Bands and Ensembles

Tunes and Compositions


Contact Me

Dave's Home


Cabaret Sauvignon Biography

Dazzling! Masterful! Playful!

"We're a party, not a drink!"

Four all-star musicians, nationally and internationally known in diverse genres, come together in the powerful new ensemble Cabaret Sauvignon. The Cabernet Sauvignon grape, although originally French, produces its finest wines on American soil. Similarly, the band has its roots in European traditions, but has developed a new, original bouquet. In concert, you'll be treated to romantic Parisian waltzes, smoky cabaret specials, Flemish baroque-era jigs and minuets, and graceful English country dance tunes. In the band's many original pieces you'll notice influences from jazz, Latin, Celtic, Swedish, and classical traditions. The members have highly acclaimed recordings. Check out Dave's and Andrea's CDs and calendars at and Paul and Karen's at

"Intricate ensemble musicianship and improvisational joy... It's clear [they] are virtuosos." The Journal

The bandmembers

Andrea Hoag, fiddle and vocals
The Washington Post describes Andrea's playing - "Call it a fiddle, call it a violin - in Andrea Hoag's hands, it's simply a marvelous string instrument that fits into myriad traditions and fuels many cross-cultural fusions." Winner of the 2000 WAMMIE Award for Best Traditional Instrumentalist, Andrea is a recognized American master of Swedish fiddling. Her latest recording "Fire & Water" shows her deep roots and wide imagination in many traditions: Southern Appalachian, English, New England, Celtic, and jazz and blues.

Dave Wiesler, piano, guitar, and vocals
Dave composes much of the original material the band performs. His playing combines rhythmic integrity, masterful improvisation, and a rare breadth of expertise in traditional and classical musical forms. Dave's new recording "Cracks & Shadows" showcases his composing and arranging talents and was called an "enchanting mosaic of melody and rhythm... [exhibiting] abundant charm and vitality " by the Washington Post.

Karen Ashbrook, hammered dulcimer and wooden flute
Karen has an enviable reputation for "playing the hammered dulcimer in the Irish tradition" (the name of her book on Oak Publications), but the Cabs allow her to show off unexpected facets of her playing. Karen and Paul's new CD on the Maggie's Music label "Celtic Cafe," is described by the Washington Post as a series of wonderfully energetic and exquisitely arranged collaborations."

Paul Oorts, mandolin, bouzouki, tenor and five-string banjo, guitar, and accordion
Paul contributes a lot of the eclectic repertoire that gives the band its flavor. From an early background as a swing player in Belgium, he has branched out to become a highly sought-out accompanist in many styles.

Performance Highlights

- Individually and in bands

  • Smithsonian - Folklife Festival, Piano 300 Exhibit, the Castle
  • National Geographic
  • Kennedy Center
  • The Birchmere, Alexandria, VA
  • National Public Radio's All Things Considered and Thistle & Shamrock
  • Bumbershoot Festival, Seattle, WA
  • Takuraza Bluegrass Festival, Japan
  • Eurovision
  • Musik vid Siljan, Sweden
  • The White House
  • Bethlehem World Musikfest, PA
  • Albuquerque SummerFest, NM
  • Ireland's RTE-1
  • Winter Festival of Acoustic Music, TX
  • Honolulu Academy of Arts, HI
  • And at the Following Music and Dance Schools:
    • Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, WA
    • Augusta Heritage, WV
    • Jay Ungar and Molly Mason's Ashokan Fiddle and Dance, NY
    • Swannanoa Gathering, NC
    • John C. Campbell Folk School, NC
    • Pinewoods, MA
    • Durham Irish Arts Week, NY
    • Milwaukee Irish Fest Summer School, WI
    • Värmland Folk Music Week, Sweden
    • Berklee College of Music

"There are many great musicians and many great bands, but there is only one Cabaret Sauvignon. This band of superstars has its roots in American, Celtic, French, Scandinavian, and other European traditions and combines them into a truly satisfying brew. You'll savor the afterglow for hours after their performances. I have hired CabSav for many different events and they have always come through."
- Jamie Platt, Dancing Planet Productions.