Carry On
carry on
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Carry On

Traditional music and the people who make it

Tune in from your classroom or home and discover a world of traditional music!

Carry On is a free, 30-minute YouTube Live program for 4th-12th grade students hosted by musical explorer and TikTok sensation Hal Walker. Each episode Hal interviews artists who perform and share their traditions from their studios in Cleveland, the US and Canada, and across the globe. Resource guides provide educators with supplemental material and prompts for class discussion and activities.

Visit the Carry On YouTube Channel to watch programs, and for more info email

Carry On Is Made Possible By…

Made possible by generous donors, Carry On is produced by the nonprofit Northeast Ohio Musical Heritage Association, and programmed by Laura Lewis, artistic director of NEOMHA’s Lake Erie Folk Fest. © 2020 North East Ohio Musical Association, all rights reserved.
For Grades 4-12
Appropriate for music, humanities, social studies, geography, history, math, and science classes.

Episode Resource GuideS NOW AVAILABLE

“The Resource Guides that accompany each Carry On video are packed with supplementary information and lesson suggestions that provide context and depth, enabling teachers to easily create meaningful and fun lessons around traditional music.” ~ Tina Bergmann, Hammered Dulcimer Musician


Episode 1 – Alex Kusturok

Alex Kusturok is a 3rd generation fiddler from Winnipeg, Manitoba. His passionate playing is influenced by Quebecois and Cape Breton fiddle styles, but his Métis culture remains at the forefront of his playing.

Episode 2 – Jake Kouwe

Jake Kouwe is the founder and leader of the Chardon Polka Band, a group he founded in 2003 with the help of four high school friends. As the story goes, “There was no room for an accordion in the marching band…. so he started a polka band.”

Episode 3 – Tatiana Hargreaves

Tatiana Hargreaves is on the forefront of an up and coming generation of old time, bluegrass and progressive acoustic musicians. From placing first at the Clifftop Appalachian Fiddle Contest, to her bluegrass fiddling on Laurie Lewis’ GRAMMY-nominated album The Hazel And Alice Sessions, Hargreaves shows a musical fluency that flows between old time and bluegrass worlds with ease.

Episode 4 – Hubby Jenkins

Hubby Jenkins is a multi-instrumentalist from Brooklyn who follows the thread of Black history that is woven through America’s traditional music forms. He has performed at festivals and venues around the world and is a Grammy and Americana award nominated artist.

Episode 5 – Nic Gareiss

Nic Gareiss is a percussive dancer who was named one of “25 to watch” by Dance Magazine. Nic blends Irish, Canadian and Appalachian dance styles and has been called “the most inventive and expressive step dancer on the scene” by the Boston Herald.

Episode 6 – Aynsley Porchak

Aynsley Porchak began playing fiddle at the age of 9. She was introduced to bluegrass through the music of Kenny Baker and Bobby Hicks, and quickly fell in love with the music. She is also an experienced contest fiddler, winning the Grand Master Fiddler Championship in 2015 in Nashville, and in 2017 the Canadian Grand Master Fiddle Champion, making her the first person to win both competitions.

Episode 7 – Tina Bergmann

Hailed by Pete Seeger as “the best hammered dulcimer player I’ve heard in my life,” Tina Bergmann has been performing and teaching from an early age. A fourth-generation musician, Bergmann learned the mountain dulcimer from her mother in the aural tradition and the hammered dulcimer at the knee of West Virginia-native builder and performer Loy Swiger.

Episode 8 – Steve Riley

Steve Riley is a master accordion player who honed his musical craft playing with the legendary Cajun musician Dewey Balfa. Steve started his musical career at age seven and is now passing his tradition on to his sons Burke (10) and Dolsy (7).

Episode 9 – James McDowell

Born in Henderson County, North Carolina, James McDowell was inspired by the playing of his grandfather James ‘Coot’ McDowell. He began guitar lessons at age 13 and banjo lessons at age 14, has participated in competitions near and far, and has a passion for Don Reno-style banjo.

Episode 10 – Austin Walkin’ Cane

Austin Walkin’ Cane is a blues singer, songwriter and slide guitarist from Cleveland, OH, who has toured the world with only a guitar and suitcase in hand.

Episode 11 – Steve Hickman

Steve Hickman is a vaudeville style entertainer adept at the fine arts of hambone, nose playing and effing — a century old Appalachian vocal technique similar to beatboxing. He’s also an amazing fiddler who has played countless concerts and social dances.

Episode 12 – Leonard Podolak

Leonard Podolak is an innovative musician who has toured music festivals worldwide. His unique style of clawhammer banjo blends traditions from Appalachia, Ireland, Quebec, and Louisiana with diverse styles such as Blues, Rock, Afro-Cuban and Gospel.

Episode 13 – John Doyle

John Doyle is among the most talented and innovative musicians to come out of Ireland in recent years. A left-handed player, he is an extraordinary acoustic guitarist as well as an accomplished singer and songwriter.

Episode 14 – Batzorig Vaanchig

Batzorig Vaanchig is an internationally known Mongolian khoomei (throat) singer with
millions of viewers on YouTube. He is also an accomplished Khuur (horse head fiddle) player and the founding member of the Khusugtun Ethnic Band. He’ll be live streaming from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

Episode 15 – Vivian Leva & Riley Calcagno

Vivian Leva & Riley Calcagno grew up playing traditional music on different coasts. After meeting in 2016, they formed a duo that blends old-time, bluegrass and songwriting in heartfelt harmony.

Episode 16 – Alexander Fedoriouk

Alexander Fedoriouk began playing the cimbalom at the age of 7 in his home-town of Kolomyia, Ukraine, and honed his skills playing weddings in mountain villages in Ukraine and Moldavia. The cimbalom is a hammered instrument that is fiendishly difficult to play, but in the hands of a master musician like Alex, it offers breathless rhythms and impassioned melodies.

Episode 17 – Olov Johansson

At age 14 Olov Johansson began playing the nyckelharpa, a Swedish “keyed fiddle.” He has studied with legendary players, toured worldwide, and is a member of the Swedish folk band Väsen. In 2013 he received the Zorn Medal in gold, possibly the finest award bestowed a traditional musician in Sweden. Olov works actively to pass on his musical heritage, and teaches lessons online through the Nordic “Folk Music Academy.”

Episode 18 – Sujatha Srinivasa

Sujatha Srinivasa is a master performer and teacher of Bharathanatyam, a classical Indian dance form consisting of dance movements, mime, and colorful costumes. She is the founder of the Shri Kalaa Mandir Center for Indian Performing Arts in the Cleveland, OH, area. One of her star pupils is her daughter Shriya Srinivasan, who in addition to being a dancer of Bharathanatyam has a doctoral degree in biomedical engineering from MIT.

Episode 19 – Sam Barlett

A native of Vermont, Sam Barlett began playing the tenor banjo at the age of 14. He is a well-known musician who teaches and plays various traditional styles including Irish, old-time and contra dance tunes. In addition to music, Sam is a documentarian and drawer of tricks and stunts.

Episode 20 – Elizabeth LaPrelle

Raised in Rural Retreat, Virginia, Elizabeth LaPrelle has been performing Appalachian ballads and old-time songs since she was eleven. Her magnificent voice, her respect for the songs, and her authentic mountain sound and style make her “the spirit of the Appalachians in song.”

Episode 21 – Mark Schatz

Mark Schatz is a preeminent bass player, banjo player, and Appalachian flatfoot dancer who has recorded on albums for and toured with artists including Bela Fleck, Nickel Creek, Jerry Douglas, Maura O’Connell, Tony Rice, John Hartford, Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, and Tim O’Brien.

Episode 22 – Brian Bigley

Brian Bigley first heard the uillean pipes in his hometown of Cleveland. He began playing the Irish pipes at age 8 and now is a prolific maker of the instrument. Brian has toured extensively as a piper, flute and whistle player, and irish step dancer.

Episode 23 – Bob Smakula

Bob Smakula grew up in a musical family, playing in a family band and learning the craft of building and repairing instruments alongside his father. An award winning old-time fiddle and banjo player, Bob is the proprietor of Smakula Fretted instruments, which has customers all over the world.

Episode 24 – Raiatea Helm

Raiatea Helm grew up on the island of Molokai and is recognized as one of Hawaii’s premier female vocalists. Trained in the traditional style of falsetto singing, Raiatea strives to share her love and knowledge of Hawaii’s rich history through traditional song and dance.

Episode 25 – Jenna Moynihan

Jenna Moynihan is an innovative Scottish fiddler from Lakewood, New York. Acclaimed as one of the best traditional fiddlers of her generations she is a graduate of Berklee College of music and is a performer, composer, recording artist, and sought after teacher.

Episode 26 – Rayna Gellert

Rayna Gellert grew up in a musical family and has spent most of her life immersed in the sounds of rural stringband music. After honing her skills playing fiddle at jam sessions and square dances, she fell into a life of traveling and performing. Her recording projects are widely celebrated in the old-time music community, and she is a sought-after workshop leader and fiddle teacher.

Episode 27 – Sierra Hall

Hailing from the tiny Tennessee hamlet of Byrdstown, Sierra Hull learned to sing from her mother as a toddler, took up mandolin just a few years later, and began joining in local bluegrass jams by the young age of eight. She performed onstage at the Grand Ole Opry at age 11, and at age 13 was signed to Rounder Records.

Episode 28 – Yann Falquet & Pascal Gemme

Yann and Pascal started their musical journey 20 years ago, busking on the streets of Montréal. Since then they have played thousands of shows with the trio Genticorum. Pascal’s fiddling, Yann’s guitar accompaniment, and the duo’s vast repertoire of traditional songs are all presented with elegance and effortless musicianship.

Episode 29 – Hal Walker

For the past 28 episodes of Carry On, Hal Walker has interviewed traditional artists from around the globe. This week, he shares his own music. Hal is a singer, a songwriter and a musical explorer. With a soaring baritone voice, he sings soul-searching songs that celebrate community, diversity and the creative process. He also improvises and composes on unique musical instruments that you’ve probably never seen before.

Get the Resource Guide