Jun 292014
 

 An Evening of Celtic and New England Fiddle Tunes

Fiddler Rodney Miller is joined by guitarist David Surette and pianist Gordon Peery for the final program of the Hancock summer bandstand concert series. The concert is on Thursday August 14th and starts at 7:00 on the Hancock NH Common. This concert is free and open to all. The trio will perform a concert of Celtic and New England fiddle tunes.

Rodney Miller was designated a “Master Fiddler” in 1983 by the National Endowment for the Arts. He is widely considered to be the foremost exponent of New England style fiddling, a uniquely American blend of French Canadian and Celtic influences. Over the past 35 years, he has toured the U.S., British Isles, Australia and Denmark, performed and taught at hundreds of music and dance festivals, and recorded over ten fiddle albums.

In 1999, Rodney represented the state of New Hampshire, playing traditional fiddle music at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, D.C. He has also appeared on Garrison Keillor’s National Public Radio show “A Prairie Home Companion,” performed live with the Twyla Tharp Modern Dance Company, performed at the Lincoln Center in New York, and was recorded on the album Songs and Sounds of the Sea for the National Geographic Society.

Most recently, Rodney has been named New Hampshire Artist Laureate, a two-year position bestowed by Governor Maggie Hassan.

David Surette is regarded as one of New England’s most accomplished guitarists in the folk tradition.  His solo albums “Back Roads” and “Trip to Kemper” have to establish him as a top player and arranger of Celtic fingerstyle guitar, yet his diverse repertoire also includes original compositions, blues and ragtime, traditional American roots music, and folk music from a variety of traditions, all played with finesse, taste, and virtuosity.

He also plays regularly with fiddler Rodney Miller, with whom he performed at the 1999 Smithsonian Festival of American Folklife, and with whom he has released two recordings. In addition to performing and recording, David maintains an active teaching schedule, and is head of the folk department at the Concord (NH) Community Music School.

Gordon Peery is known for his energetic and orchestral style of piano accompaniment for New England contra dance music. His playing has taken him throughout Europe, and, with Rodney Miller, he participated in the 10th Annual Shetland Islands Music Festival in 1987. He had the privilege to perform with the Irish band The Chieftains at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, but considers it an equal honor to share the stage with a variety of local musicians at the regular Nelson Monday night contra dance.

While Gordon and David have both played individually with Rodney, their performances as a trio are rare. They are looking forward to the summer evening setting of the Hancock bandstand to deliver a performance that will have a delightful blend of polish and spontaneity.

 

Sep 282012
 

The Keene Public Library hosts a monthly free family dance at Heberton Hall  for children and adults of all ages and abilities.

 

Family Dances started at the Keene Public Library in the summer of 2003.  Now the dances are held the first Friday of each month from November through May.  Over the years, the series has become an important library program that helps to develop early literacy skills and is fun too.  Folk dancing helps to encourage the basic concepts of rhythm, repetition, sequencing, patterning, predictability, anticipation, musical cues, auditory discrimination, and counting.  These are all important early learning skills.  Traditional dance also is a great way to introduce children to the world’s rich diversity, to teach the enjoyment of dance, music, and rhythm and to begin a livelong habit of the social enjoyment and physical activity of dancing.
All Family Dances are sponsored by the Friends of the Keene Public Library, the Trustees of the Keene Public Library Endowment Fund, the Keene Sentinel, and Parent Express. Check our online calendar to see who will be performing at our next dance!

May 122012
 

NORTHERN ROOTS WEEKEND

Traditional Music 3-Day Workshop
for adults & teens (high school age teens)

Hosted by Keith Murphy & Becky Tracy
With Shanon Heaton, Irish Flute and
Tina Lech, Irish Fiddle

July 6-8, 2012
5 pm Friday through 2 pm Sunday
Green Mountain Camp, Dummerston, VT


The Northern Roots Weekend features a series of intensive teaching workshops in traditional music for all instruments, with a focus on fiddle, flute, whistle, guitar and song. Some experience in traditional music required and a recording device is recommended.

A dance band workshop will review the basics of playing for contra dancing but will also be an opportunity to form mini ensembles and experiment with arranging. Evening dancing will be a chance for musicians to play for dancing and to enjoy a good romp on the floor.

The Northern Roots Weekend will will also feature pub and ballad style singing and is a wonderful chance to enjoy informal jam sessions in a lovely country setting (with swimming) in Dummerston, Vermont at Green Mountain Camp, located just 10 minutes from downtown Brattleboro.

Camp begins Friday at 5pm through Sunday at 1pm with wonderful meals provided beginning with Friday supper through Sunday brunch. Rustic cabin accommodation available and also good camping.

Cost: $240 / Includes all workshops, 5 meals and 2 nights cabin lodging (if desired) / $60 deposit
Register now by calling the Brattleboro Music Center at 802-257-4523 or visit: http://bmcvt.org/summer/northern-roots-weekend

Jun 052011
 

Northern Roots Weekend
July 8 -10, 2011
at Green Mountain Camp, Dummerston, VT
w i t h

Keith Murphy (guitar, mandolin)
Becky Tracy (fiddle)
Jean Duval (flute)
Jeff Warner (singing)

The second annual Northern Roots Weekend is quickly approaching. This is a wonderful weekend of traditional music with great instructors, including an expanded roster of singing classes.

We are excited to have Jean Duval bring his deep knowledge of French Canadian music, especially his repertoire of crooked tunes and his technical expertise on flute and whistle. And Jeff Warner, with his bottomless repertoire of great songs will be a wonderful addition to the singing side of camp this year. Singers will enjoy a full weekend of good song.

Last year’s session with Matt and Shannon Heaton was a tremendous success and we were almost at the capacity of the camp. We expect this year to fill so please consider registering soon while there is still space.

The Northern Roots Weekend features a series of intensive teaching workshops in traditional music with highly experienced and engaging instructors. Some classes will focus on technique specific to fiddle, flute, whistle, mandolin and guitar, but all instruments are welcome. There will also be many singing sessions. Some experience in traditional music required and a recording device is recommended.

In addition to other classes focusing on instrument technique or specific repertoire, there will be three ‘ensemble’ classes, each of which will meet three times – Dance Band Ensemble, French Canadian Ensemble and a Songs with Accompaniment group. These sessions are an opportunity to focus a little more in depth on a particular medley or song, perhaps working on an arrangement or some deeper issues of style. The groups will perform for each other on Sunday. It’s not a high performance situation, just a chance to share what we’ve been working on.
The dance band workshop will review the basics of playing for contra dancing but will also be an opportunity to form mini ensembles and experiment with arranging. Jean will lead the French Canadian Ensemble and Jeff’s singing group will encourage instrumentalists to come and work with them on song accompaniment.

In the evening, we will have something like an old style house party in a sweet little hall at the camp with some informal dancing of various styles and an open stage for campers to provide the music. There will be some singing and great food.

The Northern Roots Weekend will also be a wonderful chance to enjoy informal jam sessions and pub style singing in a lovely country setting (with swimming) in Dummerston, Vermont at Green Mountain Camp, located just 10minutes from downtown Brattleboro.

Camp begins Friday at 5pm through Sunday at 1pm with wonderful meals provided beginning with Friday supper through Sunday brunch. Rustic cabin accommodation is available and also good camping.

Cost: $230 / Includes all workshops, 5 meals and 2 nights cabin lodging (if desired) / $60 deposit
To register: Download 2011 SUMMER REGISTRATION FORM or call 802-257-4523
Instructors

Keith Murphy and Becky Tracy have been leading the Celtic Music Classes at the BMC for several years. They also founded the Northern Roots Festival in Brattleboro, VT which happens annually in January in Brattleboro, VT. Becky’s fiddle playing and repertoire combines elements of traditional Irish and French Canadian music. She is a veteran of the New England contra dance scene and has performed and traveled widely. Keith is highly respected guitar player in the world of traditional music with a style based on DADGAD tuning. He has accompanied some of the finest players of traditional music and has played with many traditional bands, including the trio Nightingale with which he plays with Becky. Both Keith and Becky are experienced teachers and are particularly adept at helping initiate students in learning by ear.

Jean Duval is a pioneer of flute playing for traditional music in Quebec. Jean is a versatile and well-respected traditional musician, born in Montreal in 1961, who has been passionately interested in traditional Québécois and Celtic music since his adolescence. Jean plays the wooden flute, whistle, fiddle and harmonica. He is currently pursuing a doctorate in French Canadian crooked tunes at the University of Montreal.

Jeff Warner is among the nation’s foremost performer/interpreters of traditional music and was a featured performer at the Northern Roots Festival in Brattleboro, January 2011. Jeff has performed widely, from large festivals in the UK, to clubs, festivals and schools across America. He plays concertina, banjo, guitar and several “pocket” instruments, including bones and spoons.

Keith Murphy and Rebecca Tracy
deepsea@sover.net
http://Blackislemusic.com
104 Washington St
Brattleboro, VT 05301

May 222011
 

Spring into Summer Crossroads Ceili
Sat June 4, 7-11pm, John F. Hill Grange Hall,
1412 State Road (Rt. 103) Eliot, Maine.
$10/person; live music, snacks.

Hall has a sprung wood floor. Irish set dances will be danced (similar to square dancing, a little like contra); very high energy! No partner necessary. Sponsored by the Seacoast Set Dancers, www.seacoastsetdancers.org. Check out the website for videos of set dancing. Contact: Sue Dunlavey 603-749-1038, sue@seacoastsetdancers.org .

 Posted by on May 22, 2011 at 9:12 am  Tagged with:
May 212011
 

Irish Set dancing is a popular country folk-dance style from the 1800s. The “set” consists of four couples in a circle, resembling square dancing. The dance itself is typically composed of 4 to 6 figures, which are distinct movements danced to individual pieces of traditional Irish music. The movements in a figure are in a specific sequence and are danced in order. One set dance usually takes about 15 minutes to dance. Set dancing is not step dancing (as in Riverdance), which is a common misunderstanding, and is less formal than ceili dancing.

Set dancing is a lively, energetic form of dance and has a rigorous, aerobic quality. No prior experience necessary, nor a partner to participate — just a pair of smooth-soled shoes and a water bottle! Set dancing is a community-oriented dance ; couples swing, chain, house, hold hands – again, similar to square dancing and contra. Dancing can be magical and transforming. It’s a simple pleasure than can breathe new life into a tired soul, make a spirit soar, unleash creativity, unite generations and cultures, reduce stress, teach us to laugh, and turn sadness into joy. On a more physical level, dancing provides for a great mind-body workout. Research has shown that physical activity helps keep your body healthy, but the added advantage of dancing is that it requires you to remember dance steps and sequences, which boosts brain power and memory skills.

The class is for adults and is held Friday nights, 7-9PM, at the Durham Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall, 20 Madbury Road, Durham, NH. Fee is $5/person. Please check website www.seacoastsetdancers.org to confirm class, as they sometimes have to make changes to venue when the hall is unavailable. The website also has video links and study notes so you can get an idea what set dancing looks like, plus directions, parking, and info on what to bring. Also, feel free to contact Sue Dunlavey for more information at 603-749-1038, sue@seacoastsetdancers.org.

Sue Dunlavey, Dover, NH – began set dancing in 2000. She has taken lessons from Frank & Denise Holt (Pearl River, NY), Brendan & Glenda Brown (Buffalo, NY), Timmy McCarthy (England), Patrick O’Dea (Ireland), Pat Branigan (NJ/Ireland), Bruce Olens (NJ), Bridie & John DalPizzal (NJ/Ireland), Tony Ryan (Ireland), Anne McCallum (Canada), Kathleen Collins (NY), Regina Delaney (Exeter), Padraig & Roisin McEneaney (Ireland), Aidan Vaughan (Ireland), and Mick Mulkerrin & Maraid Casey (Ireland). She has taught set dancing to both adults and teenagers in NJ and NH. Sue often attends monthly set dances/ceilis run by Comhaltas and the Ancient Hiberians in Boston, conventions and weekend workshops, local ceilis held in homes, and attends a week-long intensive set dancing class every year. Sue has participated in several set dancing demonstrations, typically around St Patrick’s Day. She has danced 90 different set dances in the time she has been dancing. Sue is a member of the Seacoast Irish Cultural Association.

Jan 172011
 

Brattleboro Music Center’s 4th Annual

NORTHERN ROOTS TRADITIONAL MUSIC FESTIVAL

Saturday, January 29, Brattleboro, VT

Irish Scottish English Swedish & French Canadian Traditions

$E1 DAYTIME WORKSHOPS, CONCERTS, SESSIONS, FAMILY DANCE 12:00-5:30 pm

$E1 EVENING PERFORMANCE 7:30 pm

FEATURING: MARY ALICE AMIDON, PETER AMIDON, TONY BARRAND, SARAH BLAIR, MARY CAY
BRASS, DAVID CANTIENI, DOUG CREIGHTON, ANDY DAVIS, COREY DIMARIO, JESSIE
GAGNE-HALL, DAN HOUGHTON, LYDIA IEVINS, MARY LEA, ELLY MARSHALL, OWEN MARSHALL,
RANDY MILLER, KEITH MURPHY, GORDON PEERY, LOUISA PUGH, BRUCE SAGAN, LISSA
SCHNECKENBURGER, BECKY TRACY, JEFF WARNER

For Complete Schedule of Events, Tickets and Directions visit
www.bmcvt.org/northernroots
or call 802-257-4523

Oct 082010
 

World Touring Irish Harpist from Co. Mayo, Ireland,
Grainne Hambly
With very special guest, Scottish Harper, Billy Jackson.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010, 8:00pm, $12
www.grainne.harp.net

DelRossi’s Trattoria, Rt. 137N PO Box 337, Dublin NH 03444; Reservations,603-563-7195
David & Elaina DelRossi, prop. since 1989, celebrating 20+ years!
Serving fine Italian cuisine, featuring our own homemade pasta.
Lunch, Tues. – Fri. 12-2; Dinner, Tues.- Thurs. 5-8:30; Fri. & Sat. 5-9; Sun. 4-8 Closed Monday.

Sep 122008
 

Five fiddlers, 2 guitarists, an accordionist, and a flute player gathered at J.D. McCliment’s Pub in Putney, Vermont, on a cool September evening recently. In addition to all of us being resident in the Connecticut River valley, we shared a love of Irish traditional music. We were attending the weekly Wednesday night Irish session to play jigs and reels, reacquaint as friends, meet new musicians, and share stories.

The Morning Star/Lady Ann Montgomery
The Long Drop/The Earl’s Chair

Leading our group this night were Lissa Schneckenburger on fiddle and Corey DiMario on tenor guitar. Lissa set the tone with a choice selection of tunes played at a relaxed pace. Irish reels can be very exciting when played at break-neck or dance-tempo speed, but the lovely soul of a tune is best revealed at more moderate tempos when the lift of a phrase and the ornamentation of melody can easily be heard. A pleasure for listener and player alike. Corey’s chording on the 4-string guitar followed the melody very closely, a hallmark of good Irish accompaniment, and each tune was given its due with numerous repetitions. Continue reading »