Irene Herrmann has played music all her life, but only after she graduated from music school did she discover the world of non-classical music and started dividing her time between classical piano and cello and traditional music. She feels strongly that elements of both are part of all of her music. The world of traditional music opened many doors for her, not only musically, but socially and culturally as well. She has played cello on Joe and Antoinette McKenna's second album, orchestra bells on the second album of R. Crumb's Cheap Suit Serenaders, recorded on mandolin with vaudevillean Roy Smeck, and on fiddle with gospel singer Marion Williams. With Paul Hostetter, she formed a string band with friend and traditional Italian mandolinist, Riccardo Tunzi, playing the traditional music that Riccardo taught them, until he passed away several years ago. They now continue that tradition in a trio with Italian mandolinist Tony Flores. Irene was pregnant during the last Harmony Sisters tour, and she now has two teen-age girls who are also fine musicians. These days Irene is primarily a pianist, specializing in the music of Paul Bowles and other 20th century American composers. She performs in new music ensembles, with choirs and in chamber music in the Santa Cruz, California region where she makes her home. "Making and sharing all kinds of music with my friends is the greatest joy I know."