Elixir, hailing from New England, blends driving fiddle and guitar with the rich texture and rhythmic excitement of a full horn section, deftly weaving brassy riffs and daring solos in and out of traditional Irish, French Canadian and New England tunes. Elegant melodies evolve into raucous dixieland horn riffs; transcendent harmonies, playful improvisations, and rock, swing and reggae-inspired rhythms complement traditional and original tunes.
Lisa Greenleaf, from central Massachusetts, has been treating dancers across the country to her high spirited, witty calling for many years, and is known for precise walk-throughs of zesty and flowing dances. Whether she is presenting cool contras, hot squares, or focused callers’ workshops, Lisa engages the crowd with her humor and community spirit.
Contratopia is a contra dance band composed of two musicians from Minnesota and two from northeast Iowa. Erik Sessions (fiddle), Patrice Pakiz (piano, oboe, percussion), Pat O’Loughlin (english concertina and banjo) and John Goodin (mandolin and guitar) began playing together in late 1999 and decided that the rewards of working together outweighed the challenges of geographical separation. Many groups of dancers have enjoyed Contratopia’s unique musical approach at events from Montana to Florida and the band anticipates continuing to share their enthusiasm for jigs, reels and waltzes with dancers for a long time to come.
Ted Hodapp has been dancing and teaching New England Contras, traditional and country-dances from England, France, and Scandinavia for nearly 40 years. He is a co-author of several books of original contra dances, performs with a number of traditional folk-dance groups, and tells really bad jokes.