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The Good Folk

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Sophie Chang

Cello

Joanna Clare

Fiddle | Dance | Vocals

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Eileen Estes

Vocals | Guitar | Bodhran

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Agi Kovacs

Dance | Bodhran | Shaker

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Meghan Mette

Fiddle | Dance | Concertina |  Vocals

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Patrick Winch

Banjo | Guitar

Powerful instrumentals, haunting vocals and percussive dance collaborate in a wonderful display of innovative musicianship. Rooted in the beloved traditional music of Ireland, artists explore familiar tunes and ballads as well as original compositions with respect and intention that also welcomes fresh perspective and interpretation. Thoughtful phrasing, delightful ornamentation, and emotive yet powerful accompaniment bring audiences a truly unique and delightful sound with each collaboration. 

Sophie Chang bridges the worlds of the concert hall and the dance hall in her active career as a performer, collaborator, songwriter, and teacher. Both a classically trained cellist and an avid improviser, Sophie specializes in American folk music and has played contra dances and English country dances throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.  She is a founding member of bands Petrichord and Tea and Honey, which have fast become local favorites for their blend of Old Time, French Canadian, and Scottish fiddling. An enthusiastic music educator dedicated to practicing anti-oppression, Sophie provides accessible cello lessons to her local community in Silver Spring and Takoma Park at a sliding scale. .

Joanna Clare is an acclaimed Irish fiddler and violinist having won numerous awards for her talents as a fiddler and as a composer. She began with a classical style, and committed to Irish fiddling as a student of Brian Conway. As well as performing with her other musical groups, Celtic Corridor and The Mount Clare Connection, she teaches Suzuki Violin and Irish fiddle to people of all ages at her home and through The Baltimore Irish Music School and the Baltimore Music Company. In 2022, Joanna released her debut album, To Keep the Candle Burning, which has received accolades from both sides of the Atlantic.

Whether performing at home or touring, Eileen Estes has thrilled audiences for years with her extraordinary voice, which effortlessly combines vocal power with subtle emotional expressiveness. She also works as a studio musician and a vocal coach. Eileen is a former faculty member at Blue Ridge Irish Music School, where she is still a visiting instructor, and Estes travels to teach Master Classes in the United States and abroad. She currently works as one of the directors of Irish Musical Arts and Dance Week in Bethesda MD, is a contributing artist for the Baltimore Washington Academy of Irish Culture and is the vocal instructor for the Irish Music School of Chicago. Estes also runs her own vocal studio, Lark Song Studios, where she works with singers around the world both remotely and in person.

Agi Kovacs is a percussionist specializing in a multitude of percussive dance and drum styles, who has been actively teaching and performing her craft since 2008. She not only performs to live music in a variety of genres, but through her rhythms and unique role as a “drummer and dancer in one” she also displays the visual effect of the music.  She has been a principal dancer with Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble for the past 9 years and continues to travel around the world performing, teaching and spreading the joy of different percussive dance styles. Agi has performed at venues throughout DC, Maryland, Virginia, and New York, as well as in Canada, Ireland, and England and Germany. She also has been teaching at schools in DC/MD/VA and at Knock On Wood Tap Studio.

A life-long fiddler, Meghan Mette began her musical career in the Irish Traditional, Cape Breton, and Appalachian Old Time styles, and has studied with some of the highest profile performers in these genres. Meghan studied Irish Traditional Music at the University College Cork, and engaged in a study of Bluegrass immersion in Nashville, TN. She is also proficient in Scottish traditional music and New England style fiddling, and is accomplished in Irish Step-Dancing and Appalachian Flatfooting. Additionally, she plays concertina, Cape Breton piano, claw hammer banjo, and loves to sing harmonies.

Patrick Winch is a tenor banjo and guitar player based in the Washington DC area. The son of Jesse Winch and nephew to Terence Winch, Patrick grew up surrounded by Irish Traditional music, and started his musical journey with classical piano at age 5. Patrick began playing the guitar when he was 12, covering a range of styles from rock and roll, to alternative, to indie, before eventually jumping headfirst into the tenor banjo and the world of Irish tunes. These days, he is frequently seen at a range of Irish sessions and gigs across the DC/Baltimore area with his friends, family, and other great musicians. 

The Good Folk at the 2023 Maryland Folk Festival

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