Allison de Groot (Banjo) combines love 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 music, she loves to collaborate and create outside this genre, pushing the boundaries of the clawhammer banjo.
The music scene in her hometown of Winnipeg, Canada, immersion in Appalachian old-time communities, a performance degree at Berklee College of Music in Boston, and touring extensively throughout North America and Europe have all shaped her playing. She is currently performing with Bruce Molsky’s new project Molsky’s Mountain Drifters, The Goodbye Girls and Allison de Groot & Tatiana Hargreaves.
Ameena Bajer-Koulack (Banjo) teaches a LOT of banjo in Winnipeg, and is a sought after musician and instructor, both privately and at camps. She runs her own music camp in Manitoba in September called “The Falcon Lake Fiddle Camp”, and is a dynamic performer and teacher. No stranger to KLKP, Ameena has been onsite for probably 13 of our 14 years of operation, and is just one of “our own”.
Ben Knorr (Guitar) – is a composer, teacher, and multi-instrumentalist from Regina, Saskatchewan. Originally a participant of KLKP, Ben has recently completed a bachelor of arts degree in Film Scoring from the Berklee College of Music. Ben plays currently with the band BAERD, and known for his exceptional arrangements and transcriptions.
Booker Blakley (SK) (Fiddle) – is a performer, artist, and teacher based in Saskatoon SK. Currently studying Electrical Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan, he performs with the Celtic rock group Wenches & Rogues, and the Saskatoon Fiddle Orchestra. Booker has played the fiddle for over 18 years, and spent many of them at KLKP learning as well as instructing . He is well versed in Celtic, Mètis, Quebecois, and other traditional Canadian styles. He will also becompeting i the 218 Canadian Grand Masters fiddling competition.
Bruce Molsky (Fiddle) – Described as “one of the nation’s most talented fiddlers,” Bruce Molsky (NY) is one of the most revered ambassadors for America’s old-time mountain music. For decades, he’s been a globetrotting performer and educator, a recording artist with an expansive discography including seven solo albums, well over a dozen collaborations and two Grammy-nominations. Bruce is currently a visiting scholar at the Berklee College of Music, and a favorite of fiddle camps around the world.
Cameron Baggins (MB) (Fiddle) – first a classical violin teacher, first became inspired to teach and organize young fiddlers after hearing some of them try out their competition tunes for him during lessons in Brandon, Manitoba. This led to the Fantasy Fiddlers group in Brandon, and later the Forty Fiddling Fanatics in Winnipeg, When it became clear there were no significant music education opportunities for children in northern Manitoba, he launched a couple of pilot projects through the Frontier School Division in 1998. These fiddling classes were instantly popular and lead to rapid expansion. Today, Cameron co-ordinates the Frontier Fiddling Program throughout the province.
Donna Turk (SK) (Fiddle) – A long time KLKP instructor, Donna Turk is passionate about making fiddle music accessible for all ages and backgrounds. She led the accomplished Bow Valley Fiddlers of Calgary for many years before moving to Forget where she currently teaches. Specializing in the Old Time fiddle style, Donna has toured around the world and won many competitions.
Jacquie Walbaum (SK) (Week 1 Uke, Week 2 Voice) – has been teaching music in South East Saskatchewan for years. Her innovative approach to choral singing combines traditional call and response learning with fun modern music. She performs frequently with Wooltree Grove, and has recently founded the fiddle/vocal group Focal Point with Donna Turk.
Jeremy Rusu (MB) (Piano) – Whether it’s on jazz piano, drums with a big band, country lead guitar, bluegrass mandolin, or accordion, Jeremy Rusu (MB) is right at home on a stage as long as he’s making music. He is in great demand in several bands around Winnipeg and is also busy working as a studio musician. Most recently, Jeremy has released his first solo recording titled “The Accordion Album.”
Karrnnel Sawitsky (SK) (Fiddle) – is one of Canada’s most accomplished and innovative fiddlers and musicians as a recording artist, teacher, performer and composer. He is the most successful competition fiddle player in Saskatchewan’s history, is a multi-nominated winner at the Western Canadian Music awards and the Canadian Folk Music Awards, and won a Juno for instrumental album of the year with The Fretless in 2017. Known for his distinct style and exceptional technique, Karrnnel is highly regarded for his unique approach in breaking new ground in the traditional fiddle world.
Kelli Trottier (ON) (Fiddle) – As a triple threat, Kelli Trottier brings her crisp fiddling, Angelic voice and fiery step dance to all of her performances. Her talents carry her to stages across North America, Europe, the Middle East, and the Far North, making fans and friends at every venue along the way. She has been nominated three times for Fiddle Player of the Year by the Canadian Country Music Association and has performed live and in studio with George Fox, The Family Brown, Randall Prescott, Wayne Rostad, Lucille Starr and more. Most recently, Kelli was inducted into the Ottawa Valley Country Music Hall of Fame.
Kim deLaforest (SK) (Fiddle) – is a fiddle, violin, viola and vocal performer and teacher based in Saskatoon. She enjoys combining many different styles of folk and classical music to create her own unique sound.
In her classical world, Kim has played with the Regina and Saskatoon Symphony Orchestras. She is currently the first violin player in the Mac Talla string quartet.
Kim plays and sings with Prairie Sea (folk trio based in Nova Scotia and Sask). Both of Prairie Sea’s CD’s have been nominated for Traditional/Roots Recording of the Year by Music Nova Scotia. Kim plays with local Irish band ‘Jim n Kim’ as well as doing a lot of solo fiddle work.
Kim teaches at home in Saskatoon as well as travelling to Baffin Island, NU twice a year to work with Inuit youth (musicforthefuture.ca). Kim has been the musical director of the Saskatoon Fiddle Orchestra for the past 10 years.
Korri Spruyt (AB) (Piano) – is a young musician to watch. She is adept both on the Bass and on piano, and often accompanies Gordon Stobbe when he is touring through Alberta. She has played with the Calgary fiddlers for many years, and attends Berklee college where she plays in several ensembles as she continues to pursue her musical journey.
Mairi Rankin (BC) (Fiddle) – plays fiddle, sings and also step-dances up a storm. Born in Mabou, Nova Scotia, Mairi has been influenced by some of the best Cape Breton traditional musicians and instructors on the island. She has toured nationally and internationally, and is a member of The Outside Track and Cape Breton Celtic group Beolach. She has performed with the Rankin Sisters, Unusual Suspects and Bruce Guthro to name but a few. Mairi has recorded one solo album, two CDs with Beolach and has been featured on numerous compilations and recordings.
Marcel Hapel (MB) (Banjo) – is a long-time fiddle player and teacher entering his fourth year of a Music Education degree at Brandon University. Growing up in Manigotagan, Manitoba, he started his playing career in school with the Frontier School Division fiddle program. Marcel has taught fiddle for the Frontier SD, for the MMF, and at various summer fiddle camps throughout Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Marcel also plays house-concerts, backup guitar, and performs as one of the fiddle players with the band Tom Foolery.
Melissa Brun (PA) (Cello) – is a cellist, educator, and singer. Currently, she works as a freelance musician and teaching artist in addition to being on faculty at Millersville University and hosting two private teaching studios. She is a teaching artist for the West Chester Studio for the Performing Arts and the Wolf Performing Arts Center. Melissa is also a String Clinician at D’Addario, as a representative for the Philadelphia region.
|Morgan Turk (SK) (Guitar) – Electric, Blues. Rock, you-name-it: Morgan Turk (MB) is your ultimate guitar man – he just plays everything. He teaches guitar in S.E. Saskatchewan, including running a school guitar program at White Bear Education Complex. However, he still travels back and forth to Calgary where he anchors the Kirby Sewell band, and runs open mic sessions around the city. His compositions are the theme track of a popular cooking show! Regardless of your style, he can show you how to elevate your playing to wherever you’d like to go.|
Nathan Layh (MB) (Guitar) – is a versatile young musician and graduate of the Brandon University School of Music. Although his major was Classical Guitar he primarily plays steel string acoustic and electric styles like blues, funk and rock. In addition to running his private guitar studio, Nathan spends his time working on material for his original group, the Layh-Stacey Band, and jamming with local musicians.
Rob Skeet (AB) (Ukelele) – is a musician with over 30 years of experience in the entertainment industry. From pop tunes to Irish ballads, Rob is comfortable in a wide range of styles, and is well known for his versatility and humor. Playing guitar and leopards and working from a centre of electronic gizmos and whatzits, Rob uses his boundless energy to create fun and merriment.
Ryan D’Aoust (MB) (Fiddle) – is an accomplished recording artist and teacher whose credits include the Rising Star Award at the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards, performances at the Junos and for the Queen of England, and winning the Festival du Voyageur Junior Fiddle Competition and the John Arcand Fiddlefest Competition. He has 2 award winning albums, and he has competed in the Canadian Grand Masters Fiddle Championships.
|Shamma Sabir (Fiddle) – is widely regarded as one of Canada’s best fiddlers, and has writing credits on the albums of many well known Canadian fiddlers including Gordon Stobbe and Calvin Volrath. After receiving a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology, Shamma fuses years of musical training and her knowledge of brain development in her unique teaching style. In 2017 Shamma released the first book in her Once Upon a String series focused on the fundamentals of fiddle music.|
Shane Cook (Fiddle) – A Canadian and international fiddle champion, Shane Cook captivates audiences with technically thrilling and adventurous performances. Noted by The Canadian Fiddlers’ Hall of Fame as one of the “finest fiddlers in the world today,” Cook has distinguished himself as a master of the Canadian old-time fiddle tradition. He also excels at styles ranging from Irish and Scottish to French-Canadian and Bluegrass. Shane retired from competitive fiddling in 2006 as one of Canada’s most highly awarded fiddlers. He is a three-time Canadian Open National Champion, a three time Canadian Grand Masters Champion and the only foreign fiddler to win the US Grand National Championship, a feat he accomplished at just 17 years of age! Shane leads his own group, Shane Cook and the Woodchippers, and performs regularly with several ensembles including The Stepcrew, The Allison Lupton Band, The Brian Pickell Band and the PBS hit, Bowfire, having toured extensively in Canada, the US, the UK, Ireland, Germany, China and Taiwan. Shane is agraduate of Western University and resides in London, Ontario with his wife and son. www.shanecook.com
Shannon Shakotko (SK) (Internship Program) – A highly trained educator, Shannon Shakotko (SK) holds a Master of Arts Education as well as a Masters of Interdisciplinary Studies. A long time camp chick, Shannon has worked at multitudes of leadership camps throughout the USA and Canada, has previously taught piano at the KLKP, and sits on the Kitchen Party Music Inc. Board. So she knows intimately the inner workings of being a camp teacher and leader. Considering that KLKP hired two of the program’s graduates this year, we are even more excited for the direction of this leadership program.
Ward MacDonald (PEI) (Fiddle) – grew up in the Scottish fiddling traditions of Prince Edward Island. His playing reflects four generations of family fiddling and is spiced with a unique blend of Cape Breton, Acadian, and Irish influences. He has been featured at concerts, festivals, and square dances across Atlantic Canada and has traveled with his music as far as Cuba and the Bahamas. He has also taught and performed at fiddle camps across North America.