Party of Three brings together three musicians from diverse musical backgrounds who share a depth of experience playing for dancing. Combining high energy Scottish and Cape Breton fiddle music with Latin and Funk influenced piano and drum grooves, Party of Three has been enthusiastically received by dancers across the mid-atlantic and northeast. Members include Lilly Pearlman on fiddle, Neil Pearlman on piano and Joe De Paolo on drums, doumbek and bodhran.
Pianist Neil Pearlman is rapidly distinguishing himself as a uniquely innovative artist in the contemporary traditional music scene. Called “a tremendous pianist” on BBC Radio Scotland and “a force to be reckoned with” by WGBH’s Brian O’Donovan, Neil is recognized in many Celtic music circles for his unique approach to the piano. Rooted in traditional Cape Breton piano styles, Neil brings in ideas from many other genres and the result is an exciting new sound that remains true to its traditional roots.
Fiddler Lilly Pearlman has grown up immersed in the musical traditions of Scotland and Cape Breton, performing with family band Highland Soles since the age of nine. Through her experiences living and studying in New York City and Salvador da Bahia,Brazil, she has continued to explore and incorporate influences from various other musical genres--from bluegrass to samba to funk-- into her unique Celtic-based fiddle sound. Lilly has played across the nation with the bands Party of Three and Alba's Edge since 2011. She has also been on staff for Scottish Fiddle and Cello Camp at Ashokan for many years. Lilly graduated from Barnard College in 2014 with a degree in Dance.
Joe De Paolo has been drumming for over 30 years. His early studies were with Master Drum Teachers Sam Ulano and Joe Cusatis. He has also studied at both Drummers Collective and Irish Art Center in New York City. Throughout his career Joe has played in jazz/rock fusion, funk, Zydeco, Cajun and contra dance bands. He also plays and teaches bodhran and doumbek and has taught both hand drums at NEFFA. Joe also calls for contra dances and at times combines calling with drumming. His eclectic past has influenced his current style of playing and can be heard on the three CDs that he is featured on. He has recorded with Eclectic Dance Orchestra, Coracree and Party of Three.
The Contrarians has become the Whirl's de facto house band. With their patent-pending, contrarian approach to traditional celtic, New England, and "New Traditional" tunes (including a batch of their originals, some included on their CD), the Contrarians deliver the goods. Underlying their driving melodies is a rhythmic underpinning that can either float like a butterfly or sting like a bee, providing dancers with an ever-changing musical magic carpet to fly on.
Their instrumental "arsenal for peace" includes fiddles, mandolin, tenor banjo, guitar, saxophone, piano, bass, and when the fit takes them, vocals.