Benefit Show: Bustin' Loose for Eileen Carson Schatz

Article Contributed by | Published on Wednesday, June 5, 2019

On Tuesday, July 9 at the Birchmere outside of Washington, DC, some of the greatest performers in American roots music will celebrate the life of their friend, Eileen Carson Schatz.

“It’s time for us to gather around our dear friends Mark and Eileen, who are going through the toughest of things,” says Béla Fleck, who will be joined by Jerry Douglas, Stuart Duncan, Sierra Hull, Danny Paisley and Eileen’s husband, Mark Schatz.  “This benefit is way we can support them, and to let them know how important they both are in our community.”

Eileen was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2018 and proceeds from the show will benefit the Carson-Schatz family.  For a direct donation to the family, please visit GoFundMe.

Eileen Carson Schatz has dedicated her life to sharing the power and joy of traditional music and percussive dance with people throughout the U.S. and abroad. The Founding Artistic Director of Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble in 1979, she is a pioneer in bringing Americana music and percussive dance to performing arts stages and the general public. For nearly 40 years, she has filled many roles, including Footworks' Artistic Director, performing artist, choreographer, vocalist, songwriter, and teacher.

Carson’s family is from the Southern Appalachian Mountains of East Tennessee and they moved to Maryland seeking better education and career opportunities. They brought with them a great love and respect for traditional Southern music and dance along with an appreciation of jazz, swing, ballroom dancing, and all of the performing arts.

In 1974, Eileen began dancing with the Green Grass Cloggers of North Carolina, a group of college students with a love of fiddle music and dance and the courage to experiment and innovate with the dance form, which led them to be one of the first traditional clogging groups to bring the form out of the South to a larger audience. 

More information on Eileen Carson Schatz can be found here and at

Tickets will be on sale here Friday, June 7 at 12:00pm EST.