- Contemporary Bluegrass
Ethan Setiawan is a Boston-based mandolin player who’s won such accolades as the National Mandolin Championship, the RockyGrass Mandolin Championship, and a full-ride scholarship to Berklee College of Music.
As an involved member of the Boston alt-bluegrass scene, his path has wended its way through traditional bluegrass, to Bach partitas, to free jazz, and his debut full-length album is made up of original tunes drawing from all these wells. The album was conceived and crafted as a whole; the tunes were written for the band, who were chosen for the tunes. To write the album, he dove deep into the compositional techniques and tunes of some of the pioneers of the current wave of bluegrass: Bela Fleck, Matt Flinner, David Grisman and Mike Marshall, to name a few. After months of writing, discarding, and editing, a body of tunes emerged as clear candidates for a record. Over several years, the community around Ethan in the Northeast and Midwest evolved into the perfect band for a project such as this.
The band features Julian Pinelli and Avery Merritt on fiddles, Sam Leslie on guitar, and Jacob Warren playing bass. The recording process took place at the Record Company in Boston, and the resulting album contains close friends and bandmates, a batch of carefully crafted tunes, and the freshest grooves in bluegrass. Skilled engineer and mandolinist Dan Bui of Twisted Pine engineered and mixed the album.
He’s a member of bands Theory Expats, The Leafless, Corner House, The Harmolodic String Band, and OctoPladd.
Sadie Gustafson-Zook is a Boston-based, Indiana-raised musician who investigates closeness, uncertainties, and deep relationships. She writes with whimsy and gravity, luring listeners in with intricate guitar picking and inviting them to stay with her carefully crafted stories. She is a Kerrville New Folk songwriting finalist and has been showcased throughout the country at venues and festivals like the Walnut Valley Festival, Red Wing Roots, and Club Passim. In 2019, she also earned an MA in Jazz and Contemporary Music (voice) from Longy School of Music of Bard College.
Her 2021 album Sin of Certainty delves deeper into questions of identity and place, and is her first album since coming out as a lesbian. Sin of Certainty was successfully funded on Kickstarter and features internationally acclaimed harpist Mairi Chaimbeul, Corporate Punk’s Sean Trischka, Toronto-based Charlotte Cornfield, among others. It is produced by Alec Spiegelman and mastered by Bobbi Giel.
Although COVID-19 cut short her recording dates in New York, she is releasing the album in two parts, all under the umbrella of “Sin of Certainty” – “Vol. 1” (released January 15, 2021) and “Vol. 2” (to be released in the fall of 2021), to ensure the safety of all participants.
Sadie has come a long way from her first band–a family band with her parents–and longs to reconnect in person with safe, live shows. For now, she’ll continue to make music, bake scones, enjoy fun pens, and stand for justice.