Laura Risk, Fiddle
Laura is a fiddler whose love of the music of Scotland, Ireland, Cape Breton and Quebec has led her into a rich journey of performing and teaching. She has several highly acclaimed albums to her name, including her 1999 recording Celtic Dialogue with pianist Jacqueline Schwab, 2000 Miles, in 2004 with an impressive list of leading Quebecois musicians, and Triptych in 2011 with Kieran Jordan and Paddy League. Most recently, Laura plays in a hugely popular dance duo with Genticorum musician, Nicholas Williams, and is an extremely busy freelance muisican. Laura is also in demand as a teacher throughout the US and Canada, and is a regular favourite at Valley of the Moon Fiddle Camp, Swannanon Gathering, Alasdair Fraser’s Sierra Fiddle Camp, the Boston Harbor Scottish Fiddle School.. the list is long!
It’s an absolute pleasure to welcome Laura to Australia for the first time as guest artist at the 2018 Quebec Fiddle Weekend.
Rachel Aucoin, piano
Rachel’s music career started as a multi-awarded classical pianist, and she never imagined she would become a tradition bearer and mentor in the folk world. Her musical destiny changed in 1999,at her first trad festival performance, where “a window on the world had just opened and showed me the way to the music of my Acadian ancestors, bringing out a family tradition rich with singing, dancing and fiddling; kitchen style”. Rachel is a founding player with the cult dance band Tidal Wave (Raz de Marée) and the accompanist of choice by many leading Quebecois master players.
Nevertheless, Rachel meets her greatest interest and passion through teaching; Rachel runs an annual camp and regular classes and dances in Quebec. In her words she is “busy building a bridge between the spontaneity and immersive folk experience and the aesthetic beauty and refinement of classical artistry.”
Rachel is also a very bubbly character and a lot of fun to be with!
Pria Schwall-Kearney, fiddle, kids’ class
Pria Schwall-Kearney was instilled very early with Quebecois music brought over from North America by her mother on precious vinyls. Having played for many years with the Melbourne Scottish Fiddle club, she followed these smouldering sounds back to Montreal where she spent a year immersed in the music, dance, language and culture of Quebec. On returning to Australia, Pria has been helping to evangelise to fiddle players everywhere about the croooked groove of Quebecois fiddle music.
No Quebec Fiddle Weekend is complete without her!
Kit Joyce, accordion and free reeds
Kit Joyce got hooked on Irish music and especially the button accordion after being exposed to visiting musicians such as Sharon Shannon and Seamus Begley at a young age. Since then he has also been drawn to the distinctive style of Quebecois music and the melodeon. He has performed widely in Australia and also performed and taught in New Zealand, the US and Europe. Kit is nearly single-handedly reviving interest in the button accordion here in Australia, introducing it to new generations who know little about the instrument. We are very excited to give this gorgeous instrument a place in the spotlight at our music camp.
Jeanette Mill, Contradance
Jessica Foot, woodwind, kids’ class
Jess is a freelance oboist and folk fiddler based in Melbourne. As a performer, she has classical/baroque/folky/improv/new music persuasions, as well as a passion for starry night folk sessions! Jess studied classical oboe in Melbourne and in Germany and has a Master of Music performance as well as another oboe on baroque oboe. She currently gigs around Melbourne playing a diverse range of music for orchestras, chamber music projects and recordings, including folk outfits, The Neon Effect, Duck Duck Goose, and The Melbourne Scottish Fiddlers. Jess also teaches privately and at camps, recently at Roses Gap Music Camp, and QuasiTrad’s Kids’ Summer Program.