monroe jeanJean Monroe, having been knocked flat by a Bare Necessities CD, went to hear them play live, was asked if she wanted to dance, and promptly fled. Within a short time she had discovered English country dancing anyway, followed by dance piano and a life-changing trip to a dance musicians’ course at Pinewoods English Week. For the past decade she has played for vintage, contra, English, and ritual dancers in the Northeast and beyond. A classically-trained pianist whose style has been described as “sprightly” and “thoughtful,” Jean enjoys adding hand-percussion and melodica riffs to dance accompaniment. Bands include contra/English band Gotham Carnival, Regency band Lady Jane’s Delight (both with fiddler Julia Hartman), and early-music-turned-dance-band Paradise Bird. Jean loves playing in historical contexts but also dreams of electro-English dances under black lights. When not at a dance she can be found singing anything choral, playing ragtime, and accompanying the music-hall singers of the Old Howard Troupe, courtesy of whom she once drove straight from church choir to a performance in a burlesque expo.

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