Pumpkin Bread Biography
"Pure progressive folk fusion" – The Boston Globe
In September of 2016, five longtime friends, drawn to one another by their musicality and distinguishable voices on their instruments, performed as “Pumpkin Bread” for the first time. Since then, the five-piece folk ensemble based in Boston, MA has been dazzling audiences with its original acoustic music that blends influences from traditional folk songs and fiddle tunes with modern sensibilities and intricate arrangements. Pumpkin Bread developed its uncommon sound in kitchen jams, traditional music sessions, and soup nights in the Boston area folk music scene. The band released its self-titled debut album in May 2017 in collaboration with Nine Athens Music.
Pumpkin Bread, known for dynamic and captivating performances that draw on the energy in the room, has performed as part of Brian O’Donovan’s Burren Backroom Series with Keith Murphy and Maeve Gilchrist, and was a headlining act at the 2018 Boston Celtic Music Festival. Sought after for their arranging expertise and chamber-like ensemble playing, the members of Pumpkin Bread teach individually and as a group at fiddle camps and workshops throughout the country, including the ensemble workshop at Hanneke Cassel’s Pure Dead Brilliant Fiddle Weekend. In the spring of 2018, the ensemble toured in Boston, New York, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Charlottesville, Middlebury, and Portland, performing at decorated folk venues like Club Passim in Cambridge, MA, The Front Porch in Charlottesville, VA, and One Longfellow Square in Portland, ME.
In March 2019, Pumpkin Bread released its second full-length album titled "Dear Starling" with producer Courtney Hartman.
Steven fell in love with the mandolin at an early age, after watching Chris Thile’s Homespun instructional DVD, Essential Techniques for Mandolin. It was not until much later, however, after somewhat misguidedly pursuing jazz guitar for 10 years, that he rekindled his passion for folk music and finally picked up the mandolin for real. While pursuing a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in music at Tufts University, Steven became immersed in the Boston folk and fiddle music scenes, where he cultivated and developed his skills on both mandolin and guitar. A native of Sudbury, MA, Steven currently resides in Medford, MA.
Jackson Clawson is a piano, organ, synth, and accordion player in Medford, MA. Originally from San Francisco, Jackson started music from an early age, joining a professional choir at age 9. He grew up playing jazz, funk, R&B, and gospel music in the Bay Area at venues such as Yoshi’s Oakland, Slim’s, Woodminster Amphitheatre, The Great American Music Hall, The Bottom of the Hill, and The New Parish with The St. Valentinez, and was a member of the SFJAZZ High School All-Stars. Upon moving to Boston to study Human Factors Engineering and Computer Science at Tufts University, he continued pursuing his passion for funk/soul/R&B, playing with The American Symphony of Soul at venues such as The Sinclair and The Middle East. Jackson met Conor along the way, who taught him the ways of folk music. Jackson has since picked up the accordion and has attended numerous Celtic music camps.
Maura Shawn Scanlin is a multi-genre violinist born in Boone, NC. Currently living in New Haven CT, Maura is pursuing her Masters degree in Violin Performance at the Yale School of Music, where she studies violin with Ani Kavafian. Maura received her Bachelor’s degree from the New England Conservatory in Boston in May 2017. Maura has studied with renowned chamber musicians such as Lucy Chapman, the Borromeo String Quartet, Kim Kashkashian, Roger Tapping, and members of the Brentano String Quartet. Maura is also well-versed in a variety of non-classical styles from traditional folk music to more contemporary improvisatory music. Particularly proficient in Irish and Scottish fiddle music, Maura has competed in the world’s premiere Scottish fiddling competitions. She is a two-time U.S. National Fiddle Champion, and has won the Glenfiddich Fiddle Competition in Perthshire, Scotland. Maura plays a 1923 Ernst Heinrich Roth violin, made in Germany, and uses Peter Infeld PI strings.
Aidan Scrimgeour is a multi-instrumentalist and composer who plays jazz and roots music. Growing up in Salem, MA, he was inspired and supported by the the local music scene and the Salem Jazz and Soul Festival. After spending a couple years in the Contemporary Improvisation Program at New England Conservatory studying piano performance, he graduated with a B.A. in American Studies from Tufts University. In 2014, Aidan composed the music to “Only Human,” an original musical that premiered in Ames Hall in Salem. Also in 2014, he performed at the Salem Jazz and Soul festival as a member of the Pocket Money Orchestra and in 2016 he led a songwriting workshop as a part of the festival. Aidan was the piano faculty at the 2017 Northeast Jazz and Recording Camp at Salem State University. He currently teaches piano privately and for the Soul Possibilities program in Boston. In addition to Pumpkin Bread, Aidan performs in several other groups including a jazz trio performing the music of Vince Guaraldi, the Pocket Money Orchestra and Sarah & the Wild Versatile.
Conor Hearn is a stylistically diverse guitar player and instructor who specializes in accompaniment of traditional Irish and Scottish fiddle playing. Hailing from the Irish music communities of Washington D.C. and Maryland, Conor grew up playing fiddle and guitar in the traditional Irish music sessions. While studying to attain his B.A in English Literature with a minor in Music from Tufts University, Conor started working as a professional guitar player by lending his innovative rhythmic skills to the panoply of groups and projects that are taking shape in the Boston area folk music scene. He has since performed on programs like Brian O'Donovan's Celtic Sojourn and taught guitar at music festivals such as Alasdair Fraser's Sierra Fiddle Camp, while establishing himself as a cutting-edge Scottish and Irish plaver playing with groups like Soulsha, The Galen Fraser Quartet, TriHearn, and Pumpkin Bread. Conor currently makes his home in Medford, MA where he performs and teaches regularly.