“Playing with Jane is always a blast. Her distinctive tone and rhythmic sensibilities are totally infectious.” Andrew VanNorstrand
And the story begins....
Jane's mother introduced Jane and her siblings (Including sister Suzy Thompson) to folk music at an early age through Pete Seeger and the music of Jean Ritchie! Jane started her musical career at age 5 learning to play as one of the original Suzuki violin "kids" in NYC-it didn't take long for Jane to discover traditional fiddling and as a young teen in Connecticut, she immersed herself in Old-time, New England, Irish and French Canadian music....traveled to fiddle contests and festivals where she heard and played with many older traditional old-time fiddlers such as Leo Beaudoin and Willis Edgerton from Connecticut. She got to hear and play music with the younger Ct. musicians such as Will Welling and Bill Wallach (Welling and Wallach) and the traditional/progressive bluegrass band, Last Fair Deal. It didn't take Jane long to form her own band in High School (Mint Julep) with twin brother, fiddler/guitarist John Rothfield playing traditional bluegrass and old time music.
While in college in Southern California Jane formed a student band that played Old Time and Irish Music called the Clear Mountain Stringband. She soon was snapped up to play fiddle and sing with the all woman stringband Old Mother Logo and played throughout California and was even on TV in Mexico City! During that time Jane was delighted to win 1st place Old Time Fiddle at the Santa Barbara Fiddle Contest and 2nd prize at the Topanga Banjo and Fiddle Contest in Los Angeles! She met the Old Time Band FIDDLESTIX (with Cactus Bob Cole, Praire Flower Christine Stevenson) and Sarah Elizabeth Campbell) and spent a summer playing fiddle with them on Venice Beach and in the "Gold Rush" area around Columbia, Sonora and La Grange, California. In 1981, Jane, Allan, Bob and Chris toured in Scotland as the Medicine Bow Stringband to great acclaim and fun!
Jane started her teaching career at McCabe's in Los Angeles where she began the first Old Time Fiddle Class with fiddler Tom Wentworth and has been an in demand teacher ever since! Her easy going teaching style and use of the best of the Suzuki method technique and ear training helps students play well quickly and have fun while they are learning!
While studying in Scotland, Jane met Scottish singer/guitarist (and now husband) Allan Carr, and they have been making music together ever since. Jane and Allan lived in Edinburgh Scotland in the 80's during an incredibly creative time in the music scene there along side Silly Wizard, The Battlefield Band, The Easy Club and Jock Tamson's Bairns. Jane and Allan melded their Old Time and Scottish musical roots, touring and recording throughout the UK and US as a duo and with the trio Hadden, Rothfield and Carr. Jane recorded 3 records in the 80's (There and Back with Allan Carr, When These Shoes were New with Hadden Rothfield and Carr and Atlantic Bridge with Allan Carr and Martin Hadden. Jane was the featured fiddler for a project with Sampler Records (produced by Allan) of Scottish Melodies recorded with pianist Selma Kaplan, Flute and whistle player Sarah Bauhan, Allan Carr (guitar) and Chuck D'Aloia (guitar). She also found time to perform and session work with The Rude Girls and other musicians around the scene!
After many years touring in the UK and the US Jane (and Allan) moved back the the States settling in the Albany NY area-there they raised a family (Shona and Jamie) and continued to play concerts as Atlantic Bridge (with Selma Kaplan and Allan Bradbury) as well as play for contra dances as Jane's Gang! They formed Red Hen Stringband in 2004 with banjo great David Kiphuth and his wife and great singer Linda Schrade. Red Hen played at venues and festivals through out the East Coast and recorded two fine albums-Crossing (self produced) featuring many of Jane and Allan's original tunes and songs, and Birds of A Feather on Wepecket Island Records. Jane also formed hot contra dance band, Great Big Taters with banjo queen Hilarie Burhans (Hotpoint Stringband) and fantastic pianist Bernie Nau. They recorded a LIVE CD called Live at River Falls.
Upon moving to Philadelphia ins 2009, Jane and Allan formed Coracree with Philly music greats Bill Quern and Sarah Gowan playing hot Contra Dance music featuring many of their own original tunes. Since then, Coracree has lept to the national contra dance stage, playing at contra dances and concerts from Toronto to Florida, and at dance weekends in Philadelphia, Michigan, Toronto, Seattle and Dallas Texas! They released their first CD, Dancing in the Sky, featuring many of the original tunes written by the band. Coracree has toured throughout the US for contra dances and concerts, as well as Canada and Scotland! They have performed at Old Songs Festival,Southern Maryland Celtic Festival, Portsoy Scotland Haal Festival, Tradmad Music Camp, and dance weekends in Seattle, Dallas, Atlanta, Toronto.
In 2012 Jane formed the All Women Old Time Music super group, SUGAR PIE,
with Hilarie Burhans, Kellie Allen and Sabra Guzman and toured in Australia as well as played at numerous festivals including Chesapeake Dance Weekend, New Jersey Folk Festival, Clifftop Appalachian Stringband festival, and Rockbridge Old Time Festival.
In 2013, Jane joined the new All Woman Super fiddle group PANACHE QUARTET-featuring a combination of fiddling music (and song) from Cape Breton, Old Time, Celtic/Contra and Quebeqois traditions creating whole new sound!Original Roots music for the 21st century! Since then Panache has performed up and down the East Coast, in Ottawa and Toronto, and wowed audiences with standing ovations at Old Songs Festival (NY), La Grande Rencontre (Montreal), and Celtic Colours (Cape Breton). They have a DVD of a LIVE concert available. www.panachequartet.com
In 2015, Jane was delighted to finally put together a duo called LITTLE MISSY, with her daughter, SHONA CARR, a talented multi-instrumentalist/fantastic singer/songwriter. The combined talent of mother/daughter voices and musicianship has a traditional and fantastic blended sound that shows off their obvious genetic and family musical connection to Old Time and Celtic traditional music. Jane and Shona are both multi-instrumentalists (fiddle, clawhammer banjo, guitar, tenor guitar), award winning song and tune writers. They have appeared at the Spring Gulch Folk Festival, New Bedford Folk Festival and Philadelphia Folk Festival and will be featured performers at the Kawaii Old Time Festival in Nov 2019!
2015 also saw Jane team up for shows with legendary bluegrass fiddler, Blaine Sprouse-Old Time meets Bluegrass! From Old Time to Bluegrass and back again-with Janie's fiery clawhammer banjo and old time fiddle teaming up with Blaine's traditional bluegrass fiddling, and some fine singing too, the combination will take you on a musical journey like no other you’ve heard before! Plus they are really funny! They toured the NW (with WB Reid) and taught together at a Janie's Jumpstart weekend camp in Seattle.
In March 2016, Jane had the opportunity to perform in Europe and teamed up to tour with Nathan Bontrager, a spectacular musician who in addition to fiddle, banjo and guitar, is a world class cellist. They call themselves, HEN'S TEETH and their first tour in Europe was a great success with sold out shows and workshops in Germany, Holland, Belgium and the UK. In the middle of that tour they found time to record a CD called Off the Cuff and On the Fly. With almost unlimited combinations of instruments, deep roots in traditional old time and folk music as well as contemporary improvisational flair, and tight harmony singing, Janie and Nathan have developed a unique sound in American Old Time Roots music. https://hensteethduo.bandcamp.com/releases
During that tour, Jane reunited to perform with master harmonica player, Brendan Power, whom she met and jammed with at a festival in Montreal in 2014. Brendan and Jane have a shared love for Irish and American Old Time Music and so they also recorded a CD, called PuffNSaw. Exciting musical conversations for sure! Fiddle and Harmonica duets with traditional roots and an improvisational flair! http://brendan-power.com/PufNSaw.php
Janie also tours with The Janie Rothfield Old Time Trio (with Pete Peterson and Kellie Allen). The trio features mainly traditional old time songs and tunes with a few of Janie's originals to round out their driving old time sound. The combination of Janie's stellar fiddling and clawhammer banjo playing with Pete's mastery of the finger style banjo and guitar and Kellie's best ever back up guitar and stellar singing with tight harmonies brings old time music from the past to the present!
Jane's newest project since 2018 is with the international group THE IDUMEA QUARTET with American cellist Nathan Bontrager (Germany), Scottish fiddler and violinist Ewan MacDonald (London), and English violist Becca Wolfe (Greece). Despite the geographic distances, they have been able to record a full length recording and performed in Germany, Brussels and Holland and appeared at teh Rotterdam Bluegrass Festival in June 2019! Blending tradition, innovation and whimsy in equal measure, The Idumea Quartet deconstruct and reassemble Appalachian folk music whilst drawing strong influences from other genres. The name derives from song number 47b in the Sacred Harp text, a fundamental source of early American traditional music. Using a classical string quartet format and coming from a shared background in traditional music, The Idumea Quartet's debut album More Than One (released April 2020) seeks to bring traditional repertoire into conversation with a chamber music aesthetic.
In between all of these musical journeys and tours, Jane also does a lot of teaching of individuals and group workshops for fiddle, banjo and guitar. She realized one day that what she wanted was to have her own music camps so she did just that and created Janie's Jumpstart Weekend Music Camps- These are "home based" Music Camps that can and do happen "anywhere"! So far she has held them in Austin, TX, Atlanta Ga, Cleveland OH, Hanover NH, Winston Salem and Pittsboro NC, Oxford PA, Portland ORE, Seattle WA, Staunton Va, York PA, with plans for more around the world!
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