(Tessa Weeden on fiddle, shown in the photo has abandoned us for classical music)
Gaelic Fusion History
Formed in 1999, Gaelic Fusion’s first public performance was at Alaskaland, now Pioneer Park, that summer. They have since played for contradances, weddings, company parties, anniversaries, and other private and public events. The line-up over the years has included Gary Newman, Julie Baldridge, Caitlin Warbelow, Marty Baldridge, Max Newman, Erin Tilly, Pat Webb, Kyla McGroarty, Paige Steiner, Nate McDonald, Rebecca Dunne, Dennis Stephens, Siri Tuttle, Rohan and Tessa Weeden, and John Adams.
All have music in their lives still with two of them full time trad musicians.
Gaelic Fusion Members Past and Present
- Gary plays guitar, mandolin and octave mandolin in Gaelic Fusion and provides PA sound equipment and engineering for various Fairbanks area groups and events. He is a founding member of the longest running FAirbanks based Celtic band Celtic Confusion.
- Julie now lives in Seattle and plays in a number of alternative music bands, including The Excogitants, God of Shamisen, Monktail Creative Music Concern participant and more.
- Caitlin, a graduate of Boston University ’04 and Columbia ’08 in urban planning, spends a lot of time playing in the NYC area with established and up-and-coming Irish musicians. She’s also performed in the Heartbeat of Home production of Riverdance fame.
- Marty plays concertina and sometimes guitar in an English country group here in Fairbanks and she continues her distinctive pottery work. She also played guitar in the now defunct ‘Shamrocks on Ice’ band.
- Max, a graduate of Harvard University ’07 in government, now plays for contradances and Irish music events throughout New England and beyond. He plays guitar, mandolin, tenor banjo, ukelele, occasional keyboard and accordion and more. His main band is Nor’easter as well as with the iconic Rodney Miller’s Stringrays band.
- Erin, a 2006 graduate in art from the University of Alaska and a professional massage therapist trained in Vancouver, has numerous specialties in art, construction, massage, along with musical talents on flute, whistle, clarinet, bodhran and other percussion instruments.
- Pat had primarily played fiddle with Celtic Confusion and, with a B.A. and M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Alaska had a day job as a super-duper programmer for the Arctic Region Supercomputer Center, but moved some years ago to Santa Fe, New Mexico.
- Kyla plays music wherever she goes, seeming to travel all over the North and South American continents. Her main band had been Slightly Askew, a solid Fairbanks area mostly bluegrass band.
- Paige, becoming a fabulous food person in Denver (as of 2012) had also played fiddle with Celtic Confusion. We do miss her vibrant fiddling and harmonic improvisations.
- Nate comes with a solid bluegrass upbringing, like his father Bart. When not providing solid backup, one can hear him flatpicking Norman Blake songs in the background. His day job is working in the electrical trade with the union IBEW. Good for him, as we are sorely lacking for people to do real tradeswork in Fairbanks.
- Rebecca is a recent Fairbanksan, coming from Delaware and has lots of cats, dogs, and a bird to keep her and her husband company. Fittingly, she works at the FNSB Animal Shelter.
- Dennis, now retired from the UAF Library system, has played with the Red Hackle Pipe Band for decades, but likes to mix it up with less voluminous (pun alert) instruments as well.
- John plays a variety of styles of music on mandolin and fiddle, occasionally bringing out his tenor banjo.
- Siri plays many styles of music – classical, klezmer and our styles of music on fiddle, viola, piano and of late, foot and hand percussion.
- Rohan has been venturing out with traditional styles of music since coming to Fairbanks sessions. He is a 2014 graduate of Lathrop High School, now at UAF.
- Tessa, playing a lot of classical music, has been similarly drawn into trad music and invited into Gaelic Fusion when both she and Rohan were playing ever so well at an Irish music session in late 2013. Tessa was the valedictorian in the class of 2016 at Lathrop High School.