Conrado "Charry" Garcia

is from Chile and is an accomplished and sought-after multi-instrumentalist and recording artist. Charry specializes in the music of Central and South America and plays charango, pan pipes, birinbao and a number of equally exotic noise makers. Charry joined Cantiga in 2001.

You are listening to Catiga's "The Amulet"

Cantiga's unique and magical music has delighted visitors to Renaissance Festivals across North America for almost thirty years.  The word CANTIGA means 'song' in the language of Alfonso the Wise, the 13th century Spanish "King of the Three Religions" whose royal court was a haven for Christian, Muslim, and Jewish musicians. Following in their tradition, the members of Cantiga are dedicated to the inclusive spirit of musical improvisation which has flourished among musicians in cultural crossroads throughout history and continues to be celebrated in today's diverse Global Village.


Harpist Martha Gay, fiddler Malcolm Smith and flute and recorder specialist Bob Bielefeld joined forces at the Texas Renaissance Festival in the early 70's with a common love for ancient melodies and a flair for jamming. Their passion proved a marvelous alchemy as they were joined in the 80’s by cellist Max Dyer and later by Chilean multi-instrumentalist Conrado Garcia. Founding member Malcolm Smith died in 1996 to be succeeded by Boston fiddlers Mark Caudill and Michelle Levy.


Visit the Cantiga Webbe Site    

See video of Charry, Bob, Martha and Alex performing "Martha's Dragon" at the Scarborough RenFaire


Bob Bielefeld


A veteran festival and theatre performer, Bob plays flute, fife and specializes in the ancient instruments of the recorder family. His musical experience includes a wide spectrum of influences ranging from classical to jazz, ethnic to barbershop quartet. Bob has a large repertoire including European, Celtic and English Dance melodies. Cantiga's resident musicologist, Bob's research gives birth to many of Cantiga's arrangements. He is publishing a music book "Renaissance Festival Favorites" with Mel Bay Publications that will be released in Summer of 2006.

Martha Gay


A founding member of Cantiga, Martha attended Rice University and Oxford University where she majored in archaeology and has made her life in the Renaissance Festival circuit since the 70's. She studied harp with Mildred Milligan and with Derek Bell of the Chieftains.


Alex Korolov


Alex has had the good fortune of being a student of early music from a young age. He began his studies under his father Alex Raykov, and has since graduated from Indiana University with a degree in early music performance, having studied viola da gamba and renaissance lute. Alex has performed around the United States and Canada with a number of ensembles and as a soloist at events such as the Bloomington Early Music Festival and the Boston Early Music Festival. He is glad to have the opportunity to play with Cantiga again, an ensemble that he has known for most of his life.


Jim Hancock (left), Carl Asch (center)

& Darin Graves

Jim Hancock is a founding member of the Burly Minstrels and the Christmas singing group, The Merry Minstrels, and a longtime pickin’ partner of Ky Hote.  He calls his group "Jim Hancock & Friends"  because, "When I'm not at a scheduled set, I will take my guitar, bass and/or mandolin around to other stages and in the lanes, to support my fellow musicians at their sets."


While known mostly for his dynamic work on guitar and vocals, Jim also excels on mandolin, acoustic bass and cittern. In 1997, he was selected as an "Artist-In Residence" for the Disney Institute at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.  He has also performed with Cantiga, Celtic Stone, the Minstrels of Mayhem, As You Like It, the New World Renaissance Band and Empty Hats. Others who have enjoyed Jim’s legendary ability to accompany and "jam" with almost anyone are Steve Gillette, Michelle Shocked, Seven Thunders, David Amram, Brian Cutean and many more.


A Texas resident for many years, Jim Hancock has been singing all his life and first picked up the guitar when he was in 7th grade.  After graduating High School in Austin in 1976, he joined the Navy for 3 years. In 1980 he began studying voice and music theory at the University of Texas. In 1982, his life began a turn toward the road. He started playing at restaurants, gatherings and for people he met on the road from as far north as the Yukon and as far south as Guatemala. He played solo and with diverse bands from rock and roll to reggae.


From early on, Jim has had an ear for a good song and began accumulating his current repertoire of hundreds of songs he now can pull out at the drop of a hat. In 1986, he performed at his first Renaissance Festival with The Great American Rainbow Gypsy Theatre.  In 1987, Jim was a Music Director at King Richard’s Faire in Boston and Chicago and, also in 1987, he recorded with Jim and Joyce Lillquist’s group, The Gypsy Guerrilla Band. That association proved to be fruitful and he stayed with them for 10 seasons, recording 5 albums and playing renaissance festivals, state fairs, folk festivals and other special events all over the country. Since 1997, he has been a regular solo act on the renaissance festival circuit, sitting in and supporting other bands’ music as well as doing his own stage shows. He is back music directing, now at the Sterling Renaissance Festival.

 Jim Hancock Webbe Site       Jim Hancock & Friends on MySpace



Empty Hats is a four-piece Celtic and Irish band that plays both traditional and original music. This band is full of energy and will knock your socks off with hilarious banter, amazing music, endless talent and high spirits. If you've never seen them live, you're really missing out.

Empty Hats is

Carl Asch - Lead Vocals, Penny Whistle, Guitar, Mandolin

Lynda Kavy
Bodhran, Percussion, Vocals

Gary Mazzu
Guitar, Vocals

Victoria Scuteri - a.k.a Victoria
Fiddle, Vocals 


Empty Hats Webbe Site    Empty Hats on MySpace

Gary Mazzu of Empty Hats

a.k.a. Demetrius

Gary Mazzu Bio

Linda Kavy of Empty Hats

a.k.a. Looney Lucy

Linda Kavy Bio


Carl Asch of Empty Hats
a.k.a. Giacomo the Jester

Carl Asch Bio

Darin Graves substituting for Vicki Scuteri on Violin for Empty Hats
Darin is a licensed massage therapist with Structural Energetic Therapy


This fresh, energetic and polished band can bring a crowd to its feet whether at a Renaissance Faire, Music Festival, Pub, or Concert Hall. From King Henry VIII to Katie, Matt & Al of NBC's Today Show, Empty Hats has covered centuries of music. Their music brings a smile to your face, a tear to your eye, and twists your heart into a Celtic Knot!"




Wine & Alchemy is an unique experience in World Music, providing a delicious blend of original and traditional world fusion music derived from a wide variety of genres including Celtic, Renaissance, French, Greek, Armenian, "Gypsy", Flamenco, Sephardic, Middle Eastern and others. The memorable aural experience created by Wine and Alchemy's live performance is accentuated by a healthy infusion of world belly dance styling, bringing the senses of the audience to a new level of delight in eclectic artistry. Drawing on a variety of musical traditions, and versatile personal experiences, Wine & Alchemy finds its muse in the inner passions of its members and their love of life, while striving to create, in an Alchemical spirit, an elevating form of art by a strong devotion to musical genesis that blends artistic and analytical application.      Wine and Alchemy's Webbe Site

Roxanne Bruscha

Harmonium & Vocals

A love of performance led Roxanne to attain a BA in Theater at the University of Michigan-Flint and to pursue the study of Belly Dance.  Since 1999 she has appeared in a variety of public concerts, festivals and private venues, and at Renaissance Festivals across the U.S. and in Ireland. She has studied Egyptian, Lebanese, Saudi, Folk Turkish, Moroccan, Persian, Tribal Style Belly Dance and several more. She also has specialty performance experience in Sword Dancing, Veil Spinning, Mask Dancing, Fire Dancing - Poi and Fire Fans, Snake Dancing, Dancing with Zils and Turkish Spoons, Fusion Fan Dancing and others. In 2006 she founded the Carnivale Mijnoon Music and Dance Company and worked as the Exec. and Creative Director, Choreographer, Script Writer, Costume Designer, and Lead Dancer in 2006 and 2007. At the end of 2007 Roxanne chose to step away from the comedy suffused dance project and throw her primary artistic efforts back into music as the Lead Vocalist, Dancer, Lyricist and Co-Creative Director for Wine and Alchemy.


Mark Varelas on Sitar

Mark comes from a rich background in music, which grew with time and has included in the past 10 years the study of Greek Bouzouki, Flamenco and Classical Guitar, Accordion, Violin, Piano, Trumpet, Penny Whistle, and Rauschpfiefe. Mark brings to Wine and Alchemy a strong drive, an inspired artistic vision, and a multitude of highly developed musical talents. Mark founded the band E Serenes in 1999 and began performing Greek Bouzouki with the group in the area around San Antonio, Texas. In 2001 Mark studied Bouzouki in Greece with a native proficient. Mark composes original and arranges traditional music, plays Bouzouki, Lead Guitar, Accordion and a variety of other instruments in the band's countless performances. He co-produced E E Serenes/Muzeki's four CD's. He is Head Composer, Producer, Music Director, and Lead Instrumentalist for Wine and Alchemy.   Full Bio from W&A Webbe Site

Neil Yamin

Neil has come to Wine and Alchemy as the group's Rhythm Guitarist and Drummer. He has been playing doumbek and djembe for 7 years and has, in the past year, added rhythm and bass guitar to his repertoire. He has studied with various teachers over the years including the Middle Eastern doumbek player Souhail Kasper. Neil first became acquainted with Mark Varelas, and E Muzeki, in April 2003 and later performed drum with E Muzeki at the Texas Renaissance Festival and at other local performances in 2004 and 2006 and bass guitar with the group at TRF 2007.  In September and October 2006 he also performed congas, tabla, djembe, and auxiliary percussion for the Josephine Theatre's production of "Do Not Pass Me By" and has, throughout his music career, performed with various belly dance troupes around the country.



Jake Cooper

Native to San Antonio, Texas, Jake Cooper comes from a musical family. With an accomplished bass player and Greek music enthusiast for a father and an older brother touring as a rock drummer, Jake has been drawn to music all his life. First learning bass guitar and drum kit, Jake is now branching out into world music percussion as Wine and Alchemy's drummer. Jake plays a specially designed hand-drum kit consisting of a range of doumbeks and djembes as well as a custom made bass drum and foot tambourine.




Padraig Murphy and Bagpiper Daniel O'Ryan
Visit Danny's MySpace page   Photos

Danny O’Ryan the “Celtic Looper” has been playing traditional and original, Celtic and Medieval music for over 7 years. Danny has been bringing the "old music" to fascinated crowds on two continents; performing at many an Irish Pub, Medieval Markets in Europe and Renaissance Faires in the US. Over the last 4 years, Danny has been using the "Boss Loop-station" which enables him to play many different instruments at a time and perform for hours on end with the sound of a full band! Instruments include: • Scottish highland bagpipes • German medieval bagpipes • Irish flutes & whistles • Indian daduka & barrel drum • Mandolin & bouzouki • Electric guitar... Styles of music: • Celtic Music, • European Medieval Music • Middle Eastern/Belly Dancing, • Jazz Fusion... Danny’s show is an entertaining journey through times & cultures. At present, he performs three nights a week at the James Joyce Irish Pub in Ybor, FL. and is contracted with the Tampa Renaissance Faire. He is also the singer and piper for the Celtic and Medieval band "Odon Soterias."


Ken Spivey

Ken Spivey has been providing the Tampa Bay area with acoustic folk rock for over 10 years. His music reflects the styles of singer / songwriters from the 70's such as "Cat Stevens" and "Bob Dylan," yet has modern touches of artists such as "The Plain White T's" and "Sheryl Crow."  He consistently delivers memorable, crowd pleasing performances. He artfully combines catchy folk-pop music with his unique, contagiously fun stage presence. Ken engages his audiences with intimate stories and off-the-cuff humor. Either alone with an acoustic, or with his full band, one can rest assured they will go home smiling after spending an evening with Ken Spivey.

Ken Spivey Band Website

Ken Spivey's MySpace page 










Storyteller Extraordinaire



Goliath, Gentile Giant Among Titans
Valiant defender of Honor
Bryan Hoag
Bryan is 6' 10"    Bryan's MySpace pics



Penelope Freely, a.k.a Amanda Bouldin, plays her nose flute while her brother Seymorr Freely bugles.





Vanessa May D'Angelo

Vanessa is professional model from Memphis, TN. 

Hazel of the Muckhill Mummers




Sarah, Tester of Strength

Tinkerbell and "Mr. Peter Pan"

A.K.A. Randy Constan, Guitarist, Engineer, Inventor, Eternal Child



Cyntheena, Wise Woman

"I'm not all right but I'm never wrong."

Learn about the Renaissance Period