SUSAN CRAIG WINSBERG
Susan Craig Winsberg began her musical studies in her hometown of Chicago at the age of five on the piano. Switching to flute at the age of ten, she went on to study at Northwestern University and later San Jose State University. After receiving her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Flute Performance from SJSU, Susan went on to perform professionally throughout the U.S., Europe and Canada, including playing co-principal with the Monterey Symphony Orchestra in California. Susan’s mother, Millicent Craig, was born and raised in Scotland, so Susan grew up hearing Scottish music and developed a deep love of Scottish culture from an early age. Later she spent a summer in Ireland and was exposed to its uniquely rich musical life. Her love of Celtic music led her to explore traditional instruments, like wooden flute and pennywhistle, and to experiment with arranging Scottish and Irish traditional music and even composing music in the same vein. She has produced three Celtic CD’s to date, “Blackwaterside -- Celtic Music on the Silver Flute,” “La Belle Dame -- Music of Love, Longing and Sorrow in the Celtic and Poetic Traditions” and “Celtic Love Songs,” all on her own Craig Records label (www.craigrecords.com). Susan’s love of Scottish culture extends so deep that she is currently studying the Scottish Gaelic language and makes regular trips to Scotland to participate in the Gaelic music competition, the Mòd. In addition to playing traditional Celtic music, Susan also is a member of the all-female Grammy-Award-winning group Mariachi Divas, along with teaching piano and flute in the Los Angeles area, and continuing to perform for recording sessions and concert tours.
Singer and Bodhrán player Christa Burch possesses a singular voice: warm, supple, expressive, intimate, and instantly recognizable. Christa first fell in love with Celtic music in the spring of 1988, when a friend handed her a home-made tape which featured Scottish band Silly Wizard on one side and Irish band Skylark on the other. As they say in fiction, "there was no looking back." She traveled extensively throughout Scotland and Ireland in the late '90s where, in pubs and homes, festivals and folk clubs, Christa found a community of like-minded singers and musicians and collected a wide repertoire of songs. Gradually, she developed her own voice and style, and, hungry for a challenge, began performing. Ever since then, Christa’s voice and presence have been engaging audiences at festivals, concert halls, dance floors, music camps, school shows, and local sessions – casting a spell and transporting them to far-away landscapes, poignant moments, timeless stories, and shared experiences. Christa joined Blackwaterside in 2000 and continues to grace the band with her uniquely lovely voice and dynamic Bodhrán playing. She has released one CD to date, “Love of the Land,” available on her website www.christaburch.com.
Sean Clegg has been a professional guitarist for nearly twenty years. He began teaching himself to play guitar at age eight, with the dream of becoming a rock star. Later he took a few lessons, learned to read music, and became so proficient that by the time he was only fifteen he was teaching guitar. Sean went on to study classical music at California State University Fullerton and in 1999 earned a Master’s Degree in Guitar Performance. There, under the direction of guitar virtuoso David Grimes, Sean’s musical vocabulary soared to new heights. He won many prestigious guitar competitions, and in 2000 he was inducted into the National Honor Society of Music, Pi Kappa Lambda. He also has to his credit his own publishing company, Beautiful Noise Music, and a new recording label, Sonic Vibe Records, where he has produced many local bands and artists. He has several CDs available on his website www.seanmichaelclegg.com. Sean possesses a style that is quick, clean, melodic and passionate. His extensive formal training, musical proficiency, and knack for multi-part instrumentation make him a truly unique musician. Sean has been an invaluable member of Blackwaterside since 1996, bringing to the band both his powerful rock-inspired rhythmic drive and his fine classical sensibilities.
Tim Blair can trace his Celtic heritage back to County Antrim, Northern Ireland, in the late eighteenth century. His first real exposure to Celtic music was when he accompanied a group of friends to Milwaukee to attend Irish Fest. There he was so inspired by DeDannen and their brilliant percussionist Johnny (Ringo) McDonough that he started teaching himself to play Irish percussion instruments and soon became proficient on bones and Bodhrán. He began performing with local Celtic groups in Dallas, Texas, where he lived at the time. Since then, he has added a variety of woodwinds to his arsenal, including penny whistle, recorders, and alto saxophone, which he plays in a college wind ensemble. Tim has been a member of Blackwaterside since 2000, enriching the sound of the band with his multi-instrumental talents and celebrating his love of Celtic music.