Rion Schmidt was born and raised Alaska, playing and singing bluegrass and folk music with his father and sister since he was a young boy. Rion's banjo style reflects the mountain music of Alaska and the Northwest. A multi-instrumentalist and singer, Rion has been teaching music for 13 years, co-directing the Aloha Music Academy for two, and has instructed music camps for kids and adults in Alaska, Inuvik (Northern Territory Canada), and Hawaii. He has collaborated with Hawaiian musicians on Maui for seven years, and shares the Hawaiian people's interest in preserving traditional music styles and values.
Katy grew up in eastern North Carolina and began playing the violin at age eight. She also played her first fiddle tune that year, beginning a lifelong journey of traditional music exploration, including old time, bluegrass, country blues, Hawaiian, Irish, Cajun, and more. Katy has performed and toured with myriad artists including Peter Rowan, Larry Keel, Boz Scaggs, Michelle Shocked, Poor Man's Whiskey, and more. She now directs the Aloha Music Academy and teaches at a number of bluegrass and folk music camps in Alaska, Hawaii, and the lower 48.
Originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma, Dave Richey began playing bluegrass music with his grandfather at the age of 16. Attending college at East Tennessee State University, he honed his picking and singing skills alongside other upcoming young musicians at the school’s well respected bluegrass and old time music program. While proficient on the dobro and flat-top guitar, he also displays great talent as a lead singer and front man. His love of music and traveling has found him crossing the country several times, performing at venues including The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, The Down Home in Johnson City, TN and on renowned shows such as Mountain Stage and E-Town. David makes his home on the front range of the Colorado Rocky Mountains and is earning a reputation for keeping to a true, traditional style of bluegrass and country music.
Born in Michigan, K.C. Groves grew up to her father's singing and yodeling, finding her own Americana roots in a Norman and Nancy Blake album during her teens. Since then, the multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter released two solo albums, the first produced by bluegrass legend Charles Sawtelle which won a Detroit Music Award for Best Bluegrass Album in 1998. K.C. co-founded the acclaimed old-time band Uncle Earl in 2004, which she toured with through 2007, and now calls Colorado's Front Range home. There she co-founded an internet radio project to promote local musicians, and plays locally with several groups including the Jeff Scroggins and Colorado, John Hartford Review Band, country band the Fairlane Club, and the Moody Sisters, and all-female folk group.
Steve is a multi-instrumentalist from Seacoast, New Hampshire. Known primarily as a bass player, Steve has performed with a myriad of bluegrass's top artists, including Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum, Darol Anger, Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen, Joy Kills Sorrow, Hit and Run Bluegrass, Spring Creek Bluegrass, Chris Stuart and Backcountry, and countless others. Fluent in a wide range of styles, he is at home playing bluegrass, jazz, rock, folk, rockabilly, and Spinal Tap. Steve is a faculty member at 317 main st. Community Music Center in Yarmouth, Maine, and at Portsmouth Music and Arts Center, in Portsmouth, NH, where he teaches bass, guitar, mandolin, fiddle, and ensembles. He has also taught at many of the premier bluegrass and music camps in the U.S. and Canada. Outside of music, Steve is also a professional archaeologist with field experience throughout New England and Central America.
Matthew Luis Del Olmo: Matt Del Olmo's unique musical style belies his geographically diverse background - spending equal amounts of his upbringing in Texas, West Virginia, Chicago, and Florida, Matt is a multi-instrumentalist who blends foreign traditions while paying homage to the original creators. His driving jazz influenced bass lines, heavy-handed percussive guitar playing, & innovative five-string banjo style can be found on BrownChicken BrownCow StringBand albums "Flying High" & "Live At The Tattoo Parlor” as well as The Aloha Bluegrass album EP “Haiku Sessions”. Matt has been wowing audiences on Maui for years as a member of both BrownChicken BrownCow and Aloha Bluegrass, and his outstanding musicianship has been honed by endless impromptu late night jam sessions with professional bands and musicians from all over the world.
Leading the BrownChicken BrownCow Stringband since 2004, Justin Morris has proven himself a powerhouse in the Maui music community. Hailing from West Virginia, his multi-instrumentalism has put him on stage with some of the greats of acoustic and electric music. Now fronting the duo YumYum Beast with Matt Del Olmo, Justin shares his talent for bass, guitar, and dobro with the Big Island.
Past Faculty and Band Members