☼ ☼ ☼ 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.

☼ ☼ ☼ Contra Dance in Peterborough NH on Saturday, November 4, 2023

Contra Dance in Peterborough NH on Saturday, November 4

The Monadnock Folklore Society presents the Peterborough, NH First Saturday Contra Dance on NOVEMBER 4, with our own Steve Zakon-Anderson calling with musicians Eric Boodman on fiddle and feet and Sam Zakon-Anderson on keyboards.

Contra dance is a fun, easy folk dance style that has flourished in New England since the 1700s. Partners form lines and dance a short sequence of steps with their neighbors. Over the course of the dance, each couple travels the length of the line and dances with every other couple. Dancers are welcome to bring a partner or a group of friends but it’s not necessary – traditionally, dancers are encouraged to change partners throughout the evening.

The dancing begins at 8:00 PM. The dance has a workshop for new dancers at 7:30 PM.

Admission is $12-20 sliding scale. $30 Family rate.

Masks optional.
Gender-free calling terms: Larks and Robins

The dance takes place in the historic Town House in Peterborough, NH at 1 Grove Street. For more information call 603-547-5831 or visit www.facebook.com/peterboroughcontra.

The Monadnock Folklore Society has presented contra dances and concerts of traditional music since 1982.

 

☼ ☼ ☼ 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.

Kwackfest Logo showing photo of man wearing a hat and playing accordion

☼ ☼ ☼ KwackFest: A Celebration of the Bob McQuillen Centennial Saturday, July 1, 2023

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Photo of Bob McQuillen writing tunes while holding a mandolin

The life of legendary New England contra dance musician and traditional music composer Bob McQuillen will be celebrated with a festival in Peterborough Saturday, July 1.

Running from 1 to 11 p.m., KwackFest commemorates the 100th birthday of the National Heritage Fellow who died in 2014. A longtime resident of Dublin and Peterborough in the Monadnock region and a fixture at contra dances throughout the Northeast and in Washington state, McQuillen drove to dances in a Jeep with a license plate reading “KWACK.”

Bob McQuillen was a contra dance musician, ConVal High School shop teacher and weightlifting coach, and, in his own way, a philosopher. He was a mentor to many, and his impact on the lives of his students and his fellow musicians was profound.

The event will be held in the Peterborough Town House and the adjacent grounds of the Guernsey Building. It will feature dancing, music, food trucks, and more. Admission is free.

KwackFest is sponsored by the Monadnock Folklore Society and supported in part by grants from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts & the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Country Dance and Song Society. An Indigogo campaign is raising additional funds for the event and also to cover costs of printing McQuillen’s 15th and final tunebook, which features tunes he wrote for each town in the state.

For more information on KwackFest, please visit HTTP://kwackfest100.com.

 

NH State Council on the Arts logo

☼ ☼ ☼ 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 Shape Note Singing School Winnepesaukee | May 29, 2023

The New England Literature Program is sponsoring a Shape Note Singing School with Tim Eriksen at Camp Kabeyun on Monday, May 29, 2023.

The session will take place from 1 PM to 6 PM.  Singers are welcome to join the Literature Program for dinner after the session. 

Camp Kabeyun is located at 43 Camp Kabeyun Rd., Alton Bay, NH 03810; and there is ample parking for visitors. 

Note that the Monadnock Folklore Society will present Tim Eriksen in concert on Sunday, May 28, 2023.

Shape Note Singing Workshop with Tim Eriksen 

It’s been called “proto-Americana” and “America’s earliest music” but whatever you call it, shape note singing is one of America’s earliest and most vibrant roots music forms, and a critical, if underappreciated, influence on artists like Jean Ritchie, Doc Watson, Johnny Cash, and the Louvin Brothers. It is best known from the venerable Sacred Harp tunebook, where “Amazing Grace” and “Wayfaring Stranger” meet the blistering “fuguing tunes” of early New England, familiar folk melodies like “Old Lang Syne” and the African-tinged “camp meeting” choruses of the nineteenth century, all harmonized for social singing and written in a unique notation system developed in the northeast USA in 1800. 
 
Tim Eriksen is a three-time GRAMMY nominee, songwriter, and Hardcore Americana/world music artist who has helped bring the sounds of shape note music and traditional American folksong to the fore with his pioneering punk folk band Cordelia’s Dad, his courses at Dartmouth College and the University of Minnesota, and his shape note “singing schools” from the Newport Folk Festival to Singapore’s Tapestry of Sacred Music and Dance, where his students have ranged from inner city kindergarteners to the cast of the movie Cold Mountain. His Ph.D. research and published writing detail previously unreported connections between this repertoire, the 19th-century Abolitionist movement, and the birth of science fiction.
 
No one has done more to help revive Sacred Harp singing among a younger generation.
   -Josh Jackson, Paste Magazine
 
One of the best voices in music
– T Bone Burnett
 
Otherworldly harmonies
-Barbara Kingsolver
 
Apart from being the coolest-looking man in folk song, Eriksen is an uncompromising performer, ethnomusicologist, Sacred Harp singing master, musical adventurer and punk-folk pioneer, who seems to play every instrument under the sun and has shared a stage with both Kurt Cobain and Doc Watson.
-The Guardian, UK

☼ ☼ ☼ 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.

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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