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Corvallis Contra Weekend Talent for 2009

Bands

The Groovemongers Trio (New York and Rhode Island)
C. W. Abbott C.W. is the band's improvising mandolinist extraordinaire. He comes from a more southern musical tradition, but has embraced new styles such as French Canadian reels and Irish jigs with abandon. In addition to mandolin, he's played guitar, bass, fiddle, pedal steel, and jug. These days he's mostly sticking to contra dance music with mandolin and guitar. Jane Knoeck Jane's musical beginnings were in classical piano and voice studies. She entered the instrumental folk music world upon discovering the hammered dulcimer. Contra dance bands followed and she's been playing for dances ever since on piano and accordion, weaving a variety of musical influences into her style. She also enjoys playing for both English and Scottish country dance. Rebecca McCallum Rebecca grew up playing classical violin, but began to transform from a "violinist" to a "fiddler" shortly after college. In the midst of the driving rhythm and danceability of her fiddling, you can still hear signs of that classical precision and tone. She favors northern styles of music in her contra fiddling, but also indulges her Mediterranean roots by playing in a Greek band as well.
Southwest Passage (Seattle and San Francisco)
"One of the hottest groups in the Pacific Northwest. Their music is smooth and perfect. The fiddlers’ groove keeps the dancers' feet moving, the piano keeps the excitement building, propelling the dancers into the Zone. " Eric Anderson — piano, Sande Gillette — fiddle, Alan Roberts — fiddle, Betsy Cooper — flute. The members of Southwest Passage deveote their efforts to producing the best live experiences possible, so have no recordings as a group.

Callers

Erik Weberg (Portland OR)
Erik is unusually good at conveying the feel of the music he would like for each of the dances he calls. Band members then have a clear idea about what to play, and dancers reap the rewards when they experience a wonderful synergy between the dance figures and the music. Erik's ability to connect with dancers and his sly sense of humor insure an upbeat, congenial atmosphere on the floor as well as a terrific dance experience. This combination of attributes explains why he is in continual demand as a caller at week end and week-long dance camps as well as a favorite on Friday and Saturday nights in his home base, Portland, Oregon.
Lisa Greenleaf (Boston MA)
Lisa is a contra dance caller from the Boston area known for her high-energy calling and articulate teaching. Lisa has been treating dancers across the country to her concise yet witty calling for many years. Her rich repertoire, succinct teaching, and commitment to community- building make her a dance favorite.

Sound

Mark Shurmann (Corvallis OR)
Mark plays music in (and runs sound for) several bands, and knows how much difference good sound can make. We have yet to convert him to dancing, though he certainly gets up and taps his feet to our bands!