2016 Biographies — Celtic

Isaac Alderson

Isaac Alderson

Irish Flute

Isaac Alderson grew up in Chicago, surrounded by all kinds of music. At the age of 12, he discovered Irish traditional music and began obsessively practicing the uilleann pipes, learning from such players as Al Purcell, Patrick Cannady, Kieran O'Hare, and many others. At 14, he began to study the flute and whistle with Laurence Nugent from Co. Fermanagh. Many trips to Ireland over subsequent years helped to fan the flames of his enthusiasm for the music and gave him the opportunity to study and play with many outstanding musicians. At 18, Isaac moved to New York in order to attend college and dive into the city's phenomenal Irish music scene. In 2002, Isaac won the All-Ireland Senior Championships on all three of his main instruments. After finishing college, he toured for two years with Eileen Ivers as part of her band, Immigrant Soul, and afterwards with such diverse groups as Jameson's Revenge, Runa, Millish, and many others, and also played extensively around New York with fiddler Gráinne Murphy and guitarist Alan Murray. He currently performs with his band The Yanks, and also the international quartet Comas, the touring show Celtic Crossroads, Irish bar band The Bronx Boys, and the chamber folk group Ensemble Galilei. He has toured in the US, Canada, Ireland, Colombia, much of western Europe, and recently did a three-month tour of China as the piper in the famed show, Riverdance. Other major industry gigs have included pit orchestra work on Sting's musical, The Last Ship, and sub work in the show Celtic Woman. As a teacher, Isaac has led workshops in flute, whistle, and uilleann pipes at the Great Northern Irish Pipers' Club tionól, the St. Louis Tionól, the Re-Jigged Festival in Nova Scotia, the O'Flaherty Irish Music Retreat in Texas, MAD Week in the D.C. area, the Goderich Celtic Roots Festival in Canada, Common Ground in Maryland, the Corofin Trad Fest in Co. Clare, and also had led small workshops for students in Rio Negro and Villa de Leyva, Colombia. He also teaches private lessons online and in person, mainly to advanced students. He is known for his patience and compassion in teaching students of all levels.


Keara Anderson

Snare drumming

Keara Anderson is a member of the Fairbanks Red Hackle Pipe Band. She has been instructed by Reid Maxwell, world champion snare drummer. She has been teaching snare to others for the past several years. Keara has also won drumming awards at various highland game competitions. Musically inclined, she has been playing the piano for over nine years, and teaches piano as well.


Johnny Cuomo

Johnny Cuomo

Celtic Guitar

For over ten years Johnny ran one of the most popular traditional Irish sessions in NYC at O’Neill’s Irish Pub on 3rd Avenue, every Sunday night. Musicians from all parts of the world came in to listen, or sit in, on this multi-talented group of players. In 2012, Irish TV visited O’Neill’s and filmed some of the sessions there. With the close of the pub in 2013, Johnny has branched out and begun developing a following at several other pubs in the area. In addition, Johnny plays at various pubs around NY as an invited guest at other’s sessions, and is available for weddings, private parties and events.


Warren Fraser

Warren Fraser

Pipes

Warren Fraser has been the Pipe Major of the Fairbanks Red Hackle Pipe Band since 1999. He has been piping since 1972. The Band’s CD Under the Northern Lights is available locally. Warren has lived in Fairbanks for 45 years and teaches piping to potential band members. The award-winning Red Hackle Band has competed in Alaska, Hawaii, Washington, Yukon and British Columbia. The band has 28 members from age 12 to mid-70s.


Jason Oremus

Jason Oremus

Irish Dance

Former lead of Riverdance and co-creator of the groundbreaking dance group Hammerstep, Jason is originally from Sydney, Australia, where he won won 5 consecutive State and National Solo Irish dancing titles from 1999-2003. He also performed in the Opening Ceremony of the Sydney Olympics (alongside Tap Dogs) in 2000 at just 15 years of age. In early 2004, Jason joined the world famous Riverdance and toured as principle lead dancer for seven years, performing in over 40 countries and for notable leaders including The Empress of Japan and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard. As Creative Director of Hammerstep, Jason has produced international performances at venues including New York City's Lincoln Center and The Palace Theatre on London's West End. Jason won the Jury’s Award for Outstanding Choreography at the First Irish Theatre Festival 2013 and his work received critical acclaim of various publications while showing at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2013. Jason also co-wrote and choreographed the short film Indigo Grey: The Passage, that was featured in over 30 international film festivals and won 8 festival awards.


Keith Paton

Keith Paton

Pipes

Keith is a member of the six-time World Champion Simon Fraser University Pipe Band. He is an approved adjudicator for the British Columbia Pipe Band Association and also serves on their grading committee. He is an educator by profession, and has been a private and group piping instructor for students of all ages for more than 30 years.


Skogen Sällström

Skogen Sällström

Violin

A specialist in Norwegian music, concert violinist and folk fiddler, Skogen Sällström brings to Festival for the third year the tonalities and rhythms of his heritage that span traditional folk, classical and contemporary genres. He conveys passion through his masterful technique and complete involvement in the music.


Caitlin Warbelow

Caitlin Warbelow

Irish Fiddle

Originally from Fairbanks and currently residing in Brooklyn, Caitlin performs, records, and teaches in NYC and around the country in a variety of genres including Irish traditional and rock, country and bluegrass, Texas swing and contest fiddling, and on occasion returns to her roots as a classical violinist. Caitlin is currently the violinist/fiddler for Riverdance's new touring production, "Heartbeat of Home", and recently performed on Broadway with Sting's musical "The Last Ship". An in-demand teacher with a unique self-developed curriculum blending classical technique and theory with folk music's oral tradition and styles, Caitlin is on the faculty at Manhattan's Irish Arts Center and maintains a large private teaching studio in Manhattan. A former All-Ireland and New England Fiddle Champion, Caitlin has toured nationally with Cherish the Ladies, Trinity Dance Company, Mick Moloney and the Green Fields of America, and Celtic Fire.


James Yoshizawa

James Yoshizawa

Percussion

James Yoshizawa is a Los Angeles-based drummer, percussionist and educator. He holds a B.M. in Percussion Performance from CSU Long Beach and has studied many instruments including drumset, mallet percussion, hand percussion (congas, bongos, bones, pandeiro, frame drums, riq), and orchestral percussion. He has performed with many great artists such as Brad Dutz, Katisse Buckingham, Ron Stout, Chris Wabich and Michael Carney.


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