Instructor Bios

Neil Fraser

Coming from a background of Jazz, Blues and Roots music, Neil is a highly respected and sought after musician with over 30 years’ experience as an instructor to all levels of students.   Listing Django Reinhardt, Wes Montgomery and Eric Clapton as heavily influencing his playing, he likes to take chances and takes you for a ride along with him.  He can waltz you along a meandering lane where the air is crisp and gentle, place you in the middle of a wind storm or have you frantically searching for Haggis in Barcelona.

 

Sue Malcolm

SUE MALCOLM has been a mainstay of the Vancouver folk and bluegrass scene since 1980 as a performer, instructor and organizer, and a founder of The Pacific Bluegrass and Heritage Society.

Recognized for her ability to help beginners gain confidence and enjoy making music in a group setting, Sue developed the Slow Pitch Jam method of teaching bluegrass jamming. Since 1996 Sue’s monthly Slow Pitch Jams at the ANZA Club in Vancouver have been drawing huge crowds. She has taught beginner guitar and bluegrass jamming at many music camps including the BC Bluegrass Workshop (now Nimblefingers) and the Georgia Strait Guitar Workshop.

Sue sings and plays guitar with The Soda Crackers.www.thesodacrackers.com, an eclectic trio whose repertoire includes vintage country, bluegrass, and swing.   She has released five CDs and six volumes of Slow Pitch Jam songbooks with play-along cd’s.

She performs solo in care facilities and for hospice patients – an experience she finds very rewarding. A strong belief in the power of music to enrich lives and build communities keeps Sue looking for new ways to involve and inspire others.

www.suemalcolm.com

Victor Smith

Victor Smith is a multi-instrumentalist, recording engineer and composer who has played in dozens of folk-roots bands over the decades. Musically, he covers a fair bit of ground – Celtic, country, folk, jazz, and Cajun and it’s this versatility that has landed him on dozens of CDs. His main instruments – guitar, flute, accordion and violin – bring different elements to the performing and jamming arenas. And as a percussionist, he also brings a solid rhythmic understanding to the table.

 

Kristina Olsen

Kristina Olsen is the modern day troubadour, touring up to ten months a year. She regularly tours to Australia, Scotland, England, New Zealand, Canada and the USA. In more exotic locations, she has performed concerts in, Bangladesh, Norfolk Island, New Caledonia and once caught a snow-mobile drawn sled over a frozen lake to a concert in Aleknagik, Alaska. Olsen has been part of a songwriters’ group for over three decades and has taught songwriting, slide guitar and dance for musicians at adult music camps from Alaska to NYC to the UK to Australia for over a twenty years. Olsen is a frequent contributor to Acoustic Guitar magazine, writing articles on guitar and performance technique.

Samantha Taylor
Samantha Taylor is a versatile and engaging singer, choir director, songwriter, arranger, and voice teacher. She directs three community choirs in Vancouver and the Fraser Valley and teaches workshops on group harmony singing, vocal improvisation, embodied singing techniques and world vocal musics. She holds a BFA in Theatre Performance and an MA in Ethnomusicology. Samantha is the co-founder/artistic director of Estuarium Arts Company and a founding member of the acclaimed female sextet, the Shirleys. With a focus on experiential learning and oral tradition, Samantha’s approach is widely accessible and inspires whole-hearted participation from people with all levels of musical experience.

John Miller

John Miller has been performing, recording and teaching guitar for close to fifty years.  In addition to 7 solo recordings, he has recorded with the bands Country Cooking, Freshet, and Zumbido, in duos with Revecca Kilgore, John Reischman, Ruthie Dornfeld, Ginny Snowe, and in a trio with Orville Johnson and Grant Dermody.  John has taught at a host of music camps since his first year at PSGW in 1976, and has had 17 instructional guitar videos released by Stefan Grossman’s Guitar Workshop.

Jenn Forsland
For 12 years, Jenn Forsland has played an integral role in the Comox Valley music scene. In addition to performing regularly with a variety of ensembles (jazz, folk, rock, roots, bluegrass and classical), she directs the Celebration Singers, The Grace Notes Womens’ Ensemble, and the Island Voices Chamber Choir. A distinguished graduate of the music education program at UVic, Jenn trained classically as a vocalist, pianist, and conductor and has performed and taught throughout Canada and the in the UK. As leader of the Jenn Forsland Group, her playful performance style engages audiences with jazzy twists on pop tunes and a rich exploration of the Great American Songbook.

Andreas Schuld
Andreas Schuld is one of the most-recorded guitarists in Canada. He has performed on hundreds of albums by artists ranging from Grammy winners Raffi and Long John Baldry to Juno winners/nominees Susan Crowe, Bill Bourne, Kenny Wayne, Hans Stamer, Farmer’s Daughter, One Horse Blue, and many others. In addition, he can be heard on many TV shows and movie soundtracks and countless commercials. He has composed music for numerous TV Shows such as “The Oprah Winfrey Show”, “Pawn Stars”, “Anthony Bourdain”, “Frontline”, “National Geographic”, and others. Andreas is also an award–winning producer and songwriter, and is head of the acclaimed Canadian roots record label “brouhaha records”.

 

Jeff Dill

Jeff Dill began music at a young age, singing in his school choir and playing piano and trumpet in his school jazz ensemble. His earliest performance memory is singing a solo with his choir at age 9, for the song Old Paint. As a teen he taught himself to play guitar, and formed his first band, playing original songs and rock covers. He has spent the last ten years immersed in the Victoria bluegrass and old-time scene playing rhythm and lead guitar. With a strong passion for traditional bluegrass and western swing, he performs regularly with fiddler Miriam Sonstenes (Old Paint Duo) and is a founding member of Flash In The Pan. His musical travels have taken him to Ireland, North Carolina, Louisiana, and across Canada on VIA Rail’s Artists on Board Program. He has also spent time studying celtic guitar accompaniment, playing with Victoria’s Riverside Bluegrass Band, and even did a stint playing klezmer guitar with the Yiddish Columbia State Orchestra. As a dedicated teacher he has shared his love of guitar playing at workshops across BC, including Vancouver Island Music Workshop, and Nimblefingers Bluegrass & Old Time Workshop.

 

Marvin Walker
Marvin Walker is a Grant MacEwan Music Program graduate and “Roots” music drummer who has played extensively locally and in Vancouver and Edmonton. He has commanded the “drum chair” with Powder Blues, k.d. lang, Jim Byrnes, Billy Cowsill, Tim Williams, Bo Diddley, Bessie Wapp, Mystery Train, with Wayne Berezan and Kelly Fawcett, and the BelAirs with notable guitar players Dave Vidal, Tim Hearsey, Danny Casavant, and Andreas Shuld. Marvin can also be found playing percussion backing up acoustic artists, small ensembles or even larger funky horn bands such as Whatitis and Hornography.

 

Stephen Nikleva
Vancouver Guitarist Stephen Nikleva has been an active part of the Vancouver Music Community for over 30 years. His playing can be heard on millions of recordings due to his recording & touring with Sarah McLachlan, but mainly he is known for his work with roots groups like Ray Condo & currently with Petunia & The Vipers.