Indy Contra ALWAYS has live music, and a caller who teaches and prompts the dances. Musical styles vary widely, and include Appalachian, Celtic, New England, Old Time, Québécois, Scottish, etc., with occasional bits of jazz, rock, or international influences.
This page is eternally under construction as we receive updated info from our bands & callers. (If you’re not here but should be, please send photo, link, and desired description info to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Regular bands & callers include:
Claire Johnson on fiddle and vocals and Ben Leddy on banjo, cello, guitar, and vocals, Banjar! plays a wide variety of styles, from original high-energy dance tunes and waltzes to classical music and sing-a-longs.
Bob is a long time Indy & Bloomington caller.
Steve Hedges (fiddle), Mark Moschell (guitar), and Will Watt (bodhran & percussion) play traditional contra dance music from the British Isles, New England, and other styles.
Tom Cunningham (fiddle & guitar), Dianna Davis (piano, accordion, & clarinet), and Bob Douglas (percussion) fuse old-time, Celtic, French-Canadian, and original tunes with a hard-driving rhythmic base; their sound makes everyone want to dance.
David is has been contra dancing regularly in Bloomington, IN since the early 1990′s and calling almost as regularly since the late 1990′s. He is a recurring board member (and 2011 president) of the Bloomington Old-Time Music & Dance Group.
Dugan is a Maine native, and has been calling extensively in the last couple of years.
Emily Ann Thompson
Emily plays traditional Irish, Scottish, and Canadian tunes, sings in Irish Gaelic, and often adds piano, Irish dance, and foot percussion. Her husband Kelly and Dianna Davis joins her on guitar, percussion, and vocals.
Dmitri Alano (Irish flute, accordion, Highland bagpipes), Phil (guitar) Maggie Davis (fiddle), Mario Joven (banjo, bass guitar); & vocals by everybody!
John Paolillo (mandola, bouzouki, & mandocello, etc.) and Twy Bethard (fiddle) play Celtic lilt and old-time syncopation with world music accents.
Hoosier Hill Boys
Coming from Lafayette (Craig Stinson), Bloomington (Rich Walter), and Indianapolis (Dave Schroeder), this group of pickers brings strong backgrounds from bluegrass and American mountain music to form a sound that can only come from Indiana. Hard-driving tunes, plenty of improvisation, and the occasional singing outbursts make this band both fun and unpredictable.
Indianapolis Ceili Band
Hilary Abigana (flute), Dmitri Alano (flute), Dianna Davis (piano accordion), Maggie Davis (fiddle), Chris Deis (percussion), Ed Delaney (button accordion), Mario Joven (tenor banjo), Alberta Lathan (flute), , David Roberts (fiddle), and Robyn Ton (keyboards) delight audiences with traditional music and songs from Ireland, Scotland and England.
Jonathan has danced and led contra and English Country Dance for 20 years, researches the history of dance, and has long as been an organizer of the Champaign-Urbana, IL, dance community.
Ken has danced contra more than 20 years, and began calling about four years ago. In addition to contra, he leads workshops on Cajun, waltz, and Zydeco. Ken has also served many years on the Indy Contra board, including multiple terms as president.
Leslie, Erik, and Dave
The first Tuesday of very other month (January, March, May, July, September, and November) we welcome anyone who wants to play for dancing to join others on the stage for the evening. Please bring a Portland Collection tune book if you have one, but we’ve got plenty if you don’t.
The first Tuesday of every other month (February, April, June, August, October, and December) we welcome anyone who wants to call a dance or two. If you’re brand new we’ll help pick an appropriate dance learn about calling.
Dianna Davis, Mario Joven, Dmitri Alano, and Steve Johnson.
Aiming to discover just how many styles of music three people can perform together, Troika (meaning “trio” in Russian) combines the diverse sounds of Ireland, Old Time America, Eastern and Southern Europe, the Cajun South and more for a truly eclectic dance experience. From a lilting Irish jig to a driving French Canadian reel to a sultry Romanian khusidl, you never know what Troika will deliver next. But don’t worry, they’ll leave their 7/8 tunes at home this time! Featuring Sarah Skreko (fiddle), Mario Joven (guitar), and Dianna Davis (clarinet, accordion, foot percussion).