Neil Woodward is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter and folk historian. Acknowledging his contributions to Michigan's culture and its preservation, the Michigan Legislature passed concurrent resolutions declaring him Michigan's Troubadour in 2003.
For over 30 years, Neil has shared his musical gifts through performances and by teaching beginners, intermediate and Masters Classes with University and K-12 students alike. Neil also has numerous theatre credits as musical director and performer, bringing his "warm down home sounds" to audiences across the nation. Neil is a member of several professional music associations, historical societies and humanities organizations.
His eight CD's of traditional recordings and original compositions have been featured on Michigan Public Radio, the American Public Radio Network, Public Radio International and commercial radio stations worldwide.
Sheila Graziano started out dancing as a youngster by taking tap dance for ten years while growing up in Detroit. After a several year hiatus, she saw Appalachian clogging for the first time in 1977 while at a music festival in mid-Michigan. She was smitten, and spent several years pursuing workshops and teachers to learn traditional dance from. She has since branched out and learned traditional dance steps from England, Ireland and Canada. Each style has its own idiosyncracies and characteristics, yet crossover is evident in many ways. Not a pure traditionalist, Sheila often combines dances with music from different areas... "Sometimes it just really clicks!". She is currently studying a series of dances choreographed in the 1930s by the Marley family with Tony Barrand and Kari Smith.
Sheila is a co-founder (with Nawal Motawi) of The Commonwealth Dance Collective - an umbrella organization for performing stepdancers. She is the recipient of an Innovative Arts Grant from the Troy schools in 2004. She has also received an Elyce Fishman Scholarship from the Wheatland Music Organization and funding from AACTMAD (the Ann Arbor Community for Traditional Music and Dance) to pursue her dance studies.
Sheila has worked with two dance groups - The Crosstown Cloggers and Crow's Feet, performing for many years with The Raisin Pickers. She is also the dance instructor and choreographer for The Saline Fiddlers and Fiddlers ReStrung - two groups of high school aged students. Having groups like these to work with is a dream come true, as "passing it on" is one of her goals, knowing that that's the way to keep the tradition alive.