Carolyn Cruso

Carolyn CrusoFrom performing in Europe amongst musicians, jugglers, comedians, one-man bands, mimes, and contortionists, to traveling the Renaissance Fair circuit, to recording and co-producing with Billy Oskay (founding member of the Windham Hill recording and touring ensemble Nightnoise and producer of many Windham Hill, Narada and Green Linnet recording projects), Carolyn Cruso has led a musically adventurous life. She has traveled the world moving audiences with her expressive voice, flute, guitar and hammered dulcimer talents.
This multi-instrumentalist moves gracefully between the various instruments she plays, taking you on a magical journey of storytelling, instrumental music and lyrical song. “With her sensational talent, variety of musical styles and instruments, and fascinating anecdotes, she gave the audience an unforgettable evening of wonderful music,” says Jerene Weitman, from the Heckscher Museum of Art in Huntington, NY. Her show is a combination of instrumental and singer/songwriter pieces, drawing material from mostCarolyn Cruso of her eight albums including her July 2009 singer/songwriter release “Have You Ever,” which features fourteen songs spanning folk, pop, jazz and alt. country styles. Guest artists include Harry Manx on slide guitar, Willie Thomas (Peggy Lee) on trumpet and fluegel horn, Sandin Wilson (Gino Vannelli) on fretless bass, Chris Leighton (Laura Love) on drums and percussion and producer Martin Lund on sax, clarinet, Fender Rhodes and accordion.
Carolyn tours both regionally and nationally. She’s shared stages with a variety of artists such as Peter Mayer, Jan Krist, Randal Bays, Pierce Pettis, Tom May, Jim Page, Mary Wakefield, SUsan Osborn and Doug Smith. A master of the hammered dulcimer, Carolyn is an innovator. She pushes the boundaries of the traditional approach while honoring the original spirit. Her style is improvisational, lyrical and percussive. She uses effects like bending notes and playing two notes with one hammer. DASShe incorporates the independent hand technique of percussionists as well.
“Through her hands the instrument became a living organism of beauty…this music must be what heaven sounds like,” says Charlie Vervalin of the Black Rose Acoustic Society. Her songwriting ranges from poetic to narrative. Her lyrics, spanning from poetic to narrative, explore love, loss and regeneration. She masterfully lays these over an intricate finger picking guitar style and open tunings, which allow her to find the rich voicing in the chords she hears. The Eugene weekly calls her music, “Intricate musical poetry…fine guitar work.” Her show like her music is timeless and transportive in nature.

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