The next Contra Dance is October 20th!
A perfect blend of joy and dance, Joyance brings a glow and goosebumps to everyone lucky enough to dance to their thrilling sound. Joyance is the newest creation in dance band excitement. Comprised of fiddler Audrey Leigh (Knuth) Jaber, keyboardist Jeff Spero, and bodhran virtuoso, Christa Burch, this California-based band is well-pedigreed. They are awesome instrumentalists, generating complex rhythms and sometimes sweet, sometimes spicy tunes. Every sound they create on stage makes you want to dance.
You know Audrey Jaber is performing from the high energy buzz in the room. Her fiddling, featured in bands including The Free Raisins, The Gaslight Tinkers, Audacious, and Wake Up Robin, has electrified dance and concert halls across the US and Europe. Hailing from Honolulu and now living in California, she cut her folk teeth in the Boston area, where she attended Berklee College of Music and spent years exploring the thriving New England folk scene. Audrey’s fiddle playing is rhythmic, lively, and spontaneous; she's guaranteed to get you up and dancing. She specializes in English dance, New England, Celtic, and Old-Time tunes.
One of the premiere dance pianists on the west coast, Jeff Spero is known for his energetic style and creative arrangements. He provides a wonderfully varied accompaniment of the rare sort that manages to draw out sides of the music you’ve never heard before. He has been the rhythmic mainstay of the Syncopaths and has helped drive the dance music for other bands such as Euphoria, Jibberish, Flutatious, and Jax. Jeff has brought his talents to dances and audiences all over the country, and now it’s our turn!
Jeff’s imaginative and surprising piano accompaniment is anchored by the driving power of Christa Burch’s inventive bodhrån. Christa first fell in love with Celtic music in the spring of 1988, when a friend handed her a home-made tape which featured Scottish band Silly Wizard on one side and Irish band Skylark on the other. After that, as she says, "there was no looking back." Traveling through pubs and homes, festivals and folk clubs all over Ireland and Scotland, Christa found a community of like-minded singers and instrumentalists, and discovered that nearly everyone she met knew someone she knew back home! Christa has performed with the bands, Molly’s Revenge, Blackwaterside, The Fire, and California phenomenon, the Syncopaths.
Christine Merryman discovered the magic of contra dancing 14 years ago just outside her hometown in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Christine started calling dances in her parents' backyard eight years ago. She took callers workshops with Bob Isaacs and began calling dances in the Philly area. Six years ago, Christine moved to Arizona and began calling for dances in Phoenix, Tucson, and Flagstaff. She has also called dances and dance weekends in California and throughout the eastern U.S.
Christine enjoys teaching beginners and creating a welcoming atmosphere for all dancers. One thing she loves the most about calling is seeing the joy, laughter, and smiles on dancers' faces!
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