Celtic Junction Arts Center

Weaving the traditions of Dance, Music, Art & Language

836 Prior Avenue
St. Paul, MN, 55104

Workshop with Laura Cortese, Valerie Thompson, and Mariel Vandersteel

November 9th, 3-5pm, $30 You can choose to attend the concert, the workshop, or both when you purchase tickets.BUY TICKETS NOW

Fiddling, Celling, Violing and Singing!

Ever wanted to sing and play the fiddle, viola, or cello at the same time? In this two hour workshop we will learn one simple song, the chords for that song and be able to play it and sing it together. We will also explore techniques to increase your ability to sing and play at the same time. 


Cortese grew up in San Francisco and moved to Boston to study violin at Berklee College of Music. She has since immersed herself in the city's vibrant indie music scene and enjoyed a busy sideman career, which has included appearances with Band of Horses at Carnegie Hall, Pete Seeger at Newport Folk Festival, and Patterson Hood and Michael Franti for Seeger's ninetieth birthday celebration at Madison Square Garden. 

Valerie Thompson and Mariel Vandersteel bring their own multi-genered credentials to the mix. Thompson has shared the stage with acclaimed jazz pianist Fred Hersch, indie-rock icon Amanda Palmer, multimedia artist Christopher Janney, and CMH Records' Vitamin String Quartet (including a guest appearance on Gossip Girl.)

Vandersteel came of age musically nurtured by the Bay Area's rich revivalist traditional music scene. She attended Berklee College of Music and studied hardingfele in Norway, that country's national instrument. In 2009 she released a solo album, Hickory. She was invited as part of a select group of 20 young musicians to Savannah Music Festival's Acoustic Music Seminar to study with Chris Thile, Edgar Meyer, Zakir Hussein and Mike Marshall.

True to their adventurous spirit and wide-ranging influences, the group was recently selected from a pool of 400 bands to tour with the US State Department's American Music Abroad program. From January 22 through March 3, 2014, they set off to India, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Bangladesh to perform and teach as artist ambassadors. Such a mission was perfect for this trio, whose music communicates the depth and soul of American roots music, using their own uniquely modern voices.