☼ ☼ ☼ Alex Cumming ‘Homecoming’ Tour | Nelson Town Hall | March 16, 2024

Join us for a concert with critically acclaimed folk singer and accordionist Alex Cumming as he celebrates the launch of his brand new album, ‘Homecoming’, an exciting album full of toe-tapping tunes, beautiful ballads and rollicking choruses. The concert will take place at the Nelson Town Hall at 7:30 on Saturday, March 16. Joining Alex will be virtuosic fiddler and singer Audrey Jaber, known for her work with The Gaslight Tinkers, Wake Up Robin, Larry Unger, Free Raisins and more. Admission is $20/$15(seniors, students, or in advance).

Alex Cumming is a traditional Singer, Accordionist, Pianist and dance caller hailing from Somerset, England, now living in Brattleboro VT, USA. He performs songs and tunes from around the United Kingdom and America with a great depth of knowledge of the tradition. Alex has made his mark on the folk scene with his rhythmic dance-able accordion style, strong voice and his fun and engaging stage presence. After over a decade of recording albums and touring with various bands, 2024 sees Alex release his debut solo album, ‘Homecoming’, featuring fiddler Audrey Jaber (Wake Up Robin, Free Raisins), guitarist Max Newman (Stringrays, Nor’Easter) and regular recording collaborator Pete Ord (Haystack Records).Alex is a member of Celtic trio Bellwether (with Louise Bichan, Eric McDonald), award winning a capella quartet The Teacups and critically acclaimed duo Alex Cumming & Nicola Beazley. You may also catch him playing for dances in many combos, including Stuart Kenney’s Red Case Band and trio Crossover. Alex is also Artistic Director for Revels North. AlexCummingMusic.com

You know Audrey Jaber is performing if the room is buzzing at a higher level. Her fiddling, featured in bands including The Free Raisins, The Gaslight Tinkers, Audacious (with Larry Unger), and Wake Up Robin, has electrified dance and concert halls across the US and Europe. Hailing from Honolulu and now living in California, she cut her folk teeth in the Boston area, attending Berklee College of Music and spending years exploring the thriving New England folk scene. Audrey’s fiddle playing is rhythmically lively and spontaneous; she’s guaranteed to get you up and dancing. She specializes in English dance, New England, Celtic, and Old Time tunes (and did we mention she’s also an audio engineer?!). You might also have taken a workshop with Audrey, as she’s been on staff at various camps including various weeks at Pinewoods, Ashokan Northern Week, BACDS American week, New London Assembly and Halsway Manor. For more on Audrey, visit her at audreyknuth.com



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☼ ☼ ☼ Nelson Solstice Party | Nelson Town Hall | December 16, 2023

On Saturday, December 16, we’ll hold our Annual Solstice Party starting at 7:00 PM.

PRESS: DO NOT PUBLICIZE THIS EVENT

The Monadnock Folklore Society brings this community event to the Nelson Town Hall each year, admission is $10, 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, 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 Contradance. 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.

☼ ☼ ☼ Claudia Schmidt | Nelson Town Hall | November 11, 2023

 

CLAUDFEST! What is it? This year marks the 50th year that Claudia Schmidt has been weaving her musical magic for countless delighted audiences. It begins with her multi-octave voice, 12 string guitar and mountain dulcimer. But then the language leaps in, and it all comes together. Her love of language is obvious from the moment she opens her mouth. Her songs are pure poetry, and along her way she began adding spoken word and story,  so that her listeners get to go on a deep journey with her, returning refreshed and replenished from the experience. She has recorded 22 albums and there is much more to come. Why don’t you come and help this amazing performer celebrate as she begins her 6th decade of  composing and performing?! CELEBRATE CLAUDFEST! Join us on Saturday, November 11, for a 7:30 PM concert at the Nelson Town Hall celebrating Claudia’s 50 years of performing. Admission is $25/$20(senior, student).

Claudia Schmidt has been perfecting her craft of writing and performing for 50 years. It is a quirky and wonderful hodge-podge (her word) of music, poetry, story, theater, all invoking the whole gamut of emotions and leaving the listener refreshed and thoughtful. Using her incredible multi-octave voice, 12 string guitar and mountain dulcimer, and a deep love of performing, every concert is a true celebration of the moment. Work in clubs, theaters, festivals, TV and radio has continually added depth and dimension, so whether it is her own work or very personal versions of the work of others, what you get is a unique look at the world from someone who says what she sees with clarity, humor, and wonder. The San Francisco Bay Guardian said: “Schmidt’s shows are a lot like falling in love. You never know what’s going to happen next, chances are it’s going to be wonderful, every moment is burned into your memory, and you know you’ll never be the same again.”

During the Covid lockdown, she created weekly concerts on Facebook to stay connected with her fans. all of which (along with many more videos!) are archived at her website www.claudiaschmidt.com

She released her 22nd recording in autumn of 2022, called Reimagining, and continues writing toward a new project. She is at her peak in terms of performance, and is so happy to be doing live concerts again, and shows no sign of slowing down or stopping. She describes the stage as ‘her natural habitat’ and thrives there. So, in turn, do her listeners.

☼ ☼ ☼ Troy MacGillivray & Kimberley Fraser | Nelson Town Hall | Sept. 16, 2023

Join us for an evening of Music from Cape Breton and Nova Scotia with Troy MacGillivray and Kimberley Fraser at the Nelson Town Hall on Saturday, September 16 at 7:30 PM. Admission is $25/$20(senior, student, or in advance). Troy and Kimberley will accompany each other on fiddle and piano in the classic Cape Breton style, and if past performances are any guide, treat us to some step dancing. This will be our first Cape Breton concert in quite some time and will be a night to remember. The concert is presented in part with the support of the Thomas Wright Foundation.

Troy MacGillivray is from Lanark, a small community on the north-eastern shore of Nova Scotia. Troy’s commitment to music has spanned 30 years and includes both practical and academic accomplishments – most recently an M.A. in Ethnomusicology from the University of Limerick in Ireland. From as young as six years old, Troy was impressing audiences step dancing and soon after, fiddle and piano skills. His first teaching gig was at 13 years old at the Gaelic College in St. Ann’s, Cape Breton. His roots-centered approach comes from a family of proud Scottish heritage where fiddle playing and Gaelic traditions runs in the bloodline.

In 2012, Troy was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal for contributions to culture in Canada. Troy’s strong career has brought him around the world playing and teaching from the North Pole to the Afghanistan while solo recordings have received numerous nominations and awards from East Coast Music Awards and the Canadian Folk Music Awards.

Kimberley Fraser was born on Cape Breton Island, and nurtured within its rich musical heritage. She first began to impress audiences at the age of three with her step-dancing talents. Soon after that she took up both the fiddle and the piano.  Kimberley’s career is a distinguished one; she has traveled the world, from Victoria to Afghanistan, performing at venues such as The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. bringing Cape Breton music with her wherever she goes. Dan MacDonald of the Cape Breton Post says about Fraser’s versatility, “She has matured to become one of the stellar players of the Cape Breton fiddle tradition, equally at home at a house party, playing for a square dance or on stage for a concert in Bras d’Or or Boston, Scotsville or Scotland.” Kimberley has shared the stage with the finest acts in Celtic music, such as Alasdair Fraser, Martin Hayes and Lunasa. Kimberley is also in demand for her piano skills, accompanying musicians at home and abroad.

Kimberley holds a degree in Violin performance from Berklee College of Music in Boston as well as a BA with Honours in Celtic Studies and major in Jazz piano from St Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. Education is important to her, reflected in Kimberley’s dedication to teaching Cape Breton music both at home and abroad. A master at the trio of fiddling, step dancing and piano, Kimberley is a much sought after teacher for all three. Her reputation as a teacher has brought her to conduct workshops at many camps and festivals, including Alasdair Fraser’s Valley of the Moon Fiddle Camp, the Swannanoa Gathering in Asheville, North Carolina, and The American Festival of Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend, Washington to name a few. She is now a full-time faculty member for the Music Arts program at the Nova Scotia Community College’s Marconi Campus in Sydney, NS where she teaches music theory, ear training, piano keyboarding skills and a variety of ensemble classes.

Kimberley has released 2 studio albums: Heart Behind the Bow in 2000 and Falling on New Ground in 2006 which earned her an East Coast Music Award for Best Roots/Traditional Record in 2008.

☼ ☼ ☼ Aurora Nealand & the Royal Roses | Dublin School | June 30, 2023

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, June 30, 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 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, Matt Bell on guitar, Jared Engel on bass, and Paul Thibodeaux playing drums.

☼ ☼ ☼ Tim Eriksen | Nelson Town Hall | Sunday, May 28, 2023

The Monadnock Folklore Society is excited to welcome back Tim Eriksen to the Nelson Town Hall for an afternoon concert on Sunday, May 28 at 3:00 PM. Admission is $25/$20 (senior/student/advance). Masks recommended.

Tim Eriksen is acclaimed for transforming American tradition with his startling interpretations of old ballads, love songs, shape-note gospel and dance tunes from New England and Southern Appalachia. He combines hair-raising vocals with inventive accompaniment on banjo, fiddle, guitar and bajo sexto – a twelve string Mexican acoustic bass – creating a distinctive hardcore Americana sound.

☼ ☼ ☼ Cold Chocolate | Nelson Town Hall

Ethan Robbins’ was the first concert we canceled due to the COVID outbreak in early 2020 so it seems appropriate that we welcome him back to the Nelson Town Hall as we return to the local concert calendar. His band, Cold Chocolate, will be at the Nelson Town Hall on Sunday, April 16 for an afternoon concert starting at 3:00 PM. Admission is $18/$15(senior, student, or in advance).

Cold Chocolate is a genre-bending Americana band that fuses folk, funk, and bluegrass to create a unique sound all their own. Featuring Ethan Robbins on guitar, Ariel Bernstein on percussion, and backed by some of the root’s music scene’s finest players, this group from Boston is impressing audiences throughout New England and beyond.  Punctuated by tight harmonies and skillful musicianship, and with a focus on songwriting, Cold Chocolate has quickly gained recognition for their original music and high-energy shows. The band has shared bills with Leftover Salmon and David Grisman, and regularly performs at venues and music festivals across the country.

OUR COVID POLICY

Northern Roots Festival in Brattleboro VT | January 28-29, 2023

Brattleboro Music Center’s

Northern Roots Festival Returns January 28 & 29

A Saturday afternoon of workshops at the BMC from noon to 5:30 p.m. will be followed by a 7:30 p.m. concert. Sunday brings popular pub sessions from 1 to 5:30 p.m. at the River Garden Marketplace, 157 Main Street, Brattleboro. All workshops and sessions will be in person.

A cornerstone of the traditional music calendar in New England, the Festival offers a unique showcase of a variety of northern musical traditions including Irish, Scottish, English, French Canadian, Shetland, and Welsh.

This year’s featured performers include Nathan Gourley and Laura Feddersen (Irish fiddle duo), Julia Friend (Traditional song), Alex Cummings and Max Newman (English accordion & guitar), and Mary Fraser and Sally Newton (French Canadian fiddle). Keith Murphy, Andy Davis, Fred Breunig and Amanda Witman will make up Traddleboro 2023.

 

Tickets: https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?actions=13&p=1

Mummers

☼ ☼ ☼ Nelson Solstice Party | Nelson Town Hall

New link

https://facebook.com/events/s/nelson-winter-solstice-celebra/554531473234585/

On Friday, December 30,

we’ll hold our postponed Annual Solstice Party

starting at 7:00 PM.

Mummers

 

The Monadnock Folklore Society

brings this community event to the Nelson Town Hall each year.

Admission is $5.

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; as part of the concert we feature a performance by one or more of our Johnny Trombly Scholarship recipients. This year, due to COVID protocols, we will not be serving refreshments and THERE WILL BE NO DESSERT POTLUCK. We’ve altered our format this year in an attempt to keep everybody healthy during the holiday season. Various groups of unsavory characters presenting their idea of seasonal entertainment will not surprise us as they will be part of the scheduled entertainment and once they are on their way we can decide if there is enough interest and energy to complete the evening with a traditional New England contradance.

Attendance will be limited to 75 individuals

on a first come/first served basis.

Doors open at 6:30PM.

You should be able to view the live stream from the Monadnock Folklore Society Facebook page or our YouTube channel:

MFS YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeHMa4Ak73WP_JHNh-Iyu7g

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/monadnockfolklore/

Our COVID protocols are as follows:

Everyone aged two and up must wear a high-filtration (N95, KN95, KF94) mask inside the building at all times (except for *brief* sips of a beverage) and not eat inside the building. Masks will be available for sale at the door.

Performers may choose not to mask and are asked to take a same-day rapid test.

Everyone should be vaccinated and boosted.

If you get sick within 5 days after the dance, contact contrainfo@monadnockfolk.org.

Please consider taking a rapid antigen test no more than 24 hours before the event.

If the CDC reports any of these NH counties as Red, the event will be canceled: Cheshire, Hillsborough, Sullivan.

If you have any symptoms, we’ll be sorry to miss you, but please stay home and rest!

NOTE TO MEDIA :

PLEASE DO NOT PUBLICIZE THIS EVENT!