The Performer - Ensembles
KA/PO (Karen Ashbrook and Paul Oorts)
Karen performs with her husband, Paul Oorts, a Belgian-born musician who performs on harp guitar, 10-string cittern, mandolin, and musette accordion.
Paul Oorts & Karen Ashbrook started playing as a duo featuring Celtic, Belgian and French music with the recording "Celtic Café" on the Maggie's Music label.
"Met Celtic Cafe onderzoekt het duo de pan-Europese muziek met eem ongewone geestdrift, gratie en fantasie. (With Celtic Café, the duo explores pan-European music with uncommon enthusiasm, grace and imagination.)"
-- the Belgian newspaper DE MORGEN.
"The Flemish workshop you did with Paul is one of the best workshops I've ever seen at any festival!"
-- C.B., Washington Folk Festival
In 2016, they played at the Pocono Winter Dulcimer Fest.
"What a treat to have you and Paul with us. I was wowed by your selection of music and musicianship and the gracious way you both contributed to our festival. I really enjoyed sitting in on Paul’s class too. Thanks so much for joining us this year."
--Norm Williams, Pocono Winter Dulcimer Fest, 2016
KA/PO frequently plays for seniors, providing an engaging program taking people on a musical travelogue around Europe and sometimes even to the Orient!
"Wonderful performance – mellow, informative and hit the right balance with our multi-cultural group. Beautiful music!"
-- F. Laurence from the Mislar Adult Day Center, Rockville, MD
Listen to some of their performances on YouTube:
- representing Belgium in the EU Showcase at the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage in May, 2013.
- playing a set of jigs at a house concert in Texas
Mark Stone is playing the bodhran. House Concerts are becoming a favorite venue of the duo!
- performing at the 5th Annual Harp Guitar Gathering
- performing at a dance in St. Michael's, Maryland
When Karen and Paul play for community dances they go by the name "Melodious Thunk".
When joined by their percussionist friend, Steve Bloom, the group is known as Pavilion 3, and plays music from the new cultural crossroads of Europe: Belgian, Celtic & French music with a world beat percussion.
- In concert at the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage. Steve Bloom on drum (Note: the sound man was still balancing mics through the first few pieces.)
"We're a party not a drink!"
Four all-star musicians, nationally and internationally known in diverse genres, come together in the powerful new ensemble Cabaret Sauvignon. The Cabernet Sauvignon grape, although originally French, produces its finest wines on American soil. Similarly, the band has its roots in European traditions, but has developed a new, original bouquet. In concert, youíll be treated to romantic Parisian waltzes, smoky cabaret specials, Flemish baroque-era jigs and minuets, and graceful English country dance tunes. In the bandís many original pieces youíll notice influences from jazz, Latin, Celtic, Swedish, and classical traditions. The members have highly acclaimed recordings. Check out Dave's, Andrea's, and Paul & Karen's CDs.
"intricate ensemble musicianship and improvisational joy... It's clear [they] are virtuosos."
- The Journal