Anita Anderson (Seattle) is an extraordinary English country and contra dance pianist, playing with Bag o’ Tricks / Tricky Brits, and other Northwest bands. She is also a superb dancer, and this informs her playing to the dancers’ delight. She brings a large bag of tricks to her piano playing, with influences from do-wop, English, ethnic, and vintage dance music—all in attentive service to the dancers. Her syncopated, harmonically complex use of the keyboard has transported many a listener to Dance Nirvana. Anita is an excellent singer, Scandinavian musician and dancer, and composer of contra and English country dance tunes.
Dave Bartley (Seattle) plays mandolin, guitar, cittern, and numerous other plucked string instruments. He has also written over 250 tunes, some of which are working their way into repertoires around the country. He can provide a quiet foundation, inject a fiery driving rhythm, or pull wicked licks out of thin air. His odyssey from flashy rock guitarist to classical musician to eclectic sideman to tunesmith filters through his fingers, making you wonder what he’ll do next, playing the tune, then playing around, inside, and beyond it. His bands KGB, Bag o’Tricks and Tricky Brits (with Anita), Contra-sutra or the Valse Café Orchestra-and had a stint with the Seattle Symphony.
Shira Kammen (Berkeley), a multi-instrumentalist (primarily violin and vielle) and vocalist, has spent most of her life exploring early and traditional music. She is one of a rare class of musicians that elevate the musicianship of those around her with her astonishing virtuosity and imagination. A favorite at dance and music camps and a member of many bands and ensembles, she is constantly performing and teaching nationally and internationally with the elite of the music world. She has appeared on 60-ish recordings in a variety of styles of music, and is considered a demi-goddess in early music circles.
Jim Oakden (Santa Cruz) started playing piano and clarinet at an early age and stumbled into early music from the classical music scene, from whence he discovered the world of traditional and ethnic music. Having diverse tastes (or a short attention span), he performs on an absurd number of instruments, from accordion to zurna (to name a few). A dancer himself, he specializes in playing for dancers in a bunch of bands and genres–Roguery, Persons of Quality, the Whoots, and Verna Druzina to name a few– playing for ECD, contra, morris, Irish, Galician, Breton/French, Greek, and Bulgarian. He has been on staff at myriad dance camps throughout the country, and also organizes and programs dance events.
Brooke Friendly (Ashland) has been folk and country dancing for more than 30 years and has taught since 1982. She teaches an ongoing English dance class for the Southern Oregon University (SOU) Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. With her husband, Chris Sackett, she co-leads a weekly community dance in Ashland which includes both English and Scottish country dance. For a number of years, she taught an academic credit class on English and Scottish country dance at SOU.
Brooke has been on staff at numerous dance camps, weekends, festivals, balls, and other events around North America and England. She is currently the program director of the Bay Area Country Dance Society Hey Days (formerly, the English Dance and Music Week), a position she also held in 2007 and 2008. In addition, she leads callers’ workshops for English country dance teachers. Check out her past gigs. Brooke also calls for contra, barn, and family dances. She has been on the roster of guest presenters for visiting school groups program of the Center for Shakespeare Studies at SOU.