Bob Newton and Charlene Adzima have been performing regularly since 2011 in the Madison-based Irish band, West Wind. Together, they have serenaded diverse groups such as wedding guests, pub goers, festival attendees, and even the drama lovers at American Player's Theatre. Their repertoire ranges from fiery reels to pensive airs to songs in the Irish language. Equally at home in the background or on the main stage, the Westerlies have left audiences warm with delight.
Bob Newton (octave mandolin, mandola, mandocello, bodhrán, vocals) has been playing with Irish and Celtic bands in Madison for the past thirty years, including Boxty, Far From Home, and the Public House Ceili Band. In the late 1970s, he caught the wave of the fresh, full sound of the emerging Irish music groups such as Planxty, De Danann, and the Bothy Band, bands which captured the imagination of a generation and charted the course of popular touring groups to this day. He has lived and traveled extensively in Ireland and Brittany and during the early 1980s was deeply influenced by the playing, warmth, and spirit of his neighbors in eastern Mayo and south Sligo, including Fred Finn among others, who invited him into their homes and pubs. Bob continues to teach courses related to the musical traditions of the Celtic countries and still enjoys the relaxed atmosphere of the local weekly session.
Charlene Adzima (fiddle, vocals) is an energetic fiddler both on stage and in the classroom. She fell in love with Irish music as a teenager and ravenously sought out opportunities to study at workshops and camps with All-Ireland fiddle champions Liz Carroll, Seamus Connolly, and Oisin Mac Diarmada. Collecting the title of Senior Fiddle Champion at the 2005 Midwest Fleadh Cheoil (Irish music competition), Charlene has been warmly accepted into the Irish music community and is known for her danceable, pulsing rhythm and newly-composed tunes. A former Irish step dancer, she is also in demand as a musician for Irish step dance competitions.
Bob Newton and Charlene Adzima
Photo by Frank X. Sommers