☼ ☼ ☼ Eloise & Co. | Nelson Town Hall | April 14, 2024

Join us on Sunday afternoon, April 14 at 3:00 PM at the Nelson Town Hall for a concert with local legends ‘Eloise & Co.’. Admission is $20/$15 (seniors, students, or in advance).

Brattleboro-based band Eloise & Co. is a shapeshifting ensemble, often a duo and, at other times, a trio with piano or guitar. With Becky Tracy on fiddle, octave fiddle, and vocals and Rachel Bell on accordion and vocals, Eloise & Co. plays a dynamic range of music including gritty French bal folk groove tunes, energetic Celtic reels, soulful waltzes, and lively Quebecois tunes. The band travels extensively, performing for festivals, concerts, bal folk, and contra dances, but they are also committed to exploring ways to enrich the music and dance scene right here at home in New England. 

Becky and Rachel found themselves in a spontaneous jam session with Quebecois pianist extraordinaire Rachel Aucoin at a music camp in 2017. The musical chemistry was instant and palpable, and the three decided right then and there that they had to play together again. Rachel Aucoin’s piano playing is unmatched. Her classical background is mind-boggling, and her work with dance bands like Domino and Raz-de-marée over the years cemented her position in the pantheon of legendary rhythm backup players. Based in Beaumont, Quebec, she continues to tour widely with a dazzling array of musicians. 

It’s hard to pin down exactly what sparked the creative synergy Becky and Rachel Bell felt while playing with Rachel Aucoin, but there is something transcendent about the blend of their rhythmic grooves and musical energies. The three began rehearsing, recording, and playing concerts just before the pandemic but then got interrupted by Covid. They are thrilled to present this cross-border reunion in a weekend of concerts in New England. Becky, Rachel, and Rachel are excited to invite you into their shared musical delight with a variety of music ranging from old traditional tunes to their own new compositions, all infused with the magnetism that drew them together in the first place.

☼ ☼ ☼ 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

Click here for advance reservations.

☼ ☼ ☼ 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.

☼ ☼ ☼ An Evening with Cosy Sheridan & Susie Burke | Nelson Town Hall | Oct 13, 2023

Sloan Wainwright has come down with the flu and Susie Burke is stepping in to fill her shoes for both the Friday night concert and weekend workshops.

Cosy Sheridan & Susie Burke will appear in concert at the Nelson Town Hall on Friday, October 13 at 7:30 PM. Admission is $20/$15(seniors, students, & in advance).

This will be the opening night concert for The Song Sessions weekend of song, voice, & guitar workshops featuring the songwriting of Cosy Sheridan and Sloan Wainwright  accompanied by Charlie Koch and Glen Roethel.

Cosy Sheridan has been called one of the era’s finest and most thoughtful songwriters, and also ‘a buddhist monk trapped in the body of a singer-songwriter’. Her music regularly tops the folk radio charts. Her CD, Pretty Bird, was listed among Sing Out Magazine’s Great CDs of 2014. Her concerts are wide-ranging explorations: ragtime guitar and social satire, modern renditions of mythology ( meet Hades the Biker ) and tales of modern adulthood. Her alter ego, Chlamydia, sometimes appears with songs such as “Botox Tango” or “Multiply Pierced.” The Cornell Folksong Society wrote: “Sheridan is frank, feisty, sublimely and devilishly funny. She fuses myth with modern culture; Persephone with Botox.”

A guitar student of instrumental luminaries Guy Van Duser and Eric Schoenberg, and a voice student at The Berklee School of Music, she brings a depth of experience to her craft. She plays a percussive bluesy guitar style – often in open tunings and occasionally with two or more capos on the guitar.

Susie Burke has been singing on Seacoast stages since the early 80s, as a soloist, a member of several local bands, and in several duos, including one with guitar whiz Harvey Reid. Her musical tastes and influences are varied and many, encompassing contemporary and traditional folk, swing, country, topical songs, and a capella singing, with detours along the way for Broadway show tunes and classic ballads. Before devoting her energies to music full-time, Burke worked as a day-care teacher, and her love of kids is evident in her wonderful participatory children’s concerts. Burke’s vocal style is at once stunning and heartfelt, and is well-respected within the folk music community, as is demonstrated by the fact that she has appeared as a backing musician on numerous recordings.

Sloan Wainwright is a songwriter, singer, performer, teacher, mentor and collaborator. A unique hybrid of pop, folk, jazz and blues, Wainwright’s music is unified by her melodious tone and rich, powerful contralto. Over the course of a 30-year career in music, she has played the great concert halls, the most storied listening rooms and top music festivals while also teaching at the nation’s leading music retreats. She has inspired hundreds of students on their creative journeys and collaborated with dozens of musicians, writers, choreographers and performers.

Most of all, Wainwright is an artist. As a member of an acclaimed family of artists (brother Loudon Wainwright, sister-in-law Kate McGarrigle, nephew Rufus Wainwright and nieces Martha Wainwright and Lucy Wainwright Roche), Wainwright has charted an artistic path all her own, one based in close observation, joy, and spiritual connection.

Now, standing on the foundation of a rich and diverse career, Wainwright is tapping into fresh material as she continues to provide transformative, healing, and energetic experiences for her audiences. Always looking to grow as an artist, these days Wainwright is pursuing new collaborative partnerships, exploring traditional music, and developing fresh avenues for teaching and mentorship.

Aurora Nealand Sextet | Fountain Arts Building @ the Dublin School | July 1, 2022

 

The Aurora Nealand Sextet will bring the music of New Orleans to Dublin, NH on Friday, July 1 at 7:00 PM for a concert on the lawn at the Fountain Arts Building on the campus of the Dublin School. The sextet is:

Aurora Nealand – Horns/Vocals 
Tomas Majcherski – Clarinet/Saxophone 
Leo Forde  – Guitar 
Brian Coogan – Piano
Matt Booth – Bass
Brad Webb – Drums
 

An established bandleader, composer, performer and improviser, Aurora Nealand has become a prominent force in the New Orleans music scene since she first arrived in 2004. Combining the “formal education” – a music composition degree from Oberlin Conservatory and training at the Jacques Lecoq School of Physical Theatre in Paris – with the “informal” experience of playing music in the streets and clubs of New Orleans and throughout the northern Hemisphere, Nealand has emerged as an innovative, sensitive and daring music creator and performer.

She is most recognized for her performance on saxophones, clarinet and vocals and has been at the forefront of the revival of New Orleans Traditional Jazz amongst the younger generation of the city’s musicians. After playing and learning as a sideman in established New Orleans Bands for several years, (Panorama Jazz Band, VaVaVoom, The New Orleans Moonshiners), in 2010 she formed her own Traditional Jazz band “The Royal Roses”. The Royal Roses released it’s first album, “A Tribute to Sydney Bechet: Live at Preservation Hall” to national acclaim and Nealand was voted as one of Downbeat Magazines top ten rising stars for soprano saxophone in 2010.

Nealand grew up in a musical family in California listening to Preservation Hall Jazz Band recordings side by side with Stravinsky, Joan Baez and the Pixies. Later, during her time at Oberlin College/Conservatory she was exposed and fell in love with the recordings of Mingus, the soundscapes of Mort Subotnik and the performances of Laurie Anderson. With a strong interest in interdisciplinary work and sound for theatre and installation, she moved to Paris to study at the Ecole du Theatre Physical Jacques Lecoq. Upon returning to the states, she bicycled cross-country collecting audio interviews and stories in rural America to be used in a series of compositions about true “American Dreams”. This bicycle trip landed her in New Orleans, which has acted as her home base since 2005. In New Orleans she began playing traditional jazz, jazz manouche of Django Reinhardt, as well as Balkan/Klezmer music. She quickly became involved in the local improvisation scene as well, making frequent appearances at the Open Ears series playing her own compositions with various ensembles and artists.

In addition to leading the Royal Roses, Nealand is also the leader/frontman ofNew Orleans premier rockabilly band “Rory Danger and the Danger Dangers”, and as performs frequently with her solo project, “The Monocle”. She also is a member of Panorama Jazz Band and Why Are We Building Such A Big Ship. In 2010 and 2011 she appeared frequently as herself in the HBO TV series, “Treme”.

Nealand has performed extensively in New Orleans at clubs, in the Jazz and Heritage Fest, FrenchQuarter Fest and Satchmo Fest. She has also performed frequently in New York City at Lincoln Center Summer Festival in NYC, the BlueNote, Knitting Factory, Barbes and has premiered original works at Symphony Space and Alice Tully Hall. Internationally she has appeared at the Istanbul Jazz Festival, London Swing Festival, Barcelona Swing Out, and has toured several times around Irealand, Sweden, Germany , France and the Balkans.

This concert is presented by the Walden School as part of their summer concert series and is FREE and open to the public.

☼ ☼ ☼ A Virtual Nelson Solstice Party | Wherever You Are

The Monadnock Folklore Society is proud to present the 2021 Mummer’s Play and a specially recorded, seasonally themed ‘First Sunday Pub Sing’.

Our huge thanks to MFS board member Peter Martel for audio production and most especially to Dave Kirkpatrick of Iron Horse Audio and Video in Keene for their excellent work and so many hours of donated time to produce the Mummer’s Play and Song Circle this year.
https://ironhorseaudio.com/

The Monadnock Folklore Society produces this community event every year, but for 2021, we had to forego the admission and of course, the dessert potluck will be DIY this year.

Back in 2019, we had more interest in this event than the Nelson Town Hall could accommodate and many people were turned away at the door. Here is the 2019 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 including a performance by our Johnny Trombly Scholarship recipient.  After the concert, the chairs and benches are usually 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. Two years ago we had to endure this 2019 Mummer’s Play.

Due to our current circumstances, we were not able to host this event in the traditional manner but we have managed to collect some past video performances including Kim’s solo version of the Nelson Wassail and our 2020 Mummer’s Play.

You may also be interested in these videos from previous Solstice concerts:

https://youtu.be/ytHSRV510Ns – harp and hammer dulcimer

https://youtu.be/zvGHVqDU7HY – Green Grows the Holly

https://youtu.be/wdU3NBlvfQY – Let This Be My Prayer

https://youtu.be/sAGjuTFUDMY – Traveler’s Prayer

https://youtu.be/tKWgGlcVlyo  Wassail the Silver Apple

https://youtu.be/4A3guUyKzUk Comfort of Singing Voices

https://youtu.be/0pazXEjvM34 Keep Me Warm Medley

https://youtu.be/5OZEnsU_ICg Children Go Where I Send Thee

https://youtu.be/BlWzz27AQso Walking in the Air

 

Beppe Gembetta at the Spinning Room, Harrisville, NH September 24, 2021

 Since we are still without a performance venue and are not up to speed as a presenter in the time of COVID, PFMS  has graciously agreed to present Beppe at The Spinning Room in Harrisville.

PURCHASE TICKETS

“Italian guitarist, Beppe Gambetta is considered by many musicians in the world as one of, if not the best, acoustic guitarists. His talent, his taste, and his execution are superb. In this latest release (The American Album), Gambetta returns to the bluegrass field with a very nice selection of familiars and originals…This is a wonderful project of clean guitar interpretations that both musicians and non-pickers should enjoy” (BF, Bluegrass Unlimited).

“…spinning a thick weave that sometimes calls to mind what a duet by Doc Watson and Leo Kottke might sound like.” (Mike Joyce, The Washington Post)

BEPPE GAMBETTA

gambetta
Beppe Gambetta

BEPPE GAMBETTA “WHERE THE WIND BLOWS” Beppe Gambetta is an Italian guitarist, vocalist and composer who found a way to make Italian and American traditions speak together with one voice. Born in the seaport city of Genova and raised on American Flatpicking he developed a unique captivating guitar and performance style.

Beppe is beloved all over the world, gaining new fans and friends with every performance and every new recording. Where The Wind Blows is no exception and may be the best one yet. One final note: in 2019 Beppe was awarded with the title of “Genoa Ambassador To The World” by the Genoa Mayor Marco Bucci.

From a young acoustic guitarist channeling Italian and American folk and bluegrass into a signature style, he became singer, composer, arranger, sound engineer and concert producer. At age 65 he has added one more title: Poet. It turns out he has a lot to say about roots, role models, the road and artistic freedom—and he expresses himself in a voice of unhurried warmth and passion. (Alan Tigay, World Listening Post)

His incredible versatility combined with his charm and engaging stage presence make Beppe’s concerts evenings of high quality music and relaxed entertainment. Over-riding all else, however, is the brilliance of his talent…(Cornish Guardian)

…Though he’s shown over the years that he can keep pace with the Tony Rices and Dan Crarys of the world, , it is Gambetta’s understated elegance as a flatpicker that has set him apart and made him an in-demand partner the world over. (Sing Out!)

…spinning a thick weave that sometimes calls to mind what a duet by Doc Watson and Leo Kottke might sound like. (Mike Joyce, The Washington Post) In the end, Gambetta’s originals offer some of the most intriguing listening for their amazing virtuosity, pleasing tunefulness, and beyond category pedigree. He’s truly a man of the world. (Roger Levesque, Penguin Eggs)

www.beppegambetta.com

www.facebook.com/BeppeGambetta

www.youtube.com/BeppeGambettamusic

www.twitter.com/BeppeGambetta

www.instagram.com/BeppeGambett

Beppe Gambetta has built countless bridges between Genoa and the Americas, combining the rich culture of his hometown with the beauty of the American roots and adding in his compositions contemporary influences to the traditions he mastered. He has been a true Ambassador of the Genovese culture in all his studies, productions and performances”.

For his 14th CD (Where The Wind Blows, Borealis Records, Canada 2020) Beppe Gambetta revealed himself to be not simply a master guitarist but also a new songwriter of great feeling, wisdom and maturity. “Where the Wind Blows” is a collection of songs and tunes all written, arranged and performed by Beppe with the extraordinary collaboration of American bass player Rusty Holloway and percussionist Joe Bonadio.

CANCELLATION ☼ ☼ ☼ Genticorum | Nelson Town Hall

Canceled due to COVID-19

We’re excited about being the first stop on Genticorum’s upcoming US tour on Friday, April 10 at 7:30 PM at the Nelson Town Hall. admission is $20/$17(seniors, students, or in advance)

Over the past 18 years the Quebec trad group Genticorum has become a fixture on the international world, trad, folk and Celtic music circuit. The band’s six albums met with critical acclaim in Canada, the United States and Europe, assuring the band a brilliant future. Known for its energy and its stage presence, Genticorum has given more than 800 concerts in more than 15 countries. Firmly rooted in the soil of their native land, the energetic and original traditional ‘power trio’ also incorporates the dynamism of today’s North American and European folk cultures in their music. They weave precise and intricate fiddle, flute and accordion work, gorgeous vocal harmonies, energetic foot percussion and guitar accompaniment into a big and jubilant musical feast. Their distinctive sound, sense of humor and stage presence makes them a supreme crowd pleaser.

Don’t miss this show!

☼ ☼ ☼ 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.

Johnny Trombly Scholarship Deadline March 15

 

The Johnny Trombly Scholarship supports and encourages young musicians interested in playing piano orother instruments for traditional New England dance music, an American dance music form that includes contra-dance and square dance music.
The Monadnock Region is the heart of traditional New England dance music, with a heritage dating back centuries. Bob McQuillen, widely recognized as a master of traditional New England dance music, established this scholarship to honor his mentor, Johnny Trombly, who was the area’s premier piano player in the 1940’s and early 1950’s. Through this scholarship, Bob McQuillen hopes to preserve and advance traditional New England dance music, one of the Monadnock region’s unique contributions to the nation’s cultural heritage.