ABOUT THE GNOMES
Cathy Clasper Torch (violin/fiddle, erhu, piano, cello) has been playing, teaching, performing in RI
and New England for over 25 years. She has performed and recorded with many local Rhode Island musicians and bands, and is on over two dozen recordings.
The Gnomes' performance venues have included:
- Amazing Things Arts Center, Framingham, MA
- Apeiron Sustainable Living Festival, Coventry, RI
- Bay Spring Community Center, Barrington, RI
- Blackstone River Theatre, Cumberland, RI
- Blackstone River Theatre Summer Solstice Festival, Cumberland, RI
- Bright Night Providence, Providence, RI
- Fiddle and Folk Festival, Barrinton, RI
- First Night Worcester, Worcester, MA
- The Grange Hall Coffeehouse, E. Sandwich, MA
- Lawrence Cultural Alliance, Lawrence, MA
- Lilypads, Wakefield, RI
- The Mediator, Providence, RI
- The Narrows Center for the Arts, Fall River, MA
- North Kingstown Free Library Summer Series, North Kingstown, RI
- Oyster River Concert Series, Durham, NH
- The Parlour, Providence, RI
- Pawtucket Arts Festival, Pawtucket, RI
- Peeptoad Coffeehouse, Foster, RI
- Providence Parks Summer Concert Series, Providence, RI
- RISD Museum event, Providence, RI
- Roger Williams Park, Providence, RI
- Roots Cafe and Cultural Center, downtown Providence, RI
- Stone Church Coffeehouse, Bristol, RI
- Stone Soup Coffeehouse, Pawtucket, RI
- Tall Ships Festival, Newport, RI
- Tiverton Four Corners Center for Arts, Tiverton, RI
- Weaver Library, East Providence, RI
- Wingate, Providence, RI
- Private parties, weddings, benefits and fundraisers
Cathy's passion for world music sprung from musical influences in each
place she's lived, from Burma (Myanmar) to Berkeley, Hong Kong to Ohio, and her many years in Providence, RI. Her playing is influenced by a
variety of genres including folk, rock, jazz, classical, and the art of harmony and improvisation. Please visit Cathy's website at: www.cathyclasper-torch.com.
Phil Edmonds, a community activist and farmer, is a native of Killaloe,
Co. Clare, Ireland, where he learned to play the tin whistle in a place where he says, "The backyard was the fields." When he was 14 years old, Phil, along with his family,
emigrated to America and settled in South Providence, where he still lives. Besides The Gnomes, Phil presently plays whistles and button accordion with
Celebrating Ireland in Story & Song and Mike (Fishel) Bresler. He busks as a street performer downtown Providence when the weather is warm enough.
The world music scene of Providence has had a big influence on Phil's music . Catch him some Friday nights sitting in with Zerui DePina's Cape Verde band at Club Tropical in Central Falls, or with Hugo
Gonsalez and Cesar Santana at Sheastea in Pawtuxet Village.
Phil Edmonds' first book, Reconnecting with the Soul of Ireland, is a
travelogue of his return to Ireland after 14 years and writing about growing up in County Clare, family history, and about the changes there since emigrating as a youth.
Taking Great Care is a journal of life here in America where nourishing
community, spending time in nature and rekindling joy in living has been his journey for decades. This journal features narratives of city life experiences, camping trips and other travels, as well as musical
adventures and celebrations within the Providence world music scene.
Phil Edmonds' third book, Pip's Travels - Welcome Home, is culled from
his scribbled notes of camping and other adventures. The main themes are the importance of feeling connected to the natural world, and the joy,
contentment, and comfort that comes with the awareness that we are part of this cosmic dance of life.
Phil's latest book is titled, On the Grey Dog in The Sea of Humanity. In January 2012, Phil embarked on a 5,500 mile adventure to New York City,
Georgia, Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, North Carolina, Maryland, and back to Providence. Traveling by Greyhound buses, Phil writes of the
places he visits and the many people he meets along the way -- family members, friends, and strangers -- each with their own unique story to tell. Enjoy these pages traveling with Phil in the sea of humanity.
To children, Edmonds is known as 'The Leprechaun'. To some adults, he is
referred to as 'Dr. Phil'. To new acquaintances who ask: "What does Phil do?," the only meaningful reply is "Phil Things." Enjoy traveling with Phil through these pages.
New from Phil! "Liven Up" — a CD of Phil's original compositions!
From Irish to Eastern European to Native American-sounding, a tango, and
a rap, "Liven Up", recorded mostly by The Gnomes, shows the Providence influences on Phil Edmonds' music over the years.
Purchase Phil's CD at CDBaby (or at Gnomes shows); or order books/CD directly from Phil at: [email protected].
Peter Breen is an experienced and versatile bass player and singer who began his musical journey as a Suzuki-method
violinist before switching to the bass as a teenager. Pete spent much of his early career playing reggae music with The Wilson Blue and the Blue Roots Reggae Band
and, having returned from a four-year residence on the island of St. Martin, Pete now plays reggae with Professor Roots, zydeco with Robert Graves Leonard and Slippery Sneakers
and, of course, world-folk fusion with The Gnomes. Originally from Providence, Pete now lives in Barrington with his loving wife, Candace, and their two beautiful children, Aiyanna and Peter Junior (JR).
Mike Fischman escaped from Long Island, New York, in 1985 to the cultural diversity that is Rhode Island in order to maintain his riparian status. Since then,
he has played in bluegrass, old timey, Irish, rock 'n roll, blues, acoustic folk, Dixieland, swing, jazz, country and western (both kinds) and now, for the second
time, world folk fusion bands. In his spare time, he teaches guitar, mandolin, three kinds of banjo, and a little bass, and in a pinch, harmonica, and to stay
out of trouble, he has been DJ-ing on WRIU's Bluegrass Breakdown for the past 20 years. Aside from that, he does very little, save for his volunteer work in
quantum mechanics. Mike can be seen and heard with numerous other bands, including: The Swing-Lane Orchestra (Newport), Red-Tide Ramblers, French Connection, Hope Valley Volunteers, Jimmy-Town Juke,
and Folk Support Group.
Matt Demick Matt is a graduate of the Hartt School Of Music, Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz, and recipient of the Louis Armstrong Jazz Award. He has
extensive live and studio performance, has toured with Paul Bielatowicz and Simon Fitzpatrick of Emerson Lake and Palmer's ELP Legacy, and has studied with
the finest percussionists and musicians in the world. His range of styles includes everything from rock, pop, jazz and swing to classical and world music. This is
exemplified by his versatile set up including both acoustic and electronic percussion, allowing him to achieve virtually any sound to fit with any style of music.