Musical ideas

As musical ideas are rushing in, I decided to put together a compilation of musical creations clips and live performance loops from 2015. On to new music composition and recording this winter!



Host of the Eastern Iowa Folk Club:

Monday, November 30, 7-9pm

Artisan’s Sanctuary, Czech Village, Cedar Rapids, IA

More about Natalie’s folk club here: Eastern Iowa Folk Club Facebook Group

Mirage: Jean Luc Ponty Project: Connect on Facebook

Sunday, December 6, 4-8pm, Parlor City Pub, Cedar Rapids, IA

Friday, December 11, 7-10pm, Campbell Steele Gallery, Marion, IA



Upcoming Events

Summer is flying by, one more show the day before high school orchestra classes start and a few things coming up this Fall:

Sunday, August 23, 4-8pm: Mirage at Parlor City Pub, Cedar Rapids, IA. Free.

Friday, August 28, 7:30-9:30pm, Stacy Webster and Natalie Brown, Lincoln Wine Bar, Mt. Vernon, IA.

Monday, August 31, 7-9pm, Eastern Iowa Folk Club – 2 year anniversary event! Folk club meets on the last Monday of every month at Brewhemia in the New Bo District of Cedar Rapids. Eastern Iowa Folk Club

Sunday, September 6, Mirage, private party

September 25-27, Mirage with Amy Stoner: Tapestry, the music of Carole King. Amana, IA

Wednesday, October 14, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. Safeguarding of Scottish Fiddle Traditions, research presentation at North Atlantic Fiddle Convention.

Friday, December 11, 7-10pm: Mirage at Campbell Steel Gallery, Marion, IA. 


Friday, April 10th: Lowe Arts Center, Marion, “Coffeehouse Night” – solo show, 7-8:30pm

Friday, May 1st: Mirage with Amy Stoner at Campbell Steele Gallery, Marion, 7 to 10pm

Friday, May 15: Tapestry: the Music of Carole King, Mt. Vernon Community Center

Friday, July 17: Mirage, Friday Night Concert Series, Iowa City ped mall, 6-9:30pm


My most up to date gig calendar can be found here:

Thanks for supporting live music !!


Mirage Success!


Mirage: Jean Luc Ponty Project’s debut at Campbell Steele was sold out! And an absolute success, we are ecstatic about the project and looking forward to our upcoming gigs.

More information about this jazz fusion project can be found in the following articles and on the Mirage facebook page.

Mirage Article in City Revealed Magazine

Mirage in Hoopla


Eastern Iowa Folk Club

Based on the folk clubs experienced in Scotland, musician Natalie Brown hosts this monthly event (last Monday of the month – next event, Monday February 24). **Any style, any age, any level.** Please come along and share a tune, song, poem, story or just come to listen and meet folks. Ground floor meeting room at CSPS – use box office entrance. ~~Coffee and tea will be provided! ~~

Rather than a jam or open mic- everyone that would like to contribute sits in a circle and one by one individuals (or duo, trio) perform one tune and continues around the circle (so everyone gets at least a few contributions) – instrumental, ballads, unaccompanied singing, stories, poems, whatever is your style. No pressure, it’s not about talent or competition, it’s about community, respect, and sharing!

There is much more to this folk club story – with possibilities of guest artists and extended spots, could also involve rotating venues/cities- this is just a start! Let’s get something good going! Join the folk club online: Eastern Iowa Folk Club



Immersed in so many fabulous projects it’s hard to know what to say!

Hard at work practicing, writing up charts, and testing out effects pedals for a project that I’ve always wanted to do…it’s really happening and really coming together! Mirage: Jean Luc Ponty Project, featuring Ponty’s fusion violin compositions, Zappa tunes and so much more. Working with phenomenal guys: Rich Wagor on bass, Jon Wilson on drums, Ryan Phelan on guitar/vocals and Luke Viertel on keys. This is a dream team and a dream project. SO excited for our gigs coming up in April and May!

ORENDA is a band that was put together for the Iowa Women’s Music Festival this past September – and we have been invited to play at the NATIONAL WOMEN’S MUSIC FESTIVAL this summer! Absolutely honored to have this opportunity and to be a part of this exceptional womens group: Lojo Russo, Gayla Drake, Kimberli Maloy, Laurie Haag, Kim-Char Meredith and Natalie Brown.

Very excited to be the newest member of The Feralings with brilliant musicians and songwriters: Nicole and Benjamin Upchurch, Patrick Bloom and Stacy Webster.

I’m playing keys for the Grateful Dead tribute band, Winterland – we have lots of fun gigs coming up:

Also have shows coming up with Gayla Drake – fiddle duets, Irish, Scottish and American traditional tunes and some of Gayla’s beautiful songs! Magic happens.

The Mayflies have some gigs coming up, excited to rock out in Dubuque at Eronel on Friday, March 21 and at Parlor City in Cedar Rapids on March 23!!

I’ll be playing with Craig Erickson and our jam band at Jazz Under the Stars on August 14th.

And of course, along with all this – it’s gearing up for busy season teaching orchestra at Washington High School – spring is contest, competition and invitational time! I’m also enjoying my first year teaching string techniques at Coe – it’s fun finding ways to teach the basics of how to play violin, viola, cello and bass all squeezed into a term. And my research from last year in Scotland continues – I’m looking forward to presenting my updates at ‘Steppin Steens o Knowledge': Folklore, Ethnology and Ethnomusicology Conference in Aberdeen, Scotland this July.

Yay! Busy busy and loving it.

*Up to date gig schedule, videos, mp3s, and much more all here:

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Somehow it is already June, classes done, exams done – feeling great about it all, just don’t know where the time went. Just the dissertation to tackle and complete! This is a brief update- but first to say I’ll have a major overhaul to my website shortly- to make it more accessible to me, to you: as a musician’s and educator’s site and research resource!
I recently had a great visit from my aunt and uncle- we started with a visit to Portsoy for a music festival, my uncle Clarence sang and seemed to immediately have the audience in a trance.

In Portsoy we met Gaelic singer and language/culture advocate- the amazing Griogair Labhuridh, who invited us to a breath-taking visit to the Glencoe/West Highlands area.

Spectacular and dramatic landscape, stories of the land and lots of music and song sharing!!

My mom is the last to visit later this month – and I have some performances and directing here and there over the 30 days in between dissertation writing- then back to Iowa!! Lots to do when I get back – besides planning for the upcoming school year, check out my gigs page – starting to fill up with exciting and special events! Plus- get ready for the Cedar Rapids Folk Club announcement (based on the unique Scottish folk club format that I’ve learned so much about and enjoyed here).
~~More updates and details to come after I re-do this website!

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Since the last post…

Lots of traveling, music and studies!
From playing with Aberdeen’s bluegrass band at a carousing Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve)
Hogmanay at the Blue Lamp
to playing the national anthem for the US delegation at the International Softball Cup 2013 in Rotterdam, Netherlands – this winter has been an absolute adventure!
A side trip to Paris ….
….and attending a traditional Burns Supper in Garlogie, Scotland have been magical as well.
Burns Supper
Haggis, neeps and tatties!
Now, while in classes, I am beginning to really go in depth with my research. I am finding that there is excitement for my research interests. I will be starting observations and interviews of music educators this month. As a teacher and a musician my main focus in the degree program is how traditional music is passed on from one generation to the next.
I am investigating the relation between music educators personal history (influences, training, and such from childhood on) and their current practice/suppositions/point of view.
So I’ll be speaking with these educators about the transmission of traditional Scottish music from their perspective in a variety of educational settings.
I’ll be doing some recording projects this and next month with local musicians and in the spring I will be doing a recording of my own to document and communicate some of my musical memories and techniques learned here!
In April I will be back in Iowa for a week during my spring break and will have a couple performances – Thursday, April 4 at the Lincoln Wine Bar with Craig Erickson and Saturday, April 6 at Gatherings with the Mayflies. If you are in Iowa please come around and say hello!
Then I’ll be back to Aberdeen to continue with classes, exams and dissertation until late summer. I am looking forward to all this spring and summer will bring and to returning to Iowa and teaching in August!!

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