Fredericksburg Songwriters' Showcase Kelly Armor and David Sturtevant

The husband and wife duo of Armor and Sturtevant has been composing and performing on a full-time basis since 1993. They interpret folk music from East Africa, Appalachia, and the British Isles and write songs inspired and influenced by various folk traditions, classical music, bluegrass, rock and roll, and jazz. Their collaborative work utilizes a plethora of instruments including voice, guitar, flute, banjo, accordion, fiddle, concertina, mandolin, bass flute, piano, kalimba, and East African hand percussion.

"This duo enables us to exploit contrasts in wonderful ways," says Kelly Armor. "We combine ancient ballads with new original works; mix highly crafted, lush sounding instruments like the bass flute with wild and weird instruments we've created in our basement; and blend Appalachian harmonies with African rhythms."

All this contrast holds together because Dave and Kelly create music that is grounded in folk tradition, that is, music that is consciously connected to the lives of ordinary people. In their live shows they do not perform in a formal classical context, but engage the audience, talk to them, and often ask them to sing along. Their performances have taken them on tour across the country to opera houses, schools, festivals, and churches. Since 1997 they have collaborated with a ballet company, a flute choir, an African drum and dance ensemble, and Appalachian cloggers.

Both of their CDs on the Tatema Music label have garnered air play on folk radio programs nationwide, including NPR's Car Talk, and internationally on the US Information Agency's Voice of America. They are listed on the Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour Roster, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Roster for Arts in Education, and the John F. Kennedy Center approved artist roster.

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