The Musicians, Bios, Photos

The Musicians

Thomasina Levy and Joan Spear– composers/producers
Thomasina Levy – dulcimer, lead vocal
Joan Berliner Spear – piano, vocals, vocal arrangements
Tommy Skarupa– co-producer and engineer
David Darling– cello and co-producer
Joseph Firecrow– Native American flute and chant/
Dave Anderson– electric bass and production consultant/
Bill Lauf- lead male vocal
Rachel Rubin- lead young female vocal
Rob Brereton– back up vocals

Galen Brandt– back up vocals

Jonah Spear – back up vocals

Kiira Schmidt – back up vocals

Lou Giordano – engineer
Doug Kupper &Tapeworks Studio – mixing

From top left clockwise: Joan SpearThomasina LevyDavid DarlingJoseph FirecrowDave Anderson, Bill Lauf, Rachel Rubin, Rob Brereton



BIOS: Musicians and Engineers

Thomasina Levy –  composer, music, mountain dulcimer, lead vocal, producer

Connecticut State Troubadour, 2005/2006, is a singer, song writer and mountain dulcimer player who has performed throughout the U.S. in a variety of venues. Her unique and complex adaptation of the instrument with its sweet simple sound has become one of her trademarks. Her work as a teaching artist with the CT Commission on Culture and Tourism, and her studies in Improvisation with cello master, David Darling and Music for People reaffirm her belief that music is in each one of us and is just waiting for the right time to emerge. She has been instrumental in helping to bring students, teachers, and other musicians together to celebrate the joy of making music in workshops at festivals, schools, and libraries throughout the United States.

Joan Berliner Spear composer, music, piano, vocals, producer,

Joan is a Yale music graduate, a singer/songwriter, as well as a composer for film, theater, musical theater and dance using electronic and live instrumentation.  Her CD, art•i•facts, has been widely acclaimed by musicians, filmmakers, dancers and artists. Joan is also known for coaching musicians to express the right ideas and thoughts through their lyrics and music. She is committed to actively supporting artists and writers in pursuing their craft and particularly enjoys creative collaborations to build harmonic back-ups to well-written melodies.

Tommy Skarupa (tskarupa productions) – Engineer, co- producer. Producer and engineer for countless albums and artists including David Darling and Paul Winter,

David Darling – cello, co-producer,

Grammy winning recording artist and producer… former member of the Paul Winter Consort… has six solo albums and appearances with the likes of Bobby McFerrin, Spyro Gyra, the Paul Winter Consort, Arlo Guthrie, Peter Kater and R.Carlos Nakai represent nearly every musical genre and every conceivable way a human can communicate via stringed instrument. David has dedicated himself to teaching music and improvisation through Music For People ( an organization he co-founded in 1986. Music for people is a non-profit educational network to teach and foster improvisation as a means of creative self-expression. Through Music for People, workshops, trainings and special events Darling and the MfP Staff have encouraged and reached thousands of musicians. Darling ‘s latest release, A Prayer for Compassion, won him the highly coveted and respected Grammy award.

Joseph Fire Crow Native American flute and chant

2010 NAMMY artist of the year and Native American Flutist and award winning Cheyenne Flutist, Joseph is also has a Grammy nomination. Fire Crow has appeared many times as a guest musician on recordings by other musicians in the industry. In addition to his Grammy nomination, Fire Crow has earned top honors among his peers in the Native American Music Awards (NAMA) organization. In 2003, he received the NAMA “Song Writer of the Year” award for Legend of the Warrior. In 2005, Fire Crow was recognized for his work with the Billings Symphony, taking home the NAMA award for “Best Instrumental Recording.” He was the 2006 recipient of NAMA’s “Flutist of the Year” award for his work on Red Beads. Some of Fire Crow’s music is included on the soundtrack of the Ken Burns documentary Lewis and Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery.

Dave Anderson – electric bass, production consultant,

In over twenty five years of professional bass playing, New Fairfield, CT resident, Dave Anderson has worked with so many notable musical artists that even a listing of highlights needs to be broken into genres: In pop/R&B/blues: Michael McDonald; Art Garfunkel; Blood, Sweat & Tears; Patti Austin; James Ingram; Ashford & Simpson; The 5th Dimension; Little Anthony & The Imperials; Petula Clark; Deniece Williams; Darlene Love; Phoebe Snow; Andrea McArdle; Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis; The Crystals; The Shirelles; The Drifters; Taj Mahal; Rory Block… In contemporary jazz and fusion: Special EFX; Bill Evans; Chuck Loeb; Warren Hill; Marion Meadows; Richard Elliot; Hiram Bullock; Jeff Golub; Philippe Saisse; Will Downing; Nelson Rangell; Bob Baldwin; Craig Chaquico; Walter Beasley; Peter White; Joe Beck; Dave Samuels; Regina Carter; Tony Purrone; Bob Mintzer…not to mention sui generis legends Rosemary Clooney and Billy Eckstine, folk/rockabilly with Kate Taylor; symphonic concerts with Broadway crossover star Linda Eder, two Broadway shows (Hairspray and Lennon), five discs with top-selling Celtic group Cherish The Ladies – and a discography as a session player of over fifty albums and counting.

Bill Lauflead male vocal, background vocals

Danbury native Bill Lauf Jr. is a tenor (four-string) guitarist who has been writing amazing songs and performing for more than 40 years. During the past two decades, in addition to solo work, he has performed and recorded with Susan Osborn, former lead singer with the Paul Winter Consort. Recently, he’s co-starred with multi instrumentalist and former Arlo Guthrie sideman Gordon Titcomb.

Rachel RubinYoung Lead Vocal

Rachel is a sophomore in high school and a member of her school’s Chamber Choir. She plays the guitar, and has been studying classical voice for three years. She is currently studying voice with Laura Mashburn, of Litchfield.

Robert Breretonbackground vocals

Rob Brereton is considered one of the pioneers in contemporary mountain dulcimer playing. His years of studying classical guitar have polished his playing style while his degree in music theory and composition has given him a fresh approach to arranging. Rob teaches K-6 music in several schools and has many private students. He also composes and directs several choirs near his home in Sherman, CT.

Galen Brandtbackground vocals,

Jonah Spearbackground vocals

Kiira Schmidt background vocals

Lou Giordano/Black Dog Studioengineer, mixing

South Salem, NY resident, Lou Giordano has produced countless artists and albums in a variety of musical genres. Lou’s DIY ethic was forged at Boston’s Fort Apache Studios in the late 80’s when, after two world tours in three years with Husker Du, he quit the road and made Fort Apache his home base. After years of producing seminal recordings for MISSION OF BURMA, THE LEMONHEADS, KING MISSILE and, of course, multiple titles for BOB MOULD and SUGAR. Lou struck multi-platinum with the GOO GOO DOLLS. Since that time, Lou has been in constant demand as a producer and mixer. Artists and albums include: AshburyBellyBim Skala BimBoys Night OutDeep WoundDYSGoo Goo DollsHüsker DüJewelKing MissileLiveMillencolinMission of Burma, Moving Targets, Negative FXPaul WesterbergPere UbuGreeley EstatesSamiamSherwoodSiegeSmall Ball PaulS.S.DecontrolA Static LullabySugarThe Connells,Sunny Day Real EstateTaking Back SundayThe AtarisThe LemonheadsThe SmithereensTreble ChargerWhat nowYo La Tengo,HalifaxThe BatsWaking AshlandPlain White T’sThe Color Fred

Doug Kupper/Bill Ahearn/Tapeworks Recording Studiodonation of the studio for the final mixing session. TAPEWORKS,, is Hartford’s premiere recording studio. This award-winning studio produces music stemming from a wide variety of musical styles ranging from Reggae to Hip Hip to Classical music, with a special affinity for contemporary folk music.

One response to “The Musicians, Bios, Photos

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