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Corvallis Contra Weekend Talent for 2019

Bands

Genticorum (Quebec)
Over the past 18 years the trad Quebec group Genticorum has become a fixture on the international world, trad, folk and Celtic music circuit. The band’s six albums met with critical acclaim in Canada, the United States and Europe, assuring the band a brilliant future. Known for its energy and its stage presence, Genticorum has given more than a 1000 concerts in more than 15 countries. Firmly rooted in the soil of their native land, the energetic and original traditional ‘power trio’ also incorporates the dynamism of today’s North American and European folk cultures in their music. They weave precise and intricate fiddle, flute and accordion work, gorgeous vocal harmonies, energetic foot percussion and guitar accompaniment into a big and jubilant musical feast. Their distinctive sound, sense of humour and stage presence makes them a supreme crowd pleaser.
Pascal Gemme: Fiddle, voice, arranger
Pascal Gemme is a leading light in Quebec’s traditional music scene.Known as much for his original compositions as his fine interpretation of traditional tunes, Pascal is the fiddler, singer and arranger of the band, Genticorum, whose CDs have met with critical acclaim in several countries.
From a young age, the fiddle music and songs of his native province have captivated him. After graduating with a degree in composition and band arrangements at Montreal’s St Laurent College, he immersed himself in the traditional music around him, playing, collecting and recording music found all over Quebec. Pascal has developed a vast knowledge and is a leading exponent of the music.
Yann Falquet: Guitar
Yann Falquet is a very active and creative acoustic guitar player on the Québécois music scene. He has explored many styles of music and completed a Bachelor's degree in Jazz. Since then, he has developed a personal guitar style for Québec folk music, inspired by the playing of the accompanists of different cultures (Brittany, Scandinavia, Ireland, North America).
His involvement in the province's traditional music scene has brought Yann to perform on numerous recordings, and to tour regularly throughout Canada, the U.S., Europe and Australia with Genticorum but also with JUNO award-winning Celtic and world group The McDades, the Jean-François Bélanger Trio and with cellist Natalie Haas.
Nicholas Williams: Flute, accordion, piano
Nicholas Williams has developed a reputation as a versatile and sought-after musician in the traditional music scenes of Québec and New England. His rhythmic yet nuanced style of flute playing draws from Irish and Scottish traditions, as well as from his studies of classical North Indian music. After completing a BFA in world music and composition at York University, Nicholas moved to Québec in 2000, where he has enjoyed exploring the common ground of his own diverse musical experiences with the rich Québécois musical tradition. Also an accomplished accordion and piano player, he has been a member of the band Crowfoot since 2005, plays with fiddler Laura Risk, and in the Alex Kehler & Nicholas Williams duo.
KGB (Seattle WA)
Claude Ginsburg: Violin
Claude'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: Mandolin, guitar, cittern…
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. From the casual oberver's viewpoint, his fingers move faster than light, making notes flow like water.
Julie King: Piano
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. She is also a composer, bringing a jazzy nuance to the band.

"As their music changes in character from tune to tune, the dancing changes with it, alternating among smooth and pulsatile, calm and passionate, whimsical and profound... However, no matter how wild or imaginative their music becomes, it comes back from the edge just in time to support you when you need it, and their steady, driving beat is always there, inexorably pulling your feet across the floor." -- Mike Richardson

"I'd follow them over hot coals!" -- Sharon Gavin

Callers

Cis Hinkle (Atlanta, GA)

Cis Hinkle has delighted contra and square dancers since 1985 with her skilled teaching, welcoming manner, playful enthusiasm, and masterful selection of dances. She is in great demand at music and dance festivals all over the US, England, and Denmark. When not on the road, Cis teaches t'ai chi classes in her native Atlanta, Georgia.

Blue Moon (Alabama): Cis Hinkle calls dynamic contras and fast-moving squares with zest and simplicity. Her enthusiastic calling is appreciated at dances across the United States, Canada, England, and Scandinavia. Her fun squares have converted more than one curmudgeonly contra dancer who “doesn’t like squares”. A lovely dancer, when she doesn’t have a microphone, her fluidity on the floor translates nicely into calling that helps translate the words and music into something that can really be called dancing.
Cis lives in Atlanta, Georgia, but must be racking up some serious Frequent Flyer miles as she travels to the many weekend festivals that look to her skills. She’s made the trip to Huntsville many times over the years, and we’re always glad to have her back!

Michael Karcher (Seattle)
Michael has been having the time of his life calling around the U.S. and Canada since 2011. He has honed a warm and concise style of teaching and calling, to the delight of dancers across North America. Michael has some well tuned ...

Workshops

Mega Medleys
Nonstop change! Dance many different kinds of medleys–be ready to listen!
Mashup Challenge 5000
Randomly picked dances, random challenges! Dance like a penguin while I only call using abbreviations! That's just one fun outcome from this never-the-same-way-twice challenge!
Dutch Crossing/Yankee Crossing
Famous for being one of the most challenging dances in the repertoire, Dutch Crossing or its contrafied version Yankee Crossing will be an accomplishment you’ll never forget.
Contra by the Numbers
Dances with a math-y twist! Get ready to count, transform, compare, and sort!
Connect, Communicate, and Play
Explore ways to connect and communicate with our contra partners and neighbors, both verbally and nonverbally. Also play with different kinds of role exchanges along the way.
Michael Karcher's Favorite Dances
Come dance some of the dances Michael has enjoyed most in all his years of dancing.
Totally Not Generic Calling Workshop
Michael teaches you his calling tricks and tips.

Sound

Alan Roberts (Seattle, WA)
Alan is a fiddle player (plays with Southwest Passage) and dancer in addition to being an excellent sound man. He is aware of the nuances that make us all happy, and is able to provide a great experience for the callers, band members and dancers.