☼ ☼ ☼ Windborne | Nelson Town Hall | December 6, 2019

Coming off two years as featured vocalists for Christmas Celtic Sojourn in Boston, as well as a collaboration with Nowell Sing We Clear, Windborne, known for their powerful vocal harmony and stunning original arrangements, presents songs of the season along with their diverse repertoire of music from around the world in this can’t-miss concert.  Windborne has collected and studied polyphonic vocal music for over 15 years from traditional singing masters from cultures around the world, Windborne is able to shift from radically different genres like no band you have ever heard, as comfortable with an improvised Corsican couplet son, as an English protest ballad from the 17th century. Lynn Mahoney Rowan, Will Thomas Rowan, Lauren Breunig, and Jeremy Carter-Gordon share a vibrant energy onstage – their connection to each other and to the music clearly evident. They educate as they entertain, telling stories about the music and explaining the characteristics and stylistic elements of the traditions in which they sing. Join us on Friday, December 6, 2019, 7:30 PM at the Nelson Town Hall for a concert of seasonal music. Admission is $18/$15(seniors, students, advance).

While all four singers had other careers, ranging from trapeze artist to dance anthropologist, the outpouring of requests for performances led them to make spreading this music and message their full time work, and they are now touring across the US and UK.

“The best musical discovery of the year…Stunningly powerful vocal harmony in the tradition of the Watersons, The Voice Squad, and Coope, Boyes, and Simpson, Windborne sets a new bar for folk harmony singing today”

-Brian O’Donovan, National Public Radio


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☼ ☼ ☼ Nelson Solstice Party | Nelson Town Hall on December 21, 2019

On Saturday, December 21, we’ll hold our Annual Solstice Party starting at 7:00 PM. The Monadnock Folklore Society brings this community event to the Nelson Town Hall each year, admission is $5, and treats are appreciated for the dessert potluck.

This year the evening will begin with a holiday concert featuring a selection of traditional and original seasonal music performed by The Solstice Sisters(Alouette Iselin, Melanie Everard, Kim Wallach, & Heather Bower) and friends.

The Folklore Society invites you to bring along your favorite holiday dessert and we’ll supply the beverages for the intermission. After the concert, the chairs and benches are cleared to make way for a traditional New England Contra Dance. Unfortunately, or not, the dance is often interrupted by various groups of unsavory characters presenting their idea of seasonal entertainment. These diversions, sometimes involving costumed individuals making complete fools of themselves or performing ancient ritual dances to help us through this dark time of the year, are generally tolerated as once they are applauded and fed we can return to dancing the night away.

☼ ☼ ☼ Mac Morin & Wendy MacIsaac | Nelson Town Hall | November 16, 2019

The Monadnock Folklore Society is pleased to welcome Cape Breton pianist, Mac Morin with fiddler Wendy MacIsaac back to the Nelson Town Hall for a concert of Cape Breton music on Saturday, November 16 at 2:00 PM. Admission is $15/$12(Sr/Jr).

As with most Cape Breton musicians, music for Mac started early and was humbly nurtured in the home. Step dancing came first, with his earliest steps and guidance provided for by his mother, Mary Catherine, herself a noted dancer who toured the UK and performed at the the World Expo in Montreal in 1967.

By 15, Mac was known as one of Cape Breton’s finest dancing performers and began teaching traditional dance in Cape Breton. He continues to travel through out Canada, the US and Europe teaching/performing the traditional dancing of the Island with recent workshops at the Gaelic College (Cape Breton), Sabhal Mor Ostaig (Scotland), and the University of Limerick (Ireland). He has also recently performed several tours with Dannsa, a Scottish dance/music ensemble during the winters of 2009-2013.

Although piano was not his first display of the Cape Breton culture, it has become another element that Mac is now known for. Since he began to play nearly 20 years ago, he has managed to record and tour with many great performers including Yo-Yo Ma, the Rankin Family, Ashley MacIsaac, Allison Krauss, Dianna Krall, the Cheiftains, Art Garfunkle, and many more. He was a cofounder/coproducer of the Cape Breton traditional group, Beolach, whose 2 albums were nominated for East Coast Music Award (ECMA). He has most recently recorded with Natalie MacMaster on her ECMA award winning album, Cape Breton Girl, and continues to tour with her throughout North America and Europe. On rare occasions when he is home in Cape Breton, he is highly sought after to lend his skills at dances, concerts, ceilidhs, and the house parties.

Wendy MacIsaac is a renowned fiddler from Cape Breton who has been playing music for over 30 years. She is recognized as one of the “old school” style of players who has kept the traditional sound going and has a deep respect for it. Wendy is also a sought after piano accompanist and step dancer.  Besides performing as a solo artist, Wendy tours with Mary Jane Lamond .

Wendy can also be seen performing with Heather Rankin and occasionally Beolach who she toured with for 11 years.

Wendy is in high demand for her skills at teaching the Cape Breton style of fiddling. She travels throughout North America and overseas as well as teaching from her home in Halifax.

☼ ☼ ☼ Catherine MacLellan | Nelson Town Hall | September 14, 2019

Catherine MacLellan will grace the Nelson Town Hall stage on Saturday, September 14 for a 7:30 PM concert. Admission is $18/$15(Sr/Jr).

Catherine MacLellan has become one of Canada’s finest and favourite singer-songwriters on her own merits. She’s kept away from the media circus and celebrity scene, preferring to live at home in rural P.E.I. She’s worked diligently at her craft, releasing a series of remarkable, creative albums, culminating in the Juno Award-winning The Raven’s Sun from 2014, to go along with multiple East Coast Music Awards, Canadian Folk Music Awards, and Music PEI Awards. Most impressively, she has chosen to carve out her career path without trading on her family name, that’s pretty hard to do, when your father is one of the country’s most famous songwriters, Gene MacLellan.

I was born to do this, and my father taught me the ways of a songwriter. I first used songwriting as a way to find out who I was. Now with every song I hope to find truth in inspiration and light in the dark.

After releasing her debut album in 2004, Catherine MacLellan earned immediate critical acclaim, winning awards and being labeled “Critics Favourite New Discovery” by Penguin Eggs magazine in 2008. Since then she has toured internationally and her music has been a perennial fixture at the top of Canada’s Roots Music Charts, winning acclaim from international media including the Austin Chronicle, The Boston Globe, BBC Radio, Maverick Magazine and Q Magazine.

“…the Canadian singer-songwriter hearkened Gillian Welch, with guitarist Chris Gauthier playing electric Dave Rawlings to her acoustic strum. Gauthier’s tones wound richly around MacLellan’s crystallized vocals, whether cutting low blues or in delicate trill on tunes like “Isabel’s Song.” Perhaps most remarkable is the sheer effortlessness with which MacLellan and Gauthier unravel the songs..  –    Austin Chronicle, SXSW Review

 

☼ ☼ ☼ CONCERT CANCELED! Stu Fuchs & Sarah Carlisle | Nelson Town Hall | August 18, 2019

 
Stu Fuchs

THIS CONCERT HAS BEEN CANCELED AT ARTIST’S REQUEST!

A concert with Stuart Fuchs is a well rounded experience. His music is diverse – you’ll hear peaceful messages and jaw dropping instrumentals on ukulele, nylon stringed guitar, Native American flute & didjeridoo. Be prepared for an uplifting, soulful and often hilarious blend of jazz, world music, poetry, storytelling and original songs. Stuart will be accompanied tonight by his wife Sarah Carlisle on upright bass. Sarah & Stuart have performed on concert stages around the world with the renowned Kirtan artist Snatam Kaur and recorded on the Grammy Nominated recording “Beloved”.

“You haven’t heard the ukulele until you’ve heard Stu SHRED on the instrument from Brazilian choro and jazz to his dazzling instrumentals and soulful original songs.” – Marion Jacobson, ethnomusicologist and writer for The Atlantic.

“Stuart brings the sounds of foreign lands, unearthly realms & eclectic world styles from his acoustic pallet. A diverse mélange of playful ukulele tunes, beautifully peaceful instrumentals, original songs of scared poetry & cosmic humor” – The Keene Sentinel

Stuart Fuchs (guitar, ukulele, voice, didjeridoo) Stuart Fuchs is an internationally touring performing guitarist and ukulele artist who performs and teaches fun & innovative ukulele workshops at music festivals throughout North America, the Caribbean & Europe. Stuart is passionate about sharing music as a practice for self-care & wellness and keeps a
busy schedule as a teaching artist in the ukulele circuit, in school residencies and beyond. Stuart blends mindfulness and music at his annual “Ukulele Zen” retreat held at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck NY – his YouTube channel “Ukulele Zen” offers weekly ukulele lessons to over 35,000 subscribers. Fuchs, an accomplished guitarist in many styles, has arranged and performed the gypsy jazz guitar music of Django Reinhardt for full symphonic orchestras and was featured on PRI’s “The World” with his award winning gypsy jazz band “Babik”. In 2014 Stuart was awarded a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts for his work bringing healing music to cancer patients at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo NY, where he was a professional artist in residence for eight years. Stuart has toured to three continents as a soloist and as guitarist with the internationally acclaimed new age Kirtan artist Snatam Kaur. Stuart’s meditative guitar playing was featured on Snatam Kaur’s Grammy Award nominated Best New Age Album “Beloved”.

Sarah Carlisle (upright bass & mandolin) Sarah formally studied classical and jazz music at the Peabody Conservatory and Temple University. After spending more than ten years playing with orchestras and jazz ensembles in the Baltimore/DC area, she discovered kirtan and began collaborating with musicians in the genre. She has toured with renowned kirtan artist Snatam Kaur and with many others in the sacred chant genre including David Newman, Simrit Kaur, Ajeet Kaur, Aykanna and Luna Ray.

☼ ☼ ☼ Lissa Schneckenburger & Corey DiMario | Nelson Town Hall | July 14, 2019

Lissa Schneckenburger and Corey DiMario will appear in concert at the Nelson Town Hall on Sunday, July 14 at 7:00 PM. Admission is $15/$12(Sr/Jr)/$10 if you pedal, walk or run.

Vermont based fiddler and folk singer Lissa Schneckenburger is well known for her anthemic interpretations of traditional New England fiddle tunes and her recent release of original songs for foster and adoptive families, but this summer she is pairing down and playing duo shows with her husband, double bassist and tenor guitar player Corey DiMario (of Crooked Still, The Sweetback Sisters, and The Karen Casey Band). Although both musicians are long time veterans of the stage, this tour marks the first time they will be traveling to each show via bicycle. Inspired by concerns about climate change, and a community of activists in their hometown of Brattleboro VT, the couple wants to shift environmental conversations from that of fear and denial, to empowerment and creativity, in order to inspire others with ideas of how to move forward as a healthy society. The musical couple will travel to each show on cargo bikes with electric assists, bringing their son, merchandise, and all of their instruments (except a double bass, which will provided at each venue) with them. Audience members that follow suite and arrive at each concert via pedal power will be sold discounted tickets.

The music that Schneckenburger and DiMario make is inspired by other beloved musical duos (like Ani DiFranco and Todd Sickafoos, Chris Wood and Andy Cutting, and young new-comers Jenna Moynihan and Mairi Chaimpbeul). They have crafted an intimate show together with sparse interpretations of both traditional and contemporary music. Selections will include pieces from Schneckenburger’s release, Covers (2013), which is a mix of pop songs re-imagined with the luscious foundation of fiddle and bass on each selection, as well as her newest album Thunder in My Arms (2019) which is a song cycle of original songs written for foster and adoptive families about attachment, developmental trauma, and resiliency.

The two first met sixteen years ago in the Klezmer ensemble at The New England Conservatory in Boston, and have played and recorded together in a variety of ensembles ever since. As Schneckenburger explains, “although performing with a big band can be exhilarating and really fun, we’re looking for a deeper connection to our favorite music with this duo approach… stripping back the layers to find the bones of each piece and appreciate it’s simple beauty.” She continues, “Many musicians are self conscious about the carbon footprint of their touring lifestyle, but uncertain how to make changes that will be sustainable both for their careers and for the environment. It’s certainly challenging, but we want to be part of the solution, and I’m certain we’ll have a lot of fun in the process.”

If you’re interested in learning more, check out some of the amazing organizations that exist both locally (http://www.vbikesolutions.org, https://350vermont.org) and internationally (https:// sustainabletouringarts.org). The musicians encourage you to come out and support the music, in addition to contacting your state and national legislators to ask for better infrastructure for alternative transportation (biking, walking, and public transit) and an end to new fossil fuel infrastructure and subsidies.

For more information, please visit Lissa’s website at www.lissafiddle.com

 

☼ ☼ ☼ Aurora Nealand & the Royal Roses | Dublin School | July 5, 2019

 

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 5, 7:00 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, Monocle—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. In the Spring of 2018 The Royal Roses were voted “Best Traditional Jazz Band”  at the Big Easy Awards!! 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”. Inn 2016 they released a third album, “Comeback Children”.

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, Nathan Lambertson on bass, and Paul Thibodeaux playing drums.

☼ ☼ ☼ High Drive | Nelson Town Hall on Sunday, March 24, 2019

On Sunday, March 24 at 3:00pm in the afternoon the band High Drive will perform a concert anchored in Celtic music, with some enticing diversions into folk songs, gospel,  and original fiddle tunes at the Nelson Town Hall. Admission is $18/$15(Sr/Jr).

The band is a result of fiddler Bonnie Bewick and pianist Gordon Peery meeting at Maine Fiddle Camp. After playing a single set of Scottish tunes together they knew they wanted to have the opportunity to play a full concert, exploiting their broad and diverse musical experiences. Filling out the band is bassist Larry Wolfe.

Bonnie Bewick enjoys playing many different musical genres. She has been a violinist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra since 1987. She plays with the folk orchestra Childsplay, and performs in a folk duo, “Frame”, with her brother, singer-songwriter Ken Bewick. The concert will feature several of her original tunes.

Larry Wolfe once conducted an ensemble of eighty bass players at Disneyland in his own arrangements of Disney tunes.  As a composer, he has numerous popular songs and three musicals to his credit. Larry is the assistant principal bassist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Gordon Peery’s piano playing brings an orchestral energy to performances. He was a founding member of the bands Fresh Fish (with fiddler Kerry Elkin), the New Hampshire Fiddlers Union, and Trip to Nelson. He also plays in jazz, blues, and rock and roll ensembles.

The trio will be joined by singer Jazimina MacNeil for some songs.

☼ ☼ ☼ Julie Vallimont | Nelson Town Hall on Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019

Julie Vallimont celebrates the release of her new album Dark Sky, Bright Stars with a Sunday afternoon concert at the Nelson Town Hall on Sunday, February 3. Concert time is 3:00 PM.  Admission is $15/$12(Sr/Jr).

Julie’s new album Dark Sky, Bright Stars is a series of collaborations. The album contains fifteen original instrumental pieces recorded with a rotating cast of some of the Northeast’s finest folk musicians: Yann Falquet (who produced the album), Anna Patton, Becky Tracy, Katie McNally, Andrew and Noah VanNorstrand, Mark Roberts, Mia Bertelli, Daniel Hawkins, Rachel Bell, Kirsten Lamb, and Màiri Chaimbeul.

Julie’s tunes are imbued with the feeling of dance music from the Celtic, Québecois, and French traditions that make up the New England fiddle repertoire, that sense of lift and movement and space. But they’re also different: they’re conceptual, like vignettes, as Julie draws on the emotional source of 8 years battling illness, as well as from her joyful experiences in the music community. Julie arranged her tunes in ways that would showcase the unique timbre and style of each instrument and player as they interacted with her nimble, expressive piano and accordion. The result is a delightfully varied and human collection of sounds.

In addition to her papercut artwork (Julie herself created the album cover), Julie also makes “crankies”: scrolls of paper that are illustrated and hand-cranked on spools to create moving pictures used in music and storytelling. These add a magical visual counterpart to the concert.

The Nelson concert will feature Julie with Anna Patton, Lissa Schneckenburger, and McKinley James.

Julie Vallimont is known for her rich, nuanced, versatile piano style, skill in playing for dancers, and music with heart. Based in Boston, she plays internationally with fiddler Noah VanNorstrand in the renowned duo Buddy System, and is an in-demand pianist and accordionist in New England and nationwide. Her compelling, rhythmic piano style draws on her study of New England contra piano and traditional Québecois, French, Celtic, and Appalachian music.

Anna Patton of Brattleboro VT is a versatile clarinetist, singer, composer, and educator. She is a member of the internationally touring dance band Elixir which combines fiddle tunes with horn arrangements influenced by early jazz, R&B, and classical music. She also performs with the cello-oud-percussion-clarinet quartet the Dunham Shoe Factory.

Fiddler and singer Lissa Schneckenburger is a master of the moods of New England’s traditional music: a winsome, sweet-voiced singer who brings new life to old ballads and a skillful, dynamic fiddler who captures the driving rhythm and joy of dance tunes old and new. Raised in a small town in Maine and now living in Vermont, Lissa grew up with music. By the time she was in high school Lissa was playing concerts on her own, specializing in the sprightly New England dance tunes that combine influences from the British Isles and Quebec with homegrown twists that have been evolving since Colonial days.

McKinley James is a cellist studying at New England Conservatory. After years with the Vermont Youth Orchestra, she joined the Boston Youth Symphony, and then the premier youth orchestra led by Ben Zander, the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. With the BPYO, she toured Europe twice, playing in concert halls such as the Berlin Philharmonie and at the Alhambra in Spain. She has also played with the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra, Middlebury College Orchestra, the New England Conservatory Symphony, and was a soloist with the Champlain Philharmonic Orchestra.

☼ ☼ ☼ Nelson Solstice Party | Nelson Town Hall

On Saturday, December 15, we’ll hold our Annual Solstice Party starting at 7:00 PM. The Monadnock Folklore Society brings this community event to the Nelson Town Hall each year, admission is $5, and treats are appreciated for the dessert potluck.

This year the evening will begin with a holiday concert featuring a selection of traditional and original seasonal music performed by The Solstice Sisters(Alouette Iselin, Melanie Everard, Kim Wallach, & Heather Bower) and friends.

The Folklore Society invites you to bring along your favorite holiday dessert and we’ll supply the beverages for the intermission. After the concert, the chairs and benches are cleared to make way for a traditional New England Contra Dance. Unfortunately, or not, the dance is often interrupted by various groups of unsavory characters presenting their idea of seasonal entertainment. These diversions, sometimes involving costumed individuals making complete fools of themselves or performing ancient ritual dances to help us through this dark time of the year, are generally tolerated as once they are applauded and fed we can return to dancing the night away.