Aldo Lavaggi is from Woodstock NY, where he was raised in the midst of local fiddle traditions as a student of Jay Ungar. His enthusiasm for traditional music was nourished at summertime folk festivals and contradances around the Hudson Valley and New England. In his twenties, he toured extensively throughout Europe, absorbing the diverse music and traditions of the old world. A fiddler and multi-instrumentalist, Aldo is now an active musician with his band The Russet Trio and a sought after fiddle teacher. Aldo specializes in Celtic, Old-time and Scandinavian traditional music and teaches folk dancing in schools and camps. He cofounded the Chatham Contradance, which draws a large crowd on the first Saturday of each month.
Peter Water Madsen
Born to a supportive musical family in California, Peter Water Madsen was able to go beyond banging on pot lids as a child and graduated to the drum set just in time for adolescence. With sticks in hand, he experimented with a variety of original music, including an all drum ensemble that performed on the streets, in schools and concert halls of the Bay Area in his youth. His passion for folk music, though, prompted him to rather get rhythmic on the guitar and learn to sing and write songs, all of which proved fortuitous in allowing him intimate access to the rich folk traditions in Norway and Russia, where he lived for 8 years. Since returning to the States in 2000, he has enjoyed immersing himself in the Northeast Contra Dance scene, having founded the Russet Trio in 2004 and the Columbia County Contra Dance in 2007. In addition to playing with the Russet Trio, he continues to write and perform his own music both solo and together with his wife, Elsie White.
Stuart Kenney is one of the most popular upright bass and five-string banjo players in the contra dance circuit. He's played in a wide range of musical traditions, all the way from New England, to Quebec, to southwestern Louisiana - where he played with legendary Cajun fiddler, Dewey Balfa. He is a founding member of many great bands including Tidal Wave, The Sevens, Clew Bay, Airdance, and Stringrays, and spent 14 years touring with the legendary contra dance band, Wild Asparagus. He has contributed to more than 70 studio recordings throughout his career. Stuart recently released his solo album, Red Case, featuring original banjo music, and is currently working on a new album to be released soon. Stuart has shared his innovative teaching style at Jay Ungar’s Fiddle and Dance camps, Maine Fiddle Camp, Port Townsend Fiddle Tunes, Pinewoods American Week, Bay Area Contra Dance & Song Society, and countless music and dance events across the country. Stuart's musical home is the Guiding Star Grange in Greenfield, MA, where he has played and performed for over three decades, and hosts the TopHill Music & Dance series. Over the last few years, Stuart has enjoyed bringing his upright bass and banjo playing to Russet Trio, and loves bringing the deep groove to this fine band.