The Vox Hunters

The Vox HuntersThe Vox Hunters (Armand Aromin and Benedict Gagliardi) are seekers and singers of old songs, tireless multi-instrumentalists, and a driving force of traditional folk music in the great state of Rhode Island. The duo is known to instigate singing and music-making at any opportunity and they delight in the community that forms around local music events. With a pair of oft-harmonizing voices accompanied by fiddle, free-reeds, and tenor guitar, The Vox Hunters present an exciting and eclectic repertoire of traditional folk songs, driving dance tunes, percussive footwork and other musical varia. They are keen on researching and sharing local songs and thus their repertoire teems with old songs from the Ocean State, but they also sing a wide variety of songs gleaned from American and British traditions and various other sources. Armand and Benedict are touted as strong tradition-bearers in their generation and they treat the music as a communal good more than a profession. Their genuine affinity for traditional folk music is evident in the emotion they draw from it. They sing songs and play tunes the way they like to with no concern for aesthetic definition or cultural fusion. Whether in a lamp-lit living room, on a festival stage, or at a Rhode Island pub sing, The Vox Hunters offer an all-natural connection to the living tradition of folk music.
Armand Aromin is a violin maker and musician based in Providence, Rhode Island. He has studied at Berklee College of Music and the University of Limerick, and is a graduate of the North Bennet Street School in Boston, MA where he earned his diploma in Violin Making & Repair. He is the sole proprietor of Aromin Violins in Providence and specializes in new instrument making, set-up and tonal adjustments (including 5-stringed instruments) and is able to accommodate folk and classical musicians, as well as anyone in between. Armand also plays with the Boston-based Irish music group, The Ivy Leaf. Picking up the fiddle and tin whistle in his mid-teens, Armand learned much of his music from renowned Irish musicians and tunesmiths Jimmy Devine and Patrick Hutchinson, both of whom helped to foster an interest in the lyrical and colorful styles of older musicians such as Denis Murphy and Julia Clifford, Bobby Casey, Johnny Doherty, and Tommy Reck. In addition to being the 2010 Mid-Atlantic Fleadh Cheoil Champion for Senior Fiddle, Armand was also a finalist at the Séan Ó Riada Gold Medal Fiddle Competition held in Cork, Ireland in 2011. Since 2010, he has taught fiddle and tin whistle for the Reynolds-Hanafin-Cooley branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Eireann in Boston. Much to Ben’s delight and dismay, Armand is working on incorporating English concertina into his repertoire of instruments.
Benedict Gagliardi was produced and developed in central Connecticut. He discovered folk music in high school by way of a cassette tape of CT-based band, The Morgans, and immediately bought a concertina (likely aspiring to become a pirate). His style is the result of an eager student and an ill-advised teacher (both him). Although Ben never received formal lessons, his music-making was nurtured and encouraged at sessions by local trad musicians including Joe Gerhard, John Tabb, Jeanne Freeman, Jon Warner and many others from the time he first started going to sessions in CT. He is now a regular session guest host at McKinnon’s in Hartford, The Playwright in Hamden and up until its untimely end, Anna Liffey’s in New Haven.
Ben has been in a number of folk music bands (including Full Gael with Will O’Hare and Gary Palmer, and Shinbone Alley with Tyler Bussey and Chris Biase) and played throughout the Northeast at festivals, house concerts, coffeehouses, farmers markets and other venues small and large. He has had the pleasure of joining Robbie O’Connell, Dan Milner and Jeanne Freeman at the 32nd and 34th annual Mystic Sea Music Festival. On a number of occasions, Ben has joined Don Sineti and other members of The Morgans on stage which has been a satisfying ‘full-circle’ sort of experience. He has also played a few gigs with Jeff Davis who has become a close friend Print Stopand musical mentor. To his great surprise, Ben placed first in the 2014 Mid-Atlantic Fleadh Senior Duets competition with Jon Warner as well as Senior Melodeon and Mouth Organ (Harmonica). Ben has led a slow session and taught concertina at the CT Academy of Irish Music and has also been an anchor at the Lower Valley Beginner Irish Session in Holyoke, MA. In his undergraduate days, he established and led a Folk Music club at UConn. Ben can’t dance a step, so he tries to make good use of his time sitting by singing and playing banjo, baritone ukulele, harmonica, or melodeon. In real life, Ben is a full-time lab coordinator at The Nature Lab at Rhode Island School of Design. Between the two of us, we have years of performance experience ranging from small scale concerts in cozy coffeehouses, libraries, and lamp-lit living rooms, to farmers markets, dances (contra/square/ceili), weddings, festivals, and other large public venues. We particularly enjoy intimate settings like house shows where we can more easily coax listeners to join in on choruses, but we’re equally at home on the performance stage entertaining larger audiences. We’ve played for countless wedding processionals (and cocktail hours) and have a substantial repertoire of slow traditional tunes perfect for the ceremonial walk down the aisle.

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