Alistair began playing the drum kit with his friends in high school, the core of which went on to form the award winning Canadian country band Prairie Oyster (his mom is credited with naming the band). Currently he plays with various artists in the Ottawa area including Sneezy Waters, Keith Glass (Prairie Oyster, Lynn Miles), Ball and Chain and Pat Moore. He learned to play the bodhran during his tenure in Winnipeg and played with several well known bands including Skruj McDuhk and The Duhks. Alistair also designed and built tunable bodhrans as well as inventing a single key tunable system that was used by one of the best known drum builders in Ireland. He plays in both the traditional and ‘top-end’ styles. He is currently working with master tipper maker Jim Hunter on his own style of cipin (or stick).
Zvondai Muchenje is a percussionis specializing in southern African drumming and Zimbabwean-style marimba music. The music is known for its interlocking rhythms and melodic lines that are associated with the joyful, uplifting musical style from the Shona speaking people of Zimbabwe.
Karson McKeownKarson is a well rounded fiddler and violinist. He began studying fiddle music at age 10 and later started classical violin at Canterbury High School. Canterbury led him to further study music at a post secondary level. Karson Graduated from Charlottetown’s Holland College Music Performance program in 2014. It was here that he studied many genres of music including jazz, latin, blues, country, rock and celtic.
Dylan has been playing guitar since his early teens. At the age of 13 he started teaching workshops to young guitar players after school and on weekends. In his teen years he played lead guitar in a metal band and perfected his shredding skills. That band produced 2 albums and played regularly at Ottawa venues like Café Dekuf, Mavericks and Babylon.
After graduation Dylan decided to put school on hold and dedicate his time to perfecting his music skills. He now studies & plays Gypsy Jazz and Finger Style Acoustic guitar, influenced by guitar legends like Chet Atkins, Tommy Emmanuel, Jerry Reed, Django Reienhardt, Frank Vignola. He also enjoys all forms of Rock, Blues, Folk, Country and Jazz.
Dylan offers patient instruction, encouragement and support for students, whatever their level. Students will appreciate the practical knowledge that he brings to music instruction through his own learning and playing experiences.
Al Wood is a multi-talented performer and songwriter with a deep reverence for the blues and traditionally based roots music. Wood’s heart-on-the-sleeve vocals, harmonica-playing and guitar work make for adventurous live shows and recordings with his band Al Wood and the Woodsmen and various projects. Make no mistake, harmonica is Al’s first love – and he was practically born with one in his hand – learning classic country numbers and other melodic standards from his father in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario from age five onward.
Al has been playing professionally and performing for over twenty five years in countless contexts wherever the demand may dictate. Harmonica-wise Wood is a player who specializes in the Chicago tradition with a unique personal flavour developed through incorporating such unconventional influences and styles of hardcore real country, melodic jazz and funk-oriented material. This approach enables Wood to garner sideman gigs in addition to his own thing. Al is a fixture on the bar and festival circuit – and his recorded original songs gain extensive radio airplay on CBC, DAWG FM etc. Al fell in love with the blues back in the mid-80s as a teenager and decide to make it a major pursuit! Hands-on interaction like this only feeds that more!
Anna’s talent has taken her beyond Nova Scotia’s rich music scene, to share stages with the likes of The Beach Boys, Blue Rodeo, Don Ross, and Ron Hynes. Endless offers to play private & corporate functions and to collaborate with other musicians in shows & recordings speak to her versatility as a performer.
Matt Aston B. MUS, a native of Ottawa, has been an active performer since 1996 and a teacher for over ten years. As well as the in-depth musical education Aston received while studying performance at Carleton University, Matt has actively sought out a wide range of styles and approaches to the drum set. This search has lead to further study with world-class teachers in Toronto and New York City.
As well as now being the Director of The Ottawa Folklore School of Music, Wendy performs over 100 shows a year nationally and internationally with her group, The Celtic Rathskallions and duo, Celticity, with Arthur McGregor.
A graduate of Queen’s University with a B. Music and a B. Education, Wendy has taught piano, recorder, theory, tin whistle and oboe for many years.
Wendy is also a published writer – her children’s storybooks Maddie’s Moon and A Tune For Maddie, and her music book, Maddie’s Beginner Whistle Method are available at OFC Music.
Brian is a passionate musician and vocalist with over 25 years of experience on stage and in studio. Musical genre’s include, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Soul and Funk.
With extensive experience as both side and front man, Brian has performed in many projects including bands such as “Red Engine”, “Moetown” and “Soul Obsession”. He’s also played the lead role in a production of The Who’s rock opera, “Tommy”.
Brian’s focus is on performance and building confidence. Whether you’re just starting out and are looking for “your voice” or want to expand on your repertoire, Brian has a practical but gentle approach and listens carefully to his students.
Justin has had a guitar in his hand since he was 5 and has been teaching guitar since he was 14. He has performed extensively with many bands including his current one, Tindervox and has worked with songwriters in Nashville and Atlanta. He has been a band coach for the Bluesfest “Be in the Band” program since it started and has been teaching at OFC since he finished up his studies in music at Carleton University in 2008. He has an easy going attitude and a practical, straight forward teaching approach.