Renaissance reeds

Al Cofrin

Al Cofrin earned a BA in Jazz Theory & Composition at the University of Texas in the early 1980s. He became interested in medieval music when a professor pointed out that both jazz and medieval monophonic music utilize similar improvisational skills. He continued graduate music studies and worked on a thesis project of medieval monophonic songs and dances resulting in the 1995 publication of pre-15th century transcriptions and a collection of Renaissance dance music. The publication of his work led to the desire to perform the music he had worked with for so long. Istanpitta was born in 1994 and continues to play for concert venues and universities across the country. He has been on faculty for several Early Music related workshops including the Texas Early Music Workshop and San Francisco Early Music Workshop.

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Joan Kimball

Joan Kimball is the former artistic co-director and a founding member of Piffaro, The
Renaissance Band. She has concertized with the ensemble throughout the U.S., Europe, and
South America and has performed with many of the leading early music artists and
ensembles in this country. With Piffaro she has recorded for Newport Classics, Deutsche
Grammophon Archiv Produktion, Dorian Recordings and PARMA/Navona, and in
addition can be heard on the Vanguard, Eudora and Vox Amadeus labels.

Widely known in the early music community as a teacher of recorder, early double reeds and
bagpipes, she has been on faculty at early music festivals and workshops across the country,
including The Madison Early Music Festival, The Early Double Reed & Sackbut Workshop,
Amherst Early Music, The San Francisco Early Music Recorder and Med/Ren workshops,
The Texas Toot, and Hidden Valley Early Music Workshop.

Joan has intimate knowledge and experience with early double reeds, playing both shawm
and dulcian, as well as capped reeds and bagpipes. She has far too many of the latter in
various sizes, pitches and volumes in her studio, and is committed to keeping them all in
good working order! She makes her own reeds for all her instruments and supplies them as
well for reed players across the country. One of her specialties is refurbishing whole sets of
krumhorns, replacing the old plastic reeds with more authentic cane ones. In addition, she
collaborates with instrument maker Joel Robinson on the construction of Medieval and
Renaissance bagpipes.

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