Musicians and their music can become stronger if drawn together. When each individual artist brings a different instrument, a style and a unique skill set to the table, as Nietzche observed, a new vision may unfold “when each loses his mind and gets another one.” A trio formed by three respected artists, Ryan McKasson, Eric McDonald and Jeremiah McLane, brings that excitement and fresh vision in their combined performances as KALOS.
The powerhouse band’s concept is based on each musician’s willingness to come together to share music that resonates with them—the traditional music of New England and the British Isles. The KALOS alliance echoes a definition of the Greek word, “good that inspires others to embrace what is lovely.” Well-schooled in their craft with years of experience, each specialist brings excellent credentials to the group.
Master fiddler and composer McKasson, was the youngest player to ever win the United States National Scottish Fiddle Championship in 1996. In 1997, he earned a Merit Scholarship for Viola Performance from the University of Southern California. Since then, Ryan has performed, recorded and toured with his own band, The McKassons. Ryan, a respected session musician, regularly records and tours with other noted traditional recording artists and collaborations.
Eric McDonald, traditional balladeer and guitarist, is a graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston, his home town, and through the years, is noted as one of the “USA’s premier accompanists in many styles.” Now, as a session musician, Eric records and tours professionally with other musicians throughout the world. Eric has released a debut album, “Rove” which features his unique take on traditional music as a mandolinist, as well as a guitarist and a singer.
Jeremiah McLane, award-winning composer and accordionist, has led a varied career beginning with classical piano studies to those of blues, jazz, Indonesian gamelan and West African drumming. The New England native has been influential in traditional dance music with his presence in numerous bands and collaborations. Jeremiah has been recognized nationally and internationally as a musician and composer and his compositions for theater and film have garnered awards and grants.
McKasson, McDonald and McLane, complementary in their impressive arsenal of musicianship, experience and knowledge, fluidly bring together their equally high level of expertise to traditional music. Although “trad” music often attracts highly proficient musicians, the usual orientation is toward genres from other regions, and has influenced what America has come to think of as traditional music. The KALOS collaboration will enrich and stretch our understanding of “trad” music in North America in the 21st century.