Meet The Dinorockers

 

Ingrid Crepeau knew she wanted to be a professional puppeteer when she was six years old.  In 1971 she joined the Allen Stevens Puppet Company at the Smithsonian Institution where she designed, constructed, costumed and performed puppet shows for 2 years. As cofounder of Patchwork Puppet Productions, Ingrid won two regional Emmies® for puppet design for Sneakers an award-winning children's TV series on the local ABC affiliate in Washington, D.C.  Her bicentennial puppet Arbor the Eagle is in the Smithsonian's permanent collection. Ingrid's creations have appeared onstage at Arena Stage, Ford's Theatre and The Kennedy Center.  For the last six years she has been the go-to gal for construction and maintenance of mascots for most of the major D.C. sports teams.  She rebuilds, repairs and makes costumes for the Nationals' baseball team's Racing Presidents and Screech the Eagle, doing the same for the Capitols (hockey), the Wizards (basketball) and D.C. United (soccer).  When Ingrid isn't performing with Dinorock or working on mascots, she's a Master Artist with the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts, doing classroom residencies and curriculum training workshops for teachers of young children.  She and fellow artist Ann Richards wrote a best selling book in 2003 about how to use puppetry with early learners called A Show of Hands: Puppetry with Young Children published on Red Leaf Press and found on Amazon.com.  

 enlightenedFor more on Ingrid's puppets: http://www.ingridcrepeau.com

 Michele Valeri has been performing for children and families for over 40 years.  Early in her career she toured for The State Department in 6 Latin American countries.  She produced two award-winning children's CDs before her collaboration with Mike Stein began.   She produced When the Rain Comes Down with folk musician Bob Devlin.  They won an ALSC award for Best Children's Recordings of 1977.  Then in 1981 Michele produced Mi Casa Es Su Casa about her travels through Latin America and was awarded a Parents Choice® Gold Award.  After she and Mike produced Dinosaur Rock! she became a founding member of Dinorock Productions which they incorporated in 1986.  She began touring with the company in January of 1985 and for the next 27 years she spent many months on the road in a big white truck with two other Dinorockers and the Dinosaurs.  In 1991 she collaborated with Ingrid Crepeau and Joe Pipik on The Great Dinosaur Mystery.  First as a stage show the Mystery became a CD produced by Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer.  The Great Dinosaur Mystery won the Wammie for Best Children's CD in 1992.  Then in 1998 Michele went back to work with Mike Stein and Ingrid Crepeau on Dreamosaurus, the Grammy® nominated children's music CD which completed the triumverate of Dinorock musical adventures.  In the interim Michele and Ingrid created 6 more stage shows: Dinosaur Book of World Records, Circuitry Circus (not about dinosaurs), Dinosaurus ChorusDivertimento in D(inosaur)Junkyard Pirates and Amelia and Her Big Red Plane.

In 1981 Michele helped to form The Wolf Trap Institute for Learning Through the Performing Arts. As a Master Artist with the Insititue Michele does residencies in early childhood classrooms sharing performing arts activities with teachers and children aimed at helping the children learn through the arts.  She also travels around the country doing curriculum development workshops with teachers, administrators and care givers of young children.  In 2010 Michele created another award-winning CD produced by Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer called Little Ditties for Itty Bitties: Songs for Infants and Toddlers.                  

enlightened For more on Michele's CDs: http://www.michelevaleri.com

Michael Stein spent 16 years as the fiddler with the U.S. Navy's bluegrass band The Country Current.  He traveled all over the world performing for audiences and heads of state from Europe to the Far East.  Now he is the cantor at Temple Aliyah in Woodland Hills, Californina.  He has shared album credits with Mary Chapin Carpenter, John McCutcheon and Jonathan Edwards. On stage his fiddle virtuosity has enhanced the concerts of country greats, Vince Gill, Larry Gatlin and Charlie Daniels.  Besides being a founding member of Dinorock Productions, Mike has produced two children's recordings on his own.  His Comet Ride Through The Solar System is on the Harper Audio label, the same label that carried Michele's Mi Casa Es Su Casa.  His sustained excellence in the children's music field has been recognized twice by the Washington Area Music Association with Wammies for Best Male Performer in the Children's Music category.  He and Michele both contributed to cELLAbrations the 2006 Grammy® winning children's CD of Ella Jenkins tunes produced by  Fink and Marxer.  Michael's eldest son Jacob is half of the Grammy® nominated duo The Pop Ups, who also produce entertaining and educational children's music.  When Mike is not working at Temple Aliyah, he performs with the rest of his family as the leader of The Rolling Steins Family Band.   

 enlightenedFor more on Michael's music:http://www.michaelsteinmusic.com

Joe Pipik joined Dinorock in 1990. He was already a seasoned performer, having worked with Michael Cotter's Blue Sky Puppet Theater for the previous 15 years. Joe is a real jack-of-all-trades, being an accomplished puppeteer, multi-instrumentalist, singer/songwriter, juggler, actor, storyteller and educational consultant. His one-man puppet company, Joe's Shows, begun in 1980 toured Washington, D.C. has toured widely in preschools in the Washington area; and his one-man Woody Guthrie: The Lone Wolf has been performed at The Smithsonian Institution's Mseum of American History and The Portrait Gallery. In 1990 Joe created Back Pack Puppets and toured 10 States doing another original show for young children.  He's also been a master teaching artist with The Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Performing Arts since 1883.  While touring with Dinorock Joe met his future wife Jeanne Wall. They formed the Good Life Theater. They have been offering high quality entertainment for families and children since the mid 90s. When Joe joined Dinorock he dove into collaborating on Dinorock's second touring show The Great Dinosaur Mystery.  He cowrote the songs and the script.  He also initiated the practice of having all the company members perform as puppeteers and musicians.  So Ingrid learned to play the accordion to accompany Joe and Tina Titanosaurus in an Argentinian tango. This was the first song that required Michele to operate a puppet with remote control, while Joe danced and Ingrid played.  It revolutionized the way Dinorock does their shows!  

   enlightenedFor more about The Good Life Theater: http://www.goodlifetheater.com

Matt Holsen has been a professional singer/songwriter, musician, arranger and producer for over 40 years. As part of Dinorock's original touring company, Matt traveled throught the Southwest, Nothwest, Midwest and up an down the East Coast as Professor Jones in Dinosaur Rock! for three years in the 1980s before moving on to record his own work and record/produce recordings for some of Washington's leading singer-songwriters, including Tom Prasada-Rao. He has arranged and performed vocal music with such distinguished Jazz ensembles as UPTOWN, toured with the Robyn Helzner Trio performing traditional and contemporary "World Jewish music," and sung with the Washington Bach Consort.  Matt's rich bass/baritone is the voice of Boris Ankylosaurus on The Great Dinosaur Mystery CD. His unerring musical abilities were invaluable to Dinorock when he orchestrated and arranged eight of the company's songs for Divertimento in D(inosaur): A Fossil Fantasy, a theatrical piece designed to introduce young children to the instruments in a symphony orchestra with the help of the dinosaurs.  He then went on to arrange these songs for choir as Dinorock added Dinosaurus Chorus: to the repertoire.  Matt still produces brilliantly in his own home studio.  

  enlightenedFor more about Matt: http://www.mattholsen.com

Steve Littlehas been a dinorocker since 2006.  A very versatile entertainer Steve is also a professional auctioneer.  He's acted on stage and in films, including productions of Once Upon a Mattress, Mr. Roberts and P.S. I Know You Love Me.  His one-man show Dimentia Melodies: It Ain't Over Till It's Over is a brilliant introduction to the elderly he entertains when he plays dimentia wards at retirement communities. Steve explores in dramatic fashion the humanity in the geriatric set who respond to his musical ministrations. The characters he takes on are based on actual people he's come to love doing what he calls his "Granny Gigs".  His compassion for these characters shines through his storytelling, acting and original songs.  Steve's show is testament to his own belief that "long after Alzheimer's claims the mind, music still speaks to the heart".   When Steve premiered his show at Washington D.C.'s Fringe Summer Celebration the critic for the Washington Post gave him a rave review. "Often vivid and frequently moving ... easy to wish that Steve Little was the guy entertaining your folks".  People have left this performance vowing to visit their failing loved ones more often, as Steve's presentation has stolen their fears of dimentia and replaced them with feelings of compassion for those who really need human interaction.  Steve is without question Dinorock's most innovative musician and an amazing human being.           

enlightenedFor more about Dimentia Melodies:   http://www.dementiamelodies.com