John Mailander and Molly Tuttle are individually renowned musicians currently studying at Berklee College of Music and joining together to perform their dynamic blend of original acoustic music. Together, Mailander and Tuttle create an honest and soulful mix of original and traditional music that respects the past while also looking toward the future of acoustic music. They have performed together at the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, the Joe Val Bluegrass Festival, and the Summergrass Bluegrass Festival, as well as at many venues throughout Boston and California.
John Mailander is a San Diego–based musician in demand for his performance, instruction, and studio work. Playing in a variety of styles on the fiddle, mandolin, and various other stringed instruments, he has become known for his soulful approach as a soloist, improviser, and writer. Mailander has shared the stage with acclaimed artists such as the Alison Brown Quartet, Victor Wooten, Tony Trischka and Territory, Tim O’Brien, Christopher Guest, and Darol Anger. He regularly appears with Chris Stuart and Backcountry and in 2012 he released an instrumental EP with the Boston-based TriMountain Sessions.
With nearly two million viewers on YouTube, Molly Tuttle is making a name for herself in the acoustic music scene and has been featured in Bluegrass Now, Flatpicking Guitar, and Acoustic Guitar magazines. A virtuoso multi-instrumentalist and an award-winning songwriter with a distinctive voice, in 2012 she won Best Female Vocalist and Best Guitar Player awards from the Northern California Bluegrass Society and first place in the prestigious MerleFest Chris Austin Songwriting Competition. Tuttle has appeared on A Prairie Home Companion and her active performance schedule has taken her to numerous festivals and venues across the United States and Canada, including the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, the Strawberry Music Festival, and the Freight and Salvage.
Tuttle and Mailander, joined by classmate Matt Witler, perform Tuttle’s “You Didn’t Call My Name” in this video:
Bronwyn Keith‐Hynes is a Boston-based musician originally from Charlottesville, Virginia. Accepted on a scholarship to Berklee College of Music at age 16, she graduated in 2013 with a diploma in Violin Performance. Keith-Hynes is fast gaining recognition for her fiddling across many genres, including bluegrass, Irish, Cape Breton, and old‐time music. Her playing, improvising, and writing is informed by four years of intense immersion in the Boston acoustic music scene and time spent studying traditional Irish and Cape Breton music before moving to Boston. While at Berklee, she studied with Darol Anger, Bruce Molsky, Matt Glaser, John McGann, Wes Corbett, and Mark Simos.
Keith-Hynes has performed at The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts; The Inter‐Celtic Festival in Lorient, France; and the Freshgrass Bluegrass Festival, among others. She toured France in 2012 with the international Irish music and dance show Celtic Dances, and she has also performed with Tomaseen Foley’s Irish Times show alongside Grammy winner Bill Coulter. She performs regularly with artists from the Boston area, including Annalivia, Mark Kilianski and the Moonshine Ramblers, and George Clements and BB Bowness.
Jenna Moynihan and Neil Pearlman are at the forefront of a new wave of acoustic music. Though both heavily steeped in traditional Scottish music, they each bring outside influences from Appalchian old-time to jazz to their collaboration, helping to create their unique sound.
Called a "force to be reckoned with" (Brian O'Donovan, WGBH "Celtic Sojourn"), Pearlman performs with Alba's Edge, Party of Three, and alongside Ed Pearlman. Moynihan is a recent graduate of Berklee College of Music and has performed with the Folk Arts Quartet, Atlantic Seaway, Darol Anger's Republic of Strings, and alongside the Boston Pops and Hayley Westenra.
A smorgasbord of fantastic performances from students in the American Roots Music program.
The artistic validity of a wide range of American roots styles—including blues, gospel, folk, early country music, bluegrass, old-time, Western swing, polka, and Tex-Mex—is beyond dispute. This music is the lifeblood of America's cultural heritage. The expressive urgency and depth of these styles is supported by strong fundamental musical values, and it is in recognition of the richness of these idioms, and of the ways that they fuse with contemporary elements, that Berklee has created the American Roots Music Program.
Among its many projects, the American Roots Music Program produces concerts, hosts visiting artists, designs and implements curriculum, creates and hosts faculty development sessions, and designs and implements symposiums and seminars. Also, using a broader definition of the term "roots," the program examines the core of what it means to be a musician in all idioms, and contemplates the roots of our western musical traditions, ranging from Bach to traditional African music.
The artistic director for the American Roots Music Program is Matt Glaser, who served as chair of Berklee's String Department for 28 years.