Ari & Mia
Sun, Jun 12, 2016 – 7:00 PM – Nelson Town Hall, Nelson NH
Join us Sunday, June 12 for a 7:00 PM concert with Ari & Mia, Boston’s Americana sister act at the Nelson Town Hall. Admission is $12/$9(Sr/Jr). Referencing the traditions of Southern and Northeastern fiddle music and the early American songbook Ari and Mia create a realm where their own compositions cross paths with older traditions. Their stylish and sophisticated music honors the sounds of Appalachian cottages, rural dance floors, and urban concert halls.
Combine this with their innovative approach to song and tune-writing and the result is a fresh and contemporary sound.
Ari & Mia “blend a traditional rootsy grounding with a clear background of classical training. Their own works are soothing and fresh, tasteful and accomplished. This duo is taking the classical study of a conservatory program and bringing it alive in folk touring circles,’ says SingOut! Magazine. Both sisters studied at Boston’s New England Conservatory in its cutting edge Contemporary Improvisation department. Their newest album, Unruly Heart, ranked high on the national folk radio charts for 2011 and Mia’s song “Across the Water,” won the 2010 John Lennon Songwriting Contest in the folk category. Their new album, Land on Shore, was released in May 2013.
Ariel Friedman, a classically trained cellist from the Boston area, is one of few musicians to be challenging the boundaries of cello-playing. She graduated from Northwestern University in 2008 where she studied cello performance with Hans Jorgen Jensen, and received a masters of music in Contemporary Improvisation from New England Conservatory in 2011. A winner of ASTA’s 2009 Alternative Styles Award, she is in current exploration of American roots traditions, early jazz, a range of classical repertoire, and in composing songs and pieces influenced by her diverse musical tastes. She tours internationally with Scottish National Fiddle champion Hanneke Cassel, plays with New England’s highly acclaimed fiddle band, Childsplay, and has taught at music camps and programs from New England to New Zealand.
Mia Friedman began playing violin and singing at an early age. She is largely influenced by American roots music and old-time Appalachian traditions, and blends this with contemporary experimental music in her compositions. She graduated from New England Conservatory in 2012 where she studied with Anthony Coleman, Carla Kihlstedt, and Hankus Netsky, and is an active composer, performer, and educator. Her song “Across the Water” won the 2011 John Lennon Songwriting Contest in the folk category. She tours around the United States with Ari and has her own solo act.
Rhythm Future Quartet
Sun, May 8, 2016 – 7:00 PM – Nelson Town Hall, Nelson NH
Join us at the Nelson Town Hall on Mother’s Day, May 8, for an evening of traditional and original Gypsy Jazz with the Rhythm Future Quartet appearing as a trio(minus Max) for this event. The concert will begin at 7:00 PM. Admission is $15/$12(Sr/Jr).
The acoustic jazz ensemble, Rhythm Future Quartet has a straightforward agenda: to keep the spirit of Gypsy jazz alive and expanding in today’s musical universe. The virtuosic foursome, named for a Django Reinhardt tune, offers up a newly minted sound, influenced by the classic Hot Club of France, yet wholly contemporary. Led by violinist Jason Anick and guitarist Olli Soikkeli, the quartet performs dynamic and lyrical arrangements of both Gypsy jazz standards and original compositions that draw upon diverse international rhythms and musical idioms. With Max O’Rourke on second guitar and Greg Loughman on bass, Rhythm Future is dedicated to expanding the boundaries of a vital musical genre.
Where the band’s self-titled debut album re-visited classic jazz and Gypsy jazz favorites, Travels, the quartet’s current release, concentrates on group originals that make captivating use of musical sources from outside the conventional Gypsy jazz terrain. Travels reflects both the accumulated knowledge garnered from the groups world wide touring as well as the international influences that inspired new rhythmic and harmonic possibilities within their compositions and arrangements.
Jason Anick, an award-winning composer and one of the youngest professors at the esteemed Berklee College of Music in Boston, has shared the stage with an array of artists including Grammy award winning guitarist John Jorgenson, Stevie Wonder, The Jim Kweskin Jug Band, and Tommy Emmanuel. Olli Soikkeli (coined “the Finnish boy wonder”) recently made the move from Scandinavia to New York City, where he quickly became a top call guitarist in the bustling Brooklyn jazz scene. He has performed alongside rising star Cyrille Aimee, world-renowned Gypsy guitarist Stochelo Rosenberg, Bucky Pizzarelli and many others.
Max O’Rourke was the winner of the 2015 Saga Award from DjangoFest Northwest, and at 19 has already toured/recorded with many of the top American Gypsy Jazz musicians including John Jorgenson and Gonzalo Bergara. Greg Loughman is a top call bassist in Boston and has been heard with such luminaries as Sheila Jordan, Curtis Fuller and George Garzone.
Eric McDonald & Will Woodson with Joey Abarta & Nathan Gourley
Fri, April 8, 2016 – 8:00 PM – Fountain Arts Building, Dublin School, Dublin NH
Join us for an exciting evening of piping and strings featuring two duos well versed in the traditional music of Ireland and Scotland. Will Woodson & Eric McDonald will join forces with Joey Abarta & Nathan Gourley on Friday, April 8, for an 8:00 PM concert at the Fountain Arts Building on the campus of the Dublin School in Dublin, NH. Admission is $12/$9(Sr/Jr/Advance).
Will Woodson & Eric McDonald are two of the finest young proponents of traditional Scottish music today. With an unusual blend of wind and plucked strings, they bring a breath of sensitivity to a tradition that is often known for its high velocity. Their unique approach, while rooted in the indigenous music of Scotland, is also informed by the vibrant traditional music scene of their native New England. Border pipes, wooden flute, tin whistle, guitar, mandolin, and voice fuse together to create a detailed fabric of tunes and songs. Soaring reels and swinging jigs give way to more contemplative ballads, each displaying the organic chemistry of the duo. Their music is equally at home in a concert, festival or pub atmosphere. You can see them touring across the country bringing their unique brand of Scottish music to the stage as well as around the thriving music scene of Portland, Maine, where they reside and share a teaching studio.
Joey Abarta & Nathan Gourley are two fine young musicians living and collaborating in the Boston area.
Will Woodson is an innovative and powerful performer of traditional and contemporary music on border pipes, wooden flute, and tin whistle. He he holds a master’s degree in the performance of Scottish music from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow. He’s recently returned to America from Scotland, and before heading north to Maine, he spent a year in Brooklyn, New York where he performed and taught music, also helping to develop the thriving IONA session. He has performed across America, Canada, Scotland, Ireland, and a good bit of continental Europe, appearing at major festivals like Piping Live and Celtic Connections in Glasgow. He’s shared stages with the likes of Phil Cunningham and Mick Maloney, and he has brought his teaching skills to events such as Maine Pipes and Fiddle and the Upper Potomac Pipers Weekend. Will has studied with some of the greatest living exponents of the tradition, including Allan MacDonald, Finlay MacDonald, Marc Duff, and Hamish Napier. His knowledge of border pipes reaches beyond performing, and he currently works as apprentice for pipemaker Nate Banton. Will plays a unique and highly developed set of his and Nate’s design. Will is known for his highly personal musical style, which utilizes the full extent of his singular instrument.
Eric McDonald is one of New England’s premier acoustic performers and instructors, known for his versatility in many styles. Born and raised in the Boston area, he grew up steeped in Beantown’s vibrant music scene. He studied at Berklee College of Music under world renowned musicians John McGann and Eugene Friesen. While studying he toured with full time folk acts like The Dave Rowe Trio and Matching Orange, and acted as music director for productions by companies such as Actor’s Shakespeare Project. His accompaniment on DADGAD guitar can be heard on albums by those such as Katie McNally and Brendan Carey Block, whom he can also be seen with on stage. He has performed across the country and overseas alongside major artists such as Archie Fisher, Malinky, Rodney Miller, Hamish Napier and Ian Robb of Finest Kind. He is a member of the Scottish power trio Cantrip and the contemporary old time group The Knockbox Stringband. He has been seen on stage at such events as the New World Festival, the Champlain Valley Folk Festival, the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival and countless others. Eric’s teaching is practiced and well developed. He spent five years on staff at the Passim School of Music in Cambridge, MA and brings his skills every summer to Maine Fiddle Camp.
Joey Abarta has spent the last ten years touring North America, Europe, and Asia, teaching and performing music on the uilleann pipes. A Los Angeles native, he first received instruction on the pipes from Dubliner Pat D’Arcy, a founding member of the Southern California Uilleann Pipers Club. His musical skills have been further honed by several visits to Ireland, a year-long stint working in Japan, and continuing relationships with master pipers. In August of 2009, Joey’s accomplished playing won him an All-Ireland championship, placing second worldwide at the Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann. Currently based in Boston, Joey divides his attention between performance, teaching, and recording. In addition to performing solo, he tours with Mick Moloney and the group The Green Fields of America; while at home, he organizes the meetings of the Boston Pipers Club, teaches for Comhaltas’ Boston Music School, and organizes various traditional music concerts and events.
A former member of Chulrua, the Doon Ceili Band, the Two Tap Trio, and the Máirtín de Cógáin Project, fiddler and guitarist Nathan Gourley started playing music at age five. While living in Minnesota he had the opportunity to collaborate with such renowned players as Paddy O’Brien of Chulrua, Daithi Sproule of Altan, Brian Miller of Bua, and Norah Rendell of The Outside Track. He was a finalist in the Sean O Riada fiddle competition in 2014 and winner of Boston’s Fiddler of Dooney competition in 2013. Nathan can be seen playing at concerts, ceilis, sessions and festivals in Boston and throughout the United States and Ireland.
Fri, March 4, 2016 – 8:00 PM – Fountain Arts Building, Dublin School, Dublin NH
-NOTE VENUE CHANGE!!-
Michael Roberts and Wooden Dinosaur return to our stages on Friday, March 4 at 8:00 PM at the Fountain Arts Building on the Dublin School campus. We’ve been trying to get together on this concert for over a year and now it’s finally happening! Yahoo! Admission is $12/$9 (Sr/Jr).
Wooden Dinosaur is the songwriting project of Vermont singer, guitarist and bandleader Michael Roberts. Roberts is currently working on a new album that will be released in spring 2016.
Throughout the project’s 10+-year career, Roberts and his collaborators have explored the back roads of American music from throughout the last century, creating a fearless blend of old time fiddle music, country soul, rock n roll, Dixieland jazz, and delta blues. Roberts has produced five solo albums under the name, and with his band, two EPs and two full-length albums.
Wooden Dinosaur’s upcoming release will be its most cohesive and fully realized to date. The songs were inspired by the rural writing of Wendell Berry, John Berger, and Wallace Stegner, as well as early “Americana” albums by Ry Cooder, The Band and Jackson Browne.
For our Monadnock Folklore Society concert, Roberts, along with hometown boy Jeffrey Murphy on bass and Frank Roberts on drums will preview songs from their upcoming release, in addition to songs from their growing catalog of original works.
“Wooden Dinosaur makes the kind of simple, stripped-down music that leaves you feeling nostalgic and longing for more.”
–NPR’s All Songs Considered
Sally Rogers & Claudia Schmidt
Fri, Jan 22nd, 2016 – 8:00 PM – Nelson Town Hall
Sally Rogers and Claudia Schmidt return to the Nelson Town Hall celebrating their 35 years of playing music together, with old favorites and new songs, blending amazing voices and dulcimers and guitars and having a rollicking good time.
More than 4 decades as a touring professional have found Michigan native Claudia Schmidt traversing North America as well as Europe in venues ranging from intimate clubs to 4,000 seat theatres, and festival stages in front of 25,000 rapt listeners. She has recorded nineteen albums of mostly original songs, exploring folk, blues, and jazz idioms featuring her acclaimed 12-string guitar and mountain dulcimer playing. If it were the intention of the creator or creators of this universe to perfectly blend together the night sky with moon and stars, it might have been their intention as well to deliver Claudia Schmidt as their messenger of reminder. To say that Schmidt is simply a performer with a talent to entertain would be a miscarriage of understatement. Schmidt takes her audiences into her world as easily as the child who discovers the endless universes that exist in a cardboard box.
Sally Rogers began her career as a full-time touring musician in 1979, after encouragement from Stan Rogers, the legendary Canadian singer-songwriter. That was followed by an invitation from Garrison Keillor to appear on A Prairie Home Companion. She appeared more than a dozen times on that show, which launched her performing career. Her travels have since taken her to Europe, China, Hungary and Poland, England and Scotland and across the United States.Sally Rogers performs an evening of traditional, contemporary and original ballads and song, interwoven with stories taken from her life as a performer, a wife and a mother. Throughout her concerts, she accompanies herself on guitar and Appalachian dulcimer, or performs without accompaniment in a voice that needs no further enhancement. Reviewers have described her voice in superlatives ranging from “remarkable” to “mesmerizing.” As one critic summarized, “…it’s really next to impossible to do justice to a voice of that quality.” Much of the material performed by Sally includes compositions of her own, many of which are considered classics of the folk and popular genre.
When Claudia and Sally perform together, their individual strengths as performers shine even brighter, while at the same time an almost mystical third entity is created from their synergy. Anyone who has heard them together in their previous Nelson Town Hall concerts will be thrilled to see and hear them again, and with their new material. And if you have never been to a Sally & Claudia show, don’t put it off any longer – this will be a fabulous concert.
Please check back often to see what we have upcoming.