Ellen Gozion, pianist, accompanist, traditional singer
Ellen Gozion's 2004 solo release Awake, Awake is a collection of a cappella ballads, accompanied songs and dance tunes from the southern Appalachians and the British Isles. Pittsburgh Magazine writes, "Gozion's voice is plaintive and haunting, giving full expression to the emotions held in the song." An independent reviewer praises the record: "Both the vocal and instrumental music on this CD are top quality, with a clarity and simplicity that authenticates these old pieces - her voice has both the purity of a woman singing in the mountains and the excellence of a well-trained voice." (CD Baby) Guest musicians on the CD include Larry Unger, David Knight, Rich & Sue Moore, Patricia Halverson and others.
Ellen earned her bachelor of the arts degree in music from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1987. She returned to Pittsburgh and has worked as an accompanist for classical and modern dance, accompanying the dancers of the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and School, the Dance Alloy, and Point Park College as well visiting companies and choreographers. Ellen has been an active member of the contra and English dance community in Pittsburgh since the mid-1980's and began playing for dances in 2000. In addition to playing and touring with three contra dance bands, Toad Hall, Toppish and The Hot Toddies, she has played with David Knight (Washington, DC), members of Amarillis (Pittsburgh), The Contrarians (Charleston, WV), Sylvan's Harvest (Pittsburgh-Meadville) and others.
Click here for performance dates and booking information.
About the Ballads
Ellen has found that singing the folk songs of the British Isles and their American counterparts to be incredibly satisfying; their melodies suit the timbre of her voice, and the themes, often mournful and full of yearning, most appeal to her temperament.
In the summer of 2003, Ellen participated in a ballad-singing workshop taught by Sheila Kay Adams of Madison County, North Carolina. Sheila taught Ellen and a small group of ballad lovers a number of old songs that Sheila's family has been singing for seven generations. Since then, Ellen has been living inside these ballads and making them her own, and in so doing, has revealed a growing audience who appreciate the simplicity and beauty of the music.
Links to information about traditional American music & dance
Contra dance in Pittsburgh
English Country Dance in Pittsburgh
Information on country waltz workshops, including video clips
Country Dance & Song Society supporting American Folk Music and Dance
Augusta Heritage Festival for Music, Dance & Traditional Arts
Appalachian Music of Southwestern Pennsylvania
Balkan Folk Music in Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh's Folk Music Society: Concerts & Classes
Folk Arts Workshops at Warren Wilson College, NC