2016 Stroll Weekend Entertainers
Here are details about our 2015 entertainers. See schedule on our Weekend Entertainment schedule page.
Audrey and Clayton
New England duo Audrey Budington and Clayton Clemetson perform spirited yet heartfelt genre-defying original compositions on fiddle and piano. Whether contemplative melodies that conjure up images, spunky innovations that inspire groove, or a slick lick adroitly mastered, a current of idealism and sincerity permeates their music. Audrey and Clayton’s passion for traditional New England, Irish, Cape Breton and Scottish dance music, sprinkled with their flair, is astutely expressed in their rousing performance. They have performed in Quebec + throughout New England at fairs, dances, weddings.
New Orleans native Pete Simoneaux, and his spouse/partner Linda Simoneaux have been performing Louisiana Cajun & Creole music since the late 1980s, first in Philadelphia, as Schuylkill Bayou Ramblers, and since 1997 in New England, as Lil Orphans. In 2011, they released their debut CD, Big Powerful Woman, under the name Lil’ Orphans Cajun Express. They rechristened the Cajun Express band under the name Bayou X in 2013, to better reflect the band’s continued stylistic expansion. They work with many excellent musicians, and constantly evolve their lineup to take full advantage of all the wonderful musical flavors in their musical garden! And what a harvest they offer; not only Louisiana Cajun music, but also Creole Zydeco, Swamp Pop, New Orleans Funk, Rhythm & Blues, and musical styles from the global Creole diaspora – Dominica, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Martinique, St Lucia, Trinidad… Bayou X is a high energy dance band, with a diverse lineup of top area musicians, performing an increasingly original musical repertoire, guaranteed to delight and entertain. Their new CD, Something Special, is currently in production. (Listen to two tracks here!) Core membership of the group includes, but is not limited to the following members of the band:
- Pete Simoneaux – Fiddle, Vocals
- Linda Simoneaux – Accordion(s), Fiddle, Piano, Sousaphone, Vocals
- Daniel Kasnitz – Electric bass, Electric and acoustic guitars
- Lucas Houk – Electric bass, Electric and acoustic guitars, Keyboards
- Bob DeSena – Drums
- Bob Everingham — Electric guitar & bass
Brattleboro Music Center Youth Fiddlers
Brattleboro Nursery School
Lisa and Mark Brande make up the fiddling duo Easy Street. These professional full time musicians play Cajun, Zydeco and Louisiana Roots fiddle based music in Vermont, Louisiana and Florida in a variety of combos.
*Alan Greenleaf and the Doctor
Alan Greenleaf, guitarist and songwriter, and Jonathan Kaplan, pianist, have been playing together for more than 10 years and are one of the more unique musical pairings in Vermont. Both talented musicians and both former farmers, they blend musically and personally to give life to Alan’s original songs. Alan has been described as the quintessential Vermont song writer by Robert Resnik, the quintessential Vermont music supporter. His blues-folk-rock n’ roll influenced North Country sound covers a range of styles. His words are thoughtful, humorous, poignant and, on occasion, hopeful. His continued commentaries on the human condition remain unvarnished but they are sweeter and his insights into the workings of the rural heart seem to grow with time. Want to know what rural life in Vermont is like? ….just listen to Alan’s songs. And lest we forget, Alan also wrote the theme for The Strolling of the Heifers more than 10 years ago. This year he and the Doctor look forward to premiering his latest song for the Stroll, Love Your Farmer!! Visit their website and Facebook page.
Inisheer is a group of friends playing “northern roots” music – the traditional music of Ireland, Scotland, Brittany, Scandinavia and Quebec. They met as students at the Brattleboro Music Center’s Traditional Music program. Members include Barb Ackerman, (mandolin, mandola); Crager Boardman, (guitar); Art Costa, (bodhran, wooden flute); Patty Krasner,(fiddle); Tom Reish, (fiddle); Antje Ruppert (fiddle); and Alison Schantz, (pennywhistle). Inisheer has performed jigs and reels for the past seven years at local community events and farmers’ markets.
Darryl Kniffen and his group of all star musicians will be performing pieces from Darryl’s debut album DREAMLAND, a groundbreaking album that pushes the boundaries of jazz/fusion. From the explosive arrangement of ACDC’s “Back in Black” to the dreamy and hypnotic original “Midnight Drive,” this group takes the audience on a wild ride!
Mad Science of Western New England
See our stage show at 3:00 PM Saturday at the C&S Family Entertainment Tent and visit the Mad Science Activity Tent at the Expo, where you can make slime along with other hands-on science activities! Mad Science of Western New England provides unique science experiences for children that are as entertaining as they are educational. Mad Science is celebrating its 31st year in operation, with Springfield, MA-based Mad Science of Western New England bringing awesome hands-on in-school and after-school programs, birthday parties, stage shows, activity booths and summer programming to children throughout the region.
New England Center for Circus Arts
The New England Center for Circus Arts (NECCA) is a not for profit circus school based in Brattleboro, VT. It was founded in 2007 to offer people of all ages and abilities a unique opportunity to experience the magical and captivating world of circus arts. NECCA will offer shows every half hour featuring advanced and professional level students. The Brattleboro based circus school attracts high level students locally and from around the world, and they will amaze and entertain you as they swing from trapezes and aerial fabrics hung on their portable aerial rig!
*New Orleans Brass Band Project
The New Orleans Brass Band Project was founded in early 2009 by New Orleans native Pete Simoneaux, as a means of developing a community of musicians, interested in performing traditional and contemporary New Orleans style Brass Band music. This is the music of jazz funerals and street parades in New Orleans, the style that gave birth to the careers of Buddy Bolden, Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, and whose lineage continues to this day in the funky, driving street rhythms of groups like the Dirty Dozen, the Rebirth, New Birth & Treme Brass Bands. The musicians of the N.O.B.B.P. have become familiar to Brattleboro area audiences through their performances at numerous Gallery Walks, the Strolling of the Heifers, 4th of July parades, and a host of other local community events. For the 2013 edition of the Strolling of the Heifers, the Celebration Brass Band will feature Tim Ellis on sousaphone, Ben James on bass drum, Stephen Voorhees on snare drum, Scott Sizer on trumpet, Dan DeWalt on trombone, Jim Kurty on clarinet, Walter Slowinski, Frank Sansone & Jon Mack on tenor, baritone & alto saxes, with Pete & Linda Simoneaux serving as parade marshalls.
Nomad vs. Settler
Nomad vs. Settler (NvS) came together in the summer of 2014 when Putney School freshman Archer Parks (lead guitar) and BAMS 7th-grader Rei Kimura (vocals, rhythm guitar) began collaborating to see what kind of music they could create. The duo soon added bassist/guitarist Owen James (6th grade, Hilltop Montessori) and most recently, drummer Milou Rigollaud (a sophomore at Four Rivers Charter School), creating undeniable youthful chemistry and magnetism. In November, 2015, Nomad vs. Settler took the top prize in Brattleboro Youth Services’ bi-annual Battle of the Bands: 10 hours of studio recording time donated by David Snyder of Guilford Sound. The band has just completed the recording of their debut CD, a compilation of five original songs that highlight the range and complexity of NVS’s repertoire. NVS has performed at a variety of venues around the region, including appearances at the Brattleboro Museum and Arts Center and The Strolling of the Heifers, as well as opening appearances with The Snaz at Headroom Stages, the Brattleboro Museum of Art, and The Rendezvous, and with the Fantastic Partnerz at The Stone Church. Nomad vs. Settler’s music has vast range and jaw-dropping maturity. Their intricate rhythms are infused with Parks’s haunting guitar riffs, James’s soulful bass lines, and layered with Kimura’s uniquely warm and low vocal tones. NVS enthralls audiences with keenly original compositions, creative arrangements and superb craft from each member. This exciting young band can and should be seen by music lovers of all ages.
Andrew Pinard: Absolutely Magic
Andrew Pinard has been performing magic for delighted audiences throughout New England and around the world for the last 25 years. As a “perceptual engineer,” Pinard is part scientist, part magician, part showman, part curator and all fun! His shows explore the topsy turvy world of magic as he adopts the role of a tour guide on a journey of the impossible and absurd. His work focuses on visual magic, physical comedy and audience participation and he performs over a hundred events annually, including dozens of libraries, outdoor and indoor fairs, festivals, corporate events and resorts.
Sandglass Theatre’s Shoshana Bass: Fritzi’s Flea Circus
Fritzi’s Flea Circus welcomes audiences into a delightful world of circus feats, presented by a tiny flea with a big personality. In this 20-minute Sandglass Theatre show, you will experience Fritzi as the strong man and the high diver, and even watch as he is shot out of a cannon into the audience. This miniature, family-friendly show was conceived by Ines Zeller Bass and is now embarking upon a new life in the next generation. Ines’ youngest daughter, Shoshana Bass, proudly continues the tradition, inviting the power of imagination, play, and ear-wiggling, scalp-tickling, heartwarming fun.
Sandglass Theatre’s Jana Zeller: Punschi
Jana Zeller began working for her family’s Sandglass Theatre at a young age, as designer, painter, builder and performer. In 2001 she founded her own puppet company Spybird Theater, and has since created and performed three full-length puppet shows for adults and numerous short form pieces. She has collaborated with dancers, circus artists, and musicians. Her work has been presented in the US, in Canada, and in Mexico. Jana is Co-Curator of the New Visions Puppetry Series, and the Winter Sunshine Series at Sandglass. In addition to performing her own original work, Jana also hits the road with one of Sandglass cherished repertoire pieces, Punschi: Enjoy a funny adventure with Kasper, beloved hand puppet hero of Germany. He wears a stocking cap and likes to have a good time with his audience. Kasper packs to go on a journey, but before he can leave, a cow steals his suitcase. With the help of his best friend, the charming giant Augustin, Kasper has to go on a rollicking chase to capture the cow and his suitcase. An action packed, laughing good 20 minute piece that is performed under a big sun umbrella and is accompanied by a musical interlude on the ukulele.
Lissa Schneckenberger Band
Fiddler and singer Lissa Schneckenburger grew up in Maine as an active member of the folk community, where she learned to play at the feet of some of the most venerable musicians in New England. Lissa has played all over the world, including appearances in Russia, Holland, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Canada, and the U.S. Her latest CD “Covers,” released in June 2013, is a mix of beloved pop songs from the 1950s to today re-imagined with the luscious foundation of fiddle on each selection. While embracing a diverse pallet of musical influences, she still stays true to her New England roots.
An old-time family trio comprised of legendary fiddler John Specker and his two daughters Lila and Ida Mae, The Speckers play traditional American music as it’s never been played before. Taking a stand for honest, fresh music-making, The Speckers are known for recordings that convey the energy of a live performance. But nothing beats the way this father and daughters trio drives a flesh and blood audience to near-frenzy. Get out your dancing shoes and prepare to levitate!
Amelia Struthers, performance artist also known as the “Dairy Godmother,” has been with the Stroll since the first heifers took to the streets of Brattleboro in 2001. Amelia is a veteran entertainer, performing throughout New England as an actress, storyteller, comedian, children’s musician, and emcee, on stage, television and radio. Since moving to Brattleboro in 2000, she has regularly performed comedy improv, and won silver and gold medals, as well as a People’s Choice Award at the 2002 International Clown Convention for best sketch comedy act. Her latest project, a CD called “All About the Heart,” highlights her musical side; Amelia and her singing/songwriting partner perform as Vermont Timbre. Amelia is an educator who lives with her daughter, Maia, also known as the Dairy Fairy and a veteran comedian herself.
The Swing Peepers, a vocal-harmony and multi-instrument duo, perform inventive, earth-friendly and interactive songs and stories. The Swing Peepers are lively, improvisational, and endearingly goofy. Instruments strummed, swung, and tapped include: guitar, mandolin, harmonica, banjo, ukulele, and accordion. Most songs and stories are participatory, and body movement is part of the action! The Swing Peepers draw out the creativity of audiences by having them participate in creating impromptu songs and stories. The Peeps take ideas from the audience and weave them into highly dramatic tall tales. These made-up-on-the-spot rollicking stories are The Swing Peepers’ trademark – watch out for colorful surprises!
Becky Tracy & Keith Murphy
Becky and Keith are dynamic performers of traditional music from Newfoundland, Quebec, Ireland, France and beyond. Tracy’s fiddling pulses through tasteful arrangements of dance tunes and resonates with beauty on traditional slow airs. Keith’s gentle and expressive singing in English and French is balanced by the drive and power of his guitar playing and foot percussion. Combined, they produce a range and richness of sound that is striking for a duo. Their playing is seamless, the result of years of playing together and touring across the U.S., Canada and in Europe.
Roger Treat & Roger Kahle
Fiddler Roger Treat‘s driving style was inspired by fiddlers he heard while summering in Cape Breton Nova Scotia. Though a Vermont native, his focus remains rooted in the traditional dance music of Cape Breton. Roger Kahle will be accompanying on guitar. A guitar style influenced by many of Ireland’s great rhythm players. Roger and Roger first met in 1980, together they will play some lively dance music. Both musicians are heard throughout New England playing contra dances, ceilidhs and sessions.
Percussionist & Gong Specialist Stephan Brandstatter and multi instrumentalist Dennis Waring perform improvised calming, ethereally soothing & evocative compositions on saxophones, clarinet, a variety of flutes & ocarinas plus an array of gongs, chimes, Tibetan bowls, bells, djembe, frame drum, dumbek and more. Based on world music inspirations, Vibrant Ensemble’s soundscapes incorporate the ambience of nature, the exoticism of Asia, the Middle East and the pulsations of Africa & Latin America. Become immersed in the vibrations of the gongs/drums & enveloped by the melodious wind instruments.
Chris Yerlig’s Mime and Magic Show
Expect the unexpected in this unique blend of tricks, illusions, hysterical comedy and lots of audience participation.
Young Tradition VT
Select members of the Burlington-based Young Tradition VT touring group, fresh off an April tour of Ireland and under the direction of veteran performer Pete Sutherland in a program featuring lively fiddle music from across North America, along with step dancing and group singing.