SF TradFest 2017

Santa Fe TradFest 2017

Comments about the 2017 Santa Fe TradFest

Claude Stevenson, Former New Mexico State Folklorist and mandolin player extraordinaire:
“I feel that I need to chime in and voice my kudos to this group. Oddly and unlike my usual self, I cannot find the linguistic eloquence to express how proud I am of all of you. …you folks are already off to the races to do it again only better next year. That speaks volumes to me. You all did it right and you did it good. You sought out potential partnerships and collaborators and settled on those that best matched your vision. Truly amazing to watch. So my hat is off to all of you. If there’s anything I can do to help with next year’s festival from my email perch, don’t hesitate to ask.”

Simon Lee:
“Camp Stoney was a perfect place to have the festival.”

Here are just a few more enthusiastic comments we received after last year’s festival:

  • We have been going to festivals for over 40 years, and this one was the best!
  • This setting is GORGEOUS and PERFECT!
  • Terrific festival! I really enjoyed all the music that I heard.
  • This festival was very well organized, excellent variety, fabulous venue.
  • Every band was great!

2017 TradFest Photo Gallery – Photos by Peter Esherick



  • Mariachi Buenaventura
  • The Bluegrass Collective, with Jean-Luc Leroux
  • Fast Peso String Band


  • ATC Stringband
  • Elliott’s Ramblers (special reunion)
  • Higher Ground
  • Lone Piñon
  • Bayou Seco
  • Round Mountain
  • Kitty Jo Creek
  • Ladies at Play
  • Adobe Brothers
  • 44% Dandelion (Karina Wilson, Doug Goodheart)
  • The Kipsies
  • Virginia Creepers
  • East Mountain Serenaders
  • Maria y Yahvi
  • Squash Blossom Boys
  • Suzirya
  • Full Owl


  • GOSPEL CONCERT: Elliott’s Ramblers, Higher Ground
  • Atomic Grass, Cheap Shots

Performer Bios

Elliott’s Ramblers – The Ramblers are a High-energy, award-winning bluegrass and folk band that has performed together for almost 20 years throughout the Southwest. Elliott Rogers is a nationally-known songwriter, lead singer, and guitar player, currently living in Driftwood, Texas, and playing with Alan Munde. The Ramblers include Wayne Shrubsall on banjo and vocals; Claude Stephenson playing mandolin and on vocals; Janice Ryals-Rogers singing lead and harmony vocals. Band members have performed with such luminaries as Bill Monroe, Byron Berline, Keith Whitley, Johnny Gimble, Nanci Griffith, Lucinda Williams, and Peter Rowan. Bluegrass

Higher Ground – Higher Ground Bluegrass plays original, contemporary, and traditional music, informed by the American traditions of folk, bluegrass, country, and rock and roll. Band members live in Albuquerque and northern New Mexico and are: Ken “Duke” Weddington on banjo, guitar, and mandolin; Pat Mahoney on fiddle; Laura Leach Devlin on bass; Dave Devlin, playing mandolin and resonator guitar; and Fred Bolton on guitar. Bluegrass

Fast Peso String Band – A Santa Fe institution since 1981, the Pesos play lively, energetic, Appalachian-style old-time music. Band members are Gary Ashkin, fiddle; Bo Olcott, guitar; Tom Adler, banjo; Jim Hughes, fiddle, and John Eddy on mandolin. The Fast Pesos were winners of the Telluride Bluegrass Festival band contest in 1984. Old-time

Bayou Seco – Bayou Seco’s brand of Southwestern Chilegumbo – Cajun two-steps, waltzes, polkas and rancheras, chotis’s, meringues and huapangos, and, perhaps a broom dance, is cross-cultural and multi-lingual, transcending labels. Bayou Seco’s roots are in the deep south and southwest, but their branches reach far across the world. Ken Keppeler and Jeanie McLerie are the heart of this group that has been going strong since 1980 and they live in Silver City. Old-time, Southwestern, Cajun

Round Mountain – Round Mountain has been distilling their own blend of musical world-folk spirits since 2002, playing authentic original songs with strong Appalachian, West African, Celtic and Balkan influences and instrumentation. Santa Fe brothers Robby and Char Rothschild are joined for this appearance by bassist Jon Gagan and multi-instrumentalist Nick Kunz. Americana/World

The Bluegrass Collective with Jean-Luc Leroux – Jean-Luc Leroux is an accomplished bluegrass and country music aratist, originally from Paris, France, now living in Noumea, New Caledonia. He performs here with members of Higher Ground Bluegrass. Bluegrass/Country

Lone Piñon – Lone Piñon plays music of the Rio Grande Valley from Northern Veracruz to Southern Colorado. Their repertoire spans many different genres, encompassing high lonesome two-part harmonies and music played with the fire of traditional people. Using violin, accordion, guitar, quinta huapangera, guitarrón, upright bass and harmony vocals in Spanish, English, and Nahuatl, the group has revived and updated the Chicano string band style that once flourished in New Mexico, bringing a devoted and explosive musicianship to Northern New Mexican polkas and chotes, virtuosic Mexican huapango and son calentano, and classic borderlands conjunto. Band members are Jordan Wax, Greg Glassman, and Noah Martinez. Traditional New Mexican/Mexican

The Adobe Brothers –The Adobe Brothers play a wide variety of acoustic music including bluegrass, Celtic, old-timey, Latin folk music and western swing – a composite style they refer to as “international bluegrass.” The Adobes are Jimmy Abraham, Wayne Shrubsall, Terry Bluhm, and Bruce Thomson. International Bluegrass

Maria y Yahví – Maria y Yahví joyfully share music from various Mexican music traditions including music from the U.S./Mexico border, Son Jarocho (Veracruz), and Son Calentano (Michoacan/Guerrero). Instrumentation includes fiddle, guitar, jarana, voice, percussion, and marimbol. World (Border) Ethnic

Duke City Swamp Coolers – The Duke City Swamp Coolers are a bluegrass band from Albuquerque, New Mexico. They have three CD’s out and have played many different venues and festivals in New Mexico and surrounding states. Band members are Bill Default, mandolin; Jon Bryan, banjo; Tony Smith, guitar; and Tony Kahn, bass. They are joined by guest fiddler Grey Howell. Bluegrass

Virginia Creepers – For more than 20 years, the Virginia Creepers have been playing lively, old-time tunes and songs that range from pre-Civil War to just last week. The Creepers are: Rick Olcott, guitar; Scott Mathis, mandolin and guitarron; Laurie Phillips, mandolin, mandola; Jane Phillips, fiddle; Marc Roberts, bass and banjo. Old-time

ATC String Band – Traditional American folk music from all over played by teenagers at the Academy for Technology & Classics in Santa Fe. The group is taught and led by award-winning music teacher and musician Erik Carlson. Trad American Folk

Squash Blossom Boys – Award winning local bluegrass band the Squash Blossom Boys have been part of the Albuquerque music scene for over a decade, bringing expert musicianship and rollicking energy to standard and original tunes. The Squashies have played southwestern stages for over ten years. With beginnings as a garage band, they have explored a variety of musical genres including rock, jazz, raggae and more to find the hard driving, high lonesome sound of Bluegrass music. Current players include Dustin Orbesen (Dobro, Mandolin, Vocals), Kit Murray (Banjo, Vocals), Kyle Malone (Guitar), Peter Lisignoli (Bass) and Sarah Ferrell (vocals, guitar). Bluegrass

East Mountain Serenaders – Traditional and original old time tunes and songs played on fiddle, banjo, guitar and mandolin in a variety of American styles. Band members are Rob Pine (fiddle, banjo, guitar), Jerry Page (fiddle, guitar), and Jim Mullany (fiddle, banjo, guitar). Old-time

The Kipsies – The Kipsies, a modern Americana-Folk band from Albuquerque, New Mexico, are a multi-award winning acoustic quintet. The Kipsies feature some traditional bluegrass and old-time instrumentation, but with a progressive and modern sound. Band members are: Cassie Rogers, vocals, harmonium, guitar; Tim Engelmann, fiddle, guitar, vocals; Randy Martin, clawhammer banjo; Shawn Berkompas, upright bass; Isaac Sanderville, percussion. Americana-Folk

44% Dandelion — Santa Fe based Fiddle duo, Karina Wilson and Doug Goodhart pay tribute to fiddle traditions from around the world. Karina and Doug are known for their unique rhythms, flawless harmonies and contagious energy. Traditional World/Folk

Kitty Jo Creek – Kitty Jo Creek Band is a melodious group of bluegrass musicians from the Santa Fe area. This bluegrass and cowboy jazz flavored group plays fresh renditions of traditional and original compositions. Band members are James Horn, banjo; David Thom, mandolin; Cathy Faber, guitar; and Terry Bluhm, acoustic bass. Bluegrass/Honkytonk

The Ladies at Play – The Ladies at Play are a high-spirited and musically adventurous contra dance and English country dance band from Oklahoma. Their repertoire includes a wide variety of folk and ballroom-like dance tunes, including jigs, reels, polkas, waltzes, hambos, English, old time, and zweifache. They also play original tunes, inspired by folk music traditions from around the world. Band members are Shanda Mcdonald, fiddle, accordion; Kathy Dagg, guitar, octave mandolin, banjo; and Miranda Arana, flute, whistle, percussion. Cosmic Folk

Sid Hausman – A singer songwriter of cowboy tales and western lore that reflect his experience with ranching, the influence of American Indian and Hispanic cultures, and the rural environment of the American West. Singer-songwriter/cowboy

Blue Moon – Award winning East Mountain songwriters Carl Allen, on guitar and dobro, and Sandra Vieth, on bass and vocals, will be joined by Banjo Bob on banjo and keyboard performing original folk, swing and blues songs. Singer-Songwriters

Full Owl Trio – Santa Fe-based trio featuring three veteran New Mexico musicians: Guitarist and singer/songwriter Michael Sheppard, Julia “Songbird” Meeks with tight harmonies and lyrical lead vocals, and Jack Kotz, one of New Mexido’s most in-demand vocalists. Americana

Suzirya – Santa Fe-based a cappella trio Suzirya (“Constellation” in Ukrainian) sings rich, soulful harmonies from Eastern Europe in a dynamic and intimate exploration of folk music from Bulgaria, Croatia and Ukraine. The trio features Rebecca Baika Chornenky, Cherrymae Golston, and Willa Roberts. Balkan Singers

Mariachi Buenaventura – Mariachi Buenaventura is Santa Fe’s first all-female mariachi band. The ladies play a wide variety of traditional songs and some contemporary pieces, with talent, energy, and charm. Band members are: Joanna, Vihela; Jaqui, guitar; Venessa, Guitarron; Emily, Trumpet; Dianna, violin; Cynthia, Violin; Nishka, Violin; Erika, violin. The band plays for weddings, quinceañeras, and church events, as well as frequent appearance on the Santa Fe Plaza. Mexican/New Mexican

Cheap Shots – An energetic acoustic band with an eclectic mix of old time, Celtic, folk, country, blues, swing, and klezmer. Band members are Pat Aruffo on fiddle; John Brinduse on keyboard, guitar, and percussion; Bill Balassi on guitar and mandolin; Peter Esherick on hammered dulcimer, mandolin, and banjo; and Erika Gerety on bass, mandolin, and vocals. Eclectic Folk

Atomic Grass – Based in Santa Fe, but established in Los Alamos in 1977, Atomic Grass is one of New Mexico’s longest-running bluegrass bands. The band’s repertoire includes traditional and modern bluegrass and country songs. Core members are Haywood Martin, mandolin (and occasional Cajun fiddle); Ron Hale on guitar, and Phil Vergamini playing acoustic bass. Bluegrass