Three guests from Europe’s most distinctive folk ensemble, the Early Folk Band, join forces with three Apollo’s Fire favorite musicians in this new transatlantic encounter. Folk ballads from the Old World weave tales of distant countries – from the mysteries of the sea to King Arthur and Robin Hood.
Coming from England, Sweden and Germany, the musicians of Early Folk Band bring with them the traditional music of their own countries as well as deep experience with Medieval and Renaissance music. They have won several awards including Germany’s top World Music prize, the Globale Ruth.
The musicians of The Early Folk Band, all leading performers of ‘early’ music, have come together for a new project: the reconstruction of early folk music. Coming from England, Sweden and Germany the musicians bring with them the traditional music of their own countries as well as an enormous practical experience of the music of the middle ages, Renaissance and Baroque.
They have won Grammys, Globale Ruths (Germany’s top World Music prize), the Anders Zorn silver badge, and prizes from the Bruge Early Music Festival, the Rencontres des Maîtres-Sonneurs (France) and the German Rock and Pop Awards.
Ballads, songs and dances from the British Isles, Scandinavia, Germany, Spain and Italy form the basis of the group’s repertoire. Sources include early printed editions and manuscripts from the 13th to the 19th centuries as well as material learnt from traditional singers and the group’s own compositions and arrangements. ‘Folk music’ has always influenced ‘art music’ and vice versa. The vision of the band is to bridge the gap between early and folk music for the 21st century. Renaissance and Baroque music from the south and traditional music from the north join in a unique European musical experience. Like the wind, music knows no boundaries in space and time.
has been praised for her “abundant vocal technique and infectious spirit” (ClevelandClassical.com) and enjoys a diverse career in the realms of classical, folk, and jazz. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from Shenandoah Conservatory and a certificate in jazz improvisation from the Jazz in July Institute (University of Massachusetts). Ms. Powell’s solo performances with Apollo’s Fire in recent seasons have included Handel’s Messiah (soprano soloist), Mozart’s The Magic Flute (Second Lady), Praetorius Christmas Vespers (soprano soloist), and Liza Jane in the 2013 national tour of the acclaimed Come to the River program. Her work as an internationally recognized leader in the field of sacred world music has taken her to concert halls in Italy, Spain, France, Mongolia and China. Her debut solo album, entitled Beyond Boundaries, was released in 2015 and quickly sold out on Amazon. The album explores folk and jazz traditions of cultures around the world. Amanda spent her childhood summers riding through the Blue Ridge Mountains in the back of her grandpa’s pickup truck and later lived in the Shenandoah Valley, within sight of Sugarloaf Mountain.
plucked instruments & vocals
is a modern-day troubadour. He holds a Master’s degree in music from Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, where he studied lute and theorbo. He specializes in historical plucked instruments and ancient songs of various world traditions. He is a songwriter and poet, and also paints and plays a variety of percussion and wind instruments. Cleveland Classical.com called him “far-ranging,” “brilliant,” and “exciting,” and Early Music America called his work “phenomenal.” His newest album, Three Ravens, was released in January 2015.
is one of the world’s leading exponents of the instrument and was described by folk musician Pete Seeger as “the best hammered dulcimer player I’ve heard anywhere.” Playing in the aural tradition as a child, she made her solo debut at age 12 and led her first string band at age 16. Since then, she has been in demand at folk festivals and has performed as soloist with several symphony orchestras. Her contradance bands, Strings & Things and Hu$hmoney, have explored traditional American and Celtic music. She can be heard on the Apollo’s Fire CDs Come to the River, Scarborough Fayre, and Sacrum Mysterium: A Celtic Christmas Vespers.