Our 2017 Instructors!
trent freeman - Fiddle
Trent Freeman is an innovative JUNO award winning violin player, whose unique blend of deep groove, in depth harmony, captivating melodies and personal writing style set him apart. His versatility makes him a sought after session musician and side man, and he has played for projects ranging from funk, hip-hop, R&B, jazz, soul and gospel, to rock, classical, country, bluegrass and folk. Over the past few years, Trent has toured and recorded with the Wailin Jennys, John Reischman, Jessie Farrell, The Griffins, Wyclef Jean, The Fretless and many others. He is also a sought-after camp instructor, sharing both his musical versatility and cheerful, upbeat presence with students across the country (not to mention some very punny jokes).
Michele amy - fiddle
A classically trained musician, Michele is a traditional fiddle player who believes strongly in preserving our Canadian heritage. Michele has studied many of Canada’ s best fiddle players and teachers in her quest to find an authentic sound. Working to preserve heritage in her corner of Saskatchewan, she now teaches a large studio of over 60 students, runs the Kenosee Lake Kitchen Party (Saskatchewan’s flagship fiddle camp) and promotes traditional fiddling through workshops, shows, school events, teacher training and by publishing curriculum designed to preserve the tunes of the prairies. A force of nature, Michele enriches the lives of everyone she meets, and is an outstanding educator and musician. Her Kenosee Lake Kitchen Party is the inspiration behind this camp.
eric wright - cello
Picking up the cello at age 7, Eric Wright began his musical career as a classically trained musician. While he loved classical music, his father’s background in Irish and Old Time American fiddling was what really drew him in. Growing up, he had always accompanied his dad on cello, guitar, or other instruments, and knew that his love for folk music was too powerful to ignore. From there, Eric moved to Boston and attended the Berklee College of Music where he studied folk styles with Eugene Friesen, Mark Simos, Natalie Haas, and John McGann. These days, when he's not busy touring with award-winning quartet The Fretless, Eric is in high demand as a cello, guitar, and banjo teacher. He is always a camp favourite with his big personality and quirky sense of humour.
donna turk - fiddle
Donna Turk recently moved to Forget, SK where she has opened a new music studio with her husband. Donna started playing the violin at the age of 4 and at 11 became a member of the world renowned Calgary Fiddlers. After high school Donna moved to Ontario where she studied Violin Performance at the University of Western Ontario. Donna has been teaching both fiddling and classical violin for over 25 years. She was the Artistic Director of the Bow Valley Fiddlers from 1997-2014. In 2012 she started adult fiddle classes at Mount Royal University. Donna’s love of teaching and working with both children and adults are being recognized nationally and she spends much of her time travelling to teach at workshops across Western Canada and NWT.
karrnnel sawitsky - fiddle
Karrnnel is one of Canada's most accomplished and innovative fiddlers and musicians as a recording artist, teacher, performer and composer. Since the age of 4, he grew up playing in a family band with his two sisters and his father, traveling all across North America as The Sawitsky Family Fiddlers. From there, Karrnnel has gone on to develop a successful and critically acclaimed performance and recording career which includes performances all across North America and Europe and the release of 5 award nominated albums since 2009. He has composed over 250 songs to date, and in 2010, he began the process of writing full orchestrations for his original music. Karrnnel is also very active on the education side of music, sharing his creativity and diverse knowledge of traditional music at camps and workshops across Canada, always with a good dose of humour.
DANIEL KOULACK - BANJO
Daniel Koulack, whose music includes a broad range of genres, is a respected multi-instrumentalist and teacher on the Canadian music scene. Daniel was born in New York in 1965 and has lived in Winnipeg since 1968. At eleven years of age he bought a banjo with money saved up from his paper route. A year later he made his professional debut at the Winnipeg Folk Festival. Daniel’s own music can be heard on his three albums of original instrumental music; Clawhammer Your Way To The Top, Life On A String, and Frailing To Succeed. Two of these recordings were nominated for Junos in the Best Roots/Traditional category. Daniel is also in high demand as an instructor at music camps across the country, and is a beloved mentor to many students and musicians.
Patti Kusturok - fiddle
At the age of four, Patti began learning to play the fiddle, and has a resume that reads like that of an Olympic champion. A few to her credit include: 6 time Manitoba Champion, 3 time Grand North American Champion, and 3 time Canadian Grand Master. Patti was the first woman to win the Grand Masters in the history of Canada, as well as the first from Western Canada. Often referred to as one of the smoothest fiddle players in North America, Patti is in high demand for performances, teaching, recording, and judging fiddle contests across the continent. Her humble demeanor and personable stage presence allows the audience to soak in the music and connect with her in a special way. Patti has a razor sharp wit and when she starts playing, the musical spirits instantly come alive!
ben plotnick - fiddle
Ben Plotnick was born into a life of music 29 years ago in Calgary, Alberta. He started on the violin as soon as he could hold it, and by the age of 18 he had toured 4 continents with "The Calgary Fiddlers", performed as a soloist with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, played in a rock & roll string quartet, and released his first solo album of original music. Since then, Ben studied jazz at Humber College in Toronto, and has lent his talents to performers such as Raffi, Brett Kissel, The Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Anne Murray, and many others. Ben spends most of his time these days on tour with The Fretless, Sarah Jane Scouten, and Kaitlyn Raiz. From Bluegrass to Celtic to Country music, Ben continues to define himself as one of Canada's best fiddle players.