South Florida has produced few artists of the quality and character of Sister & Brother and native Miamians Ellen & Gary Bukstel.
When Singer Songwriter “Siblings” Ellen & Gary Bukstel Join Forces…watch out! This dynamic performing “Sister & Brother DUO” combine their unique blend of acoustic and power folk. Together, their joyful “sibling” spirit, remarkable harmonies and captivating music and lyrics will carry you away. They will rock the house, each sharing their individual songs while combining their rich voices.
The blend of Ellen and Gary’s voices is special– their harmony is decades in the making, home grown, expertly fashioned and genetic as described in Gary’s song “Brother & Sister” that relates their history with great enthusiasm. They bring their family’s history and their love for each other to the stage sharing the triumphs and defeats that their family has experienced. The blend of their voices is special . . . their harmony is decades in the making. Together they sing of love and remembrance . . . their songs are eloquent and moving.. They will make you laugh and cry and sometimes both at the same time. They sing from the heart. “We want to sing about the things that move us and affect our lives… that in turn gives a voice to people who share the same feelings” …Their songs vividly describe the joy and sadness of life and their relationships . . .expressing deep emotions that many can relate to.
Hailed by two time Grammy winner Michael Bolton as “An Amazing Artist And Spirit,” Ellen Bukstel is Currently, winner of multiple international song competitions and a finalist in more than fifteen other song writing competitions. A consummate artist, she combines her powerful voice and insightful lyrics with long time community activism. Whether singing hilariously funny to moving compositions of love, remembrance, and social awareness, her songs always hit home.
Nina Korman, from the Miami New Times says, “Gary’s adroit finger picking shimmers” – As the other half of this talented duo, Gary has been writing songs since he was nine years old and brings his individual and unique style of power acoustic music to the stage. He was a finalist in the 2003 South Florida Folk Festival Song comp and together with Ellen and good friend and Latin Grammy winner, Paul Hoyle, they have co-written and produced six multilingual promotional songs for MasterCard International – Latin America and the Caribbean.
In addition to their desire to produce fine music, Ellen & Gary first CD was driven by the fond memory of Ellen’s late husband Doug Segal, who died in 1988 from Hemophilia related AIDS. He was the inspiration for their community outreach for AIDS Awareness, hence the dedication of their original group name, Legacy. This outreach culminated in their first CD named by the title song “Somewhere in Time” written by Ellen as a tribute to her late husband. Gary has been writing songs since he was nine years old. Ellen’s began writing after her late husband was diagnosed with AIDS in 1986.
Ellen & Gary have an impressive background of performances at festivals and venus across the state and nation. They have been featured as a main stage acts at some Florida festivals such as South Florida Folk Festival, The Will McClean Folk Festival, Sarasota Folk Festival, River Hawk, Love Fest, as well as many clubs, coffee houses and house concerts. They have performed at Gusman Theater, Sunrise Civic Center, University of Miami International Music Festival, Musician’s Exchange, Sacred Gorounds Coffeehouse, Skippers in Tampa. They were featured on the CD, Songwriter Solstice Compilation, recorded live at the Kravitz Center, featuring a collection of other well known South Florida songwriters. SEE LIST BELOW
With many years of performing experience and a very long list of songwriting awards and accolades, Ellen also performs her own original music as a solo artist while brother Gary, a prolific songwriter and expert self taught guitar player, enjoys being a Hockey Dad and coach to his two sons.
MUSIC FESTIVALS: (in alpha order)
Florida Folk Festival Mainstage White Springs, FL
Kerrville Folk Fest New Folk Song Comp FINALIST Kerrville, TX
Rattlesnake Festival San Antonio, FL
Riverhawk Music Festival Mainstage Brooksville, FL
Sarasota Folk Festival Festival Mainstage Sarasota, FL
South Florida Folk Festival Mainstage (10 years) Ft. Lauderdale, FL
University of Miami International Music Festival Concert Miami, FL
Will McLean Folk Festival Mainstage Brooksville, FL
NOTABLE VENUES & EVENTS: (in alpha order)
Beth Or Congregation Multiple Concerts Miami, FL
Chocolate Mouse Coffeehouse Concerts Davie, FL
Dave & Mary Alper Jewish Community Center Concert Miami, FL
Duncan Conference Center Concert Delray Beach, FL
Hot Java Coffeehouse Concert Ft Lauderdale, FL
Kravis Center Concert West Palm Beach, FL
Main Stage, Kerrville Folk Fest Perform Winning Song Kerrville, TX
Markham State Park South Florida Folk Festival Headliner Oakland Park, FL
Oscar Scherer State Park Sarasota Folk Festival Headliner Sarasota, FL
Sacred Grounds Coffeehouse Multiple Concerts Miami, FL
Sarasota Sailing Squadron Concert Sarasota, FL
Skippers Concert Tampa, FL
Southwest Regional Library Concert Ft Lauderdale, FL
Sunrise Civic Center Concert Sunrise, FL
The Improv Comedy Club Mamapalooza Ft Lauderdale, FL
Labyrinth Cafe Concert Ft Lauderdale, FL
Vizcaya AIDS WHITE PARTY Concert Miami, FL
Warehouse Cafe Concert Hollywood, FL