Playing for all five dance events of the expanded Mad Robin Weekend will be four well-loved musicians whose artistry has influenced the allure and style of English Country Dance music in the United States and abroad: Jacqueline Schwab, Daniel Beerbohm, Earl Gaddis, and Mary Lea.
Likewise, the callers are internationally recognized for their clarity of calling and for bringing historical and style context to the dances. Mad Robin Ball dancing master Gene Murrow will lead the Saturday workshop and evening ball and the Sunday dance. A special Friday night welcome dance will be called by Kalia Kliban, and the Mad Robin weekend will close with a special dance in Palo Alto led by Bruce Hamilton.
Jacqueline is excited to again play for the spirited California dance community!
A founding member of Bare Necessities, she has been noted for her expressive, lyrical playing informed by many historical styles and her years of dancing, going back to her teen years. An English dance leader for decades, she reconstructed Barbarini’s Tambourine and Sally in Our Alley, and also co-choreographed the dance Hudson Barn. She continues to encourage her student dance musicians to play with lilt, ease, and passion.
Beyond the dance community, Jacqueline can be heard on the soundtracks of Ken Burns’ Grammy award-winning works including Civil War, Baseball, Mark Twain, and Benjamin Franklin, on many other PBS documentaries, and at the White House. Performing with the American Pops Orchestra on two PBS American Roots specials, she evokes the American musical past, but in a fresh, personal way. She has performed Celtic and vintage American music in almost every state of the Union and has released five solo recordings including her newly-released album I Lift My Lamp—Illuminations from Immigrant America.
Jacqueline lives in the Boston, MA, area, with her husband Edmund Robinson.
Daniel Beerbohm first discovered the world of dance music when he was introduced to a monthly contra dance series in East Lansing, Michigan, and has sought out that world ever since. While pursuing a career as an electrical and software engineer, he has found great joy sharing his love of music in all forms with the large and enthusiastic community of dancers. Playing clarinet, flute, saxophone, and whistles, he spices his English and contra dance playing with a rich background of swing, Klezmer, and classical music.
You will find him making music with Trio Picante, Hold The Mustard, A Joyful Noise, and Reunion at dances along the East Coast and occasionally westward, as well as abroad.
Earl Gaddis was originally trained as a classical violinist, with a special passion for Baroque music. But his orientation shifted when he discovered the excitement of small-ensemble music improvisation for dancing, with its unique opportunities for creating harmonies, countermelodies, and lush textures of sound on the spur of the moment – and for offering the dancers a heightened experience of the sensuous and emotional nature of this rich musical tradition. He is now a full-time dance musician who, for more than fifty years, has been playing violin and viola for various combinations of English, Scottish, American, and international dancing at dance camps, workshops, balls, festivals, and other events.
Earl has made eighteen recordings of English Country Dance music with Bare Necessities and has recorded with a number of other musicians, as well.
He lives in Northampton, MA.
Mary Lea has been playing for English Country Dance since 1978 when she joined Jacqueline Schwab and Earl Gaddis for the weekly Boston Centre ECD dances. Within a few years, the quartet known as Bare Necessities was formed and played regularly for these dances, joined under the leadership of Helene Cornelius and various other Boston area dance leaders. Over four decades, Bare Necessities has recorded 18 CDs, and has inspired dancers and musicians alike, playing for weekend and week-long events all over the United States, as well as touring in England and Ireland. Mary has also played for contra dancing, vintage dancing, and couple dancing over this same time period. She has been included on many other recordings and has produced three of her own featuring her favorite romantic couple dances.
Currently, Mary lives in Brattleboro, VT, and enjoys gardening, painting, singing, attending concerts, and birding.
Gene has been an English country dancer and musician since 1965, and has taught and called at clubs, workshops, festivals, and balls throughout the United States, as well as England, Europe, Canada, and Japan. He has attended Pinewoods Camp as a CDSS staff member almost every year since 1965, and has chaired Early Music Week, English Dance Week, and English/American Dance weeks several times each.
In 2004, he was honored as the featured country dance caller and teacher at the gala 50th anniversary of England’s Sidmouth International Festival. He has toured England several times for calling engagements, and has appeared at the Eastbourne, Lichfield, Whitby, and Southam Festivals. In the fall of 2006, he toured Japan teaching English dance workshops, and returned in 2011 and, again, in 2019 to lead the Folk Dance Federation of Japan national teacher workshops.
Gene is author of a resource guide and training curriculum on musicianship for English country dance teachers—the basis of a course offered at the Pinewoods, Mendocino, and Berea country dance workshops in the United States.
As a dance musician, Gene has made four recordings of music for dances of Fried Herman and Gary Roodman, and is the producer of the 15-disc series of English dance recordings featuring the Boston-based band Bare Necessities. A classically-trained musician, Gene has coached recorder ensembles throughout the United States, and was President of the American Recorder Society for six years.
He is the founder and Chairman of the Board of Gotham Early Music Scene, a service and advocacy organization supporting early music in New York City, where he lives.
Kalia has been part of the California Bay Area traditional dance scene since the mid-80s, performing and teaching in a wide range of styles. At dance camps and festivals across the country and across the pond, she has taught morris, longsword, English and American clogging, English country dance and contra. She’s a regular contra and English caller in the vibrant Bay Area dance community. Her welcoming and relaxed teaching style has helped dancers of all levels experience the joy of traditional dance.
Kalia lives in Sebastopol with her own house band, fiddler Jon Berger, and some cats and chickens. She is an accomplished woodworker, now specializing in turning bowls and teaching other woodworkers.
Bruce is a well-respected teacher of English country dancing with 50 years’ experience. Having taught in five countries, he has launched classes, trained teachers, coached performing groups, and adjudicated festivals.
A retired research scientist, Bruce is always looking for new ways to understand and present ideas. He tries to weave many threads besides technique and choreography into his lessons; music, sociability and physiology are his current favorites. People often say they come away from his sessions with things to think about and ways to grow. His weekend teachers’ class also draws high praise.
Bruce lives in Menlo Park, California, with his wife, Jo, and as many dogs and cats as her rescue operation happens to have on hand. He runs a bi-weekly English dance class, and is a past president of the Country Dance and Song Society.
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