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Handing off the Music (literally!)

Handing off the music to the next generation? Absolutely, and with considerable flair and musicianship, don’t you think? CDSS president and videographer David Millstone describes this video of Bob McQuillen and friends:

Contra dance enthusiasts may enjoy watching a recently-uploaded clip on
YouTube that focuses on Bob McQuillen, the New Hampshire musician and
tunesmith.

Composer of more than 1500 tunes to date and well known for his distinctive and
powerful boom-chuck piano style of contra dance accompaniment, Bob was a
2009 recipient of the CDSS Lifetime Contribution Award. The award itself was
presented to Bob at the New England Folk Festival (NEFFA) the following April,
part of a “Salute to Bob McQuillen” session that was conceived by CDSS
member Jeremy Korr. Jeremy noted that 2010 would mark the eighth decade (!)
during which Bob had been a NEFFA participant and he helped arrange for a
special group of musical guests to highlight the occasion.

In this clip, Steve Zakon-Anderson calls “Young at Heart,” a contra dance he
wrote years ago for Bob.The musicians shown include Bob’s “Old
New England” bandmates, Jane Orzechowski and Deanna Stiles, and two
members of his Pacific Northwest band, the “Rhythm Rollers,” WB Reid and
Laurie Andres.

Bob has had a long and close relationship with Jane Orzechowski’s family; four
of the Orzechowski children studied piano with him over the years. (The oldest,
Francis, was one of the musicians selected to represent New Hampshire at the
Smithsonian Institution’s 1999 Festival of American Folklife in Washington, DC.)
On the video, you can watch as the piano accompaniment is seamlessly passed
from Bob to Francis, Russell, and Neil, and then back to Bob. When they’re not
playing piano, the video shows the three playing fiddle or accordion.

Bob McQuillen was also awarded the National Heritage Fellowship in 2002 by the
National Endowment for the Arts, the highest honor for traditional artists in the
US.

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Categories: Features & Fun, Guest Posts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , + 2 Comments »

2 Comments

  1. Posted July 11, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Great video of a great pianist – one who has inspired me and from whose recordings I have learnt so much. Still hope, one day, to meet Bob in person. Dan Hollingshurst (UK) http://www.folkuspocus.com

  2. Posted September 13, 2012 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Thumb up!!!

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