Sam Bartlett dancers

Contra Weekend in Cottonwood AZ  Sept 29 - Oct 1, 2017

Hailing from New Jersey, caller Bob Isaacs is well known for his ability to invent creative dances while remaining true to the traditional roots of contra dancing.


Deb Comly is a sprite. When dancing she frisks about the floor spreading elation and élan. At the microphone, she does it with her voice. Her personable and amiable self is amplified across the crowd as she leads you through the delights of dancing. But there’s more. She also has the accuracy of a craftswoman and the repertoire of a maestro. You’re gonna have more fun than your first ice cream cone.

The Gaslight Tinkers' blend of global rhythms creates a joyously danceable sound around a core of traditional New England old time and celtic fiddle music. Their music is elaborate, sexy, and layered folk, played without a hint of fuss. Their influences range from old Celtic jigs to folk to Afropop, picking up reggae, hip hop, and praise song along the way. Thoroughly danceable, the distinct novelty in the music allows the group to jam with each other. Knuth’s fiddle marries itself to Siegel’s banjo, a two-step that Noonan stirs into a minor tornado with his precise and fiery drum work, as Sawyer's bass conjures a glorious rhythmic dance trance.
Their music consistently fizzes and pops with unexpected textures and turns. The sound and energy of Audrey, Jopey, Garrett, and Peter are universally irresistible-- it's the genre-bending future of the music of the past.

But we know Bob better than that!  Bob came out and rescued the Ghost Town Chill Down with his "long lines forward and up".  Bob taught amazing dance writing workshops at May Madness and called his incredible zia squares.  WELCOME BACK BOB!


You may know Deb as the tireless organizer who brought Arizona years of May Madness and Ghost Town Chill Down weekends (anybody remember the Mountain Dawn Dance?) but she's back as the caller extraordinaire, ready for fun!

Crystal Vortex Contra Vamp

Bob Isaacs

NOTORIOUS' full quartet will be at the Vamp!
Lauded as "sparkling" and "exhilarating” Notorious musicians Eden MacAdam-Somer, Larry Unger, Sam Bartlett, and Mark Hellenberg return to Arizonal for another incredible weekend of music and dance. If you haven't heard them yet, it won't take you four beats to realize that this isn't just any ordinary folk band. Sweet vocals and virtuosic fiddling coupled with driving rhythm and snappy guitar solos make for a thrilling musical experience in genres that span many continents. Declared “guitar genius” by Sing Out Magazine, Unger joins with “rabid” mandolinist Sam Bartlett, “demon fiddler” Eden MacAdam-Somer, and wild percussionist Mark Hellenberg to push the envelope towards swing, blues and Gypsy modes. Come see how many ways they can “metamorphosize 64 beats!”

Deb Comly