Party of Three
Party of Three brings together three musicians from diverse musical backgrounds who share a depth of experience playing for dancing. Combining high energy Scottish and Cape Breton fiddle music with Latin and Funk influenced piano and drum grooves, Party of Three has been enthusiastically received by dancers across the mid-atlantic and northeast. Members include Lilly Pearlman on fiddle, Neil Pearlman on piano and Joe De Paolo on drums, doumbek and bodhran. Website
Pianist Neil Pearlman is rapidly distinguishing himself as a uniquely innovative artist in the contemporary traditional music scene. Called “a tremendous pianist” on BBC Radio Scotland and “a force to be reckoned with” by WGBH’s Brian O’Donovan, Neil is recognized in many Celtic music circles for his unique approach to the piano. Rooted in traditional Cape Breton piano styles, Neil brings in ideas from many other genres and the result is an exciting new sound that remains true to its traditional roots.
Fiddler Lilly Pearlman has grown up immersed in the musical traditions of Scotland and Cape Breton, performing with family band Highland Soles since the age of nine. Through her experiences living and studying in New York City and Salvador da Bahia,Brazil, she has continued to explore and incorporate influences from various other musical genres--from bluegrass to samba to funk-- into her unique Celtic-based fiddle sound. Lilly has played across the nation with the bands Party of Three and Alba's Edge since 2011. She has also been on staff for Scottish Fiddle and Cello Camp at Ashokan for many years. Lilly graduated from Barnard College in 2014 with a degree in Dance.
Joe De Paolo has been drumming for over 30 years. His early studies were with Master Drum Teachers Sam Ulano and Joe Cusatis. He has also studied at both Drummers Collective and Irish Art Center in New York City. Throughout his career Joe has played in jazz/rock fusion, funk, Zydeco, Cajun and contra dance bands. He also plays and teaches bodhran and doumbek and has taught both hand drums at NEFFA. Joe also calls for contra dances and at times combines calling with drumming. His eclectic past has influenced his current style of playing and can be heard on the three CDs that he is featured on. He has recorded with Eclectic Dance Orchestra, Coracree and Party of Three.
Eloise & Company
Eloise & Co. features the combined creative forces of two of the country’s most sought-after dance musicians, Becky Tracy and Rachel Bell. These two, joined by powerhouse guitarist Bethany Waickman, crank out dance music with unbridled energy and soaring beauty. Their depth and versatility is evident not only in their dynamic playing but also in their rich and unique repertoire, ranging from exciting original compositions to rock-solid traditional tunes. Eloise & Co. was born out of Becky and Rachel’s transcendent melodic connection, their shared love for powerful rhythmic momentum, and their affinity for spending hours and hours crafting compelling arrangements. Expect a sublime and memorable dance experience propelled by gritty French groove tunes, intense reels, soaring waltzes, lively Quebecois tunes, and exhilarating originals written by Becky Tracy, Keith Murphy, and Rachel Bell.
Bethany grew up in a musical family in the Adirondack Mountains of northern New York state. She started piano at an early age and played traditional and classical music along with her fiddle- and cello-playing brothers. She discovered DADGAD guitar tuning while attending Meadowlark, a folk music camp in Maine. There she studied with Keith Murphy, a well-known composer, musician, and influential practitioner of DADGAD. The modified tuning offers unique harmonies and rich drones well suited to supporting traditional music and to the driving, rhythmic playing for which Bethany is known. Inspired by the vibrant community of musicians that gathered every summer at Meadowlark, Bethany decided to delve deeper into the music of New England, and made guitar her primary focus.
While attending UMass Amherst, Bethany joined the contra dance band The Hip Bones, and on her summer breaks she worked on the crew at Pinewoods, a dance and music camp in Plymouth, MA. It was there that she started making music with like-minded fiddler Amelia Mason and accordionist Emily Troll. After a few summers of exploring and building repertoire together, they formed the contra dance trio Anadama in 2007. Known for their tight arrangements and propulsive energy, Anadama has been charming dancers across North America ever since.
After college, Bethany spent some time traveling in Ireland, moved to Boston, and signed on as Lissa Schneckenburger’s guitarist. Lissa is a lyrical fiddler known for the lift and drive she incorporates into the traditional dance tunes she grew up playing. Also a skillful singer, she brings new life to old ballads, and takes a special interest in exploring the singing traditions of the Maine lumber camps. Her album Dance features Bethany’s guitar playing and draws from the rich repertoire of New England contra dance tunes. Bethany and Lissa have toured extensively throughout the US, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, and Belgium. They are often joined by Jeremiah McLane (accordion), Corey DiMario (double bass), and Stefan Amidon (percussion) for larger festivals.
Bethany moved to Maine in 2013, and shortly thereafter co-founded the trio Fódhla with Nicole Rabata on Irish flute and Ellery Klein on fiddle. The trio brings traditional Irish music to festivals, sessions, and concert series around New England. They will be releasing a 6-track EP in late 2015.
Bethany has also worked with many other artists, including Ari and Mia Friedman, Mark Roberts and Laurel Martin, Ryan McKasson, Jeremiah McLane, Rose Clancy, Ed Pearlman, Katie McNally, Eric McDonald, Tashina Clarridge, Simon Chrisman, Nic Gareiss, Rodney Miller, Dave Langford, Julie Metcalf, Glen Loper, Alden Robinson, and others. In 2014 she toured Germany as a member of The Southgate Band.
Bethany is a mainstay on the New England contra dance circuit, playing in countless combinations of the scene’s myriad musicians.
In 1998, Frannie Marr started dancing and quickly fell in love with contra dancing. She began teaching contra dances to her elementary school students as a vehicle to expose them to new and fun dances. After calling exclusively to children for 10 years, Frannie debuted to rave reviews at a regularly scheduled Los Angeles contra dance and was strongly encouraged to keep on calling. Since 2008, Frannie has been calling regularly, traveling from coast to coast, and has appeared in over a dozen states at some of the biggest name venues with some of the hottest and most popular contra dance musicians.
On a fateful night in 1980 Steve walked into his first contra dance, in Francestown, NH, which thoroughly changed his life. He started calling a few years later and has now danced, called, organized, and taught contra dances for over 35 years. Steve delights in the role of facilitator between the dancers on the floor and the band onstage, and over the years has honed his calling presentation to an art. A mixture of humor, musicality and skilled programming make Steve a favorite of dancers of all levels, and he is also appreciated by musicians across the country for his considerate weaving of his calling with their music. A number of Steve's many dance compositions have successfully 'left town' and can be found at the top of many callers’ favorites list.