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The Little Roots Team:

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Maggie , co-founder of Little Roots, is an award winning banjo playing, guitar playing, singing educator originally from Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  She has been playing guitar since she was twelve and has been playing banjo since 2004, learning from Adam Hurt, Riley Baugus and Bruce Molsky among others.  In 2003, she graduated from Hampshire College with a focus on music, education, and healing.  She then went on to receive her M.S. from Antioch University New England in 2007 with a focus on environmental education and social justice.

Maggie is trained in the Nurtured Heart Approach and has nearly 20 years of experience teaching children in creative, interactive, engaging ways having worked as an assistant camp director, camp counselor, preschool teacher, home-school teacher, environmental educator, parent coach, and music teacher.  She  also teaches guitar, banjo, uke, and piano lessons to students of varying experience levels and ages.  In addition, Maggie performs regularly throughout New England with

 The Ephemeral Stringband, and The Moon Shells   has seven self-released albums.

Maggie is fueled by the curiosity of children and strives to make each child feel a sense of belonging and success in their learning process.   She strongly believes in the power of music to generate joy, healing, love, connection, and community for people of all ages.

Annie Lynch Stevenson 

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Annieco-founder of Little Roots, is a professional musician, songwriter, and educator based in Massachusetts. She began formally studying voice when she was eight, guitar at age twelve, songwriting in her teens, and graduated from Berklee College of Music in 2008 with a Bachelor of Music emphasizing vocal studies and world music.

Annie has lead the internationally-touring Americana group, Annie and The Beekeepers, since 2007, performing at such festivals as South By Southwest, Philadelphia Folk Festival, Boston Folk Festival, End of the Road and more. Annie and the Beekeepers have three self-released albums and have shared bills with such bands and artists as Nathaniel Rateliff, Anais Mitchell, The Lumineers, Josh Ritter, Justin Townes Earle, and Lucius, among others. Annie’s individual mischief in music has ranged from participation in Nashville bluegrass jams to intensive studies of traditional West African music in Ghana, West Africa, and collaborations in Siberia with the Tuvan National Orchestra. Annie has nearly 20 years of experience teaching music nationally, primarily in Boston, NYC, and Western Massachusetts. In this time she has taught and directed several early childhood music programs, camps, choruses and workshops as well as private voice, guitar and ukulele lessons to all ages and experience levels in a variety of genres. 


Outside of the Little Roots world, Annie continues to performs under Annie and The Beekeepers or her own name, Annie Lynch. She is a mother of two, partner to a fellow musician/composer, an animal lover, nature-enthusiast, a small-time crafter, a big-time goofball, and a joyful resident of the Hilltowns of Western Mass. 

Mia Friedman

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Mia is a fiddler and singer as well as a composer and educator. Her song “Across the Water” won the 2010 John Lennon Songwriting Contest in the folk category, and she was the 2006 New Hampshire Highland Games Scottish Fiddle Champion. Mia started playing fiddle at the age of six and has been singing for as long as she can remember! She began writing songs at the age of nine and started playing banjo and guitar when she was seventeen. She has been teaching private and group lessons in the Boston area and Western MA since 2010.

 

In addition to Little Roots, Mia teaches Community Music School of Springfield and leads elementary and high school string programs in five public schools in Springfield, MA. She is the orchestra teacher at The Hartsbrook Waldorf School, has a private studio of fiddle students, and teaches at many traditional music camps during the summer. 

 

Mia performs in Ari & Mia, a duo she has with her sister, Ariel Friedman. They have toured all over the United States and Australia, and have four CDs, two of which were ranked high on National folk radio charts. Mia also performs with the Ephemeral Stringband and Hollow Deck. She graduated from New England Conservatory in 2012 where she studied with Anthony Coleman, Carla Kihlstedt, and Hankus Netsky. 

 

Richie Barshay

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Richie began drumming inside kitchen cabinets at an early age, and continues banging on things worldwide to this day. Noted for his work with the Herbie Hancock Quartet in the 2000s, he's been dubbed "a major rhythm voice on the rise" by Downbeat magazine, and The Guardian (UK) praises "the arrival of a major innovator who also knows how to have fun." Find him on stage and recordings with Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Esperanza Spalding, The Klezmatics, Fred Hersch, Kenny Werner, Lee Konitz, Natalie Merchant, Bobby McFerrin, and Pete Seeger among others. Since 2004 he has led outreach projects across 5 continents as an American Musical Envoy with the U.S. State Department. He can be heard on over 80 recordings as a sideman, and his two self-produced albums: Homework featuring Herbie Hancock (2004), and Sanctuary featuring Chick Corea (2014).

 

Based in New York City and Northampton, MA, he is an AmSAT certified Alexander Technique teacher and maintains a private practice for performing artists and others to regain better mind-body coordination and ease of movement.

Lily Sexton

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Lily began playing the violin at the age of four, studying in the Suzuki Method at the Suzuki School of Westport and Talent Education Suzuki School. While pursuing a Bachelor's Degree at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst), she shifted her focus to fiddling and singing in the traditional Appalachian style. Since then, she has formed several bands in the Pioneer Valley, most notably progressive bluegrass group Mamma's Marmalade. Outside of New England, her bands have toured the U.S. and Canada, and she has shared stages with music greats such as David Grier, Mike Compton, Michael Daves, and Joe Newberry. Sexton spent two years as Strings teacher at The Hartsbrook School in Hadley, MA, working with 4th grade, 5th grade and high school student ensembles, and is currently on faculty at Northampton Community Music Center. When she is not performing with her bands, she is committed to fostering the musical and artistic growth of her students. Sexton believes music is the best medium for human connection, and that each young musician has something important to say with their craft.  

TRacy Einstein

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Tracy (she/her/hers) comes to Little Roots after nearly a decade bringing play, movement, and drama to Public Schools in NYC. She’s worked as a theater & movement teaching artist for the Public Theater, Hunts Point Shakespeare Ensemble, LeAp NYC, Arts Ignite (formerly ASTEP), Redbull Theater Company, Completely Ridiculous Conservatory, and more!

 

She is one half of Nu Words, whose engaging performances of storytelling, poetry, drumming, and movement dazzle audiences and young people worldwide. Learn more at www.tracyeinstein.com/teachingartist 

Norma Jean Haynes

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Norma Jean (she/her) is a musician and educator from Florence, Massachusetts. In addition to over a decade studying old-time banjo, ukulele, and guitar, Haynes has studied traditional song and dance in locales such as Bosnia and Herzegovina, England, South Africa, Corsica, and the Appalachian south. She is the author of Make Music! A Kid’s Guide (Storey, 2017), and a summa cum laude graduate of Smith College with a degree in Education and French Studies. She currently serves as school-wide music teacher at The Common School in Amherst, MA while regularly performing as Norma Dream. 

Rafe Wolman

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Rafe plays fiddle, guitar, Cajun accordion, his own voice, and a small slew of other instruments. He grew up playing the violin in public school, local youth orchestras, and student jazz ensembles. He was also heavily influenced by the Balkan music of the folk-dances he attended with his mom. He has a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University in Montreal.

Rafe has performed with a variety of country, old-time, Cajun and bluegrass groups, from bars in Montreal, to square dances up and down the East Coast, festivals, and on street corners and farmers markets across the country. He also plays jazz, klezmer, Greek music, and experimental music. His journeys in search of musical understanding have brought him to Louisiana and Greece, among other places.

Rafe has taught violin lessons on-and-off since high school. After years of working on farms and orchards, he pivoted back towards music around 2018. Since then he has been working with a growing studio of private students of all ages, and teaching at the Strings for Kids program in the Greenfield public schools. He loves teaching young string players fiddle tunes, blues and jazz, showing them scratchy recordings of traditional fiddle from around the world, and helping them be comfortable and successful improvisers.

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