Joellen Lapidus is one of the pioneers of contemporary mountain dulcimer playing, songwriting, and instrument construction and is the author of the dulcimer instruction book “Lapidus on Dulcimer”. Joellen blends the Appalachian, Indian, Arabic, jazz, classical, and pop musical styles to give the dulcimer a new range of rhythmic, melodic, and tuning possibilities.
As a dulcimer maker, her work influenced many of the dulcimer builders of the 70’s and 80’s. Her instruments were known for their innovative shapes and exquisite soundhole and peghead inlay work. She introduced the dulcimer to Joni Mitchell and made three instruments for her between 1968 and 1976. She has also made instruments for David Crosby, Jackson Browne, Wendy Waldman and Garth Hudson. The March 2004 concert, recorded on her album, Joellen Lapidus In Concert, marked her first performance in over 10 years.
Joellen teaches dulcimer in West Los Angeles. She has also returned to her original musical loves – the clarinet and the accordion. She performs with the band “Extreme Klezmer Makeover” and with violinist Yvette Devereaux. Joellen’s newest album is called Dulcimer Music for the Pelican Ballet.
Recently, KC Cafe Radio Music Director Kathy Forste talked with Joellen, about her unique dulcimer influences, her musical upbringing living in New York, and how her musical horizons broadened as she traveled across the United States. They also talk at length about her unique dulcimer instrument creations, and the inspiration behind Pelican Ballet.
Listen To the Interview Here:
Downlad the interview here: Interview: Joellen Lapidus, 5/10/2016.
Music from Joellen Lapidus on KC Cafe Radio:
Multi-instrumentalist James Woolwine has been blessed with a rather heterogeneous musical life up to this point. From Classical to Jazz, Rock and even Heavy Metal interests, his background in music certainly offers the potential for great things to come.
James began studying piano at the age of 7. He immersed himself in Classical music, with dreams of composing symphonies and concertos. (James used to “air-conduct” Beethoven’s 9th symphony). By the end of high school he was winning scholarships and competitions, seemingly on track to a conservatory education. However, his adolescent urges to “rock out” overwhelmed his Classical inclinations. At the age of 16 James added guitar lessons to his piano studies. Dreams of composing symphonies were replaced by dreams to form the next great Heavy Metal band. He carried this ambition to Berklee College of Music, as a guitar major.
James threw himself into his college studies; adding Jazz harmony and contemporary songwriting to his Classical skills. Ultimately, his Heavy Metal aspirations were not achieved; but he discovered a new fascination in acoustic fingerstyle guitar. James graduated from Berklee cum laude with degrees in Performance and Music Business.
After college, James played in several bands; but found that working in groups can be frustrating. He sought refuge in his roots, composing and performing more frequently as a soloist. In 2009 he began a songwriting collaboration with a talented singer. Together they completed a large catalog of original material, but after three years the partnership fizzled out. Unwilling to give up on their songs, James began singing them himself; while continuing to compose new solo music. However, after three more years experimenting as a singer/songwriter, he ultimately realized his true musical voice is not sung; but played. With renewed focus he committed himself to his (by now) large catalog of solo compositions.
James’s diverse musical upbringing is reflected in his debut album, Solo Piano Destruction. Featuring a rather bold and daring album cover, Solo Piano Destruction offers up a couple of Katy Perry cover songs as well as 8 of his original compositions. It has been a Menu Favorite on KC Cafe Radio since November, 2015.
Recently KC Cafe Radio Music Director Kathy Forste talked with James via Skype. He describes his diverse music background, and the influences that shape the music that featured on his album. They also touch on the business of making music, including working as a session musician, performing live and recording.
Listen to the interview here:
Download the interview here: Interview: James Woolwine, 1/5/2016
Music by James Woolwine on KC Cafe Radio
It’s not everyday that two such diverse individuals come together to make beautiful music. In the case of Singer/Songwriters and husband/wife duo Chappell and Dave Holt, their diverse upbringings bring together a unique music sound that is music to everyone’s ears.
They call their brand of music “The Jazzy Side of Americana,” with musical influences that range from Ella Fitzgerald to Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell and Steely Dan.
Dave studied piano at Toronto’s Royal Conservatory. The 60’s brought rock ‘n’ roll, blues, jazz, and a move to Northern California, while honing his songwriting skills. He toured and recorded with Rosalie Sorrels and Frontier, was accompanist to blues/jazz singer Pamela Polland, and her “Melba Rounds Review,” with his mastery of the James P. Johnson piano style, and fronted his own rock/jazz band before he and Chappell began their partnership. Later he earned an SFSU BA and Master’s in Creative Writing and has become a published award-winning poet, and is often in demand to read and perform his poetry accompanied by his drum and Chappell on guitar and vocals.
Chappell, the daughter of a minister, grew up singing gospel music. Frequent moves took her Navy family to San Diego. With a guitar, dulcimer, and autoharp she left for Northern California during the 70’s folk music reviva,l inspired by the new singer/songwriters and the soulfulness of jazz. She began to explore merging poetry with music in songwriting, performed extensively, wrote and recorded for independent films and was an in-demand studio singer. She is an artist, a professional seamstress, and designer.
Together they carve out a blend of musical styles that travel the breadth of the American landscape in both original contemporary stylings and interpretations of classic songs from all eras. Their newest album, Stone And Fire is a genuine representation of their unique sound.
Recently, KC Cafe Radio Music Director Kathy Forste talked with Chappell and Dave Holt via Skype. They each tell the story of their unique musical lives, and how they eventually came together both musically and as true soul mates. They also talk about their artistic lives outside of their music, and how even those experiences play a creative role in their music.
Listen to the interview here:
Music by Chappell and Dave Holt on KC Cafe Radio:
|Chappell and Dave Holt – Stone & Fire|