Creativity educator, former museum curator, visual artist, actor/storyteller, festival emcee and recipient of the 2009 Folk Alliance Far-West Performer of the Year, Joe has made music with many folks, from multi-string instrumentalist David Lindley to Blues slide guitar master Roy Rogers… Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia to Dobro Master Rob Ickes and in groups from Psychograss to The Horseflies. He was percussionist and fiddler for mandolinist David Grisman for almost 17 years. Joe now performs with his daughter Hattie Craven, Joe Craven & The Sometimers and other projects and collaborations. A Cum Laude graduate in Museology and Aesthetics, Joe has presented at numerous schools, universities, detention centers, medical facilities and special needs facilities. His training outreach includes Wells Fargo, The American String Teachers Association, Goodwill Industries and teacher in-services across the country. Joe is Director of RiverTunes Roots Music Camp, Director of Vocáli Voice Camp and a keynote clinician for Wintergrass and Delfest. And no matter who he’s connecting with; a community workshop in Costa Rica, a university lecture demonstration in Washington, jamming with Gnawan musicians in Morocco, or on stage in front of thousands of school kids in Scotland, he’s at home and loving every minute.
“Everything Joe touches turns to music.” David Grisman
“With Joe Craven at the helm, the possibilities are endless.” Sing Out! Magazine
Visit Joe’s website at joecraven.com
Evo Bluestein’s childhood home often hosted an array America’s great bearers of traditional musical culture: Pete, Mike and Peggy Seeger, Bessie Jones, Jean Ritchie, Elizabeth Cotten, Tommy Jarrell, Dewey Balfa, Doc Watson, Lightnin’ Hopkins, to name just a few. Over the past 30 years he has crafted this first-hand training and his extensive knowledge of folk songs, dances, games and instruments into week long residencies for thousands of California school children, passing on a rich variety of authentic cultural experiences and building community. A singer, instrumentalist, clogger and dance caller, Evo is also the originator of the Evoharp® and Sparrowharp® autoharps. Evo’s original music ensemble Lyquid Amber has been his favorite outlet for new banjo music. True-to-tradition with amazing technical virtuosity, Evo is a one man folk festival. “Evo combines singing, instrument playing & dancing in a way that makes me think he’s using trick photography – even when he is ten feet away.” ~ Scott Jacobs, Concord, CA
Visit Evo’s website; evobluestein.com
Lisa has been playing and singing for as long as she can remember. She took up the guitar at age 12 but when she started studying upright bass in 1994 she found her true calling. Lisa was awarded Bass Player of the Year in 2008, 2009 and 2014 by the Northern California Bluegrass Society. Her main band, Sidesaddle & Co., was named NCBS Band of the Year for 2008. Lisa performs regularly with several bands, including Sidesaddle & Co., Michelle Kiba and the TikiTones, and Grace Clark and Swingitude. Lisa has been seen on stages throughout the West, including Wintergrass (Tacoma, WA), the Strawberry Music Festival (Yosemite, CA), Summergrass (San Diego, CA), the California Bluegrass Association’s Father’s Day Festival (Grass Valley, CA) and the Rawhide Bluegrass Festival (Scottsdale, AZ). Her recordings include projects with Sherry Austin (Santa Cruz), Last Transit (San Diego), Mary McCaslin (Santa Cruz), Sharon Allen (Santa Cruz), and of course, Sidesaddle & Co. (San Jose, CA). She is also releasing her first solo recording, produced by Jayme Kelly Curtis. Lisa’s easy-going and patient manner, has won her many fans as a bass teacher, conducting bass workshops from many California music festivals to private homes. She has also taught at the California Bluegrass Association’s Music Camp.
Harmonica player Catfish Jack (aka Jack Chauvin) grew up in Oakland,California. He was originally inspired by the Chicago blues’ legends Little Walter,James Cotton, Sonny Boy Williamson, and Big Walter Horton and later fell under the trance of country players Sonny Terry, Charlie McCoy, and Mickey Rafeal.
It was his father’s Vega banjo-mandolin that inspired 11-year-old Tom to start picking on old-time standards and absorbing the sounds of Bill Monroe as well as newgrass mando gods like Sam Bush and David Grisman.
Those seminal influences can still be heard in his soulful playing. After relocating from his native Ohio to California, high-profile stints with acclaimed folk-bluegrass festival faves the Acousticats and Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, multi-instrumentalist John McEuen’s entertaining String Wizards band earned him accolades and a loyal following. He’s consistently active on L.A.’s acoustic music scene, playing mandolin and guitar with numerous acts onstage, including Robin & Linda Williams. Tom joined McEuen, Jimmy Ibbotson and singers Jennifer Warnes and Laurie Lewis in the award-winning 2002 DVD Nitty Gritty Surround. More recently he even took on one of those only-in-L.A. jobs: teaching TV/film star Tom Selleck how to play ukulele for a role in a play!
After years of earning respect from peers and audiences for playing behind better-known artists, Tom stepped into the spotlight as bandleader and songwriter with several CDs to his credit. Once again he brings his fun and infectious spirit back to RiverTunes!
“Few musicians can pull off in the studio the kind of live joy [Toms’ Tonight I Ride] exudes.” ~ SingOut! Magazine
Visit Tom’s website at tomcorbett.net
Michael Gutin plays the piano accordion in a wide variety of musical styles which he has developed in over five decades of performing as a soloist and with various bands including his most recent dance band project “Michael’s Mixed Nuts.” According to Michael, “The accordion is really just a portable pump organ with a unique sound!” It’s great when played as a self-accompanied solo instrument or in ensemble as a wonderful complement to just about any other instrument or voice. He has joyously introduced folks to the accordion – those with some prior knowledge of the piano and those who are just drawn to this really fun and remarkably versatile instrument. And Michael can show you how the keyboard accordion can tastefully and beautifully fit into any type of Americana roots music!
A guest soloist with the San Luis Obispo Symphony Orchestra, Michael has performed and conducted workshops at many festivals and music camps including the Strawberry Music Festival, Live Oak Music Festival, High Sierra Festival, Contra Carnivale Music and Dance Festival. Michael plays Cajun, Zydeco, Swing, and Rock and Roll tunes at the Palace Grill Cajun Restaurant in his home town of Santa Barbara, California where he has performed weekly for over fifteen years. We’re delighted to have Michael bring his wonderful teaching spirit to RiverTunes with this new – and really fun – instrument addition to our offerings.
Sylvia brings to the classroom a wild enthusiasm for learning swing, jazz, and folk repertoire and three decades of teaching experience. From Oakland, CA, Herold was a member of the swing vocal trio Cats & Jammers and the Django band, The Hot Club of San Francisco. Currently Herold tours and records with Wake the Dead, Sylvia Herold and the Rhythm Bugs, The Lonestar Retrobates, The Sylvia Herold Ens
emble and her folk combo Euphonia. She has appeared on more that 25 albums, including five solo recordings. She teaches guitar and voice at many music camps throughout the United States and Canada. Singing, playing guitar and learning new songs are her favorite activities.
“…a mesmerizing voice.” —San Francisco Examiner
Visit Sylvia’s website at http://sylviaherold.com/
In July of 2006, after hearing John Hartford’s Mark Twang album, singer-songwriter, Snap Jackson, walked into a music store in Stockton, California and purchased his first banjo. He has been obsessing over it ever since. Aside from playing both Scruggs Style and clawhammer banjo, Snap also plays the ukulele, blues harmonica, and mountain dulcimer. In recognition of his efforts, Snap received the Male Vocalist of Year Award in 2015, in addition to
nominations in 2013, 2014, and 2015 for the Northern California Banjo Player of the Year award. He also received an endorsement deal in 2011 with both the Deering Banjo Company and Kala BrandUkuleles. When he is not on the road fronting his band, Snap Jackson & the Knock on Wood Players, he can be found at home playing the banjo and spending time with his family. Some of Snap’s major influences include: John Hartford, Nina Simone, Tony Trischka, Jerry Garcia, Earl Scruggs, Bob Dylan, and Stevie Wonder.Visit Snap’s website at http://knockonwoodplayers.com/
Shane Kalbach is a man of many talents. Since receiving his Bachelor of Music in Viola Performance from California State University, Sacramento, Kalbach has become a respected player in the California music scene. Aside from playing fiddle, mandolin, and guitar in the Knock on Wood Players, Kalbach played principle viola
for both the Merced Symphony and The Townsend Opera Players. Despite his busy schedule, Shane has remained very active in various youth music programs including the La Honda Music Camp, Pacific Music Camp, The Central Valley Youth Symphony, where he is the conductor of the Preparatory Orchestra. Shane is also a dedicated music teacher throughout the Lincoln Unified School District in Stockton, CA. For any of you out there looking to study with Shane, he is available for private lessons at Main Street Music in Tracy, CA. Shane’s list of major influences is way too long to list here and is ever changing.
Michelle Kiba is a nationally known ukulele player, teacher, hula dancer who enjoys sharing her love of the ukulele along with the Hawaiian culture.
She sings and plays ukulele as a music educator, entertainer and music therapist. She has performed and taught nationally and abroad at many major ukulele festivals and music camps. Her workshop and concert tours include; ‘Ukulele Hall of Fame Rhode Island, McCabes Santa Monica, the San Antonio Ukulele Festival, the Mid-West Uke Fest, Indiana, Portland Ukulele Festival, California Coast Music Camp, American River Music Camp, Nihon Ukulele Association Tokyo Japan, Sydney, Melbourne and Byron Bay Australia.
Michelle has taught weekly classes for over 12 years at the Santa Cruz Art League, Yu-Ai Kai Japanese Community Center in San Jose. She is a credentialed adult education instructor and is currently on staff with the Community Music School in the Santa Cruz. Michelle has written and produced a number of ukulele songbooks and CDs on her own label Big Idea Records.
Visit Michelle’s website at UkaLady.com.
Margo has had the great fortune to work in the music business as a lead and backup singer for the past 20 years. During that time, teaching singers emerged as my passion and gift. And, most important is the opportunity to help people fulfill their deepest yearning: to sing. It’s been a beautiful experience and I cherish each and every relationship with my students.
In developing my craft, here’s what I’ve learned: It takes dedication and hard work beyond anything you ever imagined.
Margo has a vast well of experience and works regularly across the globe with artists of all musical genres. She is adept at providing the exact feel and sound that’s needed for every song.
Visit Margo’s website; http://www.voicebymargo.com
Keith is a nationally acclaimed musician, recording artist, and composer, Keith performs on guitar, 5-string banjo, mandolin, and fiddle. He is one of the greatest California based bluegrass artists working today. Appearing regularly with duo partner Jim Nunally, Keith also performs with the David Grisman Bluegrass Experience, and is featured member of the Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band.
An amazing vocalist, Keith performed on the Grammy award winning recordings “The Grass Is Blue” and “Little Sparrow” by Dolly Parton, and “Another Country” by the Chieftains. Keith’s compositions have been recorded by Crystal Gayle, Tim O’Brien, Claire Lynch, and the Whites (among others), and he is an honorary lifetime member of the California Bluegrass Association.
“Keith Little is the man for the job. Seriously, Little has one of the expressive faces in bluegrass. I could watch him all day long – but I sure like to hear him as well.” ~ Curly Merzbacher
Visit Keith’s website at http://www.keithlittle.com/
“Rhythm is free and is in everything. My goal is to show people they can feel, play and have fun with rhythm!”
In addition to music performance, Michelle enjoys her time helping others discover the joy of rhythm through facilitating drum and rhythm circles. In addition to her monthly community drum circle in Oregon, now going on 7 years, Michelle can also be found regularly packing up her van with drums and percussion instruments to deliver fun filled drum and rhythm circles experiences to all sorts of events including schools and home school groups, festivals, community celebrations, rallies, private parties and yes, even funerals. The beauty of the drums is that they bring people together wherever they go… regardless of race, language, age, skill level or status. The drum circle levels the playing field in a simple nonverbal way that all can instantly enjoy and become a part of. Michelle’s extensive study of the traditional West African rhythms of Guinea and Senegal include teachers such as master drummers Mamady Keita, Bobby Bovenzi, and Mamadou Lamine Thioub. Her study of rhythm led her to a path of bringing community together in rhythm. Studying with the likes of Arthur Hull, Kalani, David Chiller, and Remo Health Rhythms, Michelle has collected a wealth of rhythmical knowledge that she uses to show a group how to find a common pulse to provide a solid rhythmical foundation for individual improvisation and exploration.
Visit Michelle’s website at; www.drumcircleconnection.com
Sheridan is back again for his fifth year as a RiverTunes staffer. He’s a singer/songwriter from Ukiah, California. As a popular teacher of vocal technique and harmony, Sheridan plays ukulele, guitar, upright bass and He loves to sing and share four part acapella harmony. In addition to RiverTunes Camp, Sheridan has taught a voice and ukulele Art Stay at Emandal in Willits, workshops at Ukes On The Loose, California Bluegrass Association Camp, Walker Creek Music Camp and El Cerrito
Free Folk festival. He’s leader of The Thin Air String Band, and has been studying recording at Mendocino College for the last four years.
Visit Sheridan’s website at www.sheridanmalone.com
Teresa started writing songs at age 12 and was performing in San Francisco nightclubs by the time she was 15. She has played on and off in the Bay Area for years, and for almost two decades was based in Los Angeles where in addition to music gigs, she
wrote comedy and worked as a character actress on stage and screen.
With a deep, sultry voice that magnetizes audiences, and a scathing comedic wit to match, Teresa is a consummate performer who pours out her original songs with power, verve, passion, and disarming humor. Teresa’s voice has been described as a cross between Bette Midler and Bonnie Raitt (LA Weekly). Her vocal stylings are perfectly complemented by her bluesy guitar playing.
Throughout her career, Teresa has recorded or performed with such greats as Leonard Cohen, Rickie Lee Jones, Lyle Lovett, Taj Mahal, Leo Kottke, Charlie Musselwhite and Bonnie Bramlett. Now residing in Sonoma County, Teresa continues to perform and write new material. She has just released Such Fine Things her latest CD. Her earlier recordings (1992 Teresa Tudury and the 2002 River of Life. were recently rereleased. With these recordings and a steady stream of concert appearnaces, Teresa is a gifted artist in her prime.
Visit Teresa’s website; http://teresatudury.net