The question we are most often asked is "Why the name Leaping Lulu?" As our guitarist Don Anderson likes to put it: "It was the only name we could all agree on. We agreed we all hated it." (He's kidding, of course—some of us love it!) Leaping Lulu actually came from the name of a wonderful jig composed by fiddler Greg Boardman. The music we play tends to center around Irish traditional music, but we sometimes jump around the genre slightly, do new songs in an old way, or songs that we love from any era, just to suit our needs and make things more interesting. We like to think that Leaping Lulu fits our style!
Download Band Bio Here.
The band today:
Sara Gunnell—fiddle/viola/electric violin |
Classically trained, Sara has been playing violin since elementary school. She began fiddling around the turn of the 21st century, concentrating on Scottish and Irish fiddle. She has attended the Cape Breton Fiddler's Workshop, Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend, WA, played in the opening ceremony of the 2002 Winter Olympics, studied fiddling while visiting her ancestral Scotland and plays with the Utah Festival Opera. An original member of Leaping Lulu, Sara left briefly to complete her Master's Degree in music at Ohio University. She and her family now live in Mt. Pleasant, Utah.
Liz Fallis—flute/piccolo |
Liz is originally from Vancouver, Canada and lives in North Logan, Utah. She is a classically trained flute and piccolo player and frequently plays with the Utah Festival Opera. In addition to her amazing skills as a musician, Liz is also a gourmet cook and owns a successful catering business.
Kent Braddy—vocals/bodhrán/cajón |
Kent plays the bodhrán (Irish drum), the cajón (box drum), and is the singer for the band. His background includes nearly every variety of musical style, but Irish and Celtic music are closest to his heart. "I love the genre because its mood ranges from the depressing to the elated, from the benign to the revolutionary, and from heaven to hell with all points in between," he says. Kent lives with his family in Logan, Utah.
Don Anderson—guitar/mandolin/cittern |
Don started playing folk and bluegrass music in high school and says, "Most of what I used to play was derivative of Irish music (although I didn't know it at the time) so it was natural that I'd eventually get to the source. Celtic music is like a benevolent or useful addiction. Give it your hand and it will grab your arm and pull you in." Don lives in Smithfield, Utah.
A little background
Leaping Lulu began in 2001 when Laura Zisette, Harvey Neuber and Sara Law (now Gunnell) began playing music together. Just a few months later, Don Anderson and Rebecca Fuller came on board, and the band played regularly for the local Contra Dance series sponsored by the Cache Valley Folk Dancers and the Bridger Folk Music Society. Leaping Lulu also played throughout the Northern Utah/Southern Idaho region at all sorts of venues. As is the case with most bands, we've lost and gained people over time. We were fortunate to have Loralyn Staples and Jill Hughes join us in 2004 when Sara left for graduate school and Laura retired to focus on her piano pedagogy business. Kent Braddy was brought on board in 2005, and about a year later Loralyn relocated to Arizona. Becky left to focus on her amazingly talented boys' band Root Beer Reunion, and Jill retired to teach piano and raise her adorable family. Not long after, Sara finished grad school and rejoined us, and Liz Fallis was recruited as well. In 2008, founding member Harvey Neuber also retired from the band. We're very grateful for the fantastic musicians that have played with us through the years, and we intend to keep the tradition moving ahead in the years to come!