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Cooking With Turf has been around since the late 1990's and is actually in it's 4th incarnation now.  We started as the house band for the Palo Alto Ceili Dance (Ceili is Irish social dancing similar to New England Contra Dance).  When that dance ended in 2000, it became the house band for Irish Set Dancing at Scruffy Murphy's in Sunnyvale,CA (Set dancing is the Irish equivalent to American Square dancing).  In 2007, it was resurrected when Richard and Steve came together with Julie Horner and David Chadwick from the Santa Cruz area.  Now we are a quartet with Richard, Steve, Ken and Jared.  We are based in Modesto, CA.  All four of us are products of the wonderful music program our public schools used to promote.


Richard Ferry started on the violin in third grade and then took up trumpet in fifth grade and played brass all through high school.  While in high school he taught himself to play the guitar and harmonica.  Then in college he also took up the concert flute.  He rediscovered Folk and World music in the early 1980's and realized Irish traditional music has flute as a main instrument.  So he got himself an Irish wooden flute and learned the ornamentation that makes Irish music sound Irish. Since then he has played in several dance bands and professional Celtic bands, including the California band, Golden Bough from 1992 thru 1996.

Steve Kenworthy got his start in music in the church choir at an early age.  He also played trumpet in public school.  He taught himself to play guitar at age 12, later playing in open tunings in a finger picking style. (His guitar is tuned from the lowest to the highest string...DADGAD).  He's been inspired to play Celtic music since first hearing it.  He was looking for a fiddler to play with over 20 years ago, but had to become that fiddler himself. (So don't be surprised when he plays fiddle and guitar at the same time! Only kidding.)   He adheres to the slogan, "So many tunes, so little time".

Ken Van de Kieft also started on the trumpet in public school.  (Hey guys maybe we should start a brass choir?)  He also became very accomplished at classical piano but was reluctant to continue down that road so he picked up the guitar while still in high school.  Since then he has become a wizard of anything with strings on it.  Besides guitar, he plays all manner of mandolin,
hammered dulcimer and lap dulcimer and even some tenor banjo.  But don't ask him to play the banjo, he has enough instruments to carry to the gig already and banjos are really heavy!

Jared Myers is an accomplished Highland piper, singer and guitar player.  He played piano for six years and in 2001 was inspired by the call o' the pipes. He joined Modesto's Callanish pipe band under the leadership of John Mitchell and took part in competitions both with the band and solo. He began to play pipes onstage as a guest of Golden Bough. He later took up playing the guitar to accompany his fine singing, and eventually served as Interim Music Minister at his church.  We got to know each other at a regular Celtic session at a local pub.  After having him join our program on stage for two years at the Modesto Highland Games, we all agreed we should expand the band to include his talents.