Bands and Ensembles

Elke Baker and Ken Kolodner.  (Fiddle and hammered dulcimer).  Elke and Ken have wowed audiences at performances including The Birchmere, Folk College, First Night in Annapolis and Dover, Uptown Concerts, Baldwin's Station, and a variety of other venues.  Their repertoire includes a rich variety of Scottish and Irish music, original compositions, and refreshing, foot-stomping Old Time twin fiddling that just brings the house down.  Elke and Ken sometimes expand the band with a third player, often the inimitable Robin Bullock.  Elke and Ken are featured playing together on Elke's CD Glenelg (2001), and Ken's CD Journey to the Heartland (2005).
Contact:  Elke Baker or Ken Kolodner.

Elke Baker and Sue Richards.   (Fiddle and harp).  Elke and Sue present a repertoire of Celtic music's finest, including Scottish, Irish, and that under-represented treasure trove of the Celtic world, Welsh music.  Special features include an all-Welsh program and a significant repertoire of Early Music from Celtic sources.  Recent performances include the Old Brogue Concert Series and St David's Day in Washington DC.  Elke and Sue's playing is featured on Elke's CD's Over the Border (1997) and Glenelg (2001). Contact:  Elke Baker or Sue Richards.

Terpsichore.  Elke Baker and Liz Donaldson formed Terpsichore in 1992 as a duo.  In 1993 Ralph Gordon joined them and Terpsichore performs in both trio and duo configurations.  Terpsichore also expands for a big band sound with guest musicians.  Our past guests have included Calum MacKinnon, Marty Taylor, and Earl Gaddis.  Terpsichore is widely regarded as one of the leading Scottish dance bands of North America, and has played for Scottish country dance events all over the U.S. and Canada.  Terpsichore is also a favorite for English-Scottish events, since the players are equally talented in English country dance repertoire.  Terpsichore also plays American contradance and couple dance music and concerts, and has played at the Kennedy Center.  Instrumentation: fiddle, piano, bass, cello.  Their CD Terpsichore: Scottish Dance Music (1993) features the duo configuration and is an established classic in any SCD teacher's reference library.  New release Caledonian Muse (2006) is their long-awaited second CD.  It features the trio in soaring strathspeys, irrepressible jigs, and reels that won't let your feet sit still.   It's a feast for the listener's ears and an inspiration for dancing feet.  Liz is also featured on Elke's CD Glenelg (2001), and Ralph plays on both Glenelg and Over the Border (1997).  (Instrumentation: fiddle, piano, cello, bass)
Contact:  Elke Baker

Elke Baker and Larry Unger.  (Baker Street).  Elke and Larry have been playing together since 1990.  They have toured regionally all over the U.S., including New England, the Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Midwest, Texas, and West Coast.  Elke and Larry play contradance and square dance music and concerts; they also play couple dance music such as waltzes and swing, Scottish and occasionally English country dance music.  Elke and Larry frequently include a bass player in their combination, and have been joined by first-class bassists Ginny Snowe, Ralph Gordon, Stuart Kenney, Marco Brehm, and Carol Hamm.  Elke and Larry have played for Augusta Heritage Dance Week in West Virginia, Suttle Lake Dance weekend in Oregon, the American Ski-Dance Weekend in Pennsylvania, Balance the Belle in Kentucky, Santa Barbara Dance Weekend in California, and numerous other contradance special events.  Elke and Larry have played concerts on many occasions and have been featured at the Norfolk Folk Festival, New Hampshire Strathspey and Reel Society Gala, McPherson Kansas Scottish Games, Potomac Celtic Festival, and many other occasions.  Elke and Larry also teach music workhsops together.  Instrumentation: fiddle, guitar, banjo, bass.  Elke and Larry's music is featured on Elke's CD's Over the Border (1997) and Glenelg (2001) and Larry's CD Waltz Time (1998).
Contact:  Elke Baker or Larry Unger.

Oswald Trio.  Elke Baker, Barbara Heitz, and Ralph Gordon play a concert repertoire featuring classical and folk music from Scottish, English, and Irish sources, including Early Music.  Their current program is "The Golden Age of Scotland," a concert of dance-inspired music from the 18th century Scotland.  From virtuosic variation sets of early 18th-century fiddler-composer John MacLachlan, to the brilliant compositions of mid-century Scottish composers William MacGibbon and James Oswald, who neatly straddled the line between classical-baroque style and the Scottish folk idiom, to the late 18th-century genius of renowned fiddler Niel Gow, this concert illuminates the intriguing history of Scottish traditional fiddle music in a "chamber folk music" setting.  It tells the story of Scottish music through the 18th century and beyond to its influences on American traditional music and dance music, and its ties to other styles such as Irish and English traditional music.  Instrumentation:  fiddle (violin), flute, cello.
Contact:  Elke Baker

Trio Con Brio.  Elke Baker, Jonathan Jensen and Paul Oorts play together as Trio Con Brio.  This band plays a diverse and unusual repertoire featuring vintage Italian mandolin music, French musette style, Jonathan's original compositions, and light classical arrangements.  Instrumentation is primarily violin, mandolin, and piano, but extends to accordion, guitar, recorder and occarina.  Trio Con Brio plays waltzes and other couple dances, Vintage dance music, English country dance, contradances, and listening music for parties and weddings.
Contact:  Elke Baker or Paul Oorts

Sugar Beat.  Elke Baker, Susan Brandt, and Marc Glickman.  This band plays an exciting mix of Irish, Scottish, French Canadian, and American music for dancing.  The combination of fiddle, flute, and piano is sure to get your feet moving and make you want to dance.  The band is named after our favorite rag, a regular feature of our repertoire.  Contradance and couple dance music.  Instrumentation:  fiddle, flute, piano.
Contact:  Marc Glickman

Blue Bamboo.  This ensemble has concentrated the tonal diversity of a symphony orchestra and combined it with the groove of a dance band.  Players include Barbara Heitz, Elke Baker, John Devine, Marc Glickman, and Ralph Gordon.  Instruments include flute, piccolo, violin, guitar, piano, bass and vocals.  This combo can present a classic from the swing era and then switch gears for a full-color Strauss waltz.  Couple dances such as waltzes, tangos, and foxtrots are our specialty.  We'll set the perfect mood for your wedding or elegant occasion.  We also feature new works by our composers-in-residence.
Contact:  Barbara Heitz

Charles Street All Stars.  A concert ensemble that can also knock your socks off on the dance floor.  Every member of this group can hold his or her own as a soloist, and the combination is a powerhouse of musical styles and expression.  This ensemble brings you the world of folk music, from ancient Inca melodies and vintage Argentine tangos to old-time country fiddling and Belgian minuets.  Elke Baker, Jonathan Jensen, Ken Kolodner, Paul Oorts.  Instrumentation:  Fiddles, hammered dulcimer, piano, bass, ocarina, whistles, mandolin, guitar, accordion, and more.
Contact:  Elke Baker or Ken Kolodner.

Potomac Valley Scottish Fiddle Club  Elke Baker has been Music Director of the Potomac Valley Scottish Fiddle Club, a non-profit educational organization, since 1993.  Members of the club receive free monthly Scottish music workshops (for all instruments and skill levels), newsletters, offers of unique collections of Scottish printed music at a bargain price, and the opportunity to perform at dances and festivals.  The Fiddle Club has been immensely popular at its concert performances: the joyful sound of massed fiddles (and flutes, guitars, dulcimers, mandolins, piano, and many other instruments) is just irresistible.  Those interested in booking the Fiddle Club for a performance should contact the President, Julie Gorka, or the Music Director, Elke Baker.