School of Music Instructors
Our classes are taught by some of the folk world’s Finest teachers!
Oona Grady & James Gascoyne
Oona Grady & James Gascoyne have been teaching with the Caffe Lena School of Music since its inception, in March 2020. Over the past year and a half they have offered small group instrumental classes in fiddle and tin whistle (Oona), and guitar, ukulele, banjo, and percussion (James). In the summer of 2021, they co-facilitated the inaugural Troubadour in Training Camp with Lena’s School director Vivian Nesbitt, which was met with great enthusiasm.
Oona grew up in Ithaca, NY, nurtured by a family and community with deep music roots. Aided by Suzuki violin and Irish fiddle lessons, she began performing with her family band as a teenager, and moved to Ireland at age eighteen to continue her music studies at college, graduating with a B.Mus. In addition to teaching at Lena’s School, Oona maintains a private music studio focusing on Suzuki violin and Irish fiddle.
Cameron DeWhitt is a clawhammer banjoist and Old Time musician living in Portland, Oregon. They host the weekly podcast Get Up in the Cool: Old Time Music with Cameron DeWhitt and Friends, which features conversations and musical collaborations with Old Time’s best and brightest while telling the larger story of the tradition’s modern era. Cameron is the innovator behind pitchfork banjo, a three-finger clawhammer technique that allows the player unprecedented access to melody, harmony, and rhythms that are impractical with the standard clawhammer stroke.
In the new generation of contemporary folk music, Lena Jonsson is one of Scandinavia’s most influential fiddlers. Lena’s style is unique in combining her deep knowledge of traditional Swedish folk music and the youthful sounds of rock, pop, jazz, American old-time and bluegrass. Lena is a Swedish Grammy winner with performances for Barack Obama as well as Greta Thunberg. Effortlessly integrating virtousity and rockstar charisma, her music is joyous, sparking life and connection in every performance. And she loves to teach!
Polish-Colombian Stash Wyslouch is an avant-garde bluegrass guitarist. Imagine the bastard child of Bill Monroe and Sun Ra. Stash’s music dances between wild originals and re-imaginations of bluegrass standards with a penchant for improvisation, story-telling, gospel and outer-space worthy composition. He’s released 3 albums of original music with his own group, The Stash Band, that’s been described by the Boston Herald as a “Sonic Kaleidoscopic of Weirdness and Wonder.”
Leah Grady Sayvetz
Cosy Sheridan first appeared on the national folk scene in 1992 when she won the songwriting contests at The Kerrville Folk Festival and The Telluride Bluegrass Festival. My Fence & My Neighbor was number four on the folk radio charts in 2018. Pretty Bird was listed in Sing Out Magazine’s Great CDs of 2014.
She has played at Carnegie Hall, The Cowgirl Hall of Fame, and on the Jerry Lewis Telethon
More about Cosy at CosySheridan.com
Sloan Wainwright is a singer and a songwriter of rare power and subtlety serving up doses of the real and the mysterious in a soaring, soulful contralto.
Allison de Groot combines love for old-time music, technical skill and a creative approach to the banjo forming her own sound – unique and full of personality. Her collaborations with Allison de Groot & Tatiana Hargreaves, Bruce Molsky’s trio Molsky’s Mountain Drifters, The Goodbye Girls and Nic Gariess provide spaces to explore the role and depth of clawhammer banjo.
Bruce Molsky is one of the most revered “multi-hyphenated career” ambassadors for America’s old-time mountain music. For decades, he’s been a globetrotting performer and educator, a recording artist with an expansive discography including seven solo albums, well over a dozen collaborations and two Grammy-nominations.
One of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch,” Nic Gareiss is swiftly becoming recognized as a leading figure in traditional dance. Informed by 25 years of ethnographic study and performance of many world dance practices, Gareiss’ work draws from many percussive dance traditions to weave together a technique facilitating his love of improvisation, traditional clog and step dance footwork vocabulary, and musical collaboration.
Dan Navarro’s journey began as a songwriter, often with the late Eric Lowen, for artists as diverse as Pat Benatar, The Bangles, Jackson Browne, Dave Edmunds, The Temptations, Dionne Warwick, The Triplets, Dutch star Marco Borsato, and Austin outlaw legend Rusty Weir. In the 1990s and 2000s, Dan and Eric recorded and toured as the acclaimed acoustic duo Lowen & Navarro until Eric’s retirement in 2009 (and passing in 2012). Dan has transitioned smoothly into a busy solo career.