2016 Biographies — American Roots

Darol Anger

Darol Anger

Fiddler, composer, producer and educator, Darol Anger is at home in a number of musical genres, some of which he helped to invent. Exceptional among modern fiddlers for his versatility and depth, Anger has helped drive the evolution of the contemporary string band through his involvement with numerous pathbreaking ensembles such as his Republic Of Strings, the Turtle Island String Quartet, the David Grisman Quintet, Montreux, his Duo with Mike Marshall, and others. He has performed and taught all over the world with musicians such as Dr. Billy Taylor, Bela Fleck, Bill Evans, Edgar Meyer, Bill Frisell, Marin Alsop and the Cabrillo Orchestra, Tony Rice, Tim O'Brien, the Detroit Symphony, Aoife O'Donovan, Mark O’Connor, and Stephane Grappelli. Today Darol can be heard on NPR's "Car Talk" theme every week, along with Earl Scruggs, David Grisman and Tony Rice. He has recorded and produced scores of important recordings since 1977, is a MacDowell and UCross Fellow, and has received numerous composers’ residencies and grants. He has been a featured soloist on dozens of recordings and motion picture soundtracks. He is an Associate Professor at the prestigious Berklee School of music.


Steve Baughman

Steve Baughman

Guitar, banjo

Steve Baughman is a finger style guitar player and old-time banjo player whose music has been featured on NPR and nationally syndicated music programs. He is the author of five books with Mel Bay Publications and several of his albums have made the yearly "Editor's Pick" list at Acoustic Guitar Magazine. Steve is from San Francisco, California.


Ryan Bowers

Ryan Bowers

Bass

Ryan Bowers is a bassist and singer/songwriter from Fairbanks. He started singing as a child, started playing for dances at 13, and got his first bass at 17. Since then, he has been in a list of bands which includes Lost Dog Stringband, The Xtra-Tuffs, Eel House, Rock Bottom Stompers, The Norris Bowers Band, and Ryan Bowers And The Brain Trust. He studied voice at UAF, and bass and songwriting at Berklee School Of Music. He has toured and recorded with many groups, and is about to release his first solo album Sweet Calamity, recorded and mixed in Fairbanks at 10th Planet Recording. Ryan has experience in a wide variety of roots styles, including bluegrass, old-time, country, folk, and contra dance, as well as in rock, indie, jazz, pop and chamber music styles. He has been teaching at music camps for many years, and is excited to be teaching at FSAF for the first time. Ryan likes his pancakes with yogurt instead of syrup, and eats his cereal dry.


Emy Phelps

Emy Phelps

Voice/guitar

Emy Phelps is a remarkable vocalist/guitarist and a star in the Pacific Northwest who put her career on hold to raise four kids and is now back in the game. She was a founding member of Brian Ransom's Ceramic Ensemble, touring internationally from 1980–1987. As a member of that ensemble she did research on indigenous music in Peru, and obtaining a degree in education, teaching at elementary and middle schools and successfully raising children, but now her public work continues as a recording artist, a member of the Furies, and as a duet with Darol Anger. In addition to her current release, Look Up, Look Down, she released a previous recording entitled As It Should Be on Sweet Mercy Records.


Jacob Ransom

Jacob Ransom

Percussion

Jacob Ransom is a well-known and familiar local drummer, teacher, percussionist, and world music aficionado within the Fairbanks community. Jacob was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, moved to the beautiful town of Ashland Oregon where he was raised as well receiving his bachelors of music degree from Southern Oregon University. Jacob is currently a graduate teaching assistant at the University Alaska of Fairbanks Alaska studying percussion performance with Dr. Morris Palter.


Ukulele Russ

Ukulele Russ

Ukulele

Ukulele Russ, known for his off-the-cuff antics and fast hands, has been rocking crowds on the East and West coasts for several years. Russ plays a variety of the songs never meant for the ukulele in a way that only he can! Ukulele Russ's shows are full of great music, clever word play, and hilarious commentary. They also expose the carefully-guarded “secrets” of musicians worldwide. (Magicians aren't the only ones who get mad when you tell people how they do it…)


Mike Stevens

Mike Stevens

Harmonica

Mike Stevens is a harmonica virtuoso. Hailed as an innovative musician and author, Mike transcends the perceived limitations of his instrument, and is a master of virtually every musical genre. His aggressive, soulful approach to the harmonica takes audiences on an incredible journey. Best known for his groundbreaking work in the Bluegrass field with legendary Grand Ole Opry members “Jim & Jesse” (with whom he performed on the Grand Ole Opry over 300 times), Mike has created an original, much sought-after, and often-copied style of playing the harmonica. http://www.mikestevensmusic.com


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