New Album and Tunebook - Spring 2020
"Honeywood" is coming soon!
The album features an hour + of original compositions as well as traditional tunes from France, Germany, and The Netherlands, all for common Western European social folk dances. The recordings feature Emilyn on accordion and violin, John on clarinet and diatonic accordion, and special guests: Tangi Ropars (accordion), Alan Mackie (double bass), Nathan Smith (violin), Kyle Waymouth (tenor banjo), Lolita Delmonteil-Ayral (diatonic accordion), and Camille Raibaud (mandolin).
The Tunebook (beautifully hand-crafted and illustrated by Oksana Hawrylak) features the 30 + tunes from the album plus more of our current favourite tunes to play for dancing! Waltzes, Schottishes, Mazurkas, Bourrées, Rondos, etc.
Pre-ordering now helps make this project possible! You'll be amongst the first to receive your copy of the "Honeywood" album and/or Tunebook in the Spring! You can also donate $ to support this project. Thank you!
About Emilyn and John
Original and traditional instrumental music for folk dances and concerts
Ontario based duo Emilyn Stam and John David Williams merge the voices of clarinet, violin, diatonic and chromatic accordions to create a modern sound steeped in tradition. They met in 2011 as members of the Lemon Bucket Orkestra. During quiet hours of busy tour schedules they discovered a similar sensibility in improvisation and composition, and began to create a distinctive duo sound mainly featuring clarinet and violin. They both draw on wide musical influences and experience including Klezmer, early jazz and blues, and various fiddle traditions from Canada and abroad. Their first CD is a collection of original compositions based on improvisation and exploring playful instrumental duet dialogues. Currently, they are focusing on the folk music and dance traditions of western Europe. In addition to exploring traditional dance styles and tunes, they are developing a repertoire of original music meant equally for social dance and concert settings. They will release an album of this repertoire titled "Honeywood"in Spring 2020. They are also primary organizers of the first Canadian festival dedicated to music and dance from western Europe: The Big Branch Festival.
“The idea that folk music needs to exist in glass boxes is what tends to hold it back. Emilyn and John have a tremendous way of progressing folk music that is respectful but at the same time so freeing and playful.”
– Tom Power, CBC
"Stam and Williams play with colourful and expressive nuance, and their enjoyment of what they’re doing is palpable. Much instrumental virtuosity is on display here too but it’s all in good service to the music… This is creative, witty and beautiful music making.”
– Alison Melville, WholeNote Magazine
Bourrées in the Ottawa Valley
Jigs, Drom Taberna, with Nathan Smith
Scottisches, with Robert Alan Mackie
Bourrées, with Robert Alan Mackie
Upcoming: "Honeywood" - a new album of original and traditional music for listening and dancing,
Debut album of orginal compositions, 2015:
Upcoming Shows and Events
Toronto CD release May 31st! Details to come
Summer tour and release shows TBA
Selected Past Shows and Tours
Winterfolk Festival, Toronto, CAN -2019
Summerfolk Festival, Owen Sound, CAN - 2017, 2018
Pittsburg Balfolk Blast, USA - 2018
Silvester Folk, Colditz, DE - 2018
Blue Skies Music Festival, Clarendon, ON - 2017
Festival Trad du Monde
(with Tangi Ropars), Sherbrooke, CAN - 2017
Festival Fous d’Archet, Toulouse, FR -2017
Home Routes Tour
(Spring 2016 - BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, CAN)
European Concert Tour
(Winter 2017 - Italy, France, Netherlands, Belgium)
European Balfolk Tour
(Winter 2019 - Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France)
Workshops & Events
Emilyn and John have improvised music for silent films, accompanied clown performances, played countless Horahs and Klezmer sets for weddings and Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, led group music workshops, played for contemporary dance classes, have taught folk music and dancing in schools, parks, camps and festivals, and are available for future workshops, events, performances and collaborations.