President: Arielle Silver

Literate folk-pop that has a lot to say.

Arielle Silver is a consummate storyteller whose rich, expressive voice and acoustic guitar frame expansive melodies that echo her tours and travels across the American heartland. Raised on folk festival fields and synagogue pews, in woodsy and watery places up and down the Atlantic Seaboard, Arielle now lives in Los Angeles, just a traffic jam away from the Pacific Ocean.

Out in Fall 2023, her fifth album WATERSHED is an earthy, luminous, and literate collection of songs that emerged from the watershed moments of the pandemic. This follows her 2020 album, A THOUSAND TINY TORCHES. Music Connection calls her "“A born communicator... exudes intelligence and humanity.” The SoCal Sound program director calls her "an incredible singer-songwriter right in our backyard." She has performed solo, with violinist Daryl S, and full band at venues across the U.S., including Rockwood Music Hall (NYC), Hamel Music Center (Madison, WI), Folk Project (Morristown, NJ), Hotel Cafe (Los Angeles), Ojai Underground Exchange (Ojai, CA), Club Passim (Boston), John Anson Ford Amphitheater (Los Angeles), FocusMusic (D.C./Baltimore), Eddie's Attic (Atlanta), and The Evening Muse (Charlotte, NC).

Arielle teaches Creative Writing Antioch University, is co-owner of Bhavana Flow Yoga, directs programs at The SONA Foundation, and was recent faculty at UWisc-Madison's Summer Music Clinic and the International Women's Writing Guild, and currently serves as Board President of Folk Alliance Region-West. www.ariellesilvermusic.com


Vice President: Stephen Bond Garvan

Artist manager, music, community & professional board service. Clients: Current-Ryan Shupe & Rubberband, Chris Daniels & The Kings, Mark Oblinger, Chuck McDermott, , Jodi Siegel, Siobhan OBrien Former--Walt Wilkins , Eric Andersen, Cidny Bullens, Cliff Eberhardt, Casey Neill, Mickey Harte, Kila,Small Glories, Black Feathers Current: MMF-US Board , Intl rep, IMMF Global Director –Folk/Roots / Americana, Far-West Board V-P, Chair-Sandpoint Historic Preservation Commission. Panelist & moderator/mentor at conferences: FAI, SXSW, Far-West, NERFA, SERFA, AMA, Durango Songwriters Expo, Midem, Reeperbahn, CMW, Eurosonic. Former: AMA- Founding Council / Board, Swallow Hill Board Chair, POAC Board , Chair- Historic Panida Theater Board, Producer -Americana Renegades-Nashville & Austin, WCUW-Acoustic Music Director, Leadership Sandpoint. Deep belief in collaborative community building, teamwork, board & institutional evolution. Participated as mentor, speaker, moderator or panelist in 50+ US, Canadian & European my music conferences. Manager from Pacific NW, with broad demographic & geographic experiences, highly experienced on relevant boards and leadership.

Treasurer: Gaby Castro

Born and raised in the heart of Silicon Valley, Gaby Castro is a folk/Americana singer-songwriter with the soul of a mountain songbird. She is also a daycare and elementary school music teacher, theory instructor, songwriting mentor, and sound healer. On the board, Gaby chairs the finance committee and works on youth outreach. Her goal is to provide career resources, community, and support to fellow folk artists.

Secretary: Karen Sullivan

Karen grew up listening to her dad call square dances and so bluegrass and americana music is in her blood. She has sung with 100-person community chorus since 1995. After retirement in 2012, she got involved again in the folk music community and learned about FAR-West as a result. She is excited to be on the FAR-West board as it to moves toward the future in our virtual world.

Member at Large: Gail Lynn Dreifus

Gail Lynne Dreifus is an East Coast transplant and ended near Yosemite National Park where she created a family musical program that she performed for years and won a Interpretive Arts Award from the National Park Service. Gail created and directs Yosemite Songwriting Retreat which is now in its tenth year . She plays guitar and ukulele , writing songs from the heart and with humor. Gail has performed in many bands and duos and is currently working on a new CD produced by Joe Craven.

Member at Large: Susie Glaze

Award-winning recording artist, Broadway singer and actress, journalist, educator and critically-acclaimed powerhouse vocalist, Susie Glaze has been called by Bluegrass Unlimited “...an important voice on the California Bluegrass scene”. As an educator, Susie has led singing workshops at major Southern California festivals and in private instruction, specializing in the production of a capella singing she calls “The Art of the Unaccompanied Voice.” For FAR-West, Susie helped establish the beginnings of this FAI region, served in the chairmanship of the Roz and Howard Larman Scholarship fund for several years, produced fund-raisers and video tutorials for the FAR-West website, and served on the Board as both Secretary and Vice President. As an artist, Susie has appeared in Official showcases and served as MC for venue stages. Susie is pleased to be serving now as the President of FAR-West and will strive to keep standards high for professional programming, organization to serve the membership, and maintain an energetic working environment that is inclusive, mutually-supportive and effective for the future of FAR-West.

Member at Large: Deborah Holland

Deborah Holland first rose to prominence as the singer and songwriter of the iconic trio Animal Logic (Stewart Copeland, Stanley Clarke), spawning decades of success as a solo performer, and member of folk supergroup The Refugees (Wendy Waldman, Cidny Bullens). She is currently performing, writing, and in production for the next Refugees album. She lives in British Columbia and is a dual American-Canadian citizen.

Member at Large: Lara Lavi

Lara Lavi is a singer songwriter, entertainment and new media attorney, producer, director, writer, mother, wife and mentor. She never sleeps.

Member at Large: Tamara Leger

Originally from Winnipeg Manitoba, Tamara Leger grew up moving around Canada, USA & Europe. Passionate about the influence of technology on film and storytelling she joined Softimage|Microsoft, received a “Ship-It 1.0” Award, and then moved to the West Coast. She’s worked for Larrivee Guitars, been a Showcase adjudicator, and served on the Board of Vancouver’s Rogue Folk Club. Since 2015, she has curated a musical concert series on top of a mountain in Lions Bay, BC.

Member at Large: Taran Schindler

Taran Schindler has worked with Grand Vision Foundation (GVF), an arts presenting nonprofit in San Pedro CA, as Artistic Director since 2008 and recently has been promoted to Artistic & Deputy Director.  Taran is GVF’s first Artistic Director and a founder of GVF’s Grand Annex music hall. She has grown the venue from a storefront meeting space into a respected listening room with an annual live music series featuring regionally, nationally and internationally recognized artists. At present, Taran coordinates all aspects of creative programming at the Grand Annex and for Grand Vision’s events at the Warner Grand Theatre, manages rental use of the Grand Annex, coordinates volunteers and supervises student interns throughout the year.

Taran moved to California in 2005. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan and holds an MA in History from CSU Fullerton with a focus on Western Americana. She has been honored by the San Pedro Chamber of Commerce as a "Woman Who Inspires Hope."

Member at Large: Reese Tanimura

Reese is a fourth generation Japanese American artist and activist; born on the island of O’ahu, raised between Hawai’i and Illinois, and migrated to Seattle in 2007. Her passion for music was ignited the moment she began playing the ukulele and has grown steadily through numerous instruments and genres. Reese is the Managing Director of Northwest Folklife, a Seattle-based cultural arts and heritage organization, whose mission is: “To create opportunities for all to celebrate, share, and participate in the evolving cultural traditions of the Pacific Northwest.” Since 2008, Reese has led the Rain City Jazz Orchestra, an ensemble uplifting the musical contributions of womxn and non-binary individuals in jazz. She is a founding member of the urban folkgrass group, Lavender Lucy, and most recently, created an EP with newest project, trashyQ panda, during the few days she left the house in 2020.

Member at Large: Michelle Demers Shaevitz

Michelle has worked with the Mission Folk Music Festival since 1991 and is currently the festival’s Artistic Director and Festival Producer. In addition to a 10 year career in University Student Services, she previously held a programming position with Northwest Folklife and now serves as vice-chair on their board of directors. Splitting her time between Mission BC and Seattle WA, she also produces house concerts and is currently working on her master’s degree in arts and events management while raising her son Elliot with her husband Ben. www.missionfolkmusicfestival.ca

Member at Large: Beth Fortune

Beth Fortune is a music education change-agent from Seattle. In addition to her work as Associate Director of Washington Music Educators Association, she is the Director of Education for the Wintergrass Festival (501c3), a member of the International Bluegrass Music Association's DEIA Committee, the co-host of a popular music education podcast called “The Beth and Kelly Show,” and chairperson of the National Association for Music Education's Council For Orchestral Education. In 2019-2021, Fortune served on the American String Teachers Association Board of Directors. In 2018, she was a recipient of Country Music Association’s Music Teachers of Excellence distinction. In 2015, Fortune was one of 25 semi-finalists for the Grammy Music Educator Award.

Member at Large: Lellie Pittman-Capwell

With over two decades of experience as a music industry professional, Lellie Pittman-Capwell has worked directly with talent, management, label executives and marketing teams. As an accomplished publicist, she has developed and executed campaigns for emerging, established, and legacy artists. After beginning her career at Mercury Records, she headed publicity at Vanguard Records and Rhino Entertainment, respectively, and worked at Sacks & Co. PR agency before launching her own LPC Media in 2013. Her professional memberships include Folk Alliance International, Americana Music Association, International Bluegrass Association, and the County Music Association. A native of eastern North Carolina, she lives in Los Angeles

Member at Large: James Lee Stanley

Released 36 CDs including duet CDs with Peter Tork, John Batdorf, Cliff Eberhardt and Dan Navarro, JLS Documentary won Best Documentary Nashville Film Festival / People's Choice Award London Film Festival.  Toured nationally since 1973. Two terms on the national FAI Board. Scored 3 Emmy Award Winning CBS Prime Time TV Specials. Six years on Startrek having served two terms on the National Board, I know what is required.  As I live in the Far West Region, my loyalty and interest lie here. My experience as a performer, producer, record label, touring artist, publisher, composer and previous board member can be best utilized by the Far-west Board.



Please Do not contact Folk Alliance International with FAR-West questions.

For Folk Alliance International Conference and Membership information:
Folk Alliance International office
601 Avenida Cesar E., Chavez Suite #100
Kansas City, MO 64108

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