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The life of legendary New England contra dance musician and traditional music composer Bob McQuillen will be celebrated with a festival in Peterborough Saturday, July 1.
Running from 1 to 11 p.m., KwackFest commemorates the 100th birthday of the National Heritage Fellow who died in 2014. A longtime resident of Dublin and Peterborough in the Monadnock region and a fixture at contra dances throughout the Northeast and in Washington state, McQuillen drove to dances in a Jeep with a license plate reading “KWACK.”
Bob McQuillen was a contra dance musician, ConVal High School shop teacher and weightlifting coach, and, in his own way, a philosopher. He was a mentor to many, and his impact on the lives of his students and his fellow musicians was profound.
The event will be held in the Peterborough Town House and the adjacent grounds of the Guernsey Building. It will feature dancing, music, food trucks, and more. Admission is free.
KwackFest is sponsored by the Monadnock Folklore Society and supported in part by grants from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts & the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Country Dance and Song Society. An Indigogo campaign is raising additional funds for the event and also to cover costs of printing McQuillen’s 15th and final tunebook, which features tunes he wrote for each town in the state.
For more information on KwackFest, please visit HTTP://kwackfest100.com.
Join us for a special evening of traditional New Orleans jazz with Aurora Nealand and the Royal Roses at the Dublin School in Dublin, NH. This will be an outdoor event, weather permitting, Friday, July 7, 7:30 pm at the Fountain Arts Building on the Dublin School campus. The concert is co-sponsored by The Walden School, the Monadnock Folklore Society and the Dublin School and is free and open to the public.
The New Orleans Moonshiners, Meschiya Lake’s Little Big Horns, Panorama Jazz Band, Rory Danger and the Danger Dangers, Why Are We Building Such a Big Ship?—just a partial list of groups to which Aurora Nealand claims membership.
The Royal Roses grew out of the rich resurgence that traditional jazz is seeing in New Orleans amongst the younger generation of musicians today. Saxophonist/vocalist Aurora Nealand has been playing in various groups in New Orleans since 2005, and the Royal Roses, founded in 2010, is her first venture as a bandleader. The Royal Roses draw their repertoire heavily from Sidney Bechet, Django Reinhart and traditional jazz of New Orleans. Comprised of some of the finest young players on the New Orleans music scene today, the Royal Roses are seeking to breath new energy, arrangements and compositions into this genre of music while exploring and learning from its rich history and tradition. They’ve performed in New Orleans at the French Quarter Festival, Satchmo Festival and Preservation Hall, as well as in NYC at Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival. Their first album “A Tribute to Sydney Bechet: Live at Preservation Hall” was released in 2011 to national acclaim. Their second album “The LookBack Transmission” was released in 2014 and includes original and traditional compositions including one Ms. Nealand wrote for the HBO series “Treme”.
The Royal Roses lineup fronted by Aurora Nealand on vocals and saxophone includes Dave Boswell on trumpet, Jon Ramm on trombone, Matt Bell on guitar, Josh Gouzy on bass, and Paul Thibodeaux playing drums.
Join us for a special evening of traditional New Orleans jazz with Aurora Nealand and the Mississippi Gipsy at the Dublin School in Dublin, NH. This will be an outdoor event, weather permitting, Friday, July 8, 7:30 pm at the Fountain Arts Building on the Dublin School campus.
The concert is co-sponsored by The Walden School, the Monadnock Folklore Society and the Dublin School and is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.
Aurora Nealand is a multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and sound artist based in New Orleans, Louisiana.Voted “Best Saxophonist” “Best Female Performer” & “Best Traditional Jazz Band” in the 2015 & 2016 Big Easy and OffBeat Awards, Nealand leads projects that span from traditional New Orleans Jazz to avant-garde rock to free improvisation. She is the leader of The Royal Roses, Rory Danger & the Danger Dangers, The Monocle, and is a member of Panorama Jazz Band and Redrawblak trio. She has been awarded residencies to develop her original compositions at MacDowell Colony, New Orleans Contemporary Arts Center, & the Atlantic Center for the Arts. She regularly works with Found Sound Nation (an organization based in NYC, facilitating international musical collaboration and diplomacy), and has participated in the Dosti Project (India & Pakistan), LADAMA (South America), & OneBeat. Nealand has toured as a featured artist internationally to festivals including Istanbul Jazz Festival, Copenhagen Jazz Festival, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, European Swing Dance Championships (Stockholm), and RecBeat Brazil, and has appeared on HBO’s TV series Treme and NCSI: New Orleans.
Aurora was a faculty member at the Walden School for 5 years, and is thrilled to return for this summers concert series, joined by some amazing musicians from New Orleans, featuring the music of guitarist Russell Welch. Welch is is a specialist in gypsy jazz (a la Django Reinhardt), and has toured world wide performing both his original compositions as well as with Meschiya Lake & the Little BigHorns. They will be joined by violinist Dr. Sick (Squirrell Nut Zippers), Tomas Majcherski (Rhythm Wizards) on clarinet and saxophone, Leo Forde, guitar & Joshua Gouzy, bass (New Orleans Jazz Vipers).
Lots of interesting historical events taking place at the Living History weekend in Hillsborough NH August 16th and 17th. More info at http://livinghistoryeventnh.com
The Nelson Shape Note Singers will perform at 2 PM on Sunday August 17th.
The 18th Century comes alive! Re-enactors, music, food, games, storytelling, tours, and demonstrations of daily life at Isaac Wyman’s Tavern.
Shape Note Singing at 1 PM, all welcome.
Renn Tolman will present the Story of the Nelson Music Collection at 11 AM on Saturday November 9th at the Nelson Library. The Nelson Music Collection was first published in 1969 by Renn’s father, Newt Tolman, and is widely credited with helping to launch the revival of New England Contra Dance music.
Bringing Songs to Life: A workshop with Jeff Davis, Sally Rogers, and Howie Bursen
Saturday, November 9th from 1:00 – 3:00 PM at the Nelson Town Hall, 7 Nelson Common Road, Nelson NH 03457
$25 in advance, $30 at the door, send email to email@example.com to register.
This participatory workshop is for anyone who loves traditional songs and singing styles and who would like to learn more about song origins and ways to use your voice and instrumental accompaniments to bring out the story of the song. Songs will be shared for group singing. Solo and harmony arrangements of songs will be demonstrated and discussed as well.
Jeff Davis is one of America’s most respected collectors and interpreters of traditional music. He has traveled far to visit “source singers”–farmers and miners who remembered the old songs and tunes–and closer at hand to libraries and archives, always look for the best of the music that was once common in out towns and villages. Sally Rogers is known for her clear, sweet voice and her fine interpretations of both traditional and contemporary songs. Howie Bursen is best known for his amazing banjo wizardry, but is also a fine interpreter of traditional ballads, blues and old-time songs. These three together bring different perspectives to the art of singing traditional songs.
Tune up your vocal chords and join these three respected and well-loved singers for an afternoon of singing to ring in the rafters!
We are starting a new Sacred Harp Singing, a form of shapenote singing, in Nelson. Sacred Harp is an older form of choral singing which originated in New England in the 18th century and is enjoying a resurgence among those interested in folk forms, sacred music and/or just the sheer joy of singing with a group. It is not “performance” music and it is sung as a group, unaccompanied by any instrument. More information and examples may be found at the website www.fasola.org or on YouTube (look for sacred harp).
The first sing will take place on Sunday, October 14, from 2 pm to 4:30 pm at Nelson Congregational Church. NO experience is necessary. If you think this sounds interesting, we’d love to have you come listen and give it a try. We will have several extra books to lend for the session. If you’ve sung shape-note songs in the past and are ready for more singing close to home, we’re eager to meet you and have you join us, too. If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peterborough Unitarian Church
corner of Main and Summer Streets
Event Web Site
Name a musician or dancer who hasn’t been influenced in some way by Bob McQuillen, patriarch of contra dance piano players.
At this presentation, Gordon Peery will offer some brief narrative of the history of New England contra dance music, weaving in the role that Bob has played in both preserving and defining the musical traditions. But most of the program will be some actual music, presented by Old New England (Jane Orzechowski, Deanna Stiles, and of course, Bob himself.
The Monadnock Folklore Society maintains a Group membership with the Country Dance and Song Society. One of the benefits of Group membership is that we can recommend people for the following items:
1. Groups can nominate 1 or 2 people for priority admission to CDSS summer camp programs
2. CDSS matches some scholarships that Groups offer to their members.
Please go to http://www.cdss.org/priority-matching-scholarships.html for more details on each of these programs.