Céilidh line-ups

January 11, 2009







Céilidh 1996

Salaam:  Middle Eastern music

Vida:  Balkan and African music

Rhythm Quest:  world percussion

Windfall Dancers:  modern dance

Last Minute Productions:  audio theatre

Society for Creative Anachronism:  medieval dance
Bloomington Feminist Chorus:  world music

Wolodymyr Smishkewych:  early music

Bloomington Storytellers’ Guild members

Andrea Leed : hammer dulcimer

Katherine Wiley:  Scottish fiddling

Steve Volan:  interpretive poetry

Amandla Ugetsi:  African music

Nan Brooks:  storytelling

Alain Barker:  balafon and open jam guide

Jolet [Joe Lee]:  clowning

Cairril Adaire, Denise Travers, Hanna McDeavitt:  folk music 


Céilidh 1998
Vida:  Balkan and African music

Rhythm Quest:  world percussion

Windfall Dancers:  modern dance

Malcolm Dalglish & family:  hammer dulcimer & storytelling

Bloomington Feminist Chorus:  world music

Caravan Serai:  flamenco and belly dancing

Bloomington Storytellers’ Guild members

Angela Berzins, Janice Bagwell, Cairril Adaire, Rebecca Keith, Gerry Bayne:  world songs

No Boxes Workshop:  jazz

Tony Brewer:  spoken word

Chris Smith:  Celtic music

Tonia Matthew:  poetry

Alain Barker:  balafon and open jam guide

Terra:  world songs

The Ceilidhs

January 11, 2009






Ask anyone in the know about the céilidhs we held in 1996 and 1998 and they get a dreamy look in their eyes. 

The céilidhs are hard to categorize. They were based on “authentic” céilidhs I’d attended in Scotland. Our version was like a mini-Lotus, only focused entirely on local talent. The explanation we gave was “world music, poetry, dance, and storytelling.”

My role was organizer, producer, marketer, creative director, vocalist, and more. I participated in the collective planning/producing brain with the outstanding Daniel McDeavitt and Denise Travers. I believe Hanna McDeavitt helped produce the ’98 one.

The 1996 edition was focused on audience participation, so we saw a lot of artists breaking the fourth wall. Many of our acts performed in the audience space rather than onstage. 

In 1998, artists focused more on collaborating with each other, so we ended up with the Trifecta Of Bliss: Vida, Rhythm Quest, and Windfall Dancers all performing together.

All of the artists were outstanding. Planned to last about 3 hours, both céilidhs went overtime but the audience never left. After 4 hours in ’96 and 5 hours in ’97, people still hung out afterwards to soak in the bliss. Alain Barker ended both céilidhs by leading everybody in a group jam with instruments he brought and shared among the crowd.

Somewhere in the CATS vault is a recording of the 1998 céilidh. If you want a real treat, ring them at 812-349-3111 and request that they play it. After more than 10 years, it still holds up!

These “events” were sacred for me and remain dear to my heart. I will always feel bonded to Denise and Daniel for co-manifesting a night to remember.

The line-ups for 1996 and 1998

Freelance solo work

November 23, 2008

1990s-present. Sang in a number of staged theatre works, wrote and performed back-up vocals for alt-rock singer-songwriter Sam Lowry, and did a coffeehouse solo show back in the ’90s that was very fun.

In 2007 I performed La Vie En Rose in a collaborative arrangement with Sophia Travis and Lois Sabo-Skelton for a Democratic Womens’ Caucus annual meeting (the evening was magical—unforgettable).

Collaborated with Lara Weaver, Amy Roche, Kevin MacDowell, and Steve Mascari for a set of music performed at World AIDS Day Memorial, 2007 and 2006. Performed back-up vocals with Angela Berzins for Sophia Travis at a benefit performance, 2006.

Did a number of collaborative pieces with members of Windfall Dancers for their Reflexions series. The most notable were a piece created with Laura Bullock that was based on The Vertigo Tarot, improvisational singing based on an art show, and singing spooky death songs (ooo…) for Kay Olges. I love collaborating with Windfall—they do a fantastic job of converting sound to movement.

In Memory Of Everything

November 23, 2008

Late ’90s. A collaboration with Windfall Dancers. Our informal “Friday sing” group improvised music for an outdoor performance art piece. It was done around Halloween and was terrific fun, though I’m afraid the improv wasn’t the best ever. (BTW, great title, Liz!)