Wild Asparagus with caller George Marshall

Montage. At top, members of Wild Asparagus pose with their instruments. At lower right, George Marshall calls a dance, holding a mic with one hand and gesturing with the other. At lower left, the band's logo.

Wild Asparagus is a five-person band from Western Massachusetts. Drawing upon music from New England, the British Isles, and Canada, as well as classical sources, Wild Asparagus takes an original approach to the traditional dance music of our folk heritage. Using their unique blend of instruments, creativity, and skills, they offer a sensitive and powerful performance. Since 1984, Wild Asparagus has been highly successful in bringing their music to dances and concerts throughout the United States.

The heartbeat of Wild Asparagus is Ann Percival on piano, guitar, and vocals. Ann's playing is highly inventive while still maintaining an irresistible rhythm. David Cantieni, a woodwind wizard, pours forth lively melodies and liquid harmonies on his flutes, tin-whistle, oboe, saxophone and bombard. Of fiddler Sarah Blair Fiddler Magazine says, “Her combination of grit and control makes for music with drive, lift, and a compelling earthiness.” George Marshall is an accomplished English concertina player and also provides driving rhythms on bodhran and bones.  

George Marshall, caller: As ones of the country’s premiere callers, George's specialty is teaching and calling the New England-style contra dances he has collected throughout the country. He is renowned for his knack of matching music to dance and for his smooth, concise teaching and presentation. 

George was introduced to square and contra dancing in the early seventies while working as a summer trail crew volunteer in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. While attending college in Amherst, Mass he founded a contra-dance band, Swallowtail, with some fellow students and began calling and playing for dances. Now a full-time musician/caller/dance teacher, George tours nationally throughout the year with Wild Asparagus or Swallowtail. In addition to performing and teaching, George produces music and dance events including a week-long February dance vacation in the Caribbean.
 

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