Episode 17: Maeve Gilchrist

In this episode Neil is meets up with harp visionary Maeve Gilchrist to look back at what has already been an incredibly varied musical career. Maeve takes us behind the scenes in her artistic development as she moved from Scotland to the United States and continues to explore new territory for an instrument that should not be underestimated: the Celtic harp, or Clàrsach. 

Maeve's website: www.MaeveGilchristMusic.com

Maeve's duo with Nic Gareiss: www.maevegilchristandnicgareiss.com

Episode 16: Pete Rushefsky

Pete Rushefsky is a leading revivalist of the tsimbl--a Yiddish instrument in the same family as the hammered dulcimer. Neil visited Pete at his apartment in Brooklyn to learn about a part of the Klezmer music tradition that was nearly lost to the world. Pete shares the his approach to European Klezmer traditions--simultaneously historic/academic and freshly creative--and reflects on a musical journey that began with a blues band at a Bar Mitzvah in Rochester, NY and has led most recently to performances with Itzhak Perlman and the most iconic musicians of the Klezmer revival.

The Center for Traditional Music and Dance: http://www.ctmd.org

Yiddish Song of the Week: https://yiddishsong.wordpress.com

Pete's album The Ternovka Sessions with Jake Shulman-Ment, his creation of "Concert Form Klezmer": https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/peterushefskyjakeshulman

Episode 15: Lissa Schneckenburger

Neil and Lissa sit down in Brattleboro, VT for a conversation about Lissa's upbringing in the rich tapestry of New England fiddle music in Maine. Along the way they talk about her evolution from a student of any fiddle music she could find to an established tradition bearer with her own recognizable sound and Lissa discusses the challenges of balancing music business with creativity and family life

For more about Lissa and her band Low Lily, check out these websites:



Episode 13: Moira Smiley

Moira Smiley is the lead singer of Solas, mastermind behind VOCO and a member of many other stand out groups including The Lomax Project and tUnE-yArDs. In this, the first episode of Season 2, Neil and Moira chat about her varied musical experiences and background from growing up on a farm in Vermont to studying piano in Indiana to living in California singing everything from traditional Balkan music to Irish songs to her own fiercely original material. 

For more of Moira, head over to MoiraSmiley.com

Episode 8: Shannon Heaton

Shannon Heaton, one of Boston's top Irish flute players and singers, chats with Neil about first learning Irish music from a Belgian in Nigeria, crafting a solo show and exploring new ways to present traditional music through mediums like classical composition and podcasting.

Keep an eye on her website shannonheatonmusic.com for her latest projects, including a forthcoming podcast Irish Music Stories on the role of traditional music in shaping community and bringing people together.

Episode 7: Christian Dawid

One of the top Klezmer clarinetists in the world, Christian Dawid talks with Neil about discovering Yiddish music in postwar Germany, the vibrant Jewish music scene in Berlin and his experiences as a non-Jewish German in the Klezmer world. Christian's website is www.christiandawid.com

For reference, some of the musicians, bands and personalities Christian mentions in this conversation:

  • Dave Tarras
  • Brave Old World
  • Daniel Kahn
  • Alan Bern
  • The Klezmatics
  • The Klezmer Conservatory Band
  • Michael Wex
  • Henry Sapoznik

Episode 6: Jens Linell

Jens Linell, percussionist with Swedish/Norwegian band Sver (http://www.sverfolk.com/en), sat down with Neil at the Sierra Fiddle Camp this summer. Starting with his discovery of the complexities of Swedish traditional music as a music student, Jens talks about developing his unique style of tambourine playing, performing solo concerts and how differently his creativity works depending on what instrument he's playing.  

Episode 5: Natalie Haas

Trailblazing cellist Natalie Haas talks about her creative process with fiddler Alasdair Fraser, how she finds musical inspiration in collaboration across the globe, and how her sister's classical violin teacher mistakenly thought that sending the girls to Valley of the Moon Fiddle Camp would keep them on the straight and narrow! All this, plus tunes from Scotland and Galicia on this week's episode of TradCafe.

Episode 3: Isa Burke

Singer, fiddler, guitarist and songwriter Isa Burke talks with Neil about her trio Lula Wiles, growing up in a musical family in Maine and finding inspiration for each new song in the most unexpected places. This episode also features a song of Isa's off the new Lula Wiles album (https://lulawiles.bandcamp.com/) and an exclusive look behind the scenes at the writing, re-writing and recording process of that track.

Episode 1: Mike Block

Cellist Mike Block joins Neil for the first episode of Trad Cafe. Known for his pioneering String Camp in Vero Beach, FL and his work with Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble, Mike talks about how taking on new and diverse challenges—like answering Craigslist ads for rock bands in NYC and performing with Mark O'Connor—has transformed him into the multifaceted musician he is today.