Deb and Clara

Two transplants to Albuquerque, New Mexico, Deb and Clara have developed a love for the city, its history and culture, and the individuals that bring it to life. Edith Boulevard, our band’s namesake, has a fascinating history itself, as it was one of the routes of El Camino Real, and runs through the North Valley of the city. Deb and Clara united over a love of playing for dancing and the learning process that has unfolded as they discover more folk music, while still cherishing classical music that remains an important part of their lives. Our slogan, “Intersections of Place, Time, and Creativity,” invokes the ever-changing journey we have embarked on and embrace, as we draw from our diverse musical backgrounds and allow ourselves to experiment with improvisation, composition, and community building through the arts. Please join us for house concerts, dances, salons, and conversations, as we continue explore our own creativity in Albuquerque today.
Deb Bluestone
Trained as a classical violinist/violist, Deb Bluestone performed with the Portland [Oregon] Junior Symphony and attended Portland State University as music major before moving to New Mexico, where she continued her studies as an anthropology/sociology major while playing with various classical ensembles in Santa Fe and Albuquerque.
In recent years, Deb has played Americana and folk music in a variety of settings, including house concerts with duo partner Dave Faires (vocalist/guitar), and contra and English Country dance music for The Albuquerque Folk Festival and NM FolkMADS with Dave Faires and Clara Byom as The Thrifters. For several years, The Thrifters also provided live music for the NM Branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society weekly classes in Albuquerque. Deb is particularly grateful to John Turner, Director of the Jink & Diddle School of Scottish Fiddling, and contra and Scottish fiddler Mara Shea for inspiration, guidance, and direction. A founding member of The Thrifters and Edith Boulevard, Deb currently works at Robertson & Son’s Violin Shop in Albuquerque. Previously she worked as a journalist, radio broadcaster, book and magazine editor, and adjunct faculty in computer studies at Santa Fe Community College. Her short fiction has been published in several literary magazines, and she was recognized by Recursos de Santa Fe for her writing. Deb’s son, Gabriel Melcher, is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and is currently works as a graphic designer for the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.
Clara Byom
Clara Byom is an Albuquerque-based multi-instrumentalist (clarinet, bass clarinet, piano, and accordion), musicologist, and educator. ?She performs contemporary classical music and a variety of folk dance music, including Jewish klezmer, contra, English Country, Balkan, Scottish, and Irish. Clara is a founding member of Di Kavene Kapelye, Edith Boulevard, Rusty Tap, The Parson Sisters, Two Odd Butterflies, drip project, and co-founder/co-director of New Mexico Contemporary Ensemble. Additionally, she performs regularly with Dust City Opera and serves on the board of the New Mexico Folk Music and Dance Society. A graduate of the University of New Mexico (Master of Music in Clarinet Performance and Musicology), Clara has researched mid-century American klezmer music for her master’s thesis entitled “Mixing in Too Much Jewish: American Klezmorim in New York City from 1950-1970.” She was a guest lecturer at KlezmerQuerque 2017, as well as College of Charleston (Spring 2017) and Eastern New Mexico University (Spring 2018), and has presented at conferences for the International Clarinet Association (Summer 2018), Society for Ethnomusicology (Spring 2017) and Yiddish Summer Weimar (Summer 2016). Since the Summer of 2014, she has done archival work for the Center for Traditional Music and Dance in New York City, primarily digitizing and cataloging the field recordings of 2015 National Heritage Fellow Michael Alpert, a leading figure in the klezmer revitalization. In 2012, Clara received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Luther College in Decorah, IA.

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