Anna Patton is a clarinetist, singer, composer, and educator driven by musical curiosity. The daughter of two singers/musicians who perform classical, jazz, and american folk music, she branched out from her already eclectic musical roots the age of seventeen when she became obsessed with a cassette tape of Bulgarian and Roma clarinetists. She pursued that obsession in her early twenties with trips to Bulgaria, clarinet lessons with immigrant musicians in New York City, and undergraduate studies at Marlboro College in Ethnomusicology. Along the way, she also caught the bug to study Turkish Maqam, Brazillian Choros, and other musical styles from around the world.
Always keeping one inquisitive ear on the musical sounds she grew up with, Anna adapted elements of the rhythmic drive of Bulgarian clarinet technique to play Irish, Quebecois, and American traditional music on clarinet. She founded the internationally touring dance band Elixir with her partner fiddler Ethan Hazzard-Watkins featuring these styles with trumpet-clarinet-trombone horn arrangements influenced by early jazz, R&B, and classical music.
Besides composing and arranging for her bands, Anna's compositions include soundtracks for theater pieces and a dozen choral pieces that have been performed and recorded by various choirs including Social Band and Northern Harmony. In 2006, Anna started a jazz choir at the Vermont Jazz Center which performs her creative arrangements of historical and contemporary American music.
In 2012 Anna began two years of graduate work in New England Conservatory's Contemporary Improvisation program. With a compatriot of students from all over the world and all musical backgrounds, she collaborated on performances and studied with the school's extraordinary faculty of composers, improvisors, and ethnomusicologists.
Anna's current projects include teaching vocal and instrumental ensemble classes, music theory, and aural skills at workshops all over the US an in her home town of Brattleboro VT. She is in demand as a performer and recording artist with groups such as Elixir, the Julian Gerstin Sextet, and Dunham Shoe Factory. Anna's performances with these and other groups include the Old Songs Festival (NY), Lake Eden Arts Festival (NC), Summerfolk Festival (Ontario), Champlain Folk Festival (VT), Augusta Heritage Festival (WV), Vocal Chords Festival (London, England), Windmill Craftworks (Bangalore, India), International Folklore Festival (Plovdiv, Bulgaria), Koprivshtica festival (Koprivshtica, Bulgaria), and a dance festival in Tommerup (Denmark).