* NEWSFLASH! OCEAN has been nominated for "Best Traditional Folk Group" by the Washington Area Music Association! *
Also, OCEAN has once again been selected by the Maryland State Arts Council to be on their official MARYLAND TOURING ARTISTS ROSTER! That means, if you're a qualifying 501c3 non-profit organization in Maryland, you can apply for grant money to assist with expenses in presenting OCEAN! More info at www.msac.org
OCEAN has a very exciting year of performances lined up, including an appearance at the fabulous Old Songs Festival June 27, 28, and 29 in Altamont, New York. In August, Jennifer will be teaching Songwriting at the Augusta Heritage Center of Davis & Elkins College in West Virginia. Click on our "Concerts" link above to see where we're going to be and when!
Speaking of Jennifer's songs, you can now enjoy learning and playing them yourselves, by visiting the new Sheet Music Store on this website. It includes the lead sheets for oft-requested Cutting originals such as "Green Man," "Steady As You Go," "Song of Solstice," and "Light the Winter's Dark." More titles will be added in the days to come! To purchase, just click on the "BUY SHEET MUSIC" link above.
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To listen to one of Jennifer's most popular originals, "Steady As You Go," here's a video of OCEAN performing it LIVE at the Mystic Sea Music Festival in Mystic, Connecticut, with our friends William Pint and Felicia Dale!
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Celtic Music for Ancient Moderns
OCEAN is the East Coast's premiere Celtic fusion band, with a live show the Washington Post calls "nothing short of spellbinding," over 20 Washington Area Music Awards, and a history of sold-out concerts at such venues as The Birchmere and The Kennedy Center. Powered by the soaring vocals of Lisa Moscatiello and the creative genius of composer/arranger Jennifer Cutting, OCEAN is where ancient ballads meet cutting-edge electronics, where the Bagpipes meet the Beatles, and where fans of all generations and musical tastes can enjoy the same concert! Known for their electrifying stage presence, innovative arrangements, and the ability to move from ethereal to high-energy in a heartbeat, OCEAN is an All-Star band featuring some of the East Coast’s most revered Celtic and pop musicians. They have graced North America’s major festival stages, won over 20 Washington Area Music Awards including “Musician of the Year” and “Album of the Year,” been featured in Billboard magazine, and made two critically acclaimed, internationally distributed CDs, the first of which received four stars in Britain’s notoriously tough MOJO magazine.
OCEAN stands out among the Celtic throng for its combination of compelling originals and innovative arrangements of traditional songs and tunes. As a songwriter, Cutting is best known for her Celtic-tinged originals celebrating the turning of the seasons and human rites of passage. Artists of international stature, including Maddy Prior (Steeleye Span) and Annie Haslam (Renaissance) have recorded her songs. She was named “Songwriter of the Year” by the Washington Area Music Association, and has won prestigious national-level songwriting awards, such as First Prize at the Merle Watson Festival, and American Songwriter magazine’s “Song of the Year.” As an arranger, she pushes the boundaries of “Celtic,” “Folk” and “Folk-Rock,” creating exquisitely crafted arrangements with authentic traditional instruments, shimmering ethereal electronics, and a hard-hitting rhythm section.
Firmly grounded in the Celtic musical tradition, OCEAN can play Celtic tunes with the best bands in the genre...but they can also dazzle audiences with sizzling pop energy. Together and as members of other bands, they have played on the main stages of such prestigious festivals as The Philadelphia Folk Festival, The Winnipeg Folk Festival, The Mariposa Folk Festival, Fairport Convention's Cropredy Festival, and the Old Songs Festival. They have electrified audiences at exalted venues such as The Birchmere, Strathmore Music Center, and The Kennedy Center.
With its buoyant beats and soaring Celtic melodies, OCEAN provides an uplifting soundtrack for traveling hopefully on life's changing seas. Audiences can lose themselves in dreamy reverie, or cut loose and dance to the propulsive beat of electric jigs and reels. It's a marriage of otherworldly Celtic beauty and raw World-Beat energy. There's nothing else like it anywhere...it's Celtic Music for Ancient Moderns!
LINEUP: OCEAN comes in all sizes to fit all budgets. As an unplugged quartet, they are perfect for smaller, more intimate spaces such as folk clubs, churches, museums, and coffeehouses. As a six-to-eight-piece electric Big-band, they are great for festival main stages, outdoor concert series, and larger indoor venues. Either way, they provide an electrifying show. Depending on size, the lineup features Cutting on electronic keyboard and accordions; Moscatiello on vocals, whistle, and acoustic guitar; Andrew Dodds on fiddle; Zan McLeod on bouzouki, mandolin, and electric guitar; Tim Carey on Highland bagpipes; Steve Winick on vocals; Rico Petruccelli on electric bass; and Robbie Magruder on drums.
HISTORY: The band’s journey began when Jennifer Cutting returned from several years in Britain, where she studied with the English folk-revival pioneer A.L. “Bert” Lloyd, who has inspired and mentored electric folk bands such as Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span, and 5 Hand Reel. During her time in England, she worked with and opened for members of these bands, and returned to the US determined to continue the tradition of Electric Folk that they began. Inspired by the subtle fire of Moving Hearts and the Bothy Band, the spine-tingling power of the Battlefield Band and Ossian, and the stately, majestic qualities of Pyewackett and Malicorne, she created her own electric folk bands, first The New St. George, and then The Ocean Orchestra. With OCEAN, Jennifer has reached the bar set by her heroes, applying the principles and techniques of electric folk to traditional and self-penned material alike. Her heroes have now passed the torch on to her; Maddy Prior (Steeleye Span), Dave Mattacks (Fairport Convention), Tony Cuffe (Ossian), and Gabriel Yacoub (Malicorne) have all guested on OCEAN albums.
When Cutting auditioned Moscatiello for the New St. George, a musical partnership that would last a lifetime was born. Moscatiello proved to be the perfect voice for Cutting’s vision. A native of the Washington, D.C., area, and a veteran of its thriving Celtic music scene, Moscatiello has a voice that Billboard magazine has called “one of the most gorgeous instruments in all of folk-tinged pop.”
OCEAN has two full-length CDs, "OCEAN: Songs for the Night Sea Journey," which won five WAMMIE Awards including Album of the Year, and the brand-new "Song of Solstice," which was named one of USA Today’s Notable Holiday Releases of 2011. Both feature the magical chemistry of the original OCEAN lineup, along with guest appearances by world-renowned international stars, such as Maddy Prior (Steeleye Span), Annie Haslam (Renaissance), Tony Cuffe (Ossian), Dave Mattacks (Fairport Convention), and Gabriel Yacoub (Malicorne).
BANDLEADER JENNIFER CUTTING: Jennifer Cutting happily blends careers as a bandleader, composer, instrumentalist, ethnomusicologist, and record producer. Blending the formal training of her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in music with a passion for both traditional and electronic musics, she is one of few women bandleaders working in her genre. With her previous band The New St. George, and her last two CDs with OCEAN, Cutting has pushed the boundaries of “Celtic,” “Folk” and “Folk-Rock,” creating arrangements with sweeping orchestral sounds, shimmering ethereal electronics, authentic traditional instruments and a hard-hitting rhythm section.
Cutting is a composer and bandleader by family tradition and a musician and ethnomusicologist by training. Cutting’s two grandfathers, one from England and the other from Ireland , were the inspiration for her natural synthesis of British and Irish musical traditions. Her English grandfather, Ernest Cutting, was a conductor and talent scout for NBC in the 1930s, directing orchestras for Kate Smith, Eddie Cantor, Jack Benny, Jimmy Durante, Fred Astaire, Rudy Vallee, and others. Following in his footsteps, she earned her Bachelor’s degree in orchestral and choral conducting. Her passion for folk music was developed through her association with British folk revival leader A.L. Lloyd. In the early 1980s she became Lloyd's last and youngest protégée, soaking up the same blend of scholarship and joy in performance that he had also imparted to members of Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span.
After returning to the U.S. , Cutting spent more than ten years as director, composer, arranger and performer with The New St. George, one of the most significant British folk-rock groups on this side of the Atlantic. Following the retirement of that band, Cutting spent years composing, arranging, playing and producing the outstanding and award-winning CD OCEAN: Songs for the Night Sea Journey, collaborating with international superstars such as Maddy Prior and Peter Knight (Steeleye Span), Dave Mattacks (Fairport Convention) Tony Cuffe (Ossian) and Troy Donockley (Iona [UK]).
Cutting is a multiple award winner in all areas of her musical career. The New St. George earned her fifteen WAMMIE awards from the Washington Area Music Association. She won the 2003 WAMMIE for best contemporary folk instrumentalist. Most dramatically, she swept the 2004 WAMMIE awards, winning “Musician of the Year,” “Songwriter of the Year,” and “Best New Artist,” as well as “Album of the Year” and “Best Contemporary Folk Recording” for OCEAN. She has won two Maryland Governor’s Citations for composition, and prestigious national-level songwriting awards, such as First Prize in songwriting at the Merle Watson Festival, and American Songwriter Magazine’s Song of the Year.
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