December 2006 Folk Enews

Well, Folkies,

Happy Holidays to All!

It appears that I’m being lured back into the folk enews biz. Those of you who were at the Saturday dance in Albuquerque with Jamie Gans and David Margolin playing know what a fine fiddler Jamie is. (David is too, for that matter!) But the rowdiness of dance sometimes overshadows the beauty of the music. You get another few chances to sit and listen or to dance and listen to Jamie’s fiddle.

Albuquerque House Concert, Thursday, Dec. 7
House Concert: Jamie Gans & Tamara Loewenthal (she’ll provide the ‘foot percussion’)
Date & Time: Thursday, December 7, 2006, 7:30 p.m.
Location: Phyllis Taylor/Bruce Thomson residence, 1018 Idlewilde SE, Albuquerque, NM (take their phone number in case you can’t find it!)
Cost: $10/person
Contact: Bruce Thomson (268-6003) or

Santa Fe Jamie & Tamara Fest Too, Dec. 9!
This coming Saturday, December 9, Fiddle’n’Feet, composed of fiddler Jamie Gans and caller and dancer Tamara Loewenthal, are again visiting Santa Fe. They’ll host two workshops:

— Dance workshop from 3 to 4:30: In the dance workshop, Tamara will focus on flatfooting/clogging and waltz clog. Flatfooting will be done to Old Time music and waltz clog to a waltz tempo.

— Music workshop from 4:30 to 5:30: Jamie will focus on Irish and French Canadian fiddle music, taking into account the preferences of those present. Other instruments are presumably welcome.

Each workshop will cost $15, and both will be held at the Odd Fellows Hall, 1125 Cerrillos Road, across from the Highway Department building. For more information, contact Jamie at, or Tamara at, or call them on their cell phone at 812-219-1890. And visit their website at

Then you can dance that evening (teaching/orientation at 7:30, dance from 8 to 11 p.m.) with calling by Tamara and music by Jamie and Santa Fe’s own locally energetic Mark Sardella.

Tamara Loewenthal has been performing and teaching various styles of American and Celtic step dance for over 20 years. A founding member of the nationally acclaimed dance company Rhythm in Shoes, she has toured across the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and Japan. She regularly calls square and contra dances for groups around the country and teaches step dance classes in Bloomington, and workshops wherever she goes.

Jamie Gans came to Indiana from St. Paul, Minnesota, where he had established himself as one of the foremost fiddlers in the Northern Midwest. Adept at a variety of fiddle styles, Jamie has performed with some of the great players in Irish, Canadian, and Old Time music. In 1993, he was named a Master Artist by the Minnesota State Arts Board and Historical Society for the Folk Arts Apprenticeship program. In 1994 he and Sam Bartlett played at Merri’s 40th b-day party in Albuquerque! In 1995, Jamie joined forces with Tamara, exploring traditional music, song, and dance in depth. His love of history, combined with his soulful playing, bring the music alive in every setting.

While I’m at it, I may as well mention….

Second Sunday Dance, Dec. 10, Albuquerque
Richard Wilson will call elegant English country and zesty contra dances; music by Gemma on fiddle and Della on piano. 7:00 – 9:30 p.m., Heights Community Center, 823 Buena Vista SE (1 block east of University, south of Lead/Coal). Members $6; nonmembers $7. Bring clean dance shoes. No shoes with nails or that leave black scuff marks, please. Clean dance shoes and tennis shoes OK.

Albuquerque Megaband Practice, Dec. 12
Join the Megaband in a jam at the Blue Dragon, 1517 Girard NE, Albuquerque, 7:30-10:30 p.m. More info: Bruce Thomson, 277-4729.

Big Celebration Dance, Dec. 16, Albuquerque
Merri Rudd calling her 15th anniversary dance with guest Ken Cooper to the hot old-time tunes of the award-winning Albuquerque Megaband. 7:30-10:30 p.m., Heights Community Center, 823 Buena Vista SE (1 block east of University, south of Lead/Coal). Acoustic jam and instruction at 7 p.m. Members $6; nonmembers $7. Megafood provided too!! But feel free to bring a snack to share. And dress up all sparkly and fun if you wish.

Taos Contra Dance, Saturday, Dec. 16
Dance at the San Geronimo Lodge, Witt Road. Dance starts at 7:00 p.m. and goes until 10. Want more info? Call 758-7362 (Ellen) or 776-1580 (Jim and Hope). Richard Wilson calling, Taos ContraBand playing.

Santa Fe Contra, Sat., Dec. 23
Start working off those holiday calories! Open Mic dance calling and TBA band playing. 8 p.m. -11 p.m., IOOF Hall, 1125 Cerrillos Rd. Instruction at 7:30 p.m. $6 members, $7 others.

English Dance, Santa Fe, Dec. 30
Richard Wilson calling, Santa Fe Community Band playing English tunes. 8 p.m. -11 p.m., IOOF Hall, 1125 Cerrillos Rd. Instruction at 7:30 p.m. $6 members, $7 others.

Fun on the web
Someone posted a video from Arizona’s MayMadness 2006 dance weekend. You can see/hear the Privy Tippers playing and watch Joli Sharp, Linda Starr, Bob Cornish and a bunch of Arizonans and Californians dance the DEVIL’S BACKBONE at

Condolences to John and Erika on the loss of their beloved dog Pinto, who loved lying at the musicians’ feet during band practice and was sweeter than pie.

Merri Rudd
Albuquerque, NM