Joel Simpson has been a self-employed musician since 2001. Growing up in a musical family, Joel started playing guitar as well as singing/songwriting at a young age. His passion for music led him to earn a music business degree from Elmhurst University, and found Randomosity Records in Downers Grove, Illinois. He splits his time between private instruction, music production, and music performance. Joel is proficient on voice and many string instruments. His production work focuses on folk and jazz. Joel has recorded with Lee Murdock, Ashley & Simpson, The Chancey Brothers and many more.
Sharon Abreu (“Ah-BRAY’oo”)
Sharon Abreu is a singer, songwriter, instrumentalist, teacher, and student of life. She was singing harmony with her family around the dinner table by the age of 3. Sharon grew up with many musical influences, from classical and opera to Broadway to folk, pop and rock, and she enjoys mixing those up in her concerts. She performs as a solo artist and also as half of the acoustic Irthlingz Duo with her partner Michael Hurwicz. She has performed at venues as diverse as the Northwest Folklife Festival, the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival, and the United Nations.
Sharon was studying classical singing in New York City when she attended a pumpkin festival in the West Village and ended up joining the sponsoring organization, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater. Through her work with Clearwater, she started using her voice and songs for environmental education and ended up singing in concert with legendary folksinger Pete Seeger.
Sharon has sung lead roles in operas including The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni and The Magic Flute. She’s been a soloist in performances of major choral works including Bach’s Magnificat and B Minor Mass and Mozart’s Requiem and Vespers. Sharon starred in a sold-out run of the musical The Taffetas at the Orcas Center and in summer stock at the Ferry Terminal in Bellingham, Washington. Sharon has provided music for major international Earth summits at the United Nations in New York and the World Summit on Sustainable Development in South Africa. And she was honored to sing for Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai in Berkeley, California in 2006.
In 2007, she prepared New York City high school students to perform her climate change musical revue Penguins on Thin Ice for the U.N. Commission on Sustainable Development, receiving a standing ovation from a full auditorium of international delegates.
In 2016, Sharon performed her one-woman musical show The Climate Monologues in the Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival, the United Solo Theatre Festival in New York, and for The MarshStream Theatre Festival online in 2021. She received the “Spirit of Nature, Ecology & Society” Environmental Justice Award for her performance of The Climate Monologues, at the Culture of Climate Change Colloquium at the City University of New York in 2011. Sharon composed and recorded the songs for Zero Waste Washington’s public school education program.
Sharon teaches voice, violin and piano, and she has been the vocal coach for musicals including Billy Elliot and Mamma Mia. For 2-1/2 years, she was a Musician-in-Residence with the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival, bringing music and singing to local preschools. She is featured in Professor Mark Pedelty’s books, Ecomusicology (2012) and A Song to Save the Salish Sea: Environmentalist Musicians in the Pacific Northwest (2016).
Sharon has been a member of the Local 1000 North American Traveling Musicians Union, American Federation of Musicians, AFL-CIO since 1997.
Erin McKeown is a musician, writer, and producer known internationally for her prolific disregard of stylistic boundaries. Her brash and clever electric guitar playing is something to see. Her singing voice is truly unique —clear, cool, and collected. Over the last 20 years, she has performed around the world, released 11 full length albums, and written for film, television, and theater, all the while refining her distinctive and challenging mix of American musical forms.
Her first musical, Miss You Like Hell, written with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes, opened Off-Broadway at The Public Theater in 2018. It was nominated for 5 Drama Desk Awards, including Best Lyrics, Best Music and Best Orchestrations, and The Wall Street Journal named it Best Musical of 2018.
Leading her own band, she has performed at Bonnaroo, Glastonbury, and the Newport Folk Festivals. A familiar presence on NPR and the BBC, McKeown’s songs have also appeared in numerous commercials and television shows.
While a student at Brown University, Erin was a resident artist at Providence, RI’s revolutionary community arts organization AS220. A 2011-2012 fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center For Internet & Society, she is also the recipient of a 2016 writing fellowship from The Studios of Key West and a 2018 residency at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. McKeown is currently a 2020-21 Professor of the Practice at Brown University.
Her latest album KISS OFF KISS is out now.
Drums, Bass, Guitar, Vocal, basic Piano-Keys (if zero on-the-fly sight reading is needed). Great for last minute work, best if reference recording available. Can be music director to assemble backing group for performance, film, tv, or recording. Can consult for tv, film, to ensure actors can credibly portray musicians. Willing to travel if travel cost covered from Seattle, WA.
For over ten years, Robb Johannes fronted the Toronto/Vancouver rock band Paint (www.paintband.com). Over the course of four albums, two feature films, and over 300 performances from Pacific to Atlantic, Paint came to be referred to as “Picture perfect” (102.1 The Edge), “Best live act in the city” (Musica Mas), “One of the top acts of the year” (The Toronto Star), and “Intelligent people making incredible music” (The Examiner), bedazzling audiences with their multisensory stage show while delivering insightful social commentary through their music, art, and relationship with its dedicated fanbase; “rockstars with a sincere change-the-world-with-heart attitude… the next U2?” (Midnight Matinee). Robb is currently expanding the use of his 3 1/2-octave countertenor voice, composition, songwriting, and multi-media skills into a new project that is…. a question of when.
Singer, songwriter performing primarily for children and families. Perform and teach as artist in residence at schools, libraries, community centers and at private parties. Song leading at rallies and other political events, often with Occupella, a crew of singer/songleaders/songwiriters. Occasionally perform for adults, leftist events, usually unpaid. Play with women’s samba group, Sistah Boom. I’m 73 years old and semi-retired from paid work at this point.
Liv Cazzola is a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, songwriter, educator, and avid collaborator. Though based in Guelph Ontario, Liv is typically seen performing in Tragedy Ann or The Lifers, in North America and Europe. She sings to seek understanding, question the current, relish in the goodness, and create necessary change.
A prolific and highly acclaimed singer-songwriter, Orit spent eleven years living on the road full-time, touring internationally. She has released eleven albums which have received rave reviews and international radio play. A multi-genre passionate singer, whose dedication to the craft and ability to connect to diverse audiences have won many hearts over. Orit’s Jewish and Israeli background informs much of her work, in particular a passion for humanitarianism and peace advocacy. You can also hear her harmonies on several recordings by other artists.
Ann Zimmerman sings her native prairie into universal language and works magic from songs of life on the windy plains. Her confident Kansas style, compelling stage presence and award-winning songs have taken her across the continent singing a hundred gigs a year. Ann sings for and with children, families and adults. She tells stories and paints pictures with her guitar, her piano or just her voice. She regularly leads songwriting workshops for elementary and middle school students. On occasion, she performs spoken word pieces, plays autoharp and gathers a band. At presenters’ requests, her shows may focus on particular topics – food, gardens, weather, nature, rural life, human conflict, etc. – or historical periods or events – American Revolutionary War, pioneer life, historic Kansas.
Ann is a winner at the Wildflower! Festival, Great American Song and the Just Plain Folks national song contests. She appears annually at The Land Institute’s Prairie Festival and, beginning in recent years, the Walnut Valley Festival. With four independent recordings, Ann is also a lawyer and mediator, she runs a horse boarding stable with her husband near Salina, Kansas, and she is an elected board member of Salina Public Schools.
Mountain Dulcimer Aficionado and Folk Music Educator
Erin Mae is a mountain dulcimer virtuosa who has taken an obscure American folk instrument, and with it has developed a high level of technical proficiency and musical expression. Erin has been playing traditional mountain dulcimer for over twenty years and chromatic mountain dulcimer for over ten years. In that time, she has developed a unique and progressive style. Carrying the rhythm section with her signature percussive chop and flat-picking fiddle tunes with impressive dexterity; audiences nationwide show amazement as they watch her fingers dance over her dulcimer strings.
Erin Mae is also a respected teacher who has taught at hundreds of dulcimer festivals and conferences around the world. She has pioneered online mountain dulcimer instruction and helped numerous festivals pivot to online events during the Covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, Erin Mae teaches kids folk music workshops at schools and libraries, and organizes kids camps at bluegrass and folk festivals.
**I am also the leader of the touring family music band “Hot Peas ‘n Butter”.
** I play Saxophone, keys, guitar