Tenzin Chopak (vocals, guitar, piano), is an artist and songwriter based in Ithaca, NY. He grew up in Oak Ridge, Tennessee and originally intended to be a professional musician. In 1999, after some years of interest, he traveled to India for eight months to pursue studies in Tibetan language and religion. It was in India that he was given the name “Tenzin Chopak”. For the following twelve years, while continuing his study in upstate NY, Tenzin kept music a quiet if not hidden part of his life. In late 2011 he began to write and perform again. Teaming up with Richie Stearns, Rosie Newton, and Harry Aceto, he formed Rockwood Ferry as a vehicle for his music. Since then he has been the driving force behind two Rockwood Ferry albums and has rapidly gained recognition for his songwriting, singing, and for his presence and joyful abandon in live performance. In 2012 the Rockwood Ferry ensemble came to include Richie Stearns, Rosie Newton, Eric Aceto, and Ethan Jodziewicz. Following Ethan Jodziewicz’ acceptance into Curtis Institute in Philidelphia, Rich DePaolo joined the ensemble on fretless bass and vocals. As of January 2014, the core ensemble includes Tenzin, Eric Aceto on violin, Rich DePaolo on fretless bass and vocals, and Bill King on drums and percussion. Multi-instrumentalist Peter Dodge (The Horse Flies) also will be joining Rockwood Ferry for various performances.
Eric Aceto (5 and 6 string violin), is one of Ithaca’s most respected musicians in addition to being a renowned stringed instrument builder. Known primarily for his work as a virtuoso gypsy jazz violinist, Eric also has extensive experience in folk, rock, and experimental music. He has been featured on countless musical projects of his own and with others over the years, notably including TiTi Chickapea with Richie Stearns and Hank Roberts, The Aceto Lieberman Quartet, Djug Django, The Djangoners, Scott Adams, Mectapus, Martin Simpson, and The Burns Sisters.
Rich DePaolo (fretless bass and vocals) is a multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, and producer/engineer who has been a prominent figure in Ithaca’s music scene for many years in genres as diverse as art rock, country-folk, blues, and a capella. He has a critically acclaimed solo release and was a principle writer and collaborator in the Ithaca-based avant rock quintet Red Letter. In addition to producing and engineering dozens of records and mastering countless more, he has accompanied such notable regional and national performers as Martin Sexton, Sarah Harmer, Jimmy LaFave and Tom Paxton. He toured extensively with The Burns Sisters Band, Toronto based singer-songwriter Douglass September and Seattle based Michael Savage & Grace Hearn. He is currently finishing his second solo record.
Bill King (drums and percussion) has played with countless configurations of Ithaca’s most respected musicians such as Hank Roberts, Red Letter, and Jennie Stearns in projects ranging from experimental and jazz to Americana. He is known for his sensitivity, subtlety, and musicality expressing an incredible dynamic range in live performance.
Descended from roots, jazz, and progressive folk, Rockwood Ferry speak with a haunting language of their own yet understood by all. Since their first performance in December of 2011, the ensemble has released two studio albums: “Speak Like Water” (July 2012) and the self titled “Rockwood Ferry” (April 2013). They have toured and performed in various configurations, from duo to quintet, specializing in chamber-like arrangements with an emphasis on dynamic expressions that move between simplicity and intricacy, all of which frame Chopak’s lyrics, described as “a collage of waking dreams, painted in the colors of East Tennessee and beyond.” Listeners have described Rockwood Ferry’s live performances as “incandescent” and “stunningly beautiful”, while from the perspective of the group, their aim is simply to offer “something meaningful” and, in the words of Eric Aceto: “We like it when it sounds like music.”