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Download Photo 3: Pelican Ballet Album Art Download Photo 4: Hi Rez Joellen and the Urban Gypsies
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Joellen blends Appalachian, Indian, Arabic, jazz, classical, and pop musical styles to give the mountain dulcimer a new range of rhythmic, melodic, and tuning possibilities. As a dulcimer maker, her work influenced many of the dulcimer builders of the 70's and 80's. Her instruments were known for their innovative shapes, exquisite sound hole and peghead inlay work. She introduced the dulcimer to Joni Mitchell and made three instruments for her between 1968 and 1976. She has also made instruments for David Crosby, Jackson Browne, Wendy Waldman and Garth Hudson.
After pursuing a second career as a psychotherapist between 1984 and 2002 and completing a masters and doctorate in psychology, Joellen returned to performing, teaching and writing songs for the dulcimer in the 2000s. Her solo dulcimer CD, “Joellen Lapidus in Concert,” was recorded live in March of 2004, and marked her return to performing after a hiatus of many years. In 2014 she recorded her first studio CD: “Dulcimer Music for the Pelican Ballet,” a feast of dulcimer styles and moods accompanied by violin, viola, spoons and jazz trumpet.
She has been a featured artist at multiple dulcimer festivals on both coasts, been written up in magazines from the LA Times to the Dulcimer Players News, and has appeared on radio and TV.
In 2011 she began building her own dulcimers again as well as collaborating with other dulcimer makers who have commissioned her inlay work for their peghead and fretboard designs.
Joellen currently teaches mountain dulcimer in West Los Angeles at the renowned McCabes Guitar Store in Santa Monica, CA where she founded the Los Angeles Mountain Urban Dulcimer Club. She makes dulcimers and does custom inlay in her shop in Culver City, CA and performs solo or with her trio, Joellen Lapidus and the Ballona Gypsy Band, consisting of Yvette Devereaux on violin and Oliver Steinberg on bass.
“I want you to dance and sing!” and with this opening refrain, Joellen Lapidus invites us to walk the musical pathway she has blazed for nearly fifty years with her love of music and her virtuosity on the American Appalachian Mountain dulcimer.
“Interweaving her originals with tune-full nods to Bob Dylan, the Everly Brothers, Richard Fariña, a few etudes from India, Israel and a well-rounded song tour of the dulcimer's Appalachian and Childe Ballad heritages, in Pelican Ballet, Joellen does it all. Here is a master, unselfconsciously hard at work being the person she has always been-- a creative, joyful, thoughtful, innovative tunesmith.”
---Robert Force, American Appalachian Dulcimer Master and Music Producer
The common perception of the mountain dulcimer is a simple instrument with musical limitations that only plays strummy Appalachian tunes. With her new release Dulcimer Music for the Pelican Ballet, Joellen Lapidus blows that idea out of the water. How often have you heard a mountain dulcimer play with a Miles-inspired trumpet, a contemporary Klezmer band, or a East Indian raga? To our delight, her dulcimer sounds at home in all these musical genres.”
---Patricia Delich and Wayne Jiang, Writers and producers of documentary film production of 'Hearts of the Dulcimer.'
Pelican Lullaby at Kulaks Woodshed, N. Hollywood with Yvette Devereaux: http://youtu.be/agIjp6cNfYg
Live Performance At Kentucky Music Week 2014: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZhItt8ZwIY
The Joellen Lapidus/Joni Mitchell connection:
PAST PERFORMANCES AND EXHIBITS
FEATURED TEACHER AND/OR ARTIST
MCCABES GUITAR SHOP
Jean Ritchie Memorial Concert 2015
Santa Monica, CA 2006-2015
MUSEUM OF MAKING MUSIC
Carlsbad, CA 2015
KENTUCKY MUSIC WEEK,
Bardstown, KY, June 2012, 2014, 2016
San Pedro, CA 2013, 2014
HEARTS OF THE DULCIMER: DOCUMENTARY FILM, 2014
Featured musician/builder in this California Dulcimer documentary ( www.dulcimuse.com )
PASADENA MONTESSORI SCHOOL’S MEDIEVAL FESTIVAL,
PASADENA, CA 2013
Malibu, CA 2013
SO. CALIFORNIA DULCIMER HERITAGE FESTIVAL,
Culver City, CA 2005, 2013, 2015
CULVER CITY SENIOR CENTER
Culver City, CA 2012
1ST PLACE TOPANGA FIDDLE AND BANJO CONTEST
Topanga, CA 2011
CALIFORNIA TRADITIONAL MUSIC SOCIETY FESTIVAL
Southern California, 2008?
26th ANNUAL NORTH EAST DULCIMER SYMPOSIUM
Adirondack Mountains, NY, 2007
REDWOOD DULCIMER DAYS,
Santa Cruz, CA, 2006
Culver City, CA 2004, 2014, 2015
DULCIMER MUSIC FOR THE PELICAN BALLET 2014
JOELLEN LAPIDUS LIVE IN CONCERT 2004
KLEZMER with Extreme Klezmer Makeover
RAISING THE ROOF
EXHIBITS OF INSTRUMENTS
NAMM SHOW: MUSEUM OF MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
Los Angeles, CA January 2012
TORRENCE MUSEUM OF ART
Torrance, CA 1975
EGG & THE EYE CRAFT MUSEUM,
Los Angeles, CA 1975
DULCIMER JAZZ: COLUMN IN THE FOLKWORKS MAGAZING 2015 to the present
DULCIMER PLAYERS NEWS: CONTRIBUTOR 2011-2015
FEATURE ARTICLE, DULCIMER PLAYERS NEWS, 2006
DULCIMER SESSIONS.COM, A Mel Bay Production, 2005
NEW WEST MAGAZINE, 1977
LOS ANGELES TIMES, 1976
Performances, Workshops, Festivals
CALL: Joellen Lapidus at 310-474-1123