Unitarian Fellowship – 67 S. Randolph Ave., Poughkeepsie
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Winner of the 2009 & 2015 International Bluegrass Music Awards (IBMA) Mandolin Performer of the Year, Jesse Brock began his Bluegrass career with his family band at the age of nine. He actually started singing at age 7, taking fiddle lessons at 8 & picked up the mandolin at 9. His first album (1983) was recorded with his family at age 11 and later that year played the Grand Ole’ Opry as the first place prize winnings at Bill Monroe’s Bean Blossom Band Contest. As Bill’s guest on the Early Bird Special, C.W. Brock & the Next of Kin, later to be renamed The C.W. Brock Family played two songs.
Jesse has worked with: The Lynn Morris Band (2 albums), Dale Ann Bradley (2 albums), Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper (4 albums), Audie Blaylock & Redline (2 albums) and most recently with The Gibson Bros. Jesse first appeared on the Grand Ole Opry at the young age of 11, and since has performed on stage with Ricky Skaggs, George Jones, Willie Nelson, Alison Krauss, The Tony Rice Unit, and the list goes on. In recent years, Jesse was an integral part of Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, recording two cds awarded IBMA’s “Instrumental Album of the Year” (2009 & 2011), and the band winning “Instrumental Group of the Year” four years in a row (2007-2010).
Greg Blake, Vocals/Guitar: After touring the world and raising a family, Greg Blake is poised to come into his own as one of the true Appalachian stars of modern bluegrass. Songs of Heart and Home, measures him spreading his wings as a vocalist and bandleader, crafting genre crossing music and following in the footsteps of his idol, Mac Wiseman, to make music that appeals to Bluegrass, Folk, Country, and Gospel fans alike. It’s no small thing that Greg was able to gather some of the best musicians and vocalists in bluegrass to join him on his debut solo album, such as 3-time IBMA Vocalist of the Year Claire Lynch, K.C. Groves (Uncle Earl), bluegrass icon Laurie Lewis, mandolinist John Reischman, fiddler Blaine Sprouse, bassist Mark Schatz and dobro master Sally Van Meter (who also produced the album). But it’s his voice that rings out above them all, earnestly delivering songs of family, love and life in the hills. A big man with an even bigger heart, he brings an uplifting joy to the music he knows and loves. Unfettered by genre divisions and unconstrained by tradition, he just follows his heart to find the deep mountain roots of the music, infusing everything he sings with a powerful, soaring spirit.
Mark Delaney, Banjo: Currently, Mark Delaney is touring with living legend, Danny Paisley & Southern Grass. Mark is no stranger to the D.C. circle of fabulous musicians and has also worked with Darren Beachley & Legends of the Potomac, until Darren disbanded the group. Prior to his time with Beachley, he had been a member of Randy Waller & The Country Gentlemen.
Delaney also has a solo banjo project, Sidecar, which also features Jesse on mandolin and released on Patuxent in 2008. In addition to banjos and bluegrass, Mark has a passion for BMW motorcycles, which he services in his shop.
Nico Laroche-Humby, Bass: Spry, energetic and coming to you from the Albertan Prairies of Canada, Nico Humby is a bass player and singer who’s dipped his fingers in a multitude of genres ranging from R&B, Funk, and Swing to Folk, Bluegrass, and Classic Country. With this experience he is able to bring a new groove and flavor to the existing world of Bluegrass. He is currently spending the bulk of his road time touring the world alongside Greg Blake in both Jeff Scroggins & Colorado and in the Greg Blake Band. In 2018, he had the opportunity to play Bluegrass across Europe and in Australia.
Ellie Hakanson, Fiddle: Ellie Hakanson plays fiddle and sings lead and harmony vocals with Jeff Scroggins and Colorado, and she has been singing bluegrass music since she was a toddler. As a child she performed with the Hakanson Family Band at bluegrass festivals throughout Oregon and Washington, and as a teenager she began sitting in with many local Oregon and Washington bluegrass bands. More recently she’s performed shows with groups like the Caleb Klauder Country Band, James King, and the Greg Blake Band.
In January 2018, Ellie released her first full length album with Jeff Scroggins and Colorado. The band was nominated in 2018 for IBMA Emerging Artist of the year. Ellie was also nominated for the 2018 IBMA Momentum award for Vocalist of the year, and the 2017 Momentum award for Instrumentalist of the year.
Ellie has been teaching private fiddle lessons and workshops at festivals since 2003, and currently teaches fiddle and vocals at camps and in individual lessons.