Hannah Shira Naiman

Hannah Shira Naiman

Genre: Appalachian, Old Tyme, Songwriter

Hannah Shira Naiman & Arnie Naiman, a daughter/father duo from Toronto (lovingly nicknamed “Chip and the Old Block”), present an evening of Southern Appalachian oldtime music on fiddle, banjo, and guitar. Hannah and Arnie are multi-instrumentalists, and perform a combination of traditional repertoire, as well as original tunes and songs that are so authentic to the genre, you may find them hard to distinguish from the traditional ones.



Hannah Shira Naiman grew up just north of Toronto- a few thousand miles away from the hills of Appalachia- and yet her family home was always full of the sounds from that land. Raised by a banjo plucking Pa, and a children’s musician/dance caller/fiddling Ma, her home was a hub for American roots music in the cold heart of a Canadian metropolis. Having lived away from home for several years, the tug of this music awoke a homesickness that brought her back to Toronto, and eventually this desire of hers to reconnect with her roots brought her to release her first album, Tether My Heart (November 2013, Merriweather Records Ltd.). Tether My Heart received a FACTOR Juried Sound Recording Loan, and following it’s release was #6 on the US Folk DJ charts. It has been receiving an abundance of radio play and positive reviews ever since.   Hannah spent the fall of 2014 in Virginia and West Virginia instensely studying Appalachian fiddle tunes, flatfoot dancing, and ballad songs through funds from the Canada Council for the Arts. Through funds from the Alberta Arts Council, Edmonton choreographer Anastasia Maywood has commissioned Hannah to write and record two songs for a new choreography to be debuted in the winter of 2016. This year, as Hannah prepares to record her second album, Know The Mountain, she is also collaborating with puppeteer Chris Godziuk of Panadream Theatre in Montreal to create unique shadow and string puppet presentations to accompany future performances.

In addition to her songwriting, Hannah is often called upon as a square dance caller (she is the resident square dance caller at Torontos burgeoning Hogtown Hoedown) and early childhood musician. She is a regular instructor at Pinewoods Music and Dance Camp in Plymouth, MA, and at Christmas Country Dance School in Berea, KY.



Arnie Naiman wears many hats within the American oldtime music scene, and although he has earned much respect as a guitarist and fiddler, he is most known for his clawhammer 5 string banjo playing- which earned him 2nd place in the West Virginia Appalachian Stringband Festival within the senior clawhammer banjo category in 2015.   Arnie has written over two dozen banjo tunes which have been recorded, and published worldwide. Arnie performs with Uncle Henry’s Favourites, Hannah Shira Naiman, and Ragged But Right. His first album 5 Strings Attached With No Backing (Merriweather Records Ltd., 1997), recorded with Chris Coole, has earned him great recognition within the Appalachian old time music scene—he has since recorded and co-produced 5 oldtime music albums. Arnie has recorded with Erynn Marshall, The Albermarle Ramblers, The Marigolds, Hannah Shira Naiman, Ragged But Right, Jim Childress, and Kathy Reid-Naiman. He is the VP and co-founder of Merriweather Records Ltd., a homegrown record label dedicated to oldtime music and quality children’s music since 1995. Along with Chris Coole, Chris Quinn and Brian Taheny, he has been producing an annual banjo showcase in Toronto, The Banjo Special.

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