John T. La Barbera is a composer, arranger, guitarist, mandolinist, and author whose expertise in Italian traditional music has made him a valuable resource for both film and theater directors. Awarded for his extraordinary role in the transmission and translation of Italian oral traditions from The Italian Oral History Institute, La Barbera is recognized as a pioneer in reviving Southern Italian folk music and one of the first transcribers of it in America. He is the author of the first and foremost Italian mandolin book Traditional Southern Italian Mandolin and Fiddle Tunes, and Italian Folk Music For Mandolin with Mel Bay Publications and currently on their best sellers list.
Awards and Commissions: The Jerome Foundation, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, The Martin Gruss Foundation and the New York State Council on the Arts, Meet the Composer, ASCAP. Film scores include the Academy Award Nominated feature documentary: Children of Fate (1992) nominated for best Documentary feature in the 1994 Academy Awards and winner of the 1993 Sundance Film Festival; Finding The Motherload: Italian Immigrants in California, (2014); Sister Italy (2013); Sacco and Vanzetti (2006), won the 2007 John E. O’Connor Film award, the annual prize for the best historical film awarded by the American Historical Association; Pane Amaro (2006), won critical acclaim in both Italy and the U.S.; Tarantella, (1995) starring Mira Sorvino and La Festa (1995). He appears together with legendary singer Jimmy Roselli in the Italian and American film about the Neapolitan song, Neapolitan Heart- Cuore Napolitano (2002). Off-Broadway composer and musical director credits include: Souls of Naples, starring John Turturro. Original folk operas include: Stabat Mater: Donna di Paradiso; The Voyage of the Black Madonna; The Dance of the Ancient Spider and The Adventuers of Don Giovanni and Pulcinella.
He holds a M.M. from William Paterson University and a B.M. from The Hartt School of Music. He is currently an adjuct professor at the Bergen Community College in Paramus, New Jersey and artist in residence at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts (Katonah, NY). His music has been recorded on Shanachie records, Meadowlark, Rounder Records, Lyrichord Disks, Ellipsis Arts, and Bribie records.
My musical life started around the age of 11 in the small rural community of Dairyland, Wisconsin. Inspired and motivated by two older brothers and a father that played banjo, fiddle, and guitar, my first love was guitar. After having the guitar appropriated by my oldest brother, I took up the only instrument left in the house, an old plywood mandolin with half the strings missing.
Practicing every spare minute, between chores on the family farm, I soon discovered Sam Bush and the New Grass Revival. I’d never heard such sounds from a mandolin, I was blown away! I learned everything I could find from Sam on an old record player in what could be compared to a literal woodshed. Some of the other early influences were, Gus Ingo, Jerry Stuart, Jethro Burns, Bobby Osborne, Mark O’Connor. The Cobb Brothers Family Band had it’s first “gig” in the local school we all attended playing fiddle tunes, and original instrumental music. Word soon spread about the hillbilly music coming from this family in Dairyland and before we knew it we were playing most weekends in a tri state area of WI, MN, and MI.
As director of CCMC, the New England Mandolin Ensemble and Boston Mandolins, August Watters draws on both improvisational and composed musical forms. August is an Emmy-award winning composer, mandolinist and guitarist with more than 25 years of performance and composition experience in varied styles. He has performed and presented clinics in Germany, Italy, England, the Czech Republic, Canada, and the United States. He maintains a regular schedule of private and public performances spanning classical, jazz and traditional folk styles, and has appeared at local, regional and international festivals and conferences including the Joe Val Bluegrass Festival (Boston), the Classical Mandolin Society of America (Montreal), the International Association of Jazz Educators, the J.D. Crowe Bluegrass Festival (Kentucky), and the European World of Bluegrass (Czech Republic).
August is an Associate Professor of Ear Training at Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he teaches Ear Training and the New Acoustic Music Ensemble. He has previously taught Berklee classes in improvisation, harmony, arranging, sightreading, and private lessons in mandolin. Education: Master of Music, Boston University, major in Music Education. Bachelor of Music, Berklee College of Music, Summa cum Laude, major in Jazz Composition. Masters-level studies in traditional composition completed privately with Harold Shapero.
Shana Aisenberg is a prize-winning mandolinist as well as a nationally acclaimed acoustic multi-instrumentalist; composing, playing and teaching diverse styles from traditional Appalachian, Celtic and New England contradance music to eastern European Klezmer, Balkan, Scandinavian, bottleneck blues and jazz. Shana plays a wide array of stringed instruments including mandolin, mandola, bouzouki, mandocello, acoustic guitar, lap steel, fiddle, 5 string banjo and fretted dulcimer.
Shana has performed concerts, coffeehouses and festivals nationwide, and is a popular workshop teacher at some of the nation’s best-known acoustic music camps. Shana has recorded 5 solo albums, most recently Metamorphosis and Desert Winds and has produced, engineered and played on over 30 recordings by other acoustic artists, three of which have won Indie Awards from NAIRD. Shana has composed music for PBS documentaries, written guitar and mandolin instruction books for Mel Bay Publications and numerous other musicians have performed and recorded Shana’s tunes. In 1981 Shana was a triple winner at The Walnut Valley National Flatpicking Championships, Winfield, KS in fingerstyle guitar, mandolin and fretted dulcimer.
Beverly Woods grew up in a musical family, and began studying piano at the age of 5. Beverly has been performing professionally since 1972, with an eclectic and ever-growing collection of acoustic instruments, including mandolin, bouzouki, hammered dulcimer, tsimbl, piano, accordions, 6- and 7-string guitars, autoharp, fretted dulcimer, folk harp, concertina, nyckelharpa, tenor banjo, and hurdy-gurdy. She has studied the traditions of these instruments extensively, and has a natural and accessible way of making them understandable to students.
For many years a well-known street performer in Boston, Beverly now performs mostly in New Hampshire with her partner, Shana Austen, and in various ensembles. Beverly also provides music for film and multimedia presentations, festivals and events of all kinds, New England contradancing, and international folk dance, and is a popular workshop leader. Beverly has released a number of recordings, most recently Balance On Air with hammered dulcimer player David Neiman.
From the founders
The Cape Cod Mandolin Camp was conceived and founded by
Shana Aisenberg, August Watters and Beverly Woods.
We believe that EVERYONE has the right to play music — especially
mandolin! In today’s busy world, we’ve gotten too far away from
our musical traditions — remember, music is a SHARED activity,
not a spectator sport! Mandolinists of any level of experience
can expect to leave the Cape Cod Mandolin Camp with music
and techniques to work on over the next year, as well as new
friendships with other mandolinists of similar interests.