Instructors

Our teaching staff has been, and continues to be, the highest caliber of professional musicians and composers hailing from a multitude of genres.

 

2017 Camp instructors

We have been privileged to have masters and Grammy winners in Bluegrass, Celtic, Cajun, Texas style, Quebecois, Old Time Music, Gospel, Western, Swing, Classical, and Jazz as our instructors. These most respected teachers eat all their meals with the students, teach in small classes, and take the time to have many one-on-one sessions throughout the week. At the end of the week the instructors and students put on a concert for the community.

 
 
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Kristin Andreassen

Kristin Andreassen is a singer, a songwriter and a percussive dancer who combines those skills in musical performances that are both “inventive” (The New Yorker) and “haunting” (NPR’s Folk Alley). Before releasing her 2015 album Gondolier, she toured as a member of some the most respected acoustic groups of the 2000s: the stringband Uncle Earl, the "folk noir” singing trio Sometymes Why, and the Appalachian clogging troupe Footworks. Kristin's songs range from the playfulness of her #1 children’s hit "Crayola Doesn't Make a Color for Your Eyes” to emotive soundscapes as heard on Showtime’s The Affair and in this shadow art video collaboration with 2016 Miles of Music instructor Anna Roberts-Gevalt. An experienced teacher and square dance caller, Kristin is a true believer in the transformative power of music camps for all ages. She’s been on staff at a dozen such camps including Miles of Music, the songwriting and traditional camp she co-founded in 2011. Kristin studied creative writing, history and community development at Montreal’s McGill University, and she is nearly as surprised as her parents that she's found a career where she uses those three skills in seemingly perfect balance. 


Sami Braman

Sami Braman has been playing the fiddle since she was six years old, growing up in the traditional Old-Time music scene around the Pacific Northwest. She began taking lessons from an old-time fiddler in Seattle, and then continued her study with Ruthie Dornfeld. Only a couple years after starting the fiddle, she formed a band with two long-time musical buddies, Leo Shannon and Riley Calcagno, called The Onlies. With the trio, she plays traditional old-time, original, and Irish/Scottish fiddle tunes and songs. While she mostly plays fiddle with the band, she also contributes vocals and guitar. The band has had opportunities to perform with Elvis Costello, Darol Anger, Laurie Lewis, Rushad Eggleston, Kristin Andreassen, the Bee Eaters, and Altan. They have performed up and down the West Coast, at Northwest Folklife Festival, the Berkeley Old-Time Convention, and the Portland Old-Time Gathering, recorded and released two full-length albums: Setting out to Sea in 2013 and Long Before Light in 2015 (produced by Tristan Clarridge). Last summer, they recorded an album in Asheville, NC, with old-time music heroes John Herrmann and Meredith McIntosh to be released summer 2017. Now a student at Whitman College, Sami plays and teaches frequently around the small college town of Walla Walla, as well as occasionally touring on school breaks. Sami plays with energy, a driving bow, and a love for the traditional music community she has grown up in. 

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Riley Calcagno

Riley Calcagno is a young multi-instrumentalist roots musician from Seattle, WA. Immersed in Old-time fiddle from an early age, he grew up at festivals around the Pacific Northwest, falling asleep in the back of square dances and later sitting at the feet of old masters as he learned the music. He now feels at home on banjo, guitar, mandolin, and voice as well and is a founding member of the Onlies, a folk band described as “masterful” and “deliciously well-crafted” (Kithfolk) on the forefront of a new generation of traditional acoustic string music. Riley has performed with Elvis Costello, Darol Anger, Bruce Molsky, Altan, Laurie Lewis, Tristan Clarridge, Tashina Clarridge, and John Herrmann. He has also recorded with The Onlies, John Herrmann, Scrape, and as a session musician. He is now a first year at Oberlin College and Conservatory studying liberal arts and violin performance. Comfortable playing a concerto in a concert hall or banjo in a grange hall, Riley draws the listener in and shares music in a passionate and inviting way with the “profound ability to listen deeply and reply in kind” (Laurie Lewis) well beyond his years.


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Rick chelew

Rick Chelew--guitar/vocalsRick takes a fresh, original, and very musical approach to his material--whether it’s one of his own compositions, a familiar song from Dylan, The Beatles or Motown , or something more obscure from one of his British guitarist/songwriter mentors such as John Martyn, Richard Thompson, John Renbourn or Bert Jansch—Chelew makes it his own, welcoming the listener to hear it in a brand new way.Rick says, "Music is a conversation between the player and the listener. I like to let the audience, the room, and the tone of the day effect the performance, so we are building something together. That way it's new and different every time."Rick has been a familiar figure on Central Coast stages for twenty years, playing with Andrea's Fault, The Cachagua Playboys, Nico Georis, Heartstrings, Keith Greeninger, The Hayboys, Northstar, and others. He is also a record producer, with credits including Dave Van Ronk (“Live in Monterey”), Pentangle’s "Open the Door" and Bert Jansch's "Heartbreak", which was recently re-released to wide acclaim and was a New York Times Christmas Pick.


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William Coulter

William Coulter is an internationally acclaimed, Grammy award winning master of the steel-string guitar. His most recent recording Fire & Grace, with Canadian violin virtuoso Edwin Huizinga, is an eclectic collection of Classical and Traditional music. Coulter has been Music Director for Tomaseen Foley’s A Celtic Christmas since 1998, and has performed with the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival, Apollo’s Fire and many other ensembles. In March of 2016 he debuted Celtic Journey, a full length pops concert with the Omaha Symphony featuring Irish singers, dancers, musicians and storyteller. Collaborations have been a mainstay of his career including tours and recordings with Gourd Music artists Neal Hellman and Barry and Shelley Phillips; classical guitar virtuoso Benjamin Verdery, and Irish flute wizard Brian Finnegan.  His trio, One Lane Bridge, with fiddler John Weed and cellist Aria DiSalvio released it’s first CD in 2014. Tours have taken him around the states and to Ireland, Europe, Taiwan and most recently to Chile. Coulter teaches classical guitar at UC Santa Cruz and at many summer camps and festivals. Upcoming projects include a new recording with Native Irish singer Eilis Kennedy, and performances with the Edwin Huizinga. Coulter earned degrees from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and UC Santa Cruz.


Wilhelmina Frankzerda

Wilhelmina Frankzerda is a fiddler and songwriter based in Nashville, TN. Her roots go deep in to traditional American music as well as celtic, classical, and pop music. She is the former Oregon State Fiddle Contest Junior Champion, National Twin Fiddle Champion, and was selected to study and collaborate at the Savannah Acoustic Music Seminar twice. She recently released her debut album, FLIGHT, as well as an album with her folk duo, Paper Wings. My websites are: wilhelminamusic.com and paperwingsmusic.com


Georgy Gusev

A graduate of the famed Moscow Tchaikovsky State Conservatory in May 2012, Georgy moved to Italy to study with Giovanni Sollima and earn a diploma of “Master of Cello” at Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Dicember 2015. He performs at major festival and venues worldwide along/and with such world-renowned musicians and actors such as Natalia Gutman, Giovanni Sollima, Enrico Dindo, Rocco Filippini, Monika Leskovar, Boris Andrianov, Eliso Virsaladze, Moni Ovadia and others. As a teacher he worked at Moscow Tchaikovsky State Conservatory (2011-2014), Accademia Musicale Praeneste and Conservatorio di Musica Santa Cecilia in Rome (2014-2016). Also he gives masterclasses and private lessons in United States, China, Russia, France, Switzerland and Italy. As a composer, among his recent projects there is a series of compositions for cello solo named The Traveler’s Diary (originally Breviario per Nomadi) that has been used as a background for various shows by the Italian national television RAI and a few films. His first solo (as a cellist and composer) album Cello Drive was sponsored by Thomastik-Infeld and released by UK label North2North in July 2016. Besides performing, teaching and writing music Georgy founded and Association of young musicians “Creative Laboratory GOSH Projects” whish is actively promoting the cultural exchange between Russian and Italian musicians organizing Italo-Russian master classes, lections and workshops in Rome and, respectively, in Moscow. He is also a founder of the International Music Festival “Masters of Music” held each year in Moscow since 2013. In Los Angeles, Georgy had the chance to work with two Grammy Awards winner composer Walter Afanasieff. He plays a cello by Ernst Liebich (Breslau, 1889)


Alex Hargreaves

Newest member of the world renowned, Grammy award-winning, Turtle Island Quartet, Alex Hargreaves is an innovative, cross-genre violinist described as “one of the greatest improvising violinists in America today” by virtuoso mandolinist/composer Mike Marshall, and “the best young jazz violinist in America” by Matt Glaser, artistic director of Berklee College of Music, American Roots Program. Since 2008, Alex has been performing regularly on stages around the world, including Austin City Limits, Panama Jazz Festival, A Prairie Home Companion, Grand Ole Opry, Cambridge (UK) Folk Festival, Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals, Bonnaroo, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, as well as in France, Italy, Spain, and South Korea. He joined the Turtle Island Quartet in January, 2016. At age 17, Alex, along with bassist Paul Kowert (Punch Brothers), teamed with Mike Marshall to form The Big Trio, and performed together extensively following the release of their self-titled album (Adventure Music 2008). From 2007-2014, Alex toured with Grammy-nominated singer/multi-instrumentalist, Sarah Jarosz, appearing on her three critically acclaimed albums, Song Up In Her Head, Follow Me Down and Build Me Up From Bones (Sugar Hill Records), as well as being featured on her Grammy-nominated instrumental, Mansinneedof.  In between, he has also toured with Jerry Douglas, David Grisman, Bela Fleck, Danilo Perez, Darol Anger, Noam Pikelny, Leftover Salmon and has performed with many others including Mark O’Connor, Chris Thile, Brian Blade, Tim O’Brien and Sam Bush. In pursuit of his passion for jazz and improvisational music, Alex completed the prestigious Berklee Global Jazz Institute at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Under the artistic direction of world-renowned pianist Danilo Perez (Wayne Shorter Quartet), the program allowed Alex to work one-on-one with a select group of faculty, including Perez, Joe Lovano, and John Patitucci. While studying at Berklee, Alex toured with Danilo Perez, and recorded on Perez’s album, Panama 500 (Mack Avenue Records, 2014). The all-star lineup on the recording includes jazz icons John Patitucci, Brian Blade, Ben Street, Adam Cruz and others. Recently, Alex recorded and toured with longtime friends and musical collaborators Dominick Leslie, Nathaniel Smith and Samson Grisman. Their EP The Brotet, was released in June 2014.


Edwin Huizinga

Canadian-born Dutch violinist Edwin Huizinga has a reputation as one of North America’s most versatile violinists. This season Edwin will be touring North America, and New Zealand with his duo Fire & Grace, with legendary guitarist William Coulter. Edwin is also a member of a 5 piece Canadian Indie-Rock band called The Wooden Sky. Edwin can be found on stage performing with Yo Yo Ma, Itzaak Perlman, Dawn Upshaw, Mike Marshall, and Steve Wonder. Edwin is a founding member of the Classical Revolution, as well as the 12 piece, New York City based early music band called ACRONYM ENSEMBLE. This year he has been commissioned to write a piece for Canada’s 150th Anniversary, will be a guest artistic-director with the Carmel Bach Festival, as well as being Artistic Director of the Big Sur Land Trust’s camp for kids.  Check out more info and videos at www.edwinhuizinga.comnew album "Fire and Grace" out now!!! 


Phoebe Hunt

Phoebe Hunt began playing violin at age 6 studying the Suzuki method.  Raised in a family of musicians, she began exploring alternative styles of music in her teen years, studying Jazz improvisation at the University Of Texas at Austin.  Additionally, she began branching out further into the fiddle world studying country, swing, bluegrass and has ventured as far as to study in India with Master Violinist Kala Ramnath.  Phoebe currently is touring with her band, Phoebe Hunt and The Gatherers and has been a touring musician for the past decade.  She brings an amalgamation of influences into her teaching styles.


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Nicholas Leahy

Nicholas Leahy is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist living in Big Sur. His focus is mainly on the claw-hammer banjo and the square-neck dobro. Nicholas has over 12 years experience and teaches songwriting annually at the Esalen institute in Big Sur.


Dominick Leslie

27 year old mandolinist Dominick Leslie has spent every one of those years immersed in bluegrass and acoustic music, and his innovative style and musical curiosity are clearly informed by these deep roots.  He has studied with mandolin masters David Grisman, Mike Marshall and Chris Thile, won numerous mandolin championships, and performed abroad with several different musical configurations. He has toured with The Deadly Gentlemen, Missy Raines, The Bee Eaters, The Grant Gordy Quartet, Noam Pikelny and Friends, The Infamous Stringdusters, Tony Trischka, The Brotet featuring Sam Grisman, Alex Hargreaves and Nathaniel Smith and can currently be seen performing with Phoebe Hunt and the Gatherers and several other NYC based bands. Dominickleslie.comPhoebehuntmusic.com


Leo Shannon

Leo Shannon grew up hearing traditional Irish and Old Time music around the house, and since picking up the fiddle for the first time at age 5, he has found a home for himself in the trad music communities of the Northwest and far beyond. He grew up in Seattle, playing with and learning from older musicians, as well as forming a band (The Onlies) at age seven with two longtime friends, Riley Calcagno and Sami Braman, with whom he has played festivals and concert venues across the country. In high school, he played guitar in the internationally-renown Garfield High School Jazz band, under the direction of Clarence Acox. He recently spent three months traveling and playing Old Time and Irish music in Ireland and Wales, and currently resides and makes as much music as he can in Asheville, North Carolina.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJpRSDzFAZMhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9g9_gyNLci0


Makiah Star

Makiah Star is a 23 year old, self taught singer-songwriter from Big Sur California. Makiah has been writing and performing her own songs since age 7 and now spends her summers creating, organizing and teaching both acting and singing camps for the local youth of Big Sur. Makiah is known for her fun yet effective way of teaching songwriting and vocal improv to kids. Favoring styles such as folk, country and blues, she helps kids find their voice and become fluid in songwriting, stage presence, harmonizing and improvising.


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Roy Williams

Roy Williams, an American songwriter, guitarist, and multi-instrumentalist, writes music with a curious ear and an open mind. From the classic pop tunes heard on the first cassette Roy owned—The Beatles “Live at the BBC in 1963”—to the incomparable instrumental canon of Django Reinhart, Roy’s influences eclipse genre categorization, a trait that is reflected in the adventurous spirit of his own original songs. After growing up in Clark’s Green, Pennsylvania, in a musical house where Neil Young, Buffalo Springfield, and especially The Beatles were religion, Roy began playing gigs in nearby Scranton and soon moved to New York City to perform gypsy jazz with renowned guitarist Stephane Wrembel. Roy worked with Wrembel for four years and toured throughout Central America, Asia, Africa, and Europe. He now lives in Brooklyn, New York, where he regularly plays out with his mentors and friends Jim Campilongo, Nick Driscoll, and Alex Hargreaves, and leads his own band. Roy often performs on piano, mandolin, bass, and has known how to play a G chord on guitar since he can remember. He released his debut solo album, Throwing Punches, in February 2015, which features ten original compositions. Roy is currently at work on two upcoming albums: a compilation of instrumental songs by his group Roy Williams and the Human Hands (featuring Alex Hargreaves and Nick Driscoll), and a solo record of rock n roll tunes.