Colleen is a bilingual songwriter who stirs listeners with her clear voice, collective spirit and rhythmic sensibility. Her music is informed by nature, social and environment movements, and Latin American progressive folk in a genre she likes to call “americaña” (TM) aka “gringa latin”. She’s a twice nominated Sammy nominee and has seven albums and three benefit compilations for antimilitarism and antifracking causes. Her latest release is Besos/Kisses (with one on the way). Her original song honoring the early feminist movement, “Dangerous women’ is now featured in the National Women’s History Museum in Seneca Falls NY. Here is a link for it:
Mexico/Central & South America
Elise Witt’s concerts of Global, Local & Homemade Songs™ and her Impromptu Glorious Chorus™ workshops create and connect singing communities around the globe. Her songs are available for choruses and choirs through the Elise Witt Choral Series and for solo and community singing in All Singing: The Elise Witt Songbook, as well as on 12 CDs.
She currently serves as Director of Music Programs at the Global Village Project, a special purpose middle school for teenage refugee girls in Decatur GA, where she uses singing to help students learn English, share their cultures, gain self confidence, and learn to navigate their new world.
“A quartet the likes of which I haven’t seen since… Coope, Boyes and Simpson, the Watersons, or The Voice Squad. Just absolutely phenomenal!” -BBC Traveling Folk
Windborne combines bold and innovative harmonies, styles from a variety of cultures with traditions of harmony singing, and a vocal blend that comes from longtime friendship and years of singing together. They also carry on the alliance of folk music and social activism, breathing new life into songs of change from the past that still ring true in modern times.
“The best musical discovery of the year…Stunningly powerful vocal harmony… Windborne sets a new bar for folk harmony singing today” -Brian O’Donovan, WGBH-NPR
Hear Windborne in action:
Song of the Lower Classes – a protest song from the Chartists in England in the 1840s, a grassroots movement for voting rights
Stabat Mater (Corsica) live in Mont-Saint-Michel – a traditional setting of the Stabat Mater text from southern Corsica. A clip of this video went viral on TikTok in 2021, getting over 2 million views!
The Song of Hard Times – Windborne’s arrangement and expansion of a song from the 1930s, found in the archives at the Library of Congress
Instagram / TikTok: @WindborneSingers
MORE ABOUT WINDBORNE:
Internationally acclaimed vocal ensemble Windborne is a group of vocal chameleons who specialize in close harmony singing, shifting effortlessly between drastically different styles of traditional music within the same concert. Their musical knowledge spans many cultures, but they remain deeply rooted in American folk singing traditions – a typical concert program includes music ranging from American labor anthems and English ballads to ancient Corsican polyphony and traditional Quebecois tunes.
Hailed as “the most exciting vocal group in a generation,” Lynn Mahoney Rowan, Will Thomas Rowan, Lauren Breunig, and Jeremy Carter-Gordon share a vibrant energy onstage – their connection to each other and to the music clearly evident. They educate as they entertain, telling stories about the music and explaining the characteristics and stylistic elements of the traditions in which they sing.
But there’s another, crucial dimension to Windborne. They are adherents to folk music’s longtime association with social activism, in particular its ties to the labor and civil rights movements and others that champion the poor, the working class, and the disenfranchised. Breathing new life into old songs, they seek out music from movements over the past 400 years and sing them for the struggles of today’s world. They believe deeply in the power of music to change hearts.
In addition to performing in New England and around the world, Windborne has taught workshops in schools, community centers, singing camps, and universities. Seasoned teachers and song-leaders, they delight groups young and old with enthusiastic, clear, and nuanced instruction for musicians of all levels of experience. Singers not only learn the notes of a song, but also work on the varied vocal styles, language pronunciation, and gain an understanding of the song in its original cultural context.
In 2014, Windborne was one of 10 groups selected by American Music Abroad and the US Department of State to tour as cultural ambassadors through music. They traveled to Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Angola, touring with internationally known artists, performing at sold-out national theaters, and collaborating with traditional musicians in each country. They also taught music and dance workshops to schoolchildren, English-language learners, dance schools, choirs, and music conservatories.
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.
Robb Johannes (he/him/his) is currently currently channeling his 4-octave countertenor voice, composition, songwriting, multi-instrumental (guitar, bass, keyboards, lap steel, percussion), and multi-media (filmmaking, visual art, graphic design) skills into the newly-formed ensemble, a question of when (www.aquestionofwhen.com). Tagged as an “anonymous multi-media artistic collaboration between members of previously-established acts,” a question of when is in the process of producing its debut LP and accompanying visual immersions with funding support from the Ontario Arts Council.
Prior to a question of when, Robb fronted the Toronto/Vancouver rock band Paint (www.paintband.com) for over ten years. 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).
While primarily focused on original compositions and contributing to the advancement of the art form for the past two decades, Robb has also used his voice for creative and ambitious tributes to Jeff Buckley, Chris Cornell, Radiohead, The Beatles, The Doors, The Tragically Hip, and The Who. He has also delivered keynote addresses about his work in the social justice sector, including published works about his experiences with mental health in the arts.
John hails from the Bronx, New York. His father Juan Acosta was a percussionist from Cuba who worked as a touring musician with Latin jazz greats such as Tito Puente and Celia Cruz. In California, John began his recording career working as a composer, guitarist, producer and engineer for artists on Warner Brothers, DreamWorks, Geffen, BMG, Elektra and Capitol Records. John was a member of the group Forest for the Tree’s which reached #18 on the Billboard Modern Rock charts, has collaborated with Beck, and landed a top ten hit in the UK working with the artist 1000 Clowns. John’s work as a musician lead to his work with AFM Local 47, advocating for musicians rights. Currently John serves as President of AFM Local 47 and on the AFM International Executive Board.
Faith Nolan singer/songwriter, plays guitar, harp, banjo, ukelele- songs focus on social justice , kids music, LGBTQI- Enviornment-anti racism, anti-capitalism-ani-sexism, anti-homophobia- pro peace , love and joy Heritage – Black-Mi’kmaq-Irish , born in Nova Scotia -have recorded 16 CD’s, original many world languages used in lyrics and lots of blues folk jazz, reggae
For fifty years John McCutcheon has been a stalwart of the American folk music scene, a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, storyteller, author, activist, union man. He was introduced to folk music as an 11-year-old watching the March on Washington on television. The wedding of art and activism captured him then and he’s spent the many years since exploring that union.
Besides being considered one of the world masters of the hammer dulcimer, John also plays guitar, banjo, fiddle, autoharp, piano, Jew’s harp, mountain dulcimer, and a host of other instruments he’s wise enough not to play in public. His songwriting has been internationally praised, his classic “Christmas in the Trenches” was mentioned as one of the One Hundred Essential Folksongs by Folk Alley.
He has toured internationally for decades with a unique blend of storytelling and music. “Folk music’s rustic renaissance man” is how the Washington Post described him. “Calling John McCutcheon a folksinger is like saying Deion Sanders is just a football player,” heralded the Dallas Morning News. But perhaps the most insightful description comes from John’s mentor and friend, Pete Seeger, “John McCutcheon is not only one of the best musicians in the USA, but also a great singer, songwriter, and song leader. And not just incidentally, he is committed to helping hard-working people everywhere to organize and push this world in a better direction.”
A lifelong unionist, he is one of the co-founders of Local 1000 and served as president 1997-2012. He currently serves as the chair of the Fair Trade Music committee and also is on the executive board of the Atlanta Musicians Union (AFM 148-462).
He is the recipient of the Joe Hill Award from the Labor Heritage Foundation and the Utah Phillips Lifetime Service to Labor Award from Local 1000.