Courses Taught

Creative Strings Collective (strings ensemble)

Turtle Tunes

Mary Gaines

Artist-In-Residence, Co-Director Creative Strings Collective, Turtle Tunes

 Email:  Office: Hendricks Center for the Arts #221

Mary is an award-winning cellist, vocalist, session musician and music instructor based in the Madison area. Since the mid-80’s, she co-founded several of southern Wisconsin’s favorite genre-bending groups: Nobody’s Bizness (string jazz), The Common Faces (original “folk-soul”), The Moon Gypsies (original Americana/Roots-Rock), The Bob Westfall Band (original new-grass and jazz), La Boheme String Trio (classical, folk, pop and ragtime) and current ensembles, Graminy (original “class-grass”) and Gaines & Wagoner (vintage jazz, blues and originals) with husband, Chris Wagoner. Studio session credits include Smashing Pumpkins 1991 Platinum-selling “Gish”, two major label releases by Freedy Johnston, 8 albums with Rounder Recording artist, Carrie Newcomer, and tracks on a wide range of other top level folk artists including Willy Porter, Tret Fure, Peter Mulvey and Josh Harty. Mary has worked for almost three decades as a private music instructor, as a clinician and formerly as a staff instructor at Prairie Music & Arts in Sun Prairie, WI. Mary studied jazz guitar at UWSteven’s Point and cello with Parry Karp at UW-Madison with a focus on jazz improvisation and theory with Richard Davis and Joan Wildman.

Discover more about Mary Gaines at her website

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  • Mary Gaines

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