Wallace & Sasso
Kat Wallace and David Sasso met playing hard and fast bluegrass with New Haven string band Five ‘n Change (formerly Five in the Chamber). Their shared background in classical music and affinity for all things trad brought them together to form an intimate and virtuosic duo. With fiddle and a variety of mandolin-family instruments, Wallace and Sasso orbit around traditional folk, original songwriting, and the ever-evolving boundaries of Americana music. Their effortless vocal lines and innovative harmonies command the stage while allowing space for each song to tell its story. Their debut album, Stuff of Stars, released in 2019 to critical acclaim, paved the way for their highly anticipated sophomore album, Old Habits, released in October 2021. Both projects were recorded, mixed, and mastered at Dimension Sound Studios in Boston.
The duo’s second album, Old Habits, draws upon Kat and David’s classical backgrounds to create inventive arrangements that both capture and extend the aesthetic of traditional song and tune. This album showcases their virtuosity and knowledge of harmony and form, presenting mostly original songs that are at once deeply familiar and assuredly innovative. Evolving from the transparent duo sound of Stuff of Stars, Old Habits features a full band, with Brittany Karlson on bass and Ariel Bernstein on drums. The songs reflect on the cyclical nature of life, love, and loss, taking inspiration from the isolation and pain of the past year’s pandemic while reaching to find beauty and meaning in the trials and tribulations of the human experience. The album showcases Kat and David’s individual and complementary songwriting styles and includes a cast of very special guests showcased on a joyful bluegrass instrumental track entitled “Somes Pond.” Old Habits was recorded, mixed, mastered, and produced by Dan Cardinal at Dimension Sound Studios in Boston and released on October 1st, 2021.
Kat is a 1st year masters student at New England Conservatory in the Contemporary Improvisation department. Specializing in American and Celtic fiddle styles, her music making centers around original and traditional tunes and songs utilizing tenor guitar, fiddle, viola and voice. She’s also a founding member of the Askia Quartet established at NEC in 2021. Before moving to Boston, Wallace graduated from Ithaca College School of Music in 2016 with a degree in violin performance and spent the years after college building a private studio and performing in various projects around her hometown of Guilford, CT. Outside of Kat’s studies and work with David, she tours and records with Rachel Sumner and Traveling Light, winner of the John Lennon Folk song competition. She’s also working closely with the community at famed folk venue, Club Passim, in Cambridge and looks forward to continuing her education and performing in and around Boston!
David completed a Bachelor of Music in Music Composition at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he recorded two albums as a member of the Pro Arte Singers. Prior to college, David was the youngest composer, at age 16, to have a work premiered by the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. In 2003, the Indianapolis Children’s Choir premiered David’s full length original opera, The Trio of Minuet, featuring children as the main characters and performers. The opera was broadcast on PBS stations nationwide. David has several pieces for children’s choir published and performed around the country. In recent years, he has become increasingly involved in the world of mandolin-family instruments and an active member of the Connecticut traditional music scene. After college, David went on to medical school and now works full-time as a psychiatrist.