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 have released an album of this repertoire titled "Honeywood"in July 2020. In September 2022 they are releasing an album of traditional Dutch music entitled "The Farmer Who Lost His Cow and other old Dutch tunes".
They are the primary organizers of the first Canadian festival dedicated to music and dance from western Europe: The Big Branch Festival. Emilyn and John are both members of the group Vinta along with Nathan Smith and Alan Mackie. Vinta has a monthly Trad Tunes Mini Album series released through Patreon, where subscribers have additional access to learning materials such as Music Notation and Slow Videos for learning.
Emilyn and John's 2020 album Honeywood was nominated for a Canadian Folk Music Award, under the category of Instrumental Group of the Year. They have toured across Canada and Europe playing for festivals, balfolk events, weddings and folk clubs, and love sharing their interest in social folk dancing wherever they go!