Artist/educator, singer/songwriter, teacher in alternative education and a fascinating folk artist, Deb Cavanaugh makes music a part of everything she does. She performs her own music, as well as a full range of other material, and plays a variety of instruments, including mandolin, mountain dulcimer, guitar and limber jack. She incorporates her extensive travel around the U.S. via thumb, VW bus and more, and her experience with many styles of music, from classical voice and piano to jazz, blues and rock and roll, into her songs and performances. She was a founding member of “General Eclectic,” a psychedelic folk/rock band based in Albany, NY. Having been the recipient of a "Meet the Composers" grant, she developed a songwriting workshop for young people and has taught and continues to teach that workshop in various summer camps, libraries and schools. Other musical programs she has developed include "Exploring American Folk", "Where in the World Are We", "Call of the Wild: Music of the Klondike Gold Rush", "Exploring New York: a Musical Journey" and many more. Descriptions of some of these can be found at: Performers and Programs - a database resource of entertaining and educational programs.
Deb is also a registered Music Together teacher and owns and runs Heldeberg Music Together in Delmar, Troy and Brunswick, NY, teaching music to young people age birth through 4 years with their parent or other caregiver, a Big Kids class for ages 5 through 7, an intergenerational class that includes families with young children and seniors at an assisted living facility and a guitar class for adults.
As a teen, Deb was involved with a choir directed by Duke Ellington, performing his original sacred music, and much later sang back-up with Melanie in Albany and Saratoga Springs, NY. She was also part of the re-creation of a women’s orchestra originally from Birkenau concentration camp playing classical mandolin in shows with that group in the Woodstock area in 2007 and finally at St. John the Divine in New York City, in Berlin, Germany and Ravensbrück camp in the spring of 2009. This show was repeated in April 2015 in the Woodstock area.
She currently performs as a solo act and with various other musicians creating an eclectic array of sounds. She also hosts a songwriter's circle and a music jam once a month. In 2014, she released a solo CD, "Highway in Your Eyes," of 11 songs accompanied by 11 spoken memoirs (one for each song) on a separate disk. This new project can also be found on CD Baby. She has also performed as one half of Cavanaugh & Kavanaugh. This duo performed original and traditional folk and Americana and have one CD entitled "Returning" which can be found on CD Baby.
Some of the venues where Deb has played include Caffé Lena in Saratoga Springs, Windsor Arts Center in Windsor, CT, Moon and River Café in Schenectady, West Village Market in Cambridge, the Bluestone Festival in Croton, Java Jazz Café in Delmar, Albany First Fridays, Troy Night Out, Summer Concert Series in Averill Park, Rensselaer and Troy and the JPF Showcase in Kingston and Albany, The Falcon Underground as part of their songwriter series, to name just a few. A comprehensive list is available. Deb has also performed at numerous libraries and schools.