Friday, October 2, 2015

Emma Beaton and Nic Gareiss to Perform in Newton Lower Falls October 10

notloB Music’s Fall season continues at Gregorian Oriental Rugs' beautiful stone, brick and wood mill building overlooking the Charles River with old friends Emma Beaton and Nic Gareiss.

Emma Beaton: cello, banjo, vocals
“She is a truly gifted musician in many genres and on many instruments. She is one of the most exciting young cellists in the folk music world today, taking the cello into unprecedented territory in the Celtic, Cajun, southern Appalachian old-time, and Scandinavian genres. As a vocalist, her clear, powerful voice is truly captivating...”
- Natalie Haas

It is no wonder that someone from the very edge of the North American continent would possess a voice as naturally captivating as the verdant Pacific Northwest. Emma Beaton, young cellist and singer from Qualicum Beach, British Columbia has what bluegrass super-star Laurie Lewis called, a "voice like a laser," clear, effortless, and striking to the core.

The child of two Scottish emigrants, Beaton is no stranger to the traditional music realm. She learned to play the cello amongst seas of fiddlers under Alasdair Fraser's San Francisco Scottish fiddlers and at music camps around the US. This forced her to develop her own style of folk cello, adapting dance tunes for the instrument and conjuring up her own rhythmic accompaniment style to suit the fiddle repertoire.

She has studied with other notable innovative cellists, under Natalie Haas at the Berklee College of Music as well as with Tristan Clarridge and Rushad Eggleston, both of Crooked Still. She has appeared on Scottish national television, performed at the Aberdeen Youth Arts Festival, and guested with Alasdair Fraser, Bruce Molsky, Back of the Moon, and Hanneke Cassel.

At the age of eighteen, Beaton won the Canadian Folk Music Award's Young Performer of the Year after the release of her debut recording, "Pretty Fair Maid." A year later, after moving to Boston to study cello on scholarship at Berklee, Beaton's grace and flair remain, now magnified by a year at conservatory.

Emma was a founding member of the modern American string band Joy Kills Sorrow, which recently released the band's first release with Beaton as 
frontwoman, titled Darkness Sure Becomes This City. Emma has also recently released a duo record with bouzouki-player, singer, and dancer, Nic Gareiss.

Nic Gareiss: bouzouki, percussive dance, vocals
“The human epitome of the unbearable lightness of being...Gareiss is more fleet of foot than an Olympian sprinter and more buoyant than a helium-filled balloon...his restraint is palpable and freeform flight is inevitable.”
– Siobhán Long, The Irish Times

Michigan-born dancer, musician, and dance researcher Nic Gareiss has studied a broad variety of percussive movement forms from around the world.  At the age of eight he began taking tap lessons with Sam and Lisa Williams at Vision Studio of Performing Arts in Mount Pleasant, Michigan.  Soon after, he was exposed to fiddle music and traditional dance at the Wheatland Music Organization’s annual Traditional Arts Weekend.  It was there that he had his first instruction in Appalachian clogging with Michigan dance mentor, Sheila Graziano.  As a teenager, Nic also studied Irish step dance with John Heinzman, T.C.R.G., Appalachian flat-footing with Ira Bernstein, Québécois step dance with Benoit Bourque, and improvisation and composition with Sandy Silva.  

In 2001, Nic began an educational relationship with the internationally-renowned company, Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble.  After meeting Footworks’ director, NEA Choreography Fellow Eileen Carson at the Augusta Heritage Center dance camp, Nic was invited to spend nine weeks apprenticing with the company in Annapolis, Maryland.  While working with Footworks, Gareiss danced in their evening-length theater show, Incredible Feets as well as two new collaborative works: SoleMates, with StepAfrika and The Crossing, with Grammy-winning recording artist Tim O’Brien.

In 2007, Nic spent a year studying traditional Irish music and dance performance at the Irish World Academy at the University of Limerick, Ireland.  There he studied Cape Breton step dance with Mats Melin as well as Irish dance and choreography with Orfhlaith Ni Bhriain, T.C.R.G, A.D.C.R.G.  He also studied privately with contemporary dance artist and Irish dancer Colin Dunne and sean-nós dancer Seosamh Ó Néachtain.

Nic has performed many of the luminaries of traditional music from Ireland, Scotland, and North America, including The Chieftains, Dervish, Gráda, Beoga, Téada, 
FIDIL, Le Vent du Nord, Genticorum, Dr. Anthony Barrand, Buille, Liz Carroll, Frankie Gavin, Martin Hayes, Bruce Molsky, Darol Anger and Alasdair Fraser.  His dancing has been seen on CMT in Uncle Earl's music video, Streak O' Lean, Steak O' Fat, and also on Ireland's RTÉ 2 in the film Unsung, commissioned by the Irish Arts Council, which premiered during the 2008 Dublin Dance Festival. He has performed for the Irish head of state, An Taoiseach Brian Cowen and American Energy Secretary Steven Chu.  In 2011, Nic received two commissions from the Cork Opera House to create new solo percussive dance works for Reich’s pieces Six Marimbas and Clapping Music in honor of the composer’s 75th birthday.  The commissions were hailed by the Irish Times as “a leftfield tour-de-force with irresistible wow factor.

Nic continues to study, seeking out new forms of 
floor-music and shoe rhythms, recently studying flamenco with Felipe de Algeciras in Dublin and American percussive dance with Rhythm in Shoes founder and artistic director Sharon Leahy of Dayton, Ohio.  

Nic has taught workshops in percussive dance technique, American clogging, 
musicality and improvisation internationally.  He has had the pleasure of teaching at Alasdair Fraser’s Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddle Camp in northern California, as well as for Scottish Culture & Traditions Organization, The University of Limerick, Michigan State University, Alma College, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and the North Atlantic Fiddle Convention in Derry, Northern Ireland.  Through workshops for both movers and musicians, Nic seeks to remind students of the crucial, intrinsic, and historic place that percussive dance has held in the formation and development of many world music traditions as well as encourage dancers with the innately sonic capabilities of movement.  
Nic holds degrees in anthropology and music from Central Michigan University.  In 2011, he earned a distinction from the Norwegian University for Science and Technology’s IPEDAM Erasmus Intensive for Ethnochoreologists.  Nic completed post-graduate work in 2012, earning 
a MA in ethnochoreology from the University of Limerick.  He continues to tour internationally, working with dance communities and presenting solo percussive dance choreography and dance research.

notloB Music Presents Emma Beaton and Nic Gareiss, Acoustic and Unplugged
Saturday, October 10, 2015, 8pm (doors at 7:30)
Gregorian Oriental Rugs
2284 Washington St, Newton Lower Falls, MA 02462
General admission $20
Seniors and students $15
Tickets are on sale through Eventbrite -

notloB Music presents Celtic, bluegrass, old-time and progressive string concerts throughout the greater Boston area. See its full schedule at Tickets for all concerts are available at For more information see its Facebook page - - or email To opt in to its mailing list, go to

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