The 2019 Harvest Moon Dance Weekend’s guest artists are musicians Kate Barnes, Earl Gaddis, and Jonathan Whitall, and caller Graham Christian.
Kate Barnes has been playing piano, flute, guitar, and assorted other instruments for traditional dancing since 1971, and has been invited to most major contra, square, British Isles, and vintage dance events throughout the United States, performing for dances and concerts and leading ensemble workshops. She has also played for festivals and tours in England, France, Denmark, Shetland, Scotland, and Czechoslovakia, and has worked with the bands The Latter-Day Lizards, Bare Necessities, Yankee Ingenuity, Big Bandemonium, The 3rd String Trio, Crazy Quilt, and The Dactyls, appearing on too many recordings to list.
Publications include three collections of English country dance tunes; widely used collections of English traditional dance music; A Little Couple Dancemusik, a collection of 400 traditional couple dance tunes; and Interview With a Vamper, an instruction book of piano techniques.
Earl Gaddis is a full-time dance musician who has been playing violin and viola for various combinations of English, Scottish, American, and international dancing for more than fifty years. He plays at dance camps, workshops, balls, festivals, and dances throughout the United States, in Canada, and abroad. As a member of Bare Necessities, Earl has made eighteen recordings of English Country Dance music so far, and he has recorded with a number of other musicians as well. He lives in great contentment on ten acres of woods in Plainwell, Michigan with his wife Sherry Brodock.
Jonathan Whitall, originally from Pittsburgh, grew up studying classical piano and violin. A family friend introduced him to Irish music in the mid-1990s, and he became interested in the tunes, studying the work of masters such as Tommy Peoples and John Doherty. He honed his piano and fiddle technique playing with Donnybrook and other Chicago-area musicians. More recently, he turned his attention to the distinctive style of Cape Breton music, taking inspiration from musicians including Glenn Graham, Joel Chaisson, and Troy MacGillivray. Drawing from a variety of traditions as well as his extensive tune knowledge, he provides intricate, energetic, and tasteful accompaniment. He also fiddles with the Cosmic Otters, a contra dance band.
Graham Christian is a historian, musician, and writer, and his recent publication, “The Playford Assembly: 125 Early English Country Dances, 1651 – c. 1820” has been celebrated at the Library of Congress and by international audiences. He is a regular contributor to CDSS News and continues to pursue larger projects at the intersection of choreography and social history. Complementing his unparalleled knowledge of English country dance history, Graham’s clear, precise teaching style and his richly crafted programs of dances old and new put him in great demand as a caller across the United States and beyond.