The Russet Trio lights up dancers with a broad range of original and traditional acoustic music. Based in New York’s Hudson Valley, they perform for contradances, music festivals, weddings and parties, throughout the Northeast and beyond. Their music has traditional Celtic and Appalachian roots played with generous swing, high energy and groove. However one describes this music, people’s feet will move and their spirits soar.

Group Members:


Aldo Lavaggi

Born in the Catskill Mountains of NY Aldo was a child of the vibrant New England folk music scene.  As a boy, he was most fortunate to live down the road from fiddle great, Jay Ungar, who he studied with for seven years.  Touring Europe as a street performer in 2004 he was exposed and inspired by a wide variety of European folk traditions.  Aldo co-founded the Russet Trio in 2003 and the The Columbia County Contradance in 2007 which has become a vibrant local contradance.  Currently he teaches fiddle and folk music full-time in schools and private sessions in the Hudson Valley and beyond.  He is a guest instructor at a variety of music programs including Pinewoods and Ashokan.  In 2014 he developed and taught a course called “music for puppetry” in collaboration with Free Columbia Puppet Troupe.

Peter Madsen

 Born and raised in California Peter grew up as a drummer and percussionist, experimenting with a variety of original music. He first picked up the guitar as a wayward teenager learning from anyone and everyone he could. Peter traveled and lived in both Norway and Russia where he learned biodynamic gardening, and soaked up the rich folk music and culture of these countries.  Returning to America in 1999, he was introduced to the wonderful world of contradancing, first via the dance floor at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. He co-founded the Russet Trio in 2004

Seth Travins

Sauerkraut Seth Travins is an upright bassist, songwriter, and performer originally from Queens, NY. After working as a farm apprentice in 1998 Seth started making sauerkraut commercially for the Hawthorne Valley Farm in Harlemville NY (right down the road from Falcon Ridge.) Seth also in the last 10 years has been part of the local music scene, fronting such bands as Rockabilly favorites Chops and Sauerkraut, and the hot country swing band and The Blue Ribbon Boys. Seth joined the Russet trio two years ago, and has been enjoying playing the wonderful contra-dance that exists in this very region. Cococontr.org

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