Performer Bios

/Performer Bios
Performer Bios2018-06-08T18:10:54+00:00

Alan McClintock
Alan McClintock shares thoughtfully told stories from his native Albany and world folktales. He has been featured at the Dance Flurry Festival, NY State Museum, Schoharie Crossing, Riverway Storytelling Festival, Clearwater Festival, Story Sundays, and the 2006 Albany History Fair.

Allison McDermott
Allison McDermott is a circus artist based in Middletown, CT. She is a graduate of the New England Center for Circus Arts’ Professional Track program and is currently performing, coaching and creating circus throughout the New England region.

Ani DiFranco
Ani DiFranco is a songwriter, vocalist and guitarist perpetually on the move. From the raw “folk punk” of her early albums through the jazz/funk grooves during her years touring with a five-piece band to the twists and turns of her current work as a solo artist, Ani’s restless creativity continually leads her and her listeners into ever more exciting territory.

Arm-of-the-Sea Theater
Arm-of-the-Sea was founded in 1982 as an experimental hybrid performance group combining art, ecology and social action, and continues to experiment with this ephemeral art form as a symbolic visual language that can illuminate the links between human communities and the life-support processes of the planet.

Barry Marshall
Barry Marshall, half of the musical storytelling duo, The Storycrafters, lives by the following sayings: “Storytellers tell the truth, no matter how much they have to lie to do it” & “Everything I tell you is the truth, except for the stuff I lie about.”

BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet
For 42 years, BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet has been making some of the most potent and popular Cajun music on the planet. Born out of the rich Acadian ancestry of its members, and created and driven by bandleader Michael Doucet’s spellbinding fiddle playing and soulful vocals, BeauSoleil is notorious for bringing even the most staid audience to its feet.

Beth Orton
Beth Orton is one of the most unique and beguiling voices in British music. Pairing her inimitable voice to a synthesis of electronic and acoustic instruments, Beth earned a Mercury nomination with her first album Trailer Park and won the Brit Award for Best British Female Artist with the follow up, Central Reservation.

Betsayda Machado
Betsayda Machado is the voice of Venezuela. Raised in the small village of El Clavo in the region of Barlovento, her recent rural recordings with lifelong friends Parranda El Clavo brought new attention to Venezuelan Afro-Soul genre: ‘Tambor’. A spirit-shaking percussion and voice fiesta, said to make dancers float.

Betty and the Baby Boomers
The Boomers have been singing about the Hudson since debuting at Revival 1987. Four-part harmonies and sparkling guitar and Dobro highlight a repertoire ranging from originals covered by Pete Seeger to gems gathered while singing from the Catskills to Connemara.

C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band
C.J. Chenier, a Creole born and raised in an indigenous American culture, delivers soulful vocal and accordion! The Grammy nominated, world renowned musician and recording artist has performed alongside many artists including his Grammy awarded father, Clifton Chenier.

Choir! Choir! Choir!
Daveed Goldman and Nobu Adilman (AKA “DaBu”) started Choir! Choir! Choir! as a weekly drop-in singing event in February 2011. Now happening twice weekly at Clinton’s Tavern in Toronto and touring internationally, C!C!C! boasts a dedicated and passionate membership of inspired singers. They have included guest singers such as Rufus Wainwright, Tegan and Sara, and Patti Smith.

Colin Meloy
Colin Meloy is the writer of the bestselling Wildwood Chronicles and the singer and songwriter for the band The Decemberists. The Golden Thread: A Song for Pete Seeger is his first picture book. He once joined Pete Seeger onstage, singing American folk standards at the Newport Folk Festival in 2011, and, even now, he can barely believe it actually happened.

Dan Zanes and Claudia Eliaza
For the past 15 years, Grammy Award-winner Dan Zanes he has toured the world with his band, Dan Zanes and Friends, sharing handmade 21st century social music with enthusiastic crowds of kids and kid sympathizers. Claudia Eliaza is an exuberant Haitian American songstress with a rich voice that captivates her audience at large.

Dave Alvin & Jimmie Dale Gilmore
Roots music legends, Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore, have been friends for 30 years. In 2017, Grammy winner Alvin and Grammy nominee Gilmore, hit the highway to swap songs, tell stories, and share their life experiences.

David Amram
A composer, as well as a pioneer player of jazz French horn, Amram is also a virtuoso on piano, numerous flutes and whistles, percussion, and dozens of folkloric instruments from 25 countries, and an inventive, funny improvisational lyricist. 

David and Jacob Bernz
David and Jacob Bernz present “The Lost River Tapes,” new songs and traditional tunes, many from their newly released recording project. Jake and David hail from Beacon, NY, where roots music has found a home in the Hudson Valley.

Multi-instrumentalist Matt Turk and Grammy winner C Lanzbom joined forces to form Deadgrass. The acoustic 5 piece string band celebrates the music of Jerry Garcia, performing a repertoire from Old and in the Way, Grisman/Garcia, JGB and the Grateful Dead.

Diane Macklin
Storyteller Diane Macklin has a “dynamic” approach to engaging audiences – whether as a performing artist, keynote speaker, or workshop/residency leader. As a performer, certified educator, and teaching artist, Diane believes in “Making a Difference, One Story at a Time!”

Donna “Banjolelelady” Nestler
Donna has been spreading the joy of uke around the world since 2000! This multi-instrumentalist will make you smile with the varied music styles performed. You’ll also learn some ukulele basics and beyond. Join the fun and strum along!

Douglas Ridloff
Douglas Ridloff is a fearless visual artist, poet, performer, actor, consultant, producer, and owner and executive director of ASL SLAM, a monthly open mic event in NYC, DC, Chicago, and Orlando. He has curated performances at several museums and done ASL consultation for film and TV.

Ezzell Floranina
Ezzell Floranina is a favorite at the Clearwater Festival with her many stilt characters and costumes. She is the artistic director at ART Works! Mobile Arts and Culture dedicated to making the arts accessible for all abilities and financial means.

From the deepest darkest bilges of the Mystic Whaler and Clearwater arose this merry band of musical misfits called Funkinships. These post-folk absurdists have one goal – to Shanghai you into their band. Stop listening to music and make some.

Heidi Kirchofer
Heidi Kirchofer is co-founder of Matica Arts, whose focus is Circus, World Music, and the Moving Arts. She is the creator of Whole Body Math, a curriculum-infused kinesthetic moving math program. Heidi and her partner opened THRIVE Movement Studio in Harwinton, CT.

Hot Rize
Hot Rize has been astounding the bluegrass world with their fresh, contemporary approach to traditional music ever since their formation in 1978. The band’s unique, progressive style of bluegrass, powerful original songs, and dynamic stage show made them stars on the major festival circuit and beyond.

Hudson Valley Sally
Rooted in the activist music tradition “their freshness reminds us why we fell in love with folk music in the first place. They make the oldest songs sound new, and the newest feel like comfortable old clothes.” (Si Kahn)

Ira & Laurie McIntosh
For decades this pair has been singing to make the world a better place, bringing songs about food, farms, and fun to festival stages, concert halls, communities, schools, and more. Join them in singing to nourish our bodies and souls.

Jalen N’Gonda
Truly life-enriching soul music is an indomitable force of nature. No matter what sub-genre our current crop of musicologists may cite in the very near future to describe Jalen N’Gonda’s riveting nu-soul approach, he’s unequivocally the real deal, blending classic and contemporary soul influences to create a sound that’s all his own.

James Bruchac
Growing up in the Adirondack foothills, James Bruchac found himself immersed in storytelling, native culture and the natural world. Some of his best known publications include How The Chipmunk Got His Stripes, When The Chenoo Howls: Native Tales of Terror, The Girl Who Helped Thunder, Rabbits Snow Dance, and Scats & Tracks of The Northeast.
Jan Christensen
Jan Christensen is an interpreter of maritime and river songs, and a songwriter of tunes like “The Ghosts of Ellis Island” and “Rumrunner.” He’s a member of The Hudson River Sloop Singers, The New York Packet, and Harbortown.

Jay Ungar & Molly Mason
Jay and Molly are enormously talented musicians who draw their repertoire from a wide range of American musical styles: 19th-century classics, Appalachian, Cajun, and Celtic fiddle tunes and the golden age of country and swing, along with their own songs, fiddle tunes, and orchestral compositions.

Jeff Tweedy
Songwriter Jeff Tweedy will release Together At Last, a new solo acoustic collection, June 23. Recorded at Tweedy’s Chicago studio The Loft, the album features intimate renditions of 11 Tweedy songs previously released by Wilco and by Tweedy’s occasional side projects Loose Fur and Golden Smog.

Jennifer Munro
Jennifer Munro creates personal and mythological stories that take you to places both ancient and new. Resonating with the frailty and courage of the human condition, they will make you smile and cheer. She has performed at major festivals, most notably, the National Festival, Jonesborough, TN.

Jimmy Bosch Y Su Sexteto del Otro Mundo
Jimmy has perfected an expressive style of playing the trombone, which has become his trademark. He’s famous for the countless performances in which he’s captivated the public with flaring melodies, and rhythmic patterns charged with soul, intensity, and funk.

Joakim Lartey
Joakim Lartey, storyteller, percussionist and educator, was born in Ghana and lives in the Hudson Valley. He has worked in schools and a wide array of performance spaces. He shares ancestral tales and fables from Africa and other parts of the world.

Joanne Shenandoah
Joanne Shenandoah, Ph.D, is one of America’s most celebrated and critically acclaimed musicians. She is a Grammy Award winner with over 40 music awards (including a record 13 Native American Music awards) and 17 recordings.

Joel Melendez
Joel Melendez, Co-founder of the touring duo Matica Arts, is known for his unicycling, clowning, improvisational, and acrobatic skills. In 2014 Joel and his partner opened THRIVE Movement Studio in Harwinton where Joel teaches Capoeira and ground Circus arts.

Josh White Jr.
Josh White Jr. marked the 70th year of this storied career in 2014, as a celebrated performer, folk/ blues/ spirituals/ jazz recording artist, TONY Award winning actor, educator, humanitarian and social activist, and the heir and namesake to the legendary Josh White.

Joy Kelly Smith
Joy has told stories almost all of her life. After graduating college, Joy began and still pursues a theatrical career both acting and directing. As a storyteller, Joy has told at several venues as well as in various museums, schools and libraries, and works as a teaching artist.

Karim Nagi Turbo Tabla
Turbo Tabla is the innovative music and performance of Egyptian artist Karim Nagi. He combines the spontaneity of a live drum, the stylistic intensity of a DJ, and the visual excitement of dance. The live performance is an interactive dance party.

Kim & Reggie Harris
Musicians and storytellers, Kim and Reggie Harris combine a strong folk and gospel legacy with a background in classical, rock and pop music. Creative curiosity and years of stage experience have led them to produce music that entertains and inspires.

KJ Denhert
Westchester resident KJ Denhert is an award winning singer songwriter. WFUV’s John Platt described KJ as “almost like Tuck and Patti rolled into one”. She’s got 10 albums and great road stories. KJ performs in NYC and the Hudson Valley regularly.

Langhorne Slim
The songs on Langhorne Slim’s newest album, Lost At Last Vol. 1 challenge the idea of social rigidity: the attitude that there’s a “correct” way for us to live and a side we should be on. He urges the world to see through the idea that by following that path and focusing only on fitting the mold, one will have lived a good life.

Making Movies
Making Movies blends pulsing Afro-Latino rhythms, psychedelic jams and rock ’n’ roll swagger into powerful live performances. Armed with the ambitious and politically charged 2017 release I Am Another You, the Kansas City band punches out one high-energy song after another.

Margaret Glaspy
Born Yesterday is a bookend to New York singer-songwriter, Margaret Glaspy’s lauded 2016 debut Emotions and Math. Glaspy self-produced the new EP, which frames these love stories in catchy choruses, dark harmony, and her ever evolving sense of the electric guitar. Her finely tuned ear for production and tone shine on Born Yesterday.

Marva P Clark
Marva Parker Clark was born in Horsehead, VA to John and Edith Parker. Her mother prayed for her to be a musician and bought a piano before she was born. Now Marva helps others realize their own musicality through song.

Mary Murphy
Mary Murphy is a writer and teller of stories. Her work is published in magazines and anthologies. Mary is a member of the Hudson Valley Writers Guild and The Story Circle of the Capital District. She recently edited a collection of memoirs for the Easton, NY Public Library.

Matt Turk
Web music authority All Music Guide calls him “…an artist to be reckoned with.” A seasoned recording artist, multi-instrumentalist and veteran performer, Turk has engaged audiences around the world, both as a rocking bandleader and an acoustic folk troubadour.

Mel and Vinnie
Maryellen Healy and Vinnie Cerniglia are longtime Hudson River Sloop Singers. Mel and Vinnie have been hosting “Sing Out for Pete” a workshop at the Will McLean Festival in Florida. They bring sing along wherever they go.

Michele Carlo
Michele Carlo, author of the NYC-set memoir Fish Out Of Agua: My life on neither side of the (subway) tracks, is a storyteller/performer who has appeared on the MOTH’s Grand Slams and Mainstage shows, NPR, and PBS. She hosts the podcast “Fish Out Of Agua.”

Chapel Hill’s indie Americana quartet Mipso – Jacob Sharp, Wood Robinson, Joseph Terrell, and Libby Rodenbough – released their fifth album, Edges Run, on April 6th, 2018. Influenced by the contradiction of its progressive home and the surrounding rural southern landscapes, Mipso was recently recognized by Rolling Stone as an “Artist You Need to Know.”

Nate Marshall
“Nate the Great” has been performing for the past 12 years. His shows are interactive, great for kids and adults, and include the juggling of (at least!) 5 clubs, 6 rings, 7 balls, and 1-2 children, as well as comedy routines.

Parker Millsap
Parker Millsap is quickly making a name for himself with his captivating live performances, soulful sound, and character-driven narratives. Parker’s most recent release, The Very Last Day, has received praise from The New York Times, The Boston Globe, LA Times, Austin Chronicle and Rolling Stone to name a few.

Paul Richmond
Paul Richmond joined the Clearwater Festival in 1985, performing on stages and throughout the grounds. He can usually be found at the front gate entertaining everyone as they enter. He enjoys sharing juggling as a metaphor for life.

Rhiannon Giddens
Singer-songwriter Rhiannon Giddens is the co-founder of the Grammy award-winning string band Carolina Chocolate Drops. Giddens’ Grammy nominated solo debut, Tomorrow Is My Turn, masterfully blends gospel, jazz, blues, and country. Her follow-up album Freedom Highway was released in February, 2017.

Rick Nestler
Comments on Grammy winner Rick Nestler: “The “Terror of the River”…a whiskey tenor…one of the
best shantymen…Raffish Rick Nestler,” – Pete Seeger. “Rick has a songbag that would have made Alan Lomax green with envy!” – Ron Olesko WFDU-FM.

Rik Palieri
Rik Palieri, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist & storyteller has performed in all 50 states and throughout the world. Rik hosts the TV show Song Writer’s Notebook, archived in The Library Of Congress, and is the author of his memoir The Road Is My Mistress.

River Whyless
With three superlative singers and songwriters in O’Keefe, Anderson and Shearin, River Whyless consciously worked to blur the designation of a lead singer on We All The Light, deftly blending the three voices throughout the record.

Roger The Jester
Roger the Jester has been fooling around for over 40 years. His trail of laughter and smiles wanders through 25 countries. His improvisational style mixes object manipulation, magic and buffoonery to ensure that his audience is entertained.

Rona Leventhal
Rona Leventhal calls storytelling “Living Literacy” (c), which develops what she calls “The Imagination Muscle” (c). Her first CD, “Into the Dark: Stories From the Shadows (Creepy Stories for Adults and Fearless Teens)” is now available.

Sarah Underhill
Long before crewing the sloop Clearwater as a teenager, Sarah has been singing traditional music. Her new album Bound Out For Canaan features the group Stockport Middle Ground. Joined by Ben Bath, Creek Iversen, Aldo Lavaggi and Rik Palieri, it celebrates the music of Appalachia.

Sloan Wainwright
Singer/songwriter Sloan Wainwright commands of a variety of American musical styles held together by the melodious tone of her rich contralto. Her family tree (Loudon Wainwright, Rufus Wainwright, Martha Wainwright and Lucy Wainwright Roche) reads like a who’s who of contemporary folk music.

Terrance Simien & The Zydeco Experience
For 35 years, two- time GRAMMY award winning artist Terrance Simien, 8th generation Louisiana Creole has been shattering the myths about what his indigenous Zydeco roots music is and is not. Leading his Zydeco Experience band, Simien has become one of the most respected and accomplished artists in American roots music today.

The Amazing Max
Max Darwin stars earned the moniker “The Amazing Max” for his extraordinary skills as a magician and ability to entertain audiences while keeping the little ones spellbound. TV credits: Brain Games (NatGeo), Sneaky Pete(Amazon), Game Farm.

The Dirty Stay Out Skifflers
The ‘Skifflers -Dan Berger (harmonica), Rick Nestler (guitar, vocals),Tom Pfeister (trombone), Donna Nestler (banjolele, vocals)- have performed with Pete Seeger, Tom Chapin, The Kennedys, Jay and Molly, Hope Machine, and others. Come join them, never know who’ll be there!

The Edukated Fleas
“We’re 78 rpm in an MP3 world!” With a repertoire that includes swing tunes, standards and cowboy tunes from the 20s through 50s, the Fleas – Greg Doyle and Wendy Matthews – are itching to play their ukuleles for you.

The Greenheart
The Greenheart is an eco-justice folk rock group that creates, communicates and celebrates solutions to environmental challenges. A river runs through us. All in.

The Kennedys
Pete and Maura Kennedy will celebrate their 23rd anniversary this year, both as a band and a married couple. 2015 saw the release of “West,” an instant classic Kennedys duo set that seamlessly weaves their influences over the last two decades.

The Levins
A harmony-driven acoustic duo. Sun-splashed, peace-filled, contemporary folk that connects on a universal level and celebrates our common humanity. Award-winning singer-songwriters featuring unique harmonies, tightly blended unison vocals and choice guitar/piano arrangements.

The Lost River Boys
The Lost River Boys’ Roy Diggit and Patrick Stanfield Jones will be dedicating this set to the memory of Lost River Roys member Dan Einbender, who recently passed away.

The Mammals (Feat Mike + Ruthy)
Mike + Ruthy, American folk act and founders of The Mammals, are bringing back the band name that gave them their start. In 2017, The Mammals released a rowdy video of On My Way Home and the singles Culture War, Lilac Breeze, and My Baby Drinks Water.

The Mavericks
The Mavericks were founded over 25 years ago by Malo and Deakin as a standout alternative band in a Miami rock scene dominated by hair metal and punk. Their blend of Cuban grooves and Bakersfield-inspired twang netted them several CMA and ACM Awards plus a Grammy in 1995. They charted numerous singles and albums while earning accolades as one of the finest live bands in the business.

The Nields
XVII, the Nields’ seventeenth album, is both their most personal and their most community-minded. Well into their third decade as a musical partners and at the very top of their game, the Nields turn to meditations on time, and turning points, their roots and community, but they also express joy in the present, faith in the future, and a whole lot of hope and promise.

The War And Treaty
The War and Treaty: the name itself represents the pull between trauma and tranquility, music inspired by darkness and despair that ultimately finds a higher spiritual purpose. It’s a sound manifested on the group’s upcoming EP, Down to the River.

They Might Be Giants
2018 just got a whole lot better! Brooklyn’s Ambassadors of Love, They Might Be Giants are back with a brilliant new studio album, I Like Fun; they’re back with their Dial-A-Song service at; and they’re back on the road with a new show with an expanded line-up of musicians.

Tom Chapin
Tom has maintained two long and productive parallel careers, both as a highly respected contemporary folk artist, and as pioneer in the field of children’s music. In the former he’s established a reputation for insightful, heartfelt song craft and charismatic live performances.

Tom Paxton & The DonJuans
Collectively, their songs have been covered by: Harry Belafonte, John Mellencamp, Miranda Lambert, Neil Diamond, Ray Charles, Nancy Griffith, Judy Collins, Pete Seeger, Janis Ian, Kathy Mattea, John Denver, Peter, Paul & Mary and Bob Dylan just to name a few! Within days of writing and playing together, they knew they were onto something.

Tony Duncan
Tony Duncan has shamelessly flaunted a few God-­given talents since 1978 (using all original material): Most Original Act (Variety Artist World Cup 1995, Japan), World Champion (47th Annual IJA), and Outstanding Variety Entertainer (Backstage Magazine).

Upstate Rubdown
Drawing from every corner and decade of America’s musical landscape, Upstate Rubdown has been described as a “hurricane of sound”. The unique instrumentation includes mandolin, cajon, upright bass, and alto/baritone saxophone, all fronted by a powerhouse of 3-part female vocal harmony.

Vanaver Caravan
The Vanaver Caravan is a world touring company of dancers and musicians that presents a variety of entertaining and informative programs, synthesizing various ethnic and regional styles from Appalachian clogging to flamenco with a range of modern theatre techniques.

Walkabout Clearwater Chorus
The Walkabout Clearwater Chorus was created by Pete Seeger to bring the environmental message to the sloop Clearwater inland. Walkabout appears on Pete Seeger’s Grammy-winning CD, Pete Seeger ’89, on PBS-aired Peter Yarrow’s Sing-along Special and has its own CD, They Had A Song.

Willie Nile
The New York Times called Willie Nile “one of the most gifted singer-songwriters to emerge from the New York scene in years.” In 2017 Willie Nile released his 11th studio album Positively Bob – Willie Bile Sings Bob Dylan to rave reviews.

Work o’ the Weavers
Work o’ the Weavers is David Bernz, Mark Murphy, Martha Sandefer, and Travis Jeffrey. Since 2003, they have been recreating the music and telling the history of America’s pioneering folk quartet, The Weavers (Pete Seeger, Lee Hays, Ronnie Gilbert, Fred Hellerman).

Yael Deckelbaum & Prayer of The Mothers Ensemble
Yael Deckelbaum is an award-winning Israeli/Canadian singer-songwriter and activist. She is a founding member of the legendary trio Habanot Nechama, who had a #1 hit in Israel with their single “So Far”. Yael wrote and composed the song “Prayer of The Mothers” which turned into the anthem of the march of hope, led by the movement “Women Wage Peace”.

Zeshan B
Born in Chicago to Indian Muslim immigrants, Zeshan Bagewadi’s musical identity was formed at the junction of two different worlds which collide on his debut album Vetted, a mixtape of originals and lesser known 1960s and ‘70s deep soul gems. An acclaimed performance of the National Anthem at the 2015 Carter Foundation led to the ultimate honor for Zeshan–an invitation from President Obama to perform at the White House for its inaugural celebration of Eid.