Our Staff

Potent Brew

George Paul
Ryan McKesson
Steve Kemble

Potent Brew has played together since 2015. George Paul, piano, has been influenced by a wide range of styles.  As a performer and composer, he relishes the direct connection between heart/emotions and hands to create music people can feel and move to.  George has been at several AmWeeks with The Avant Gardeners, and he founded Waltzes Before Breakfast with three CDs of live sessions at camps. Steve Kemble, drums and percussion, is fluent in various musical genres such as rock, blues, jazz, salsa, reggae, and zydeco.  He lays down and explores beats that engage musicians and dancers alike.  George and Steve perform with Potent Brew, Playing with Fyre, and others. Ryan McKasson, fiddler and violist, has gained a reputation as a performer, composer, collaborator, and teacher. Ryan has been a member of many bands with many styles over his 40 plus year career, and for contra these include The Syncopaths, Contra Sutra, and Potent Brew.

Alex Sturbaum & Hayden Stern

Alex Sturbaum
Hayden Stern

Hayden Stern and Alex Sturbaum are based in Seattle and Olympia, Washington. Hayden Stern (they/them) is a fiddler and teacher, and their decades-long musical journey includes a range of traditions and styles, focusing on Scottish and Cape Breton music. Hayden brings a whirlwind of joyous enthusiasm to the room, connecting with the audience in a tour de force of skill, style, and sound. Hayden plays with Natterjack, Sage Thrashers, and Indigo Bunting. Alex Sturbaum (they/them) is a singer, songwriter, dance musician, multi-instrumentalist, and performs across the country at festivals, contra dance weekends, and more. A versatile and engaging performer steeped in folk music from both sides of the Atlantic, they draw influences from Celtic, American, English, Canadian, and maritime music to create something at once old and new. Their performances are always high energy and build an instant rapport with audiences. Alex plays with Natterjack, Countercurrent, and Engine Room.

Alexandra Deis-Lauby

Alexandra Dais-Lauby

NYC-based folk dancer, caller, teacher, and organizer Alexandra Deis-Lauby is a contra dance caller who calls weekends and festivals all over the country.  She tours, calling local dances for both contra and English Country Dance.  Her clear teaching, smooth voice, and fun dance selection delight dancers, and she is excellent with all levels of dancers.

Chris Page

Chris Page

Chris Page has called contra and ECD for two decades in southern California (San Diego to Los Angeles). Chris is seriously committed to not taking himself too seriously and encourages the same of dancers. His choreographic study has gotten a bit out of hand, resulting in a public database of 15,000+ dances. He’s written over 200 dances and is a NEFFA contest winner.

Eric Black

Eric Black

Sound Manager Eric Black has been running live sound at concerts and dances since 1970, and has recorded and produced several music releases. He hears things that most people don’t (yes, that’s a Good Thing). He was AmWeek Manager from 2010 to 2017, has called contras & squares in all 50 states and 7 countries, and has been a BACDS Board Member since 1982.

Sarah Little

Eric Black

Yoga Instructor Sarah Little will provide gentle and revivifying yoga. Sarah has been studying and teaching yoga for over twenty years with an emphasis on caring for active and aging bodies. Her brand of movement will ease overused muscles and bring balance to your week.

Brenda Goodwin

Eric Black

Dancing for 30 years and cooking at contra events for 20 years, Brenda Goodwin knows what you want and need to keep your spirits up and your body dancing. When Brenda is in the kitchen expect fresh, tasty, nutritious, and varied offerings to fuel your fun!