Passim instructors come from all different backgrounds, and include local full-time musicians, visiting artists from all around the world, and music instrustry professionals. They specialize in many different genres of music, from folk to jazz to blues, Celtic, and beyond.
Janet Feld teaches private lessons and offers video lesson programs to people of all ages. She teaches guitar and songwriting at The Passim School of Music and general music at St. John Paul II Catholic Academy in Dorchester and JCC Grossman Camp in Westwood. Her mission is to help people experience the fact that you don’t have to be from the “special talented people” planet in order to learn how to play a musical instrument.
Janet is also an award winning performing songwriter appearing at folk festivals and coffeehouses from coast to coast throughout a nearly three decade career. Follow Janet's blog here.
Growing up in a musical family in PA, Natali was introduced to the joy of singing early on - being put on stage as a kid by her musical Mom; and singing / playing instruments in group, solo, and duo capacities. As an adult, Natali pursued the joy of singing, and has sung on studio recordings and in live performances as a Singer/Songwriter and musical collaborator; has completed a Bachelor's of Music from Berklee College of Music with a focus on Vocal Performance & Songwriting; and has worn multiple hats in music & theatre production. Natali believes that everyone who loves to sing should sing, and that vocal warm-ups and exercises are essential to vocal health and stamina. Natali enthusiastically performs regularly as a Lead and Back-Up Singer; is writing a self-care/self-esteem workbook for Singers; and, as a Teacher, Natali is thrilled to share singing techniques, and help connect people to the joy and progress of steady vocal practice. www.talifreed.com
Bertrand Laurence - Hands on Harmony, The Guitorchestra
Bertrand Laurence grew up in France listening to American acoustic guitar masters, and he came to the United States to study at Berklee College of Music. With four CDs of his own music featuring his fresh, "here and now" style, Bertrand has performed on a number of international stages including Montreal Jazz Festival, CAAS in Nashville, Boston Folk and Blues Festival, and Mercure Jazz and Blues Festival in France.
Bertrand teaches performance and song improvisation and coaches voice for actors at the Carriage House Stage and School in Providence, Rhode Island. Bertrand also teaches the technical, physical, and creative sides of guitar playing and the freedom in expressive exploration.
Eric McDonald - Celtic Guitar
Eric McDonald, a former Berklee College of Music student, plays mandolin and guitar for many touring bands and songwriters, including The Dave Rowe Trio, Matching Orange, and others. He has brought his music all over the United States and into Europe. In addition to teaching at Passim, you can find him instructing young musicians at New England fiddle camps during the summer.
Annie Raines was born in 1969 near Boston, MA. She picked up the blues harp at 17 and made her stage debut at the 1369 Jazz Club in Cambridge. Enthralled by the recordings of Muddy Waters, Little Walter Jacobs, Big Walter Horton and Sonny Boy Williamson, she became a fixture at Boston area blues jams. She started out playing the New England club circuit with local bands, and traveled to Chicago where she met and played with many of her musical idols including Pinetop Perkins, Louis Myers, and James Cotton. She paired up with country blues guitar master Paul Rishell in 1992, and together they have earned loyal fans around the globe. They have released seven albums together, including MOVING TO THE COUNTRY (2000), the W.C.Handy Award winner for “Acoustic Blues Album of the Year,” and have performed on diverse radio and TV shows including A Prairie Home Companion, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, and PBS’s Arthur. They have performed and recorded with Susan Tedeschi, John Sebastian, Pinetop Perkins, and Rory Block. Annie has been teaching harmonica for almost 25 years, and recently released her first instructional video, Blues Harmonica Blueprint (Truefire, 2012). www.paulandannie.com.
Originally from Mexico City, Rosa Elena Rivera studied at the Escuela Nacional de Música UNAM. In 2000 she came to Boston, Massachusetts to study at the New England Conservatory. She graduated in 2003 with two Masters Degrees: Vocal Performance and Vocal Pedagogy. She has performed in many solo recitals, small and large ensembles and several productions with different theater companies. Some of her performance experience includes performances with her group "Scura Pasión", The Revels and In Good Company. As a teacher she has worked in both private and public schools systems, conducted ensembles ranging from vocal ensembles, large children choirs, musical plays and recorder consort. Throughout all this years she has kept a voice studio.
Mariel Vandersteel plays a new form of fiddle music that explores the melodic and harmonic structures and ideas that are stemmed from Norwegian hardanger fiddle music, American old-time and original fiddle music. Mariel has taught at Alasdair Fraser's Sierra Fiddle Camp, toured nationally and in the UK and Ireland, graduated with a degree in Violin Performance from Berklee College of Music in 2009 and has shared the stage with the likes of Alasdair Fraser, Hanneke Cassel, Laura Cortese, Brittany Haas, Mike Marshall and Tony Trischka.
Stash Wyslouch is an experienced performer and teacher. A recent graduate of the Berklee College of Music (2010), he’s played guitar for over half of his life and currently tours full time with The Deadly Gentlemen, an up and coming progressive Bluegrass band. Stash started the guitar to emulate his rock and heavy metal heroes growing up but soon grew a taste for the tones and textures of traditional American music. Stash’s unique guitar style links his electrified roots with the high octane sounds of bluegrass heard in the likes of The Stanley Brothers, Doc Watson and Bill Monroe.
Tony Watt- Guitar, Mandolin, Harmony, Ear Training
Award-winning flatpicking guitarist and mandolinist Tony Watt has performed throughout the United States and Europe, on the Grand Ole Opry, and beyond. He has been featured in Bluegrass Unlimited, Bluegrass Now and Flatpicking Guitar Magazine multiple times. Tony has toured with Rounder Recording artist Alecia Nugent and performed with Leigh Gibson, guitarist for The Gibson Brothers. Tony currently performs with his band, Southeast Expressway, and with Laura Orshaw & The New Velvet Band. Tony has taught privately for over 15 years, and now teaches courses in bluegrass guitar, mandolin, harmony singing and more, as well as jamming classes as a certified Wernick Method jam class instructor. Tony is the director of The Bluegrass University, which offers classes for adult beginners at various festivals throughout the northeast including Grey Fox, Thomas Point Beach, JennBrook, Pemi Valley and Podunk. He has also taught workshops and Kids' Academies at bluegrass festivals around the country and beyond. Tony currently teaches lessons, classes, workshops and jam sessions throughout the Boston area and anywhere in the world via on-line Skype videoconferencing. Check out Tony's on-line-yet-hands-on interactiveclasses at www.getinstinct.com/courses/