Banquo Folk Ensemble
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About Us
The Players
The Music
Our Instruments




The Players


Eric Reiswig

Click here to visit Eric's website

Eric Reiswig

Bagpipery, cittern, mandolin, dulcimer, recorders, whistles, flute, hurdy-gurdy, vocals, percussion

Eric grew up in Montreal, a city rich in musical culture, but it wasn't until his late teens that he developed any interest in playing.  He started with electric guitar, but eventually hung it up to pursue Irish and English folk music on the tin whistle and recorder.  From there it was natural to discover the Irish uilleann pipes, and he has since decided to make it his life's work to play as much music on as many instruments as possible.

Since moving to Victoria in 1996, Eric has been active in traditional music locally, playing uilleann pipes, flute and whistles with Sheila Ryan, Daniel Lapp, Calvin Cairns, Oliver Swain, Paul O'Brien, and Quinn & Qristina Bachand (among others.)  His musical heart has belonged to Banquo since our founding in 1998, which allows him to explore his more eclectic interests in the varied world of folk music and instruments.

Eric's fascination with obscure folk instruments, especially bagpipes, soon led him to start building his own.  When not playing, he can be found building an ever-increasing variety of instruments in his workshop.


Lael Whitehead

Vocals, guitar, dulcimer, cuatro, whistles, recorders, percussion

Lael Whitehead is a singer, multi-instrumentalist, writer and avid English Country dancer who divides her time between Mayne Island (where she and her husband have planted a cider apple orchard!) and Victoria.

Lael 's other current musical projects include The Dancehall Players and Jaiya.





Amy Reiswig

Percussion, surpeti, vocals

You've heard of "found music" - Amy is a "found musician." She was sure she had no musical ability all those years living in Montreal, but after moving to Victoria, Banquo leader Eric convinced her to have a go at the drum, and... well, who knew! With no formal training comes no sense of fear. Her approach to music is essentially "why not!" so don't be surprised to find her playing African hand drum and Indian drone box at the same time.

Banquo's cultural blending and synthesis is what Amy loves most about the ensemble, as she is also involved in other creative cultural explorations including writing, visual art and the art of travel. Her favourite places outside of Canada to date include Nepal, India, Portugal, Russia and the Faroe Islands. Amy has worked as a research assistant at a Holocaust documentation archive, a college literature teacher and freelance researcher and editor. She has published travel articles (including an interview with the singer of a Faroese Viking heavy metal band), research on medieval monasticism, and book reviews nationally and internationally. Amy's work, travel and now musical experience has produced a strong belief in the power of the arts to change people's lives for the better. She is proud to live in Esquimalt, BC, and proud to be part of Banquo.



Bill Jamieson

Recorders, shawms, smallpipes, crumhorn, diatonic harp, hurdy-gurdy, vocals

Bill Jamieson was born in Vancouver, and was introduced to early wind instruments at UBC en route to a music performance degree from the University of Toronto. After a brief symphony career, Bill turned to accounting as a profession. Over the years he kept up an interest in early music, and developed a fascination with the traditional folk music of the British Isles.

Over the years, Bill has accumulated an impressive collection of early wind instruments, including Renaissance recorders, shawms, smallpipes, cornetto and crumhorn. He also counts a diatonic harp and hurdy-gurdy among his musical hoard.

Bill co-founded and remains a member of the Renaissance wind ensemble, A Great Noyse. He recently founded the Ancient Music Society of Victoria, which aims to encourage the appreciation and performance of Medieval and Renaissance music.

Bill believes that additional elements, like theatricality, narrative, and costumes help audience members connect with the wonderful, but neglected music of those earlier times.


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