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Bare Necessities (Mary Lea, Jacqueline Schwab, Earl Gaddis, Peter Barnes)

As a shy Pittsburgh teenager seeking alternatives to media entertainment and the dreaded high school dances, Jacqueline fell in love with the flirtatious and flowing figures, beautiful music and friendly sociability of English country dancing. She found her way to Boston's thriving traditional dance scene and has been dancing, leading and playing for dancers ever since.

She co-founded the quartet Bare Necessities in 1982 with Peter Barnes (flute and whistle), Earl Gaddis (fiddle) and Mary Lea (fiddle). Their passionate improvisational performances have helped shape this generation's country dance tradition with their blend of period chamber music, dance lilt and flow, contemporary harmonic lines, wild changes of mood and musical jokes. With many recordings, Bare Necessities are in demand at festivals throughout North America and England.

Jacqueline also plays for New England contra, Scottish country, couple dancing, vintage and tango. She has also collaborated with fiddlers Andrea Hoag, Daron Douglas, Dave Langford and others. Jacqueline loves creating dance drive through her solo playing. She has accompanied modern dance and ballet, including the piano soundtrack for a piece by choreographer Janet Craft, marking the anniversary of the Kent State shootings.

Jacqueline has led weeklong dance musicians' workshops at Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddle Camp, Ashokan, Pinewoods, and Buffalo Gap Camp. In these, participants have focused on technique, improvisation, harmony and ensemble playing for traditional and English dance music. She helps musicians discover their own approach to playing for dancers while exploring relaxed physical movement in the playing.

Jacqueline's English dance leading emphasizes the joy of the dance. She teaches workshops on style and leads social dance evenings for both beginners and experienced dancers. Jacqueline frequently plays while calling (sometimes even as a one-person band). Her dance leading reflects the early twentieth-century Cecil Sharp style but is also informed by recent research on period style. Her own research included examining over 1,000 eighteenth century English dance manuals in British and U.S. Libraries. Her reconstructions of Sally in our Alley and other period dances have graced many ball programs. Jacqueline has led dances for the Country Dance Society, Boston Centre since 1982 and teaches at events across the U.S. At the Jane Austen Society's 2001 meeting in Wisconsin, she got a ballroom full of beginners dancing up a polite storm.


Albuquerque Dance Weekend (NM), Amherst Early Music (MA), Ann Arbor Dance Weekend (MI), Ashokan (NY), Atlanta Country Dance Weekend (GA), Bay Area Country Dance (CA), Berea College Christmas School (KY), Buffalo Gap (WV), John C. Campbell Folk School (NC), Chesapeake Dance Weekend (MD), Chippenham Festival (England), Cleveland Dance Weekend (OH), Columbus English Dance Weekend (OH), Dance Flurry (Saratoga, NY), England Tours with Bare Necessities (through McFarland Travel), Fairfield English Dance Weekend (IA), Falcon Ridge Folk Festival (NY), Folk Madness (NM), Folklore Village Farm (WI), Hands Four (NH), Heather and Rose Dance Weekend (OR), Hudson Guild (NJ), Lady of the Lake (ID), Lost Pines (TX), Mainewoods (ME), Mariposa Festival (Ontario), Nashville Playford Dance Weekend (TN), New England Folk Festival (MA), Old Songs Festival (NY), Pinewoods Camp (MA), Pittsburgh English Dance Weekend (PA), Portland Country Dance (OR), Star Island Contra Dance Weekend (NH), Summer Acoustic Music Week (NH), Tropical Dance Vacation (St. Croix), Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddle Camp (CA), and Whirlygig, Circle Lodge (NY)