susie Kendig Portland, OR  
Suzanne Girardot Seattle, WA Suzanne Girardot’s enthusiastic and clear dance teaching and calling have made her a favorite on both coasts. Her infectious laugh and easy-going personality put even the very beginning dancer at ease on the dance floor. Her unique, energetic teaching style helps students gain proficiency not only in the dance style they are learning, but also basic movement skills. When she calls, she projects her love of traditional dance and music. Suzanne lives in Seattle, Washington and learned to call from Sandy Bradley in 1981 when her Balkan dance ensemble presented American dances to Eastern Europeans during a 2-month dance tour, and she had to call! Since then she has been calling square and contra dances around the Pacific Northwest. She makes regular appearances at dances around the country, particularly in the Washington, DC area. She has taught at dance camps as diverse as Monte Toyon near San Francisco, CA, Harvest Moon in Santa Barbara, CA, Camp Damp in Juneau, AK, Echo Summit near Sacramento, CA, Victoria’s Revenge at Cape May, NJ, and at Dancing Bears in Anchorage, AK.
Tarka Ayres Hillsboro, OR  
Tim Gojio Vancouver, WA  
Todd Silverstein Salem, OR  
Tom Wimmer Seattle, WA Tom & Amy Wimmer are mainstays of the Seattle dance scene. They’ve each been calling contras for many years, and they also organize the weekly Seattle Friday dance at Phinney Ridge. Together they strive to create a program tailored to the dancers’ skills and tastes, building on skills through the evening, always with fun, interesting dances.
Warren Argo Olympia, WA (Warren Argo passed away in September, 2010)
William Watson Eugene, OR William Watson, a resident of Eugene, OR, danced his first contra in 1989 and began calling in Texas in 1992. Having called numerous contra events in cities coast-to-coast, William’s extensive experience and soothing voice project a calm confidence. His vigilant and thoughtful dance programming ensures a variety of figures, transitions, and sequences to entertain and support new dancers while offering the occasional challenge for the more advanced. His calling proficiency and sensitivities ensure everyone has a good time.
Woody Lane Roseburg, OR A caller for more than 25 years, Woody Lane from Roseburg is known for his smooth contras, fast squares, and superb programming. His teaching style is clear and concise. Also an accomplished clogger, he often accompanies the band as a foot percussionist, raising the energy level on the dance floor to wonderful heights. Woody has brought his exciting brand of calling to dances from Alaska to Boston to Florida, and he has a growing reputation throughout the country.

Bands

Name / From Members Info

Alan & the Agitators
Portland and Corvallis

Alan Snyder – fiddle;
Jeff Kerssen-Griep– guitar, djembe;
Jon Neff – mandolin, guitar;
Kristen Falk – percussion (Corvallis);

A hard-driving band from Portland, Alan and the Agitators features the dynamic fiddler Alan Snyder formerly from the Bay Area. Jeff Kerssen Griep lays down pulsating guitar riffs as well as the African djembe. Jon Neff adds his crisp mandolin & guitar, and Kristen Falk backs it all up with driving percussion. Dancers are in for a delightful treat.
Amazon Creek (disbanded)
Eugene, OR

Alan Ash – mandolin;
Becky Dorsey – fiddle;
John Light – piano, accordion;
Fred Wilson – everything else;
Health issues have prevented Amazon Creek from playing for several years
The Barnstormers
Eugene, OR
Shawn Lockery – fiddle;
Paul Clements – fiddle;
Ambo Daugherty – tenor banjo;
Wes Messinger – guitar;
Based in Eugene, the Eugene City Barnstormers is a string band dedicated to fun times. The band prefers two lane roads. For over 10 years the Barnstormers’ boys have traveled rural Oregon together, playing country dances, community events and gatherings of all sorts, all in search of sparkling moments when dancers, musicians, friends and family join together in motion, music and on occasion, mayhem. Shawn Lockery plays fiddle, Wes Messinger plays guitar, Paul Clements plays fiddle, Ambo Daugherty plays the banjo, and Cliff Kentros plays the bass. The Eugene Barnstormers enjoy long sets of traditional dance tunes played in their own storming sort of way, beckoning folks from all walks of life to lay aside their concerns, stretch out, loosen up and move, move, move. Beyond the dance halls, the band plays on, visiting tunes and songs familiar, and not, till deep sleep comes to all. Come on out and have some fun with the Eugene Barnstormers.
The BFD
Portland
Betsy Branch – fiddle;
Fran Slefer – button accordion, piano;
Dan Compton – fiddle, guitar, accordion;
The BFD really are a Big Friendly Deal. Betsy is an accomplished and versatile musician who loves to explore many musical genres. She’s regularly plays for contra and English Country dances. Fran plays button accordion, piano and fiddle, concentrating on accordion for this band. She grew up in Limerick, Ireland, and lived in Luxembourg, Belgium, Holland, and Dublin before coming to the United States. Dan is a long time Pacific Northwest folk musician. He’s a captivating fingerstyle player as well as a dynamic flatpicker and accompanist.
Bloom’s Revenge
Portland and Salem, OR
Lori Shaffer – fiddle;
Dave Goldman – piano;
Todd Silverstein – bouzouki, whistle, saxophone;
 
Calico
Portland, OR
Sue Songer – piano, fiddle;
Lanny Martin – accordion, piano;
Jim Bell – guitar;
Fred Nussbaum – cello;
 
Corner House
Corvallis, OR
Bo Leyden – mandolin;
Bruce Marbin – guitar; // deceased
Roy Rowland – fiddle;
(Disbanded)
The Carr Family Band (aka “The Family Carr”)
Ashland, OR
Kevin Carr – fiddle;
Josie Mendelson – keyboard, spoons;
Daniel Carr – guitar, mandolin;
Molly Carr – mandolin, fiddle
The Carr Family Band plays exciting, traditional dance music from Ireland, Québec, Galicia, and Appalachia. Hailing from the Rogue Valley, the band combines the fresh, young energy of son Daniel on guitar and daughter Molly on mandolin, with the seasoned talents of their parents, fiddler Kevin Carr and pianist Josie Mendelsohn. All members of the band trade off on other instruments, including percussion. Lively rhythms, tight arrangements, and lush harmonies drive the dancers. Kevin Carr is a founding member of the Hillbillies from Mars, and Josie is a founding member of the legendary bluegrass band the Good Ol’ Persons. She and Kevin have studied Québécois music lovingly and recorded two acclaimed CDs. Kevin has also played contra dance music for over thirty years and has taught fiddle at dance camps such as Fiddle Tunes, Lark in the Morning, and Alasdair Fraser’s Sierra Fiddle Camp.
Cascade Crossing
Portland, OR
Carl Thor – piano, hammered dulcimer, drum;
Rich Goss – guitar, mandolin, percussion;
Sarah Goss – bass, whistle;
Lori Prime – fiddle;
Cascade Crossing is currently one of the hottest and most sought after bands in the Pacific Northwest. With Lori Prime on fiddle, Carl Thor on piano, hammer dulcimer, and drum, Rich Goss on guitar and percussion, and Sarah Goss on bass, whistles, and oboe, Cascade Crossing has developed a reputation for intense creativity, breadth of instrumentation, and energizing dance crowds. Their music is influenced by many styles, with touches of baroque, Caribbean, Celtic, Klezmer, traditional, northern, southern, jazz, and ragtime. With many original tunes, expect the unexpected, from hard driving reels to smooth, mysterious jigs, Cascade Crossing fills the dance hall with an exciting palette of musical colors and textures.
CDGH
Corvallis and Portland, OR
From Corvallis: Creighton Lindsay – guitar;
Deborah Lindsay – percussion;
From Portland: George Penk – fiddle;
Heather Pinney – piano, fiddle
Celtic Swing
Coos Bay and Corvallis, OR
Jennifer Sordyl – fiddle;
Don Berg – guitar;
Beth Brown – cello, whistles;
Ralph Penunuri – mandolin, harmonica, etc
Celtic Swing incorporates seasoned celtic, old time and swing fiddle and guitar playing into their repertoire. We play sets ranging from smooth to swing to rockin’ reels and jigs.
Clan Loki
Seattle, WA
Stuart Williams – fiddle, flute, guitar;
Simon Chrisman – hammered dulcimer;
Steve Newton – electric bass
 
Creekside
Seattle, WA
Cathie Whitesides – fiddle;
Frank Blade – mandolin, banjo;
Cynthia Dillard – piano;
You’ll be entertained and invigorated by the wonderfully versatile Creekside. Their music can be ethereal to exotic, foot-stomping to finely-honed traditional and original tunes, always highly danceable.
The Euphemists
Portland, OR
Dave Goldman – piano;
Alan Snyder – fiddle;
Paula Hamlin – winds;
Kaye Blesener – trombone;
Jerry Nelson – guitar
Enjoy contradancing but miss that Big Band sound? Then you’ll love the Euphemists, a band whose motto is “All fiddle tunes get better with horn riffs!” Over the past few years, various pairings of these Portland musicians have said, “We should form a band!” Finally, inspired by the recent immigration of fiddler Alan Snyder from warmer climes, The Euphemists congealed in 2011. The band features a brass front line of Paula Hamlin, Kaye Blesener, and Jerry Nelson, while Jerry’s several guitars share backup rhythmic duties with the keyboard of Dave Goldman.
The Flying O’Carolan Brothers
Salem, OR
Tim Crosby – fiddle, mandolin;
Roy Rowland – fiddle, mandolin, button accordion;
Brad Johnson – concertina, bodhran;
Todd Silverstein – bouzouki, pennywhistle, saxophone;
From Portland:Jonathan Neff – bass
 
Fresh Cider
Seattle, WA
Laurel Stone – fiddle;
Craig Shaw – flute;
Phil Katz – melodeon;
Jay Finkelstein – guitar;
Dave Goodmanson – piano;
 
Full Circle
Portland, OR
George Penk – fiddle;
Heather Pinney – piano, fiddle;
Fred Nussbaum – cello, percussion;
 
Full Moon
Portland, OR
Gordy Euler – fiddle;
Dave Hamlin – fiddle, mandolin;
Janet Ghoulston – concertina, banjo;
Fran Slefer – fiddle, button accordion, piano;
Full Moon have used their 15+ years of playing together to hone a distinct sound focused on lifting dancers’ feet and hearts. Full Moon is: Gordy Euler (fiddle, pennywhistle, & piano); Janet Goulston (concertina & banjo); Dave Hamlin (mandolin & fiddle); and Fran Slefer (piano, button accordion, fiddle, & piano).
The Generic String Band
Ashland, OR
Bo Leyden – bass; and friends (Bo now lives in Corvallis)
Grey Owl
Seattle, WA
Miche Baker-Harvey – fiddle;
Phil Katz – melodeons;
Jay Finklestein – guitar;
I’ve heard that Grey Owl is defunct
Hands4
Portland, OR
Carl Thor – piano;
Fran Tewksbury – whistle, flute, percussion;
Keith Moe – fiddle, mandolin;
Rich Goss – guitar, percussion
Since 2004, Hands4 has delivered its high-energy music to dance halls throughout the Pacific Northwest, and also in Texas during a 2006 tour. Combining seldom-heard traditional tunes with originals by band members and other musicians, Hands4 has created a unique blend of music that is definitely not your usual contra tunes. Hands4 consists of Fran Tewksbury on flute, whistle, percussion, Keith Moe on fiddle and mandolin, Carl Thor on piano, and Rich Goss on percussion. With their carefully-constructed tune sets featuring mostly original music, their diverse instrumentation, and their well-crafted harmonies and arrangements, Hands4 brings a fresh flavor and excitement to the dance hall wherever they play.
The Hat Band
Portland, OR
Sue Gray – fiddle;
Syd Newell – fiddle;
Jon Neff – guitar
The Hat Band is a three-piece contradance band that includes dual fiddles Sue Gray and Syd Newell, and Jon Neff, melody and rhythm guitar. Dancers love their diversity–traditional, rags, blues, swing, Klezmer.
Hawthorn (disbanded)Corvallis, OR
Bruce Marbin – guitar, bouzouki;
Deb O’Connor – hammered dulcimer, percussion;
Roy Rowland – fiddle
 
The High Country Dance Band
Bend, OR
Lynn Hawkins – fiddle;
Pat Hawkins – mandolin;
Harold – guitar;
Andrew – bass
 
Irish Creme
Roseburg, OR
Aleta McGee – lead vocals, guitar, bodhran;
Joe Ross – mandolin, concertina, hammered dulcimer;
Carla Rutter – flutes;
Al Foster – banjo, mandolin, concertina Bill Ilari – electric bass
 
Jerry and the Backsliders
Portland, OR
Kaye Blesener – trombone;
Lanny Martin – accordion;
Lori Prime – fiddle;
Jerry Nelson – guitar
Despite their devotion to “Old Time” orthodoxy, Jerry and The Backsliders just can’t resist the temptation of fun tunes from other styles like ragtime and klezmer. The band features slide mistress Kaye Blesener on trombone, lovable Lanny Martin squeezing the accordion, the free-spirited fiddling of Lori Prime and Jerry Nelson pounding out rhythmic righteousness on the guitar.
Jigsaw
Portland, OR
Dan Compton – fiddle, guitar, accordion;
George Penk – fiddle;
Heather Pinney – piano, fiddle
 
Joyride
Portland, OR
George Penk – fiddle;
Sue Songer – piano, fiddle;
Erik Weberg – flute, harmonica, bombarde;
Jeff Kerssen-Griep – guitar, djembe;
Kathleen Towers – fiddle (to 2010);
Take a ride with these longtime Portland contra dance musicians as they lock into four-wheel turbo-drive atop the hall. Sue Songer’s swinging piano and Jeff Kerssen-Griep’s flywheel guitar syncopate the pistons; George Penk’s hot fiddle carves expert curves through the tunes while Erik Weberg’s fluid flute, punchy harmonica and stunning bombarde season the wild ride. Known from B.C. to the Bay Area for its lift-y arrangements and innovative universe of ‘borrowed’ (heh heh) Northern and Southern tunes – including a few careening two-fiddle old-time sets – Joyride excels at matching tunes with dance moves for maximum positive zoom. Expect to grin, flow, levitate, swing and howl!
Jug of Punch
Portland, OR
Betsy Branch – fiddle;
Fred Nussbaum – cello, percussion;
Sue Songer – piano, fiddle
 
KGB
Seattle, WA
Julie King – piano;
Claude Ginsberg – fiddle, viola, concertina;
Dave Bartley – mandolin, guitar, cittern;
No security clearances are required to enjoy Seattle’s KGB. With fiddle, mandolin, guitar and piano, KGB creates subversive music, lulling the unwary with traditional New England contradance tunes, then jumping off into Balkan modalities, tango riffs and bluesy jigs. Claude slides from growling grooves to impossible high notes on the fiddle. Dave creates percussive energy and dazzling riffs on anything with strings. Julie explores the emotional range of the keyboard from majestic to down and dirty.Claude Ginsburg’s violin melts, swings, growls, soars. He infuses KGB’s music with passion, rhythm, hitting notes high on the fingerboard with power and sweetness. Claude deftly inserts elements of Klezmer, Latin American, jazz fusion and French Romantic music into New England fiddle tunes, while years of contradance playing keeps his music connected to the dancers. Dave Bartley strikes sparks with his wicked mandolin, driving guitar and lush cittern. He glides from melody to harmony to rhythm to counterpoint, throwing in rock riffs, cross-rhythms, classical motifs and Eastern tonalities. Dave has a more long-winded biography on his own web site.From beater pianos to concert grands, Julie King fully exploits the percussive range of seven octaves. Her piano style is driving, richly chordal, providing KGB’s music with emotional tension. Julie has been the rhythmic backbone in numerous bands for over 15 years. Waiting for Snow, one of her superb waltzes, is included in The Waltz Book II. The recently published Waltz Book III contains two more of her waltzes, Flathead Lake and Call It a Night.
The Kitchen Band
Portland, OR
Betsy Branch – fiddle;
Fred Nussbaum – cello, percussion;
George Penk – fiddle;
Heather Pinney – piano, fiddle
From Salem: Todd Silverstein – bouzouki, whistle, saxophone;
Formed when these five excellent musicians found themselves jamming in the kitchen after a dance. We are sure glad they decided to bring their music to the rest of us.
Bridgetown_Boys
Portland, OR
Lanny Martin – piano;
Jon Neff – guitar;
Victor Fiore – fiddle;
We’re all experienced contra dance musicians. We’re in the Portland Megaband and, following a rehearsal, we jammed together and decided to form a band. We sound sound pretty darn good, if we say so ourselves. (Formerly named “Magpie”, then “Lanjovic”)
The Lanny Martin Revue
Portland, OR
Lanny Martin – piano and accordion;
Lori Prime – fiddle;
Sarah Goss – oboe & winds;
Jon Neff – mandolin & guitar;
From Corvallis: Kristen Falk – percussion.
The Lanny Martin Revue is a great and powerful band led by that incomparable pianist, Lanny Martin. Lori Prime lights up on fiddle, Jon Neff keeps it interesting on guitar, and Sarah Goss adds nicely on whistles and oboe. Sarah will also keep us rich with bass sound, percussionist Kristen Falk will have you tapping your feet to the beat, and Lanny will hold our beat steady with his rock solid piano playing. The band is based out of Portland and Corvallis.
Lark
Corvallis, OR
Jennifer Parke – Fiddle;
Laureen Urey – bodhran;
Beth Brown – cello, Whistle;
Bruce Marbin – guitar, bouzouki (deceased);
(sometimes: Colleen Dick – Bodhran, Uilleann pipes, Whistle, Piano);
Lark was a successor to the Corvallis band Three Fingered Jack. Since 2006, 3FJ has developed a reputation as a Contra Dance, pub, concert and special occasion band. They have played for dances, weddings, wine tastings, dinners and benefits; and in bars and restaurants, indoors and outdoors, in the valley, mountains and at the coast all over Oregon. Starting in 2012, Lark plans to carry on that tradition.
(Lark has disbanded)
The Laurel Valley Revelers
Seattle, WA and Eugene, OR
From Seattle: Stuart Williams – fiddle, flute, guitar;
Steve Newton – guitar, bass;
From Eugene: Chico Schwal – mandolin, guitar;
Linda Danielson – fiddle;
The Laurel Valley Revellers bring together a crew of longtime friends now living far apart, and their favorite tunes from Pacific Northwest and Canadian old-time fiddlers’ repertories. Anchored by the inventive twin fiddling of Stuart Williams and Linda Danielson, backed by Chico Schwall’s danceably driving guitar and Steve Newton’s adventurous bass, the group combines some of Seattle and Eugene’s most experienced dance musicians.
Mad Robin
Eugene, OR
Victor Fiore – fiddle, 5-string fiddle;
Cecily Morris – piano;
Art Morris – upright bass;
Victor is a physics graduate student at UO. He grew up playing violin and listening to his mother’s Irish band. He converted to contra dance fiddle in 2005, and has been playing in the Portland open band since moving to Oregon in 2008, as well as playing workshops, jams and dance camps.Art and Cecily moved back to Oregon this year after many years in Alaska. Art has been playing contra dance bass since 2006, and Cecily has been playing contra dance piano since 1990. They have played dances for the Alaska Folk Festival as well as regular weekly and monthly dances and the occasional wedding reception, most recently with the Grateful Celtics and Full Circle.
Molasses
Eugene, OR
Kristen, Cory Goldman, Brandon Olszewsky, Seth Kimmel, Papa Sould Molasses is a five-piece band specializing in Appalachian old time and also hot club swing. They reside in Eugene and play any venue from square dance to jazz club. Kristen has been playing fiddle for 17 years and is currently studying music at the University of Oregon. Cory Goldman is currently studying guitar at the University of Oregon and should probably be practicing jazz instead of playing the banjo so much. Brandon Olszewski has been playing string instruments for almost 14 years and loves to play old time, jazz, and Piedmont-style blues. Seth Kimmel plays just about anything with strings and builds basses and banjos, including those played by Molasses. Papa Soul has been playing percussion for a long time in ska, funk, and old time bands.
Moonstruck
Portland, OR
Gordy Euler – fiddle;
Dave Hamlin – fiddle, mandolin;
Janet Ghoulston – concertina, banjo;
Jim Bell – guitar;
 
Mystic Spatula
Olympia and Vancouver, WA
Anthea Lawrence – fiddle;
Cat Fox – banjo, whistle, percussion;
Lawson Dumbeck – banjo, mandolin, guitar, bodhran;
From Vancouver: Jeff Kerssen-Griep – guitar, percussion
Mystic Spatula (“A contra band with serious *lift*”) features spirited fiddler Anthea Lawrence mixing it up with multi-instrumental bandmates Lawson Dumbeck (mandolin, banjo, guitar & percussion), Cat Fox (banjo, percussion & pennywhistle), and Jeff Kerssen-Griep (guitar & percussion). The band’s rollicking, lyrical mix of Celtic & old-time tunes compels dancing and rewards close listening with vivid & varied arrangements, exciting musicianship and a fine sense of humor. These PNW band vets (Fiddlehead, Three Wheeling, Casey Neill Trio, Talisman, Slainte…) have gathered happily since 1998 for the feisty pleasure of cooking hot contras together. Come dance in the kitchen!
The Nettles
Corvallis, OR
Laura Brophy – fiddle;
Kevin Johnsrude – guitars;
Michael Proctor – bass;
Brian Bucolo – percussion;
The Nettles are well-known on the West Coast for their original approach to contra dance music. Playing traditional music from all over the world, The Nettles create a strong rhythmic groove under soaring improvisations. Rhythmic drive and melodic fluidity allow The Nettles to propel contra dances into the stratosphere.
Night Owl
Portland, OR
Betsy Branch – fiddle;
Mark Douglass – piano;
George Penk – fiddle;
L’Orage (The Storm)
Olympia & Bellingham, WA
Eric Schlorff – harmonica, mandolin, accordion, bass, foot percussion;
From Bellingham: Mike Schway – fiddle;
Clyde Curley – fiddle, mandolin, guitar;
 
Out of the Wood
Sandpoint, ID
Kathy Bowman – fiddle;
Pat Marron – fiddle, mandolin, banjo;
Vickie Marron – piano;
Out of the Wood is a three person contradance band from Sandpoint, Idaho. In the last 10 years they have played for over 220 contra dances, dance festivals and dance camps from Washington DC to Vancouver BC. The band includes Kathy Bowman-fiddle, Vickie Marron- piano, and Pat Marron – mandolin/fiddle/banjo.
Penk, Pinney, Lindsay Trio George Penk – fiddle;
Heather Pinney – piano, fiddle;
Deborah Lindsay – percussion;
George Penk is a well-known fiddle player across the USA, especially in the Pacific Northwest. He lives in Portland where he currently plays with the bands Joyride and Jigsaw. George collaborates with many musicians in various musical adventures, including being part of the Portland Collection project through his playing on the Portland Selection CD’s. His spirited and rich fiddle style is a delight to listen to. George is widely appreciated as a consummate dance fiddler working with callers to make sure the music is in-tune with the spirit of the dances. The Penk, Pinney, Lindsay trio, which includes Heather Pinney on piano and fiddle (also a member of Jigsaw) and Deborah Lindsay (from Corvallis) on percussion, works most often with the caller Erik Weberg, who also lends his expertise on wind instruments to the tune medleys.
The Quarks
Portland, OR
Betsy Branch – fiddle, guitar;
Bill Tomczak – clarinet, saxophone, percussion (leaving the band 2017);
Terry Wergeland – piano, accordion;
Betsy and Terry have played together for dances since 1994, and when Bill moved to Portland in 2012, he was thrilled to join forces with them. With their mix of instruments and improvisatory natures, you never know what to expect from this trio. Their delight in playing together translates to the dance floor, and you are likely to hear plenty of laughter from the stage. When not playing, the three of them love to pontificate about the mysteries of the universe (like how 3 quarks form a particle), thus inspiring the band name.
Rad Francine
Portland, OR
Dan Compton – fiddle, guitar;
Fran Slefer – piano, fiddle, button accordion;
From Olympia: Eric Schlorff – harmonica, mandolin, accordion, bass, foot percussion;
Rad Francine is a high-energy contra dance band whose sound is inspired by the traditional music of Québec. The band’s members – Dan Compton on fiddle and guitar, Eric Schlorff on harmonica and foot percussion, and Fran Šlefer on piano – first met up at informal music sessions and discovered a common love for the music of French Canada. A few years later, they decided to pool their talents and imaginations to tap into the swinging groove that is Québecois dance music. Dan, Eric & Fran combine a wealth of experience and musical backgrounds – as well as a sense of gratitude to the musicians they learned from – to bring this great music to life. Dan is a long-time folkie in the Pacific Northwest music scene, and has performed at numerous concerts, festivals, and music- and dance camps. His fiddle playing is driving and compelling, and he’s equally at home playing the dance music of Ireland, Appalachia, Brittany, and of course, Québec. Dan’s playing is particularly inspired by Québecois-style fiddle players Lisa Ornstein and Eric Favreau. Eric is a dance musician who is well-known and respected in the Northwest. Having played a world of music on his harmonicas, from blues to Irish to Appalachian, he had the good fortune to learn Québecois dance tunes and foot percussion from such well-regarded musicians as Aimé Gagnon, André Marchand, and Guy Bouchard. In Rad Françine, Eric’s harps keep you grooving while his feet keep you moving. Fran grew up in Limerick, Ireland, and lived in Luxembourg, Brussels, Amsterdam, and Dublin before moving to the United States. She began playing the piano at an early age, and got into traditional dance music when she heard the playing of Québecois musicians like Montreal’s Benoit Legault. Fran works this smooth, sophisticated style into the Rad Françine sound, helping set the groove while fiddle and harmonica leap into the tunes.
Re-Fingered Jack (disbanded)
Corvallis, OR

Bruce Marbin – guitar, bouzouki;
Erica Liebert – fiddle;
Landon Kuhn – fiddle;
Beth Brown – cello, whistles; Laureen Urey – bodhran
Existed only briefly as a successor to Three Fingered Jack. See “Lark”
Red Crow
Seattle, WA
Susan Burke – fiddle;
Chuck Pliske – piano, concertina;
Joe Michaels – bass, guitar;
Howie Meltzer – fiddle;
Excellent purveyors of many contra standard and not-so-standard dances
Riff Raff
Olympia, WA
Lindon Toney – fiddle;
Evo Toney – fiddle;
Jay Finkelstein – guitar, ;
Jim Erlandson – mandolin, guitar;
Riff Raff is a high-energy dance band from Olympia, Washington. Lindon Thoney and Evo Sokoloff-Toney play together and drive the tunes with their double fiddles, and Ethan Jodziewicz is amazing with his strong and innovative guitar backup. These guys play with a lot of energy and have fun doing it. Join them for a fun-filled evening.The late Warren Argo was a long-time member of this band.
Shoofly
Portland, OR
Lanny Martin – piano;
Sean Bolton – fiddle;
Sarah Schu – fiddle;
Paula Hamlin – winds;
 
Singularity
Seattle, WA
Susan Burke – fiddle;
Chuck Pliske – piano, concertina;
Joe Michaels – bass, guitar;
Wayne Clark – fiddle, banjo, guitar, percussion;
 
Skinner City String Band
Eugene, OR
Rich Klopfer – fiddle;
Jim Caudle – fiddle;
Judy Scher – banjo;
Spence Hollinger – guitar;
Seth Kimmel – Bass;
Holly Berry – fiddle, banjo uke, caller;
 
Small Pleasures
Seattle, WA
Vivian Williams – fiddle;
Phil Katz – melodeons;
Phil Williams – guitar;
(sometimes) Miche Baker-Harvey – fiddle;
Sue Songer – piano;
and/or Lynell Rowan – bodhran and other percussion
 
Stainless
Portland, OR
Fran Tewksbury – whistle, flute, percussion;
Jon Neff – guitar, bass;
Rick Piel – piano;
 
The Steeltones
Portland, OR
Dave Hamlin – fiddle, mandolin;
Keith Moe – fiddle, mandolin;
Jon Neff – guitar, bass;
Veterans of the Portland Megaband and other bands, Dave Hamlin, Jon Neff, and Keith Moe had known each other for years when they first got together for what they thought would be to be a one-time dance gig. The dancers and band had so much fun that they decided to seek further opportunities to play together and the Steeltones were born. Keith’s fiddle, Dave’s mandolin, and Jon’s guitar bring lively energy to tunes from Northern and Southern traditions.
Tapsalteerie
Seattle, WA
Jon Singleston – fiddle;
Joanne Lauterjung-Kelly – flute, accordion;
Clare Woolgrove – concertina;
Nick Leininger – guitar;
Tapsalteerie, from Seattle, is a strong rhythm-driven contradance band enjoyed by northwest dancers for more than 10 years offering a mostly New England and Franco-American repertoire. The band consists of Clare Woolgrove (concertina), Jan Martindale and Jon Singleton (fiddles), Nick Leininger (guitar) and Sam Good (bass).
Three-Fingered Jack (Disbanded)
Corvallis, OR

Bruce Marbin – guitar, bouzouki;
Sharilyn Ame – fiddle;
Beth Brown – cello;
Laureen Urey – bodhran
(Three Fingered Jack has disbanded) See “Lark”
Thrillville (Disbanded ~2004)
Seattle, WA and Portland, OR

From Portland: Betsy Branch – fiddle;
Dave Goldman – piano;
From Seattle: Marni Rachmiel – flute, saxophone;
(sometimes) Dave Bartley – mandolin, guitar, cittern
 
Treehouse
Eugene, etc.
Becky Dorsey – fiddle;
Benjamin Young – banjo, whistle;
Rachael Young – piano;
Bo Leyden – banjo, mandolin;
Treehouse brings a mix of Irish, Quebecois, and New England style, and put it together with Pacific Northwest flair. Becky has played for dances throughout Vermont, New Jersey, Arizona, and California, and previously played with Amazon Creek in Eugene. Ben and Rachael come from the Irish traditional session background, having played with many groups across Canada and throughout Washington, Oregon, and California.
Tunestruck
Portland, OR
Gordy Euler – fiddle;
Jim Bell – guitar;
Lori Shaffer – fiddle;
 
Unleashed!
Portland, OR
Jocelyn Goodall – fiddle;
Rick MacQuoid – fiddle, guitar;
Eliza Romick – hammered dulcimer, banjo uke, percussion;
Rick Piel – piano;
Since its members came together in 1999, UnLeashed! has been one of Portland’s favorite contra bands. Fiddler Jocelyn Goodall leads the pack with the driving style she learned from famed Irish fiddle master Tommy Peoples. On guitar, banjo, and fiddle, Rick Macquoid provides enough energy to keep dancers going all night long, while Eliza Romick’s percussive dulcimer and banjo-ukelele add that infectious pulse that dancers love. With Rick Piel’s incessant keyboard backup supplying intensity and rhythm, an evening with UnLeashed! is guaranteed to make you howl with joy!
Water Tower Bucket Boys
Portland, OR
Kenny Feinstein – guitar, mandolin, harmonica, vocals;
Gordon Keepers – upright bass, vocals;
Josh Rabie – fiddle, guitar, harmonica, vocals;
 
Water Tower String Band (disbanded)
Eugene, OR

Peter Daggatt – guitar;
Kenny Feinstein – mandolin
Cory Goldman – banjo;
Josh Rabie – fiddle;
Ben Wheelhoss – bass;
see “Water Tower Bucket Boys”
The Wisenheimers
Portland, OR
Dave Goldman – piano;
Alan Snyder – fiddle;
Incredibly good, uplifting, energetic music. You keep looking for the two other band members.
Wild Hair
Portland and Salem, OR
Betsy Branch – fiddle;
Mark Douglass – piano;
Jeff Kerssen-Griep – guitar, percussion;
From Salem:Todd Silverstein – bouzouki, whistle, saxophone;
Popular foursome Wild Hair stirs up contra dance floors with addictively propulsive fiddle tunes from several traditions, including home-grown. Swingy fiddler Betsy Branch, multi-instrumentalist Todd Silverstein (pennywhistle, bouzouki, sax), percussive guitarist Jeff Kerssen-Griep and syncopacious pianist Mark Douglass sync up a harmonious, giddy-hot ensemble sound that’s feisty and grooved, creatively graceful, ferocious, and funfunfun, with contagious good humor tailored to your feet. You can sample tracks from their CD “Buzz Cuts” at CDBaby.com.
Zephyr
Portland, Salem, and Corvallis, OR
From Portland: Ellen Hansen – fiddle;
Dave Goldman – piano;
From Salem: Todd Silverstein – bouzouki, whistle, saxophone;
From Corvallis: Bo Leyden – banjo, mandolin;
Zephyr is a quartet of seasoned contradance musicians, with Ellen Hansen on fiddle, Todd Silverstein on whistle/sax/bouzouki, Bo Leyden on banjo/mandolin, and Dave Goldman on keyboard. Their music has strong roots in the Celtic, Appalachian, Scandinavian, and Klezmer traditions. But what draws them together is the infectious energy they put out on the dance floor, just like the West Wind they’re named after. In various configurations, these musicians have played from Oregon to Massachusetts, from Alaska to Virginia, and from China to Ireland and Sweden.
Zollo
Seattle, WA
Cathie Whitesides – fiddle;
Anita Anderson – piano;
Nova Devonie – accordion;
Russell Shumsky – percussion and marimba;
The music world is our oyster! Zollo mixes flavors of ragtime, swing, pop, Balkan and Greek music plus original tunes, tricks and irresistible rhythms lift your feet and pull them over the floor. Check out this delightful mischief, sometimes quirky, occasionally glorious, always danceable band.

Bands from elsewhere

The OpporTunists
Oakland, California
Erik Hoffman – guitar, fiddle, percussion;
Alan Snyder – fiddle, piano;
Topfer Gayle – bass, mandolin, mandola, guitar, percussion;
 
Wild Asparagus
Massachusetts
Ann Percival – piano, guitar, vocals;
Becky Tracy – fiddle;
David Canteini – flutes, tin whistle, sax, bombarde;
George Marshall – English concertina, bodhran, bones, caller;
Other musicians often
Wild Asparagus is one of the most loved, longest lived contra bands in existence. We are gratified that they enjoy visiting Oregon, so we can get them to play for one of our dances.