The Band

Andro
An Dro is an ensemble of eclectic instrumentalists who speak from the heart with uncommon synergy. Their music is a blend of traditional and original melodies from across the globe, reaching back to the past, with an eye to the present and the future.

An Dro takes you on an adventure that is both personal and universal. You'll hear traditional Irish melodies, medieval French songs, Breton dance tunes, Scandinavian refrains, Appalachian influences, Arabic rhythms, and African grooves all performed with joy and freshness. This is dance music but it's also listening music.

The band's original works have a feel that is both ancient and modern with a dynamic range that takes you from crazy dance grooves to delicately orchestrated waltzes and airs to blazing improvisational assaults.

The band takes their name An Dro from a folk dance of Brittany where the dancers link fingers as they move in a spiral line dance. An Dro translates literally as "The Turn" and is an apt description of music that is alive and ever changing.
Michele Venegas
Michele Venegas is the owner and director of Joyful Sounds Music Studio in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is there that she happily spends her days teaching Music Together, the internationally acclaimed early childhood music and movement program. For more information on these classes, visit www.kidsmusicgr.com.

Although she discovered Celtic music later in life, she developed a passion for it and began playing with the regionally acclaimed band Fonn Mohr for several years before joining An Dro. In addition to the violin, Michele loves to play any stringed instrument she can get her hands on.
James Spalink
James Spalink writes most of the original music for AnDro, His studies on classical guitar led to an interest in making and playing early music instruments, including Lute, Celtic harp, Hurdy-gurdy, Bouzouki, and Recorders. In addition to playing with AnDro, Jim produces recordings of his original music from his home studio in Rockford, MI.

You can hear samples at:
www.JamesSpalink.com
www.YouTube.com/jspalink1
Carolyn Koebel
Carolyn Koebel has created a truly unique voice in her fusion of classical percussion sensibilities and diverse world percussion styles. She has entertained audiences far and wide as the pivotal percussionist in the award-winning Celtic dance-band, Fonn Mor. She has performed with the art ensemble Blue Dahlia for well over a decade, presenting original soundtracks for silent film and modern dance at theatres and festivals throughout the region. She also performs regularly with Dunuya Drum & Dance, Grammy-award winning flutist Rhonda Larson & Ventus, and various regional groups, and is featured on numerous recordings. She works as a music therapist in hospice care and presents percussion workshops nationally for the American Music Therapy Association.

Visit www.carolynkoebel.com for more info.

When she's not drumming, she's probably swimming.....or wishing she was.


The Buzz
"Remarkable and compelling, as writers and performers...there is something very special and rare here."
    David Tamulevich
    Tamulevich Artist Management

"Much like the dynamic, pulsating Celtic-infused music they play, Jim Spalink, Fred Willson, Michele Venegas and Carolyn Koebel live and breathe their instrumental magic. From the moment you first hear this Grand Rapids-area band play, that rare combination of top-notch musicianship, musical acumen and passion bursts through."
    John Sinkevics
    "LocalSpin.com"

"...for those of us who relish the instrumental side of Celtic-world fusion, this show was indeed a real treat. The four members seamlessly wove traditional Irish reels, an dro dance tunes (an dro is a traditional form of folk dance from Brittany), floating European and Middle Eastern influenced melodies and inspired originals into a dozen pieces to fill a gorgeous 90 minute set. The crowd of more than a hundred rewarded the group with a well-deserved standing ovation at the end."
    Keith Howard
    Kalamazoo Public Library Blog

"An Dro's musical fusion brings the audience round the world in its variety and substance. No two songs too similar, this truly gifted group brings lively dance tunes, beautiful melodies and intriguing musical history to the stage. A haunting evening of cross-cultural music - at intermission, my audience was already begging me to bring them back. It hadn't been a week before I'd discussed a return date..."
    Howmet Playhouse
    Whitehall, MI

Main Stage Medley