Multi -instrumentalist Beth Patterson is foremost a player of the eight – and ten – stringed Irish bouzoukis (adaptations of a traditional Greek instrument). This native of Lafayette, Louisiana began her professional musical career in her early teens as a classical oboist and a Cajun bass player (with the required teenage heavy metal stint on the side), but not truly belonging to any of these, set out to create her own niche. She now integrates into her style her experiences of playing Celtic, Cajun, rock, jazz, blues, country, gospel, classical, Latin, and folk music. She has played in eleven countries throughout the Americas and Europe, and maintains an active gigging schedule in her home base of New Orleans. She spent a year studying traditional Irish music and ethnomusicology at University College, Cork in Ireland, where she first studied the music of West Africa, India, Indonesia, and the Caribbean, and began to experiment with fusions of these musical genres and her previous influences. A firm believer in the healing power of music, she also holds a bachelor’s degree in music therapy from Loyola University, New Orleans.
Beth appears on over sixty recordings, including : the nationally – charting Centaur release Change of Habit by The Poor Clares (deemed by Dirty Linen magazine as “one of America’s best Irish groups”), the soundtracks to The One – Eyed King (featuring William Baldwin and Armand Assante) and the independent motion picture Lucinda’s Spell, her multiple award – winning solo album Hybrid Vigor, and her latest release Take Some Fire, featuring her new band Kalafka. Although she puts much energy into performing and recording, she is also a songwriter, and over two dozen of her compositions have appeared on recordings of various artists.
Whether as a solo act, or with Kalafka, her performances are chock – full of drive, energy, and passion, laced with humor, with an eclectic repertoire of Celtic, roots, and contemporary songs. With Kalafka, she also integrates alternative pop with Irish music and other ethnic styles, such as Cajun, Latin, Mediterranean, and African, to name but a few. She is currently touring with this lineup and promoting her solo crossover project in her own “alternative world” genre of all – original music.
When she isn’t performing in New Orleans at O’Flaherty’s Irish Channel Pub, Beth tours and hits the concert and festival scene. Her list of credentials include : the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, the Louisiana Folklife Festival, the North Texas Irish Festival (Dallas), the Milwaukee Irish Festival, the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic (Chicago), the Festivals Acadiens (Lafayette), the Festival International (Lafayette), the National Geographic Auditorium, the Festival Mondiale, Drummondville (Quebec), the Festival Folklorique, Nantes (France), the Festival Folklorique d’Auray (France), the Mettman Festival (Germany), and the Eindhoven Folk Festival (Holland). She occasionally appears on gigs for other bands as a guest artist. She has also taught bouzouki both privately and for classes, including the exclusive Zoukfest.
Her music has gained critical acclaim in the United States and Europe, and has appeared on National Public Radio and PBS. Her stage presence has been described by viewers as “a cross between a cobra and a puppy” and “innocent savagery.”