MUSICAL SCHEDULE TBD
Kerri has an incredible capacity as a soloist, as fiddler and vocalist alike, with many genres at her command. Born to the altitudes and the fly-fishing streams of NW Montana, she eventually brought her Old Time and bluegrass ornamentation to the Celtic session music of New York and Texas, where she has gathered strains and stories to sow in the Midwest. Kerri began her study and performance of music and theater at a young age. She has fiddled and sung with Celtic, Funk, Jazz, Country and Classical ensembles and performed leading roles in stage productions of Evita and Othello among others, as well as appearing with Wookiefoot at their most recent installations of Project Earth, Shangri la, and Halloween wonk. Soaring leads and ethereal melodies and harmonies are her trademark. As an entertainer she brings warmth and authenticity and seeks to create a story of her own within each piece. One cannot help but be transported to timeless spaces evoked by her passionate and distinctive delivery of folk music. Nuanced and lyrical, simple yet intricate, her music is breath-taking and beautifully crafted.
Dee began her journey as a musician playing back tunes on pianos in the days when climbing up onto the bench was still a bit scary. Dabbling with instruments, theatrics, and humanitarian works as an effective means of escape from the ivory tower of scholarship, Dee has always sought music and kindred spirits to balance and fulfill her wide-open heart. Having performed and recorded with children’s choirs and traditional musicians, for historical reenactments and cultural exhibitions, Dee’s excitement on stage only grows with each opportunity to share her music. She connects with each audience member, wondering just how their experiences will entwine with hers as sweet sounds and shared energy are released into the world. Dee has reveled in opportunities to perform at Celtic and International Festivals, the MN Renaissance Festival, parks and nature centers, churches, Irish pubs, Tot Carnivals, classrooms, and best of all, Bedtime. As a language teacher with four children of her own to entertain nightly, she wants her wee ones to know that part of a happy adult life involves adventures in singing your heart out. Dee’s percussive guitar, meandering mandolin, and sparkling vocal lines weave her unique expression into the grand tapestry of music that is at the heart of every moment.
Liesel Wilson – Vocals, Fiddle, Erhu
Liesel began singing and playing violin and fiddle from an early age. She began performing as an erhu soloist after studying abroad in China. She specializes in singing in languages besides English, including Mandarin Chinese, Gàidhlig, Irish, Early Scots, Russian, Spanish, and Welsh.
Sue Spencer – Guitar, Vocals
Sue comes by her Irish roots through Newfoundland, off the East Coast of Canada. She has performed internationally as part of such well-known groups as Willowgreen and McInnis’ Kitchen. Her vocals have a Newfoundland feel, and her driving guitar style and signature smile will lift your spirits. Sue has also been nominated multiple times for the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council Hall of Honour Award.
Jim Ofsthun – Drum, Vocals, Tin Whistle, Bouzouki
Jim is a talented vocalist and instrumentalist with international performances on Irish bodhrán, guitar, button accordion, and tin whistle. He is also a member of McInnis’ Kitchen, and a former member of Willowgreen. He has family connections to the music through Ireland and Newfoundland, and is considered one of the top producers in Irish music in the Midwest.
Mary MacGillivray – Fiddle, Vocals
Mary grew up in Scotland in a musical family, where she learned to speak and sing in Gàidhlig and play traditional Scottish fiddle tunes. She has performed at numerous festivals and events throughout Scotland as well as festivals in Ireland, France, Australia, Canada and the U.S. with renowned bagpiper Duncan MacGillivray, and fiddler/bagpiper, Iain MacGillivray. Mary has also been a part of the University of Edinburgh String Orchestra and the Highland Regional Youth Orchestra, and has taught at numerous fiddle schools, including Alasdair Fraser’s Celtic Connections in Scotland, the Willie Clancy Fiddle school in Ireland, and Celtic Junction Arts Center in St. Paul, MN.
Highland Reign, a Celtic band from Indianapolis takes the tunes of the old country and breathes a rocking new life into them! With traditional such as “Black is the Color”, originals like “Streets of Edinburgh”, Highland Reign brings the union of traditional Celtic and rock to pleasing new levels.
Playing venues and festivals all across America, Scotland and Ireland for over ten years. Highland Reign is poised to make a lot of noise in the world Celtic music scene. With chilling bagpipes/guitar tunes, the rocking lilt of the fiddle and upbeat vocals, Highland Reign will rock you back to the old country!
Brass Lassie, a bold new band based in the Twin Cities of St. Paul/Minneapolis, combines traditional tunes, songs and style with dazzling modern horn lines, sparking their own genre of eclectic, remarkable music. 10-member strong, the ensemble performs extraordinary takes on Scottish, Irish and French music, traditional and new, featuring a powerful 4-piece horn section, a terrific rhythm section, fine fiddles, flutes, pipes, vocals and some fabulous step dancing. Smart, joyous horn arrangements by top notch jazz arranger Peter Enblom, plus some great band arrangements from David Milne.
Brass Lassie’s members have come together from a broad spectrum: traditional music, big bands, show bands, jazz, orchestral, roots and world music, step-dance. Our rich repertoire includes traditional and new Irish reels, jigs and hornpipes, Scottish and French-Canadian tunes, ancient Irish airs, Cape Breton dance tunes and puirt à beul (mouth music), new arrangements of Scots Gaelic waulking songs, music from Brittany and Central France, Scottish ballads with a big band spirit, and even Latin-infused Celtic dance tunes.
Our influences are the likes of La Bottine Souriante, Altan, Liz Carroll, Salsa Celtica, the many traditional musicians we have met along the way – but our sound and arrangements are undeniably and expressly Brass Lassie in concept, form, spirit and delivery.
Brass Lassie’s founder, Laura MacKenzie, carefully envisioned this big band for several years. It was realized at last in 2016 with a triumphant summer debut. This year, Brass Lassie will be recording their first studio album.