Spring 2020 Performers

   
     
photo of Brooks Williams Brooks Williams

Brooks Williams is a mean finger-picker and a stunning slide guitarist, with vocal style that is meaningful and heart-piercing. His performance lives at the crossroads of blues and American roots. Just when you think he can’t sing a blues-ier note, he sings it. Just when you think he can’t strum a deeper groove, he strums it. He’s ranked in the Top 100 Acoustic Guitarists in America. While no slouch as a songwriter, he’s got an impeccable ear for a good cover and a massive repertoire that spans classic roots and blues.
Brooks is a touring headliner, performing hundreds of gigs yearly throughout Europe, North America, Australia, and the UK each year. He was nominated for Best Male Vocalist by Spiral Earth, one of the UK’s most respected roots music publications. He regularly collaborates with an impressive list of fellow musicians, including Guy Davis, Paul Jones, Chris Smither, Rory Block, Shawn Colvin, Maria Muldaur, David Bromberg and Leo Kottke. He has played all the major stages, including The Newport Folk Festival, The Kerrville Folk Festival, The Guthrie Center in Massachusetts, and The Liverpool Philharmonic Hall in England.
It is with great pride that we introduce the amazing Brooks Williams to our Stony Point home away from home.

Watch performance video.

     
Christie Lenée

Christie Lenée is a captivating and natural-born composer, performer, and guitar wizard. She has a devoted national following among instrumental, folk-pop, and rock band audiences. Christie combines instrumental mastery and contemporary singer/songwriting with a passion for storytelling. An astounding pallet of guitar tonalities enhance and support her profound and heart-connecting lyrics. A transcendent love of music courses through every performance and leaves audiences entranced with her harmonic eloquence and moving vocals. She is heralded for her teaching skills and her joyous stage presence.
Lenée took first place in the 2017 International Fingerstyle Guitar Championship. She is featured in Guitar Player Magazine’s May 2018 FRETS section. She has been showcased at the NAMM Show in Anaheim and Nashville, live on National Television and Radio, and performed with Tommy Emmanuel, Amy Ray from the Indigo Girls, and Tim Reynolds of the Dave Matthews Band, to name a few.
Christie Lenée is a master in the fingerpicking pantheon of rising and risen all-star artists. She chose to share her talented and generous presence with us for three days. We’re ecstatic.

Watch performance video.

photo of Christie Lenée
     
photo of Dawn Tyler Watson Dawn Tyler Watson

Dawn Tyler Watson Singer-songwriter Dawn Tyler Watson earned her place among Canada’s elite blues, folk, rock, pop, and jazz performers with her fabulous voice, fiery stage presence, and an incandescent personality that has garnered her national and international recognition. Her sound is infused with traditional gospel and soulful blues. Each performance delivers an astounding range of emotion - from smokin’ hot to sultry smooth to lovingly tender to painfully blue. With a style that is infused with jazz, soul, and Gospel, Watson pushes the boundaries of traditional blues to a whole new dimension of meaning and emotion.
Dawn has three MBA’s, nine Quebec Lys Blues Awards, and a Screaming Jay Hawkins Award for Live Performance. She was recently awarded a Blues Blast Music Award for Female Artist of the Year and has been nominated for four – FOUR! - 2019 Canadian Maple Blues Awards, including Best Album, plus a coveted first-place prize at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis.
Dawn Tyler Watson has cast her musical spell over four continents before landing at Stony Point. Our gain, Canada’s loss (if only temporarily).

Watch performance video.

     
Dustin Welch

Dustin Welch was born and raised by a songwriting family from Nashville, Tennessee, where he was surrounded by and grew up with an affinity to meaningful music. As a youth, he had a natural ability to play any instrument he could get his hands on. He wound up with a penchant for banjo, and the acoustic and gut-string guitars. Welch’s voice is gritty and raw, archaic and profound. His songwriting is fearless, and it reflects a shared sense of desperation-hardened fortitude — along with hints of mono-mythic mysticism and that glimmer of hope and redemption spawned amidst the darkness of hard times.
Dustin’s creative and genre-breaking approach to songwriting can be heard in his folk albums - Whiskey Priest and Tijuana Bible, where he plays the part of a wickedly mysterious carnival barker, bouncing strains of Americana, rock, and folk music off of each other like a hall of funhouse mirrors. His lyrics are similarly multifaceted, reflecting literary influences ranging from American gothic to gritty pulp fiction, and themes both sacred and profane. He combines the essence of Celtic and Appalachian folk music and sets it to driving rock and dexterous jazz rhythms.
Welch is from Texas and is new to our corner of the country. He came to our attention because of his tremendous work with veterans, helping them work out the passions and pain of war through a heartfelt process of songwriting and self-exploration. That makes him a special, as a person and a musician that must be heard.

Watch performance video.

photo of Dustin Welch
     
photo of The Stillhouse Junkies The Stillhouse Junkies

Born in a distillery in Durango, Colorado, The Stillhouse Junkies play a deliriously head-spinning mixture of original roots, blues, funk, swing, and bluegrass music. With all three band members sharing lead vocals, harmonies, and swapping instruments, The Junkies conjure up a wide range of tonal landscapes that pay tribute to an expansive variety of iconic American musical traditions, while breaking new ground with their genre-bending original material.
Alissa Wolf is a classically- and traditionally-trained fiddler, who began exploring bluegrass, swing, and jazz, while following her true passion, improvisation. Cody Tinnin from Durango, Texas had an early ear for playing jazz on bass, but gained an affinity for traditional American music and then a passion for outlaw country music and bluegrass. Fred Kosak is a seasoned guitarist and mandolinist, who began his professional career in funk cover bands and then found success in the “roots world” with a major presence at festivals and storied venues while playing with Creek River String Band, Greg Lizst of Crooked Still, Three Tall Pines, Acousticana, Ethan Robbins of Cold Chocolate, and The Professors of Bluegrass from Yale University.
Getaway is built on love, sweat, teamwork, and the occasional lucky break - like when a West Coast super group and party band comes East to join us. Be ready for too much fun – The Stillhouse Junkies are coming to The Folk Project.

Watch performance video.

     
Richard Bozic

Richard Bozic will be once again lead vocal instruction workshops at The Acoustic Getaway. Richard is a local legend, having given voice lessons to a number of Folk Project members and achieving fabulous results. His clients have been accepted to and involved with NBC’s “The Voice,” American Idol, Atlantic Records, RCA/Sony, Radio City Music Hall, and other premiere music venues.
Richard himself has appeared in productions with the Cleveland Opera, Bronx Opera, Verismo Opera of New Jersey, dell’Arte Opera Ensemble, Fairbanks Summer Music Festival, Bethesda Summer Music Festival, The State Theatre in New Brunswick, the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, Bergen Performing Arts Center in Englewood, Opera New Jersey's Summer Artist program, and so many more. His opera credits range from Peter in Hansel and Gretel to Masetto in Don Giovanni, and Dr. Grenvil in La Traviata. Some oconcert appearances include Chief Seattle in Brubeck’s Earth is our Mother, and as bass soloist in Beethoven’s Mass in C. 

Mr. Bozic earned his Master's Degree from the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University, where he studied with the celebrated baritone Bill Sharp. No matter how well you sing, you want to sing better. That’s why Richard, a Getaway favorite, is a special addition to our Weekend of Music.

photo of Richard Bozic
     
photo of David Rimelis David Rimelis

Multi-faceted and talented David Rimelis is our Getaway artist-in-residence. He contributes to our weekend in many ways, but is especially beloved for leading our Kitchen Sink Ensemble, the catchall orchestra workshop for musicians on all instruments at all levels.
As a guitarist and violinist, Dave has toured the United States, South America, Canada, Mexico, Europe, and the Middle East. He has been featured artist with the Colorado Symphony, Eugene Oregon Symphony, Waco Texas Symphony, the New Jersey Pops, and many others.
Dave’s music has been featured in featured films, on network television, on PBS, and in cartoons. His works have been performed by orchestras everywhere, including the Boston Pops, National Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and many other symphonies across the United States and the world. He is artist-in-residence for the New Jersey State Council on The Arts and teaching artist for the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.
Dave is a multi-talented musician and longtime supporter of the Folk Project and its members’ music. It’s a great pleasure to have him back on the Team Getaway.

Watch performance video.

     
Michael Gabriele

Michael Gabriele is a renowned journalist and historian whose specialty is The Garden State. His book “New Jersey Folk Revival Music: History & Tradition, ” includes a chapter about THE FOLK PROJECT.
Michael will be our keynote speaker during Saturday’s lunch.
In the past ten years Gabriele has written four books about New Jersey. He travels extensively, doing talks and programs at libraries, historical societies and civic organizations. His most recent book, “Stories from New Jersey Diners,” was released in September 2019.
Michael has worked as a journalist and freelance writer for four decades. He is a member of the executive board of the New Jersey Folk Festival held at Rutgers University, the Nutley Historical Society, the Theater League of Clifton, and serves on the advisory board of the Clifton Arts Center.
Michael’s luncheon keynote will underline that folk music is a “living history” that builds upon time-honored traditions, and will explore the evolution of Jersey’s music —from the bawdy tavern revelers of the 1700s; to the magical sounds of the Pine Barrens; to the origins of our own Folk Project and Getaway.
It is an honor to host Michael Gabriele, and an honor to be recognized by this esteemed NJ historian.

photo of Michael Gabriele
     
photo of Sheri Alexander Sheri Alexander

Sheri Alexander is a gifted guitarist with a gorgeous voice that warms the heart and lifts the spirit. She began playing guitar at the age of nine, and by the time she was in high school, she was performing at local colleges and coffeehouses. After leaving Berklee College of Music, she moved to New York City where she performed solo five nights a week at places such as "Who's on First" and "The Back Fence," a popular tourist spot on Bleeker Street in Greenwich Village. Today Sheri is a full-time guitar and ukulele teacher at Gill St. Bernard’s School in Gladstone, New Jersey.
Sheri’s mentors and teachers include such luminaries as acoustic guitar master Tommy Emanuel and jazz guitar great Harry Leahy. Sheri is a fan of the Getaway, a Folk Project member, and a new, vibrant member of our musical community. She’ll be opening our exciting Saturday Night concert, and she’s a wonderful addition to the Getaway stage.

Watch performance video.

     
Diane Polledri

Diane Polledri has a winning smile that matches her delightful voice, heartfelt original songs, and engaging stage presence. Diane is a Jersey-based singer songwriter. Her music ranges from folk songs to the Great American Songbook and extends to jazz. Her greatest influences are Tom Waits, Emmylou Harris, Antje Duvekot, and Hoagie Carmichael. Her music mentors and songwriting teachers include Ellis Paul, Vance Gilbert, Tracy Grammer, Antje Duvekot, and Abbie Gardner.
At each Getaway, Guests vote for who among them will open the next glorious weekend. You chose Diane as your Fest Forward selection.

photo of Diane Polledri
     
photo of Jean Scully The Jean Scully Band

Jean Scully has an artistic range that spans every era and genre of American music, not to mention a few ditties from Ireland, Japan, and France. The scope of her song choice and vocal talent has left audiences stunned, moved, and overwhelmed by the musical journey every performance embodies – from Broadway to opera, from a delicate Piaf “chanson” to kick-butt rock ‘n’ roll, from traditional folk music to the modern song gem. Her show mixes her love of a meaningful lyric with a wickedly delightful sense of humor that just wants to have fun on stage and with the audience.
Jean’s band is a collection of Folk Project professionals and friends. As a key Project volunteer, chairperson, and long-time member of the Board of Directors, Scully chose some of the best musicians our membership has to offer, and they were thrilled to be part of her show. It is a joy to bring this amazing performer, friend, and pillar of our community to the Getaway stage.

     
The Big Vocalotto – YOU!

The Big Vocalotto is your chance to perform on the main stage for the biggest and best of Getaway audiences. It is a random lottery held in advance of Getaway. Every registered guest can enter. The winner will open the Sunday Concert Finale with a two-song set and share the stage with our headliners for the ultimate show capping our spectacular Acoustic Getaway Weekend. It could be YOU!

     

The Folk Project Acoustic Getaway is supported by a generous donation from the Martin Guitar Foundation.