QUOTES

            “She can play anything with strings. He can play anything with keys. Both sing wonderfully. Liza and A.J. use ancient and original songs to connect traditional and contemporary folk music. Their commitment to social justice keeps them grounded in the present, while their research connects their music to place and history.”

- Art Menius

  Founder, Merle Fest, Folk Alliance

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            “In A Home In The Catskills Volume I, Liza DiSavino A.J. have successfully married the clarity of her classical background with his sparkling tenor, to bring traditional songs and verses alive in new original and traditional settings. With A.J. on keyboards of various kinds, plus accordion, and Liza, who plays guitar, dulcimer, banjo and zither as well, and sideman Zac Myatt on bass, this is a collection of tunes and performances that should be issued to every vehicle that crosses into this charming region. You will hear its waterfalls, see its heights and feel the coolness of its valleys in these songs.”

- Scott Ainslee

   Blues guitarist, historian

 

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            “Rhonda and I had the privilege of singing with Liza and A. J. on the Sunday Morning gospel sing at Common Ground on the Hill's annual festival.  We harmonized on A. J.'s version of 'His Bones Shall Rise Again.'  It is a re-working of a traditional theme and A. J.'s blazing attack on the piano is enough to thrill the soul. 

            "After the session A. J. and I hugged each other and then he asked me if I would give them a quote on their music, etc. and I said, "Of course.... and the good thing about it is...I won't have to lie!" 

           "Well folks...I'll tell you...this music is classy.  Liza and A. J. combine all of the beauty of harmony singing with the fervent re-telling of traditional songs and tunes.  Both are multi-instrumentalists... combining piano, accordion, guitar, banjo, zither, dulcimer, cornet, French horn, and pennywhistles into a blend of musical bliss as their archangel voices tie all of these elements together.  They are also wonderful song and tune writers who realize that the best originals are written from the “tradition” of song writing. On their recordings I LOVE the multilayered flutes on Liza's 'Devil's Den,' as well as the beautiful rendition of the song 'Petticoat Lane,' which is based on the 1st three Child Ballads. 

            "Take a listen to their music...better still...see them in concert.  You'll be well pleased.”

 

- Sparky Rucker

   Performer

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        "It has been a real delight to attend both of your courses. I have found both your teaching and the content brilliant, I am so pleased I attended, I learnt so much.

I hope to be in touch soon, so I can continue with some more lessons.

Thank you both so much."

- Nella x

Student, "Hodge-Podge Piano" and "The Story of Appalachia Through Its Women of Music"

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For the last twelve years...I have had significant interactions with A.J. and Liza as teachers and mentors.  A.J. and Liza always recieve my highest praise in course evaluations.  They have very strong skills which make them highly effective teachers:  They are masters at their instruments; they are highly effective communicators; they have the ability to create a classroom environment that is both challenging yet supportive to studentss with diverse skills sets.  Even in the remote classroom in the 2020 summer of COVID, they were able to deliver high quality

instruction."

- Mark Giuliano

Student, "Melodica," "Piano, " "Folk-Roots Ensemble"

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        "Liza and A.J. have brought their wealth of musical talents to Common Ground on the Hill for a number of years.  From early morning group singing to pennywhistle, piano and accordion instruction, to songwriting to dance band to children's World Village to Blues Night to Gospel Choir to evening and festival performances, this duo puts shoulder to the wheel!"

 

- Walt Michael

Performer, Founder and Executive Director of

Common Ground on the Hill

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        "Liza and AJ are so knowledgeable! Their class was challenging, but fun. I learned a lot about the roles of instruments in arranging and how to think about different musical elements to enhance songs. They also make an atmosphere where it is safe to not know, be wrong, and make mistakes. I would take any class with them. "

 

- Erika Safford

Student, "Folk-Roots Ensemble" 

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        "I had Liza and A.J. along on my White Knuckle Rally Bus when we went down to DC for the Jon Stewart rally.  They played accordion and French horn, which was a combination as amazing as it was unexpected.  It was tuneful and soulful, the horn sounded as if it was a million miles away... like a train in the distance.  The accordion was sweet and musical... A.J. started with 'La Vie en Rose' to wake the bus riders gently and beautifully.  I enjoyed the hell out of them."

 - Andy Puritz

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        "I  must tell you that as awful as I felt in MD with the heat and humidity,  I would consider returning if only for the two of you and your wonderful class of "Rise Up Singing."  You made me a star!  For 70 years noone ever cared to hear me sing, (well maybe when I was 3 yrs old).  Suddenly I was on stage.  My son must have heard me doing your song, "Holy Women and Men."  He booked me on open stage at his place of work.

         I next performed it @ The National Hobo Convention. And I was loved.  Wow!  It's good to be loved.  And I owe it all to you!"

- Carol Swanson

Student, "Rise Up Singing"

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      "It’s because of performers like Liza DiSavino that folk music is flourishing…Her songs are memorable, meaningful, and welcoming.”

- Dirty Linen

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      "Liza and AJ were so understanding of my physical needs and my vocal issues. In no time at all they had me relaxed and singing in my head space instead of my throat. They were both a pleasure to have as vocal coaches. Such a wonderful experience. Thanks to you both for a wonderful week.

- Leesa Thompson

Student, "Rise Up Singing"

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       "The service Liza & AJ led was one of the most moving and inspiring we've ever had. Their musical talent on a variety of instruments, their vocal harmony, their funny and poignant stories, their honesty in sharing pain and joy, all added up to an enthralling, hopeful, and unforgettable experience." 


- Monroe Gilmour & Fern Martin Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Swananoa Valley

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" I really enjoyed the class with Liza DiSavino, 'The Story of Appalachia Through Its Women of Music."' They presented a lot of information without causing 'overload' to the students, not an easy thing to do.  Class was fun and inspirational.  Also made good use of multi-media:  power point slides, pdf's for song lyrics, Youtube videos, and Liza playing guitar  & singing."

- Alan Landay

Student, 'The Story of Appalachia Through Its Women of Music." 

2017 Liza DiSavino and A.J. Bodnar