Get to know our instructors for the Winter semester!
All of the instructors at Passim come from an array of different cultures and backgrounds, each with their own musical interpretations, unique skills, and a genuine readiness to encourage their students to actively grow in their craft. Our roster of instructors includes both locally and nationally recognized performing musicians, accomplished music educators, and industry professionals.
Nathaniel Braddock is the leader of the internationally touring Occidental Brothers Dance Band Int'l and a ten-year faculty member of Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music. He has performed extensively with African artists and with American and Australian indie rock bands. His instrumental solo guitar and mandolin sets feature the crossroads of African roots music and American primitive guitar, with original compositions that extend into modern harmonies and complex rhythms with the complexity of chamber music. Braddock created and curated the monthly Sydney Folk Guitar School and Hoot Night after moving to Sydney, Australia in 2014-5, and has recently relocated to Boston, Massachusetts. www.nathanielbraddock.com/
Eleanor Buckland is a songwriter, singer, and fiddler, but not always in that order. As a 4th generation performing musician, Eleanor has been singing melodies since before she could talk. So it seems only natural that she would eventually fall in love with writing songs. Growing up in Maine in a musical family, her passion for songwriting and performing grew out of an influence of traditional fiddle, country & bluegrass music. Now residing in Boston, MA, she has immersed herself in the thriving folk/roots music community as she brings light and joy to stages such as Club Passim & Lizard Lounge. She’s had the honor of performing with Matt Glaser, Bruce Molsky, Rose Cousins, Laura Cortese & Dietrich Strause. Her most exciting and recent musical endeavor is Lula Wiles, her band with fellow Mainers, Isa Burke and Mali Obomsawin. What started as jamming at parties and around campfires has become a project of electric musical chemistry from their shared affinity for grooving and the craft of both songwriting and performing.
Hailing from the vast suburbs of Houston Texas, Dan Bui currently makes his home in Cambridge, MA where he plays the mandolin in a variety of Boston and New England bands. After several formative years of classical piano and violin lessons, Dan was introduced to the mandolin by seeing Sam Bush play on PBS, and he became obsessed with getting and playing one. Many years later, and he is a now a graduate of the Berklee College of Music, where he studied with acoustic luminaries like John McGann, Darol Anger, Joe Walsh, and Jason Anick. In addition to a busy schedule of performing, Dan also freelances as an audio engineer in Boston, and has recorded and mixed projects featuring some of the area's top young acoustic musicians; his latest project being the Twisted Pine EP.
Allison de Groot combines love and passion for old-time music, technical skill and a creative approach to the banjo forming her own sound – unique and full of personality. Although firmly rooted in old-time and traditional music, she has shown her ability to collaborate and create outside this genre, pushing the boundaries of the clawhammer banjo. Allison has toured all over the world with various groups, performing at venues such as Trafalgar Square in London, Newport Folk Festival, Stockholm Folk Festival and mainstage slots at the Winnipeg Folk Festival, Tønder Festival in Denmark and Vancouver Folk Festival. She has performed with Oh My Darling, Bruce Molsky, The Goodbye Girls, Tony Trishka, Mandolin Orange and Molly Tuttle & John Mailander, to name a few. In 2012, Allison was awarded the Slaight Family Scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. where she went through the American Roots Program on clawhammer banjo. She is involved in both the American and Canadian music scenes, and splits her time between Boston, MA and Winnipeg, MB. www.allisondegroot.com
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.
Raised in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, Deni has been surrounded by the imagery and authenticity of folk music since an early age. Throughout her education, Deni acquired a classical foundation on both piano and the voice and was profoundly influenced by choral music – arranging numerous songs that were performed by her high school choirs. She has since shared the stage with the Boston Pops, Mark Erelli, Jay Bellerose, Meg Hutchinson and Melissa Ferrick and has been heard in nationally-aired commercials and on the homepage of music-streaming website, SoundCloud. Deni is a graduate of Berklee College of Music, where she studied under the private voice instruction of Paula Cole, and actively performs with her band, The Western Den. www.thewesternden.com
Bronwyn Keith‐Hynes is a Boston-based musician originally from Charlottesville, Virginia. Accepted on a scholarship to Berklee College of Music at age 16, she graduated in 2013 with a Professional Diploma in Violin Performance. Bronwyn is fast gaining recognition for her fiddling across bluegrass and acoustic music circles. Her playing, improvising, and writing are informed by her past six years of immersion in the Boston acoustic music scene and time spent studying traditional Irish, Scottish and Cape Breton music before moving to Boston. Bronwyn has performed with Peter Rowan, The Milk Carton Kids, Anais Mitchell, Joe Pug and Tony Trischka, among others. Her current full-time project is with the progressive bluegrass band Mile Twelve. In 2014 Bronwyn won first place in the Walnut Valley Old Time Fiddle Championship in Winfield, KS and in 2015 won first place in the Freshgrass Fiddle Contest. www.bronwynkeithhynes.com
GennaRose Nethercott is a poet, performer, and folklorist from the woodlands of Vermont. She has toured her work to poetry venues, theaters, libraries, and schools across the United States and Europe, and her writing has appeared widely in journals and anthologies. She was named the grand prize winner of Spark Creative Anthology's poetry competition and the Lindenwood Review's flash fiction contest. On sunny days, she is often stationed on street corners writing poems-to-order for passersby on a 1952 Hermes Rocket typewriter. A collection of these commissioned works, entitled Poems for Strangers, was released by Honeybee Press in 2015. She studied poetry, theatre and folklore at Hampshire College and The University of Edinburgh. www.gennarosenethercott.com
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', 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).
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 is a musician, educator, graphic designer and visual artist currently living in Boston, Massachusetts. Since graduating from Berklee College of Music, Mariel has established herself as a folk musician of multiple styles, recorded her first solo album, Hickory, lived in Norway while studying the hardingfele, toured Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, India, Bangladesh and has performed across North America multiple times while touring with Laura Cortese & the Dance Cards. Her interest in world culture and hand crafted folk art along with obsessing over the process of watching Hickory's artwork come to life, has led to an interest in graphic design and she has worked with several New England area musicians on CD design, posters and other promotional material. Mariel has performed and taught nationally and internationally with Laura Cortese & the Dance Cards, Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers, The Three Irish Tenors, Emma Beaton, Annalivia, Putnam Smith and participated in the Savannah Music Festival’s first Acoustic Music Seminar working with artists Zakir Hussein, Edgar Meyer, Mike Marshall, Tony Trischka, and Chris Thile. Mariel is either currently teaching violin lessons privately and at the Club Passim School of Music, performing locally, hugging dogs or finding something creative to explore. www.marielvandersteel.com
Boston-based Stash Wyslouch is one of bluegrass’ great young genre-bending pioneers. He got his start as a guitarist in metal bands before immersing himself in the structures of roots music as a member of progressive bluegrass act, The Deadly Gentlemen. Now paving his own way as a solo artist with a new group, Bluegrass and Metal collide to form an original, honest and thoughtful sound. His debut album, “Stash!” (Sep 2015), features 19 original songs and a band of who's who's including Sean Trischka on Drums and Vocals, Duncan Wickel on Fiddle and Noam Wiesenberg on Bass. http://www.stashwyslouch.com/