Archive for the Category ◊ CD Release ◊

• Monday, October 13th, 2014

ITHACA NY - The Pelotones CD Release Party! 6:00pm – 8:30pm.  Swing jazz, shuffle blues, waltz and bossa. The Pelotones 2nd release which includes all originals. Oasis Dance Club. Saturday, October 25 $10.00 price includes a CD and a piece of cake. Lots of room for dancing at Oasis. Food and drink available. Oasis Dance Club 1230 Danby Rd (Rt 96B) Ithaca NY. Facebook

Featuring Wayne Gottlieb: Vocals and Guitar; Alex Specker:  Vocals and Guitar; Harry Aceto: Bass; and Michael Welen: Drums.

The Pelotones are a dance band specializing in Swing jazz, but also doing Rhythm and Blues, Blues, Rock and Country.  They’ve written some new songs that fit the different dance styles popular in the Ithaca and surrounding area - east coast and west coast swing, waltz, bossa and rhumba.  They play regularly at Oasis dance Club, Six Mile creek Winery, Americana Winery and Maxie’s Supper Club.  Some of them also play as a jazz trio at Agava and Stonecat.  For this event, the $10.00 admission gets you in the door and you get a free CD and piece of cake! The Pelotones will play from 6-8:30, but you should stay longer!  Oasis serves drinks and food and has an excellent dance floor.

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• Saturday, September 06th, 2014

BROOKTONDALE NY - Cantrip is a trio of Scottish traditional musicians that has been stunning audiences on several sides of the Atlantic for over a decade with its driving blend of fiddle (Jon Bews), bagpipes (Will Woodson) and guitar (Eric McDonald). Weaving together songs and tunes, both traditional and contemporary, Cantrip takes an audience on a cultural journey, weaving dense textures together and leaving listeners hungering for more. They will be at the Canaan Institute in Brooktondale NY on Thursday September 11th 2014. Concert starts at 7:00 pm and will be followed by a jam session. $18- at the door. RSVP to reserve a seat with More Facebook event

Will Woodson

Will is an innovative and powerful young performer of traditional and contemporary music on Scottish bellows pipes, wooden flute, and tin whistle. Having recently graduated from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow with a master’s degree in Scottish music, he’s now returned to his first home across the Atlantic. These days, he’s based in Portland, Maine and is enmeshed in the thriving music scene of the Northeastern United States, where he flits about hither and yon performing and teaching. Will has played 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. He’s also kept busy teaching and has recently appeared at events like Maine Pipes and Fiddle and the Upper Potomac Pipers Weekend in West Virginia. Will has played Scottish music since he was a child, and has studied with some of the greatest living exponents of the tradition, including Allan MacDonald, Finlay MacDonald, Marc Duff, and Hamish Napier.

Eric McDonald

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.

Jon Bews

A veteran of the fiddle, having started at age four, Jon Bews of Cantrip came to Scots music from a classical education by way of Goth rock. A prizewinning graduate of the RSAMD in 1994, he has performed and recorded with such diverse artists as Malinky, James Yorkston, Mikel Urdangarin, Ranarim, Deaf Mutes and Samling. In addition to the acclaimed Scottish power trio Cantrip (alongside Eric McDonald), he currently plays with renowned Edinburgh ceilidh band Callanish and critically acclaimed indie rock quintet The Last Battle. His string arrangements have been sought out by Ewan MacPherson and Fribo and his tunes have won high acclaim across the board. Jon moved to the Scottish Borders in 2003 where he spent two years as Traditional and World Music Development Worker for Scottish Borders Council.

Will Woodson & Eric McDonald duo

Will & Eric are two of the finest young proponents of 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 high velocity. This unique approach, while rooted in the indigenous music, is also informed by the vibrant traditional music scene of their native New England, wielding a dynamosity that screams of progress. 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 curating a scene in and around Portland ME, where they reside and share a teaching studio.

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• Monday, April 28th, 2014

ITHACA NY - The Djangoners have been a favorite on the Rochester & Ithaca Jazz scenes for going on four years. And now it’s finally time for a CD!  After culling through hundreds of hours of live recordings, the band has boiled it down to 14 exquisite tracks.

A “CD Release Celebration” is planned for Sunday, May 4, 8-10pm at the Argos Inn, 408 E. State St. $5.00 admission. Facebook event

This show will help fund the project, and the new CD - “En Direct et Endiable” (Live & Swingin’) - will be available at a one-time-only special price of $10 (regular $15) to everyone who comes to the show.

Here’s what Tom Kohn - owner, Bop Shop Records, Rochester, NY - has to say about The Djangoners: “Django Reinhardt left a profound influence on thousands of musicians over the last half century. The Djangoners are no exception.  They approach Django’s music with such sensitivity and passion that when you hear them, you’ll imagine yourself in a Parisian nightclub in the 1930s. It’s as if Django’s ghost is sitting at the bar giving his nod of approval.”

The Djangoners take their inspiration from Django Reinhardt and his famous Jazz band from late-1930s Paris & London - “The Quintet of the Hot Club of France” – arguably, the most famous Jazz band Europe ever produced.  Django Reinhardt was born into a family of Gypsies and began playing music early but, at age 18, he was seriously injured in a fire that rendered two fingers on his left hand useless and doctors believed he would never play guitar again. Reinhardt persevered in rehabilitation and developed a fingering technique using only two fingers for his spectacular guitar solos. In mid-1930s Paris, Django joined forces with violinist, Stephane Grappelli and formed the Quintet of the Hot Club of France which went on to a prolific recording and performance career, popularizing Django’s original compositions and his renditions of American Jazz classics.

Today, Django Reinhardt’s music is enjoying a resurgence in popularity and The Djangoners are carrying on his legacy true to its tradition, featuring Bobby Henrie on lead guitar, Eric Aceto on violin, Harry Aceto on “Manouche” rhythm guitar and Brian Williams on upright bass. These fine players have each been on the professional music scene for over 40 years playing in many different genres, but they came together on this project with a common love of Django’s music and a desire to perform it with the same enthusiasm and spirit as it was originally played in the 1930s. They’ve achieved that objective handsomely!

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• Wednesday, April 16th, 2014


Hangar Theatre Ithaca NY
801 Taughannock Blvd., Ithaca, NY 14850

Local Artist Gallery & Reception: 6:30
Show: 8:00
Price: $17 (Early Bird Special until March 30) $20 (From April 1st) $22 (At the Door)
General Admission

Tickets can be Purchased:
Phone: Hangar Theatre Business Office: 607-273-8588
Visit: The Hangar Theatre Business Office in Center Ithaca on the Downtown Commons at 171 E. State St., Ithaca, NY 14850
At the Door (Box Office Opens at 6:00 on 4/26)

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• Friday, October 11th, 2013

ITHACA NY - The Community School of Music and Arts (CSMA) has launched its 6th Annual Arts for All Marathon. CSMA’s signature fundraising event, the Marathon benefits educational programs, with a focus on need based scholarships. Throughout October, local artists, performers, and writers will undertake creative projects and benefit events to raise funds on behalf of CSMA. For more information about the artists and events, check out the marathon website

Facebook event

Benefit Contra Dance - On Saturday October 26th O’Shanigans will play music with Casey Mullaney calling for a Benefit Contra Dance. Ithaca musicians Tim Ball, Phil Robinson and Mike Ludgate will play for a contra dance at CSMA for part of the Arts For All Marathon. Casey Mullaney is calling and teaching the dances. Arts For All Marathon is CSMA’s annual fund raising drive. The band will be donating most of the door proceeds to CSMA! 8-11 pm. $10/ea or $25/family at the door. 3rd Floor performance space. 330 E Martin Luther King Jr. / State Street., Ithaca, NY 14850 - O’Shanigans acoustic band: Celtic, contra and world dance music

Contra Dance is the traditional folk dance of New York and New England. It is easy, fun and family friendly. All dances are taught by the dance caller. No partner needed. Casey Mullaney is a rising star in the contra dance world and is in great demand for her vivacious, beginner friendly calling and teaching style. The popular O’Shanigans contra dance band perform Celtic, American and world fiddle tunes for contra dancing, general entertainment and weddings. Their repertoire includes fiddle and dance tunes from: New England, Southern Appalachia, Canada, Ireland, Scotland, England, France, Finland, Sweden and the Middle East! The O’Shanigans is: Phil Robinson on guitar, Tim Ball on fiddle and Michael Ludgate on mandolin. Band web site

More about contra dancing - What to expect at your first contra dance. Contra dancing is easy to learn, and about the most fun you can have with both feet on the ground. It’s so easy to learn that you don’t take lessons. Just show up at a dance and after a dance or two, you’ll know all the moves. People are friendly and welcoming to beginners. Both singles and doubles come to contra dances and women as well as men ask people to dance. It is usual that you change partners after every dance. You will meet people in a relaxed, pleasant, smoke and alcohol free atmosphere. What to wear? Wear smooth soled shoes and comfortable light weight clothing. Most people bring a bottle of drinking water. Contra dancing is joyous, so bring a smile! (Adapted from Local Facebook group

More Upcoming Marathon Events – For a Complete line-up of other Marathon events, take a look here

CSMA would like to thank their Arts for All Marathon sponsors! Masterpiece Sponsor: CFCU Community Credit Union. Artist Sponsor: Travis Hyde Properties. Muse Sponsors: Audrey Edelman RealtyUSA; Ciaschi, Dietershagen, Little, Mickelson & Company, LLP; Mariette Geldenhuys Attorney at Law; the Merchants of the DeWitt Mall and Wegmans. Media Sponsors: Finger Lakes Woman and Tompkins Weekly.

Since its inception, the Marathon has raised over $75,000 for CSMA scholarships and educational programs, opening doors to artistic learning and discovery for many who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity. See for full information, to make a donation, and for list of participating artists and schedule of events.
More about The Community School of Music and Arts (CSMA)

The Community School of Music and Arts (CSMA), Ithaca’s downtown multi-arts center and owner of a historic 23,000 square foot facility, has supported various facets of experiencing the arts throughout its 53 year history. From its humble beginnings as a children’s music school housed in the founders’ living room, through years of steady programmatic diversification and organizational growth, CSMA has firmly established its home as a vibrant hub for instruction, production, and consumption of visual and performing arts.

Best known for its leading role in community based arts education and as a nexus of artistic collaboration and production, CSMA also has long served as a popular venue for performances, gallery shows, and events. CSMA houses a multitude of classrooms, studios, music practice rooms, art galleries, and its historic 2,700 square foot Third Floor Performance Space.

CSMA’s mission is “to provide quality instruction to any community member who desires to learn music and arts, to develop and offer cultural and artistic programs and events, and to serve as a resource for community artists and musicians.”

When describing CSMA and its mission, one must look at its philosophy, a deep belief that the arts are an essential part of human nature, and that instruction in the arts should be accessible to everyone. CSMA commits its resources to students of all ages, skill levels, and backgrounds, to its esteemed teaching faculty and to the larger community of artists in the Ithaca and Tompkins County area. Need based “Arts for All” scholarships are awarded to students who qualify, helping to ensure CSMA’s programs are accessible to the whole community.

CSMA is a non-profit organization whose programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

CSMA is an active member of the Downtown Ithaca Alliance and the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce.

Website: Telephone: 607.272.1474. Address: 330 E Martin Luther King Jr. / State Street., Ithaca, NY 14850 Facebook


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• Sunday, September 29th, 2013

Stringrays w/ Rodney Miller: a House Concert at the Canaan Institute in Brooktondale NY on Thu Oct 3rd 2013 beginning at 7:00 pm followed by a jam session. Donation for the band $15- Limited seating at this private venue: RESERVATIONS & RSVP: please email Mike Ludgate to reserve your seats and for directions Stringrays’ phenomenal musician line-up: Max Newman (guitar, mandolin, banjo), Rodney Miller (fiddle) and Stuart Kenney (bass).

Video from this concert: one mini set called “Snake Set” …

Facebook event
Canaan events
Band’s Web

Rodney Miller - Rodney’s fiddling commands the stage and the eardrums. He is well-known as both a traditionalist and innovator, with a playful style and nuanced tone. 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 numerous albums. He also builds violins! We are honored to have Rodney visit Canaan Institute! Youtube traditional and with Airdance

Max Newman - He’s the whippersnapper of the group, but Max has been surrounded by traditional music and dance from an early age. His guitar playing aims to be refreshing, fun, and creative. He’s still a ways off from catching up with Rodney and Stuart, but he’s spent a good portion of his life playing contra dances great and small. Raised on contra dance music, he’s been lucky enough to play with many of his heroes, Rod and Stu included. He also performs with Nor’easter. Max has played in Ithaca with Nor’easter. YouTube with Nor’easter

Stuart Kenney - Stuart is bass thump and banjo twang. He’s had a long career in several traditional music genres, cutting his teeth with the legendary Dewey Balfa and following that with prodigious output with numerous groups and contra dance bands. Stuart’s musical home is at the Guiding Star Grange in Greenfield, MA, where he plays for and hosts the TopHill Music and Dance Series. In addition to Stringrays, he plays with Quebecois band Tidal Wave and Celtic groovers The Sevens. Stuart has been to Canaan Institute twice with Tidal Wave! YouTube with Tidal Wave

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• Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

BROOKTONDALE NY (near Ithaca) - Laura Cortese w/ Mariel Vandersteel at the Canaan Institute - Wed May 8th - Fiddle workshop at 5:00 pm followed by a House Concert at 7:00 pm followed by a jam session. Workshop alone $20-, Concert alone $15-, both together $25- RSVP to to reserve your space in any of these. and

Workshop - Bow, Grooves and Arrangement
Bow techniques, Grooves, Chords and Arrangements for fiddles, violas and cellos. Make your bow work for YOU not the other way around. This class is the foundation for learning jamming and arrangement techniques as a fiddler. We’ll adapt the workshop to accommodate all skill levels; talk to Mike when you RSVP


Facebook event

Laura Cortese BIO - scroll past photo

Laura Cortese to Release New Album “Into the Dark” April 23
Full East Coast, West Coast Record Release Tours; Midwest Support Dates

“Ambition often follows talent, and Laura Cortese has an embarrassment of both. Her open-armed approach to her art reveals a determination to spread the word about folk music without watering down its distinctiveness.” - John Wenzel, Denver Post

Fiddle player and folk-pop singer-songwriter Laura Cortese takes to the road this April and May in support of her forthcoming full-length release, “Into the Dark” (street date April 23, 2013). American Songwriter describes the title track, which the publication premiered, as a “fiddle-drenched, Americana gem.” The rest of the record follows suit as all ten tracks feature Cortese’s stunning vocals backed by lush string arrangements on both her original, dark folk songs and a few carefully curated covers.

Cortese grew up in San Francisco and moved to Boston to study violin at Berklee College of Music. She has since immersed herself in the city’s vibrant indie music scene and enjoyed a busy sideman career, which has included appearances with Band of Horses at Carnegie Hall, Pete Seeger at Newport Folk Festival, and Patterson Hood and Michael Franti for Seeger’s ninetieth birthday celebration at Madison Square Garden. She performs frequently with Jocie Adams of the Low Anthem and can be heard on Adams’s upcoming album.

The finest moments on Into the Dark occur when Cortese spins out a metaphor as fluidly as she plays. She wrote the album’s first song, “For Catherine,” about an incident in her hometown in which a young woman was sexually assaulted by a group of high school boys. “For Catherine” bends and shifts as if through an alcoholic haze, playing on the dual meanings of “brandy” as both a libation and a woman’s name. As the song nears its mournful conclusion, the strings soar and the drum strikes a doleful beat. But Cortese always has the last word. When the cacophony subsides, her voice rings out alone. More

Mariel Vandersteel BIO - scroll past photo

Somewhere between the fjords of Norway and mountains of the Blue Ridge, the fiddle-playing of Mariel Vandersteel intones the strains of elevation, clarity and tremendous feeling. It is uncanny that she hails from a very different set of mountains: those of northern California. Mariel came of age musically nurtured by the Bay Area’s rich revivalist traditional music scene, receiving a cultural grant to venture to the traditional music archives in Dublin, Ireland, and attending Boston’s Berklee College of Music for violin performance. After graduating, Mariel moved to Norway to study Hardingfele, the country’s national instrument at Hogskolen i Telemark folk music school. Returning to Boston in 2009, Mariel continued to work with acoustic-roots conjurers Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers, exploring musical connections between Scandinavia and the United States.

On her new record, Mariel aims to bridge old and new worlds, organically melding the sounds, ornaments and accents of the fiddle communities in which she has delved; Boston and Norway, Ireland and California. In making the record, the goal was to give an aural snapshot of the textures of those communities. Collaborating with the Boston-area’s finest acoustic musicians, including producer/composer Jordan Tice, Scottish harpist Maeve Gilchrist, Tristan Clarridge, Samson Grisman, Dominick Leslie and Duncan Wickel, Mariel’s new music incorporates lush instrumental dialogues, playful timbral exchanges between fiddle and hardanger, and evocative interpretations of old-world melodies. The record endeavors to capture the incredible energy and ingenuity of the musical community Mariel has surrounded herself with: warmly inviting the listener to the fjord, the Sierra or the living room.

Along with her solo project, Mariel tours nationally and internationally with Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers, Laura Cortese’s Acoustic Project and a duo with Emma Beaton. More


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• Thursday, April 04th, 2013

Sat Apr 06    TRUMANSBURG NY - Casey Carr w/ O’Shanigans - Contra Dance 8-11 pm. Fundraiser for the Trumansburg Conservatory of Fine Arts! O’Shanigans: Tim Ball (fiddle), Phil Robinson (guitar), and Michael Ludgate (mandolin). Location: Trumansburg Conservatory of Fine Arts. Adults $10; children under 13 free. Contra dances have been held for hundreds of years in small town halls such as the Conservatory. Come help us revive this tradition in Trumansburg! Each dance is taught, and you can come without a partner. But please bring clean, soft-soled shoes to protect the lovely wooden floor! Sponsored by the board of the Trumansburg Conservatory of Fine Arts. Band Venue

Fri Apr 05    COOPERSTOWN NY - Casey Mullaney w/ O’Shanigans - Contra Dance w/ Philip Robinson (guitar) and Mike Ludgate (mandolin) with Tim Ball on fiddle. The delightful Casey Mullaney (Hartwick ALUM) calling the dances in Cooperstown NY. Great little venue with a nice wooden floor. First Presbyterian Church, on the corner of Pioneer and Church Streets in Cooperstown NY. 8-11 pm., $8-

Fri Feb 08 ITHACA NY - Katy Heine with Notes Inégales (notes in-a-gall): Andrea Katz (fiddle, viola) and Mike Ludgate (mandolin) - will be joined by Margaret Ball (fiddle) and Sophie Orzechowski (keyboard). Calling the dances is our fabulous Ithaca caller, Katy Heine 8-11 pm 1825 Slaterville Rd Ithaca NY. Facebook event

Sat Feb 09 ROSE NY - Notes Inégales duo: Andrea Katz (fiddle, viola), Mike Ludgate (mandolin). Casey Carr Calling EARLY dance 7:30-10:30 pm MAP Facebook event


Sat Jan 12 BING NY - O’Shanigans Contra Dance w/ Michael Ludgate (mandolin, tenor banjo), Philip Robinson (guitar) and Tim Ball (fiddle) for the BING contra dance. - Contra dance in Binghamton Saturday, January 12, 2012, EARLY DANCE 7.00 - 10.00 pm intro lesson 6:40 pm Music by O’Shanigans Caller Casey Carr (from Ithaca) General admission $8 Students with ID and those under 18 $3 Family maximum $17 At Trinity Church, 44 Main Street, Binghamton (enter on Oak Street) MAP Facebook

Fri Jan 18 ITHACA NY - NO’Shanigans Contra Dance w/ Margaret Ball (fiddle), Sophie Orzechowski (fiddle & accordion), Tim Ball (guitar) and Michael Ludgate (mandolin). Bethel Grove Community Center 1825 Slaterville Rd., Ithaca NY. 8-11 pm TCCD. MAP Facebook

Sat Feb 09 ROSE NY - Notes Inégales duo: Andrea Katz (fiddle, viola), Mike Ludgate (mandolin). Casey Carr Calling EARLY dance 7:30-10:30 pm MAP


VENUE LOCATIONS - New Google Map of Central NY contra venues

From the dancers and callers about O’Shanigans and Notes Inegales –  “That was a delightful contra dance last night in Fayetteville … I truly enjoyed the many subtleties of your musical arrangements. And when Nils Fredland joined in on his trombone, it was polyphonic heaven … ” , “Ithaca’s best contra dance band”, “O’Shanigans rock(s)”, ” … such a fun group of people, and the band was awesome … ” , “What a great dance! Nils called some fun and interesting dances, the band was delightful! The place was packed…” , “you guys really GET the dance thing”, “wow …. WOW! That was inceredible!”, “you guys are so much fun to dance to!”, ”O’Shanigans is Ithaca’s hottest new contra dance band.”, “Tim Ball, Mike Ludgate, and Phil Robinson play with energy and style. It’s party time!” “I was happy to see and hear your band play, it was great! The music was the best I’ve heard at a contra for sure. It really got everyone grooving and elicited hooting and hollering … YEAH!” “The O’Shanigans rocked the hall tonight! You guys sure know how to throw a party!” “I was really glad to get to dance to your music- that was tons of fun!!” “Super dance on Friday! You guys were peppy, and there were some imaginative arrangements that made familiar tunes sound fresh. Hooray for the O’Shanigans!” “It was invigorating music, great company and fun caller!” “Do play for us again!” “It was fun dancing and even more so to the tunes of O’Shanigans!” “It was great!” “Mike, you and Phil and Tim were SOLID! I had a blast and my daughter had fun too! Thanks for playing, and thanks to Ray for the goodies!” “We’ve heard great stuff about you guys: We’d love to have you play at our dance!” “Wow! I have not seen that kind of energy at the Friday Dance in long time, you guys were great!” “That was they most amazing medley … was there something Middle Eastern in there?” “You guys were way out there like in Hungary or somewhere? … then you brought it back home with that old-time tune … the best version of that I have ever heard!” “The band was absolutely wonderful last night!”

More information About Contra Dancing:

NPR: Youth Flock To Contra Dancing — Contra dancing has been around since the 1700s. If you don’t know it — it’s kind of like square dancing but with long lines of dancers. The dance is having a renaissance around the country thanks to a thriving youth scene and incredibly lively acoustic music. Article by Marika Partridge on All Things Considered NPR July 2nd 2010


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• Thursday, February 07th, 2013

ITHACA NY - Sunday, February 24 at 4pm at the Unitarian Church in Ithaca Winter Village is very excited to bring the Kruger Brothers to Ithaca for the first time later this month. Cornerstone was fortunate to play with them at the Riverhawk Festival in Florida in 2004ish, and at that time I was impressed my their incredible instrumental ability.  Jens is an amazing banjoist, second to none, and Uwe a top-notch flatpicking guitartist.  In listening to their recorded music, I am struck by their rare combination of technical proficiency, respect for the traditional mountain music of their adopted home in the Carolinas, and their heartfelt original songs.  In concert, they blend their beautiful original instrumentals, folk-tinged original songs, with some bluegrass chestnuts.  And they are not above playing popular, flashy, and fun bluegrass instrumentals like Dueling Banjos or Orange Blossom Special.  Please join us for what should be a great show.

“Jens Kruger is a wonderful banjoist who is one of the most creative and giving and positive musicians I’ve ever met. The Krugers put on a great show and you shouldn’t miss it.” Tony Trischka

Concert at 4pm at the Unitarian Church in Ithaca - 2 sets
Tickets cost $18 in advance (additional Ticket Center fees may apply) and are available exclusively at The Ticket Center on the Ithaca Commons. You can reach Ticket Center Ithaca at 607-273-4497. Tickets can also be purchased online through  Tickets will likely be available at the door for $25. Note that The Krugers travel with their own sound man so the sound should be great in the Unitarian Sanctuary.

Jens Kruger Banjo Workshop at 6pm
Jens Kruger will teach a banjo workshop after the show for 90 minutes.  Cost will be $60 per student with a minimum of 5 students required (all fees to Jens).  Email Rick to register in advance.  Pay Jens directly at the workshop.

About the Kruger Brothers
Born and raised in Europe, brothers Jens and Uwe Kruger were performing regularly by the time they were 11 and 12 years old, and they began their professional career in 1979. Since a formal introduction to American audiences in 1997, their remarkable facility with their instruments and unique take on the American Songbook have made the Kruger Brothers a fixture within the world of acoustic music. Although initially staying fairly close to a traditional repertoire, the group later turned to song writing and composition in order to draw more closely from their personal experiences. The result is a catalog of songs distinguished by rich detail and an insight into the delicacy and complexity of everyday life. The honesty of their writing has since become a hallmark of the trio’s work. The Kruger Brothers personify the spirit of exploration and innovation that forms the core of the American musical tradition. Their original music, composed by Jens Kruger, is crafted around their discerning taste, and the result is unpretentious, cultivated, and delightfully fresh.

The Kruger Brothers were awarded a National Endowment for the Arts grant for Music from the Spring a sym­phonic suite composed and orchestrated by Jens Kruger, which premiered in 2007.  In late 2010, the Kruger Brothers premiered the Appalachian Concerto, a concerto for banjo, bass, guitar, and string quartet. In addition to their regular concert schedule they perform these pieces regularly with select symphony orchestras and string quartets throughout the country. Through their numerous CD releases, radio and television performances, lectures, and collaborative efforts, the Kruger Brothers powerful artistic state­ment inspires and enlightens.

What Colleagues Say About the Kruger Brothers

The Krugers are nothing short of magnificent. Bluegrass Journal

“I used to think the banjo was somewhat limited to certain styles, until I heard Jens Kruger. Jens has played some of the most beautiful and expressive banjo I’ve ever heard.“ Ron Block of Alison Krauss and Union Station

“The Kruger Brothers are just about as fine a band as I’ve ever played with … I love to play music with them.” Doc Watson

“It’s a blast playing with them … not only are they all superior musicians, they are the nicest guys you’d ever want to meet.” Adam Steffey

“They are some awesome musicians.” Bobby Hicks

“Jens Kruger has established himself as one of the world’s most musically sophisticated and technically accomplished five-string banjo players.” Happy Traum

Videos on You Tube with Viewer Comments

Jack of the Wood
“Is this what love sounds like?”
“Jens plays and his soul pours out along with the amazing technical performance.”

Forever and a Day
“Lost my mother a few months ago and this song speaks so directly to my heart and the loss I feel. You folks are so evocative in your playing. Thanks so much for putting music to my feelings. I am a life long banjo player and , Jens , your banjo playing is so tonal and nuanced…You are just so refreshing to hear. Excellent, Beautiful, Thanks”
“Absolutely beautiful. I like the northern, ice-flow imagery with the southern pickin’.”
“The Kruger Brothers are AMAZING. Tight, highly skilled musicianship and ensemble PLUS real humanity. I can listen to them for hours.”
“A man could live a lifetime and not experience something that amazing. This song will be played in my home for ever more. Thanks for the music.”

Behind the Barn
These kats are really amazing, world class for sure. I was fortunate to do a session which Jens was also playing on a year or so back , incredibly gracious and talented man, I am in awe of his talent ! A one take genious ! I did get a chance to see them at Merle Fest last year, great set.

Jens Kruger Playing Bach Cello Suite No 1 on Banjo
Bach’s genius created music that can work on many instruments, and Mr. Kruger’s genius brought that music to life. Bravo!

Waterfall Waterfall at Grey Fox Workshop Tent
Todd Taylor is in the Guiness Book of Records as the fastest banjo, playing dueling banjos at 210 bpm. I don’t have a drum machine, but I just listened to it before listening to this of Jens play Waterfall, and I’m pretty sure this is faster, at least 20 bpm! Jens, you should be in Guinness!

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• Friday, October 26th, 2012

BROOKTONDALE NY - Come on out to The Canaan Institute on Wednesday November 14th at 7:00 pm for a house concert followed by a jam session. Experience the blend of Celtic and American roots music delivered impeccably by Annalivia - a cutting edge acoustic string-band from Boston. Donation for the band $15- Limited seating at this private venue: RESERVATIONS & RSVP: please email Mike Ludgate to reserve your seats and for directions .

Facebook event
Directions to the concert
Band website
Full Press Release

Annalivia is touring in support of their new album “The Same Way Down” produced by Jake Armerding and featuring special guests Corey DiMario and Aoife O’Donovan (of Crooked Still). There’s a bit of a buzz with this new album – it was #7 on the national roots music charts last week!

Annalivia fuses old and new world sounds to create an authentic new sound, both steeped in tradition and alive with new energy, innovation and originality. Annalivia– who will be appearing in a trio format with Liz Simmons, Flynn Cohen, and Mariel Vandersteel– are virtuosic on their instruments and have long histories with traditional music, ranging from bluegrass to Irish, Scottish, Norwegian and Old Time. These styles play a large role in the interpretations of their material, which include inventive, quirky fiddle tunes and lushly arranged songs performed on fiddle, guitars, mandolin and vocals. The members of Annalivia write music as well– songs and tunes that sit comfortably alongside the traditional material. They are all seasoned musicians and have toured and performed with such notable acts as Halali, Cathie Ryan, Aoife Clancy, John Whelan, Ruth Moody, Adrienne Young, and Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers.

Liz Simmons, a New Hampshire native, conceived of the band four years ago with Flynn Cohen, who was residing in Boston at the time, and later they invited Emerald Rae of Gloucester, MA and Mariel Vandersteel, originally of California, to join the band. Currently, Simmons and Cohen reside in Gloucester as well. Cohen spends his time teaching in the music department at Keene State College, and touring with John Whelan and The Deadstring Ensemble. Simmons tours with John Whelan and all-female Celtic quartet Long Time Courting, and her singing will be featured in the soon-to-be-released film ‘Time and Charges’, written and directed by Grammy and Emmy award winner and NH resident Ernest Thompson. Mariel Vandersteel travels the globe with Laura Cortese’s acoustic project and Blue Moose and the Unbuttoned Zippers, and recently released her first solo album.

When audiences join Annalivia on Wednesday November 14th, they can expect high energy material alongside slower, winsome ballads and songs. This tour is in support of their third CD “The Same Way Down”, produced by Jake Armerding, and featuring the guest talents of Aoife O’Donovan and Corey DiMario of Crooked Still. Come see what Annalivia is all about and pick up a copy of their new CD while you’re at it! For more information and to hear their sound please go to

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• Monday, June 11th, 2012

BROOKTONDALE NY - Join us for a House Concert and CD release Party at The Canaan Institute (Mike and Raylene’s workshop) on Saturday June 16th 2012 from 2:00-4:30 pm. This event is FREE (also a great time to purchase their new CD!) RSVP: please email Mike Ludgate to reserve your seats and for directions

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More events at Canaan Institute: Concerts, Workshops, Jams

CONFLUENCE Trio, from Olean, Rochester, and Ithaca NY, is a highly creative, versatile, and energetic band consisting of Nadine Dyskant-Miller on flute and foot-percussion, Tim Ball on fiddle, and Barbara Dyskant on keyboard. Ethan Jodziewicz (of Notes Inégales fame) is also on this new CD and will be at Canaan Road for this concert!

They feature both contemporary and traditional arrangements of music from Quebec, Ireland, New England, and elsewhere, plus modern grooves and rhythms and plenty of original material. Contra Dances are their specialty. Their music ranges from intensely driving to silky and lyrical, and is always high energy, filled with verve and life. They are clever at mixing styles and rhythms to create exciting twists and surprises. Within this you will hear (and feel) hints of blues, jazz, and Latin material tucked within the texture of our grooves along with traditional New England dance tunes played as musicians did years ago.

The musicians function as more than their number. Nadine plays simultaneous flute and foot-percussion with pulse and ease. Barbara plays both back-up and melody on keyboard with rapid precision and gusto, and Tim provides lightning fiddle with intensity and sensitivity.

Of special note is the soaring and seamless interweaving of flute and fiddle, ramping up the intensity and pulse of driving tunes and providing gorgeous lyricism in melodic selections.

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• Wednesday, March 14th, 2012


After being blacklisted during the Red Scare of the 1950s, folk song revivalist, civil rights advocate, and social activist Pete Seeger began performing unannounced “community concerts” at schools, camps and community centers. Seeger considers these performances to be some of his most important work. On April 17, 2012, Smithsonian Folkways will release ‘The Complete Bowdoin College Concert, 1960,’ recorded live on campus at the Brunswick, ME, school in 1960.

This is the earliest complete Seeger concert recording available and the only available complete “community concert” recording. The live album features 35 tracks on two discs including two songs — “Al Smith Holds the Bottle” and “I Had a Dream” — unavailable on any other Seeger recording.

Listen to “Penny’s Farm.” (

Listen to “Hieland Laddie” (

‘The Complete Bowdoin College Concert,’ produced and annotated by GRAMMY Award-winning Smithsonian Folkways archivist Jeff Place from a pristine recording of the 1960 event by the staff at WBOR FM, captures Seeger’s breathtaking show for a rapturous audience that audibly hangs on his every note and word. In a notably ironic twist, Seeger’s blacklisted status resulted in him communicating directly to the young audiences authorities were possibly trying to shelter.

“…the only thing that could make me any happier is to know a lot of you take these words and spread them around the world wherever you go.”

– Pete Seeger’s commentary from ‘The Complete Bowdoin College Concert’

Seeger’s college concerts capture not only his finest twelve-string guitar and banjo performances, but also his ability to share and celebrate folk music with a community of young intellectuals eager to create change in the face of political strife. Seeger’s charisma shines as he introduces each song with candor and humor, encouraging the audience to join him for a wide array of traditional, topical and international music pieces during a revolutionary time in American history.

Pete Seeger is a recipient of The Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (1993), The National Medal of Arts (1994), the Kennedy Center Lifetime Achievement Honor (1994) and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (1996). In 2008 he was honored with a GRAMMY Award for best traditional album for ‘At 89,’ and he earned The Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience Award for his commitment to peace and social justice as a musician, songwriter, activist, and environmentalist. He has also been suggested as a worthy recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Seeger will celebrate his 93rd birthday on May 3rd, 2012 and he continues to compose and perform folk music as well as advocate for social change. In January, 2009, he was seen singing “This Land Is Your Land” before hundreds of thousands on the Lincoln Memorial steps during the pre-inauguration concert before Barack Obama became President of the United States. Moses Asch, founder of Folkways Records, released 49 albums by Pete Seeger, and Smithsonian Folkways has released seven more. It’s the largest collection of Seeger’s work.

The Complete Bowdoin College Concert, 1960

Disc 1:

1. Goofing Off Suite-Opening Theme (Pete Seeger)

2. Penny’s Farm

3. He Lies in the American Land (Andrew Kovaly/Pete Seeger)

4. Deep Blue Sea

5. Hieland Laddie

6. Oh, Riley

7. Banjo Medley: Cripple Creek/Old Joe Clark/Old Dan Tucker

8. Summertime (George and Ira Gershwin)

9. D-Day Dodgers (Hamish Henderson)

10. Quiz Show  (Ernie Mars)

11. Al Smith Holds the Bottle

12. What a Friend We Have in Congress  (Ernie Mars)

13. Living in the Country (Pete Seeger)

14. Water Is Wide

15. Bells of Rhymney (Pete Seeger/Idris Davies)

16. Goodnight Irene (Lead Belly)

17. Intermission

Disc 2:

18. Big Rock Candy Mountain (Harry McClintock)

19. I Had a Dream (Big Bill Broonzy)

20. Oh, What a Beautiful City

21. In the Sweet Bye and Bye/Preacher and the Slave (Joe Hill)

22. Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream (Ed McCurdy)

23. Medley: Colorado Trail/Spanish Is the Loving Tongue/From Here on Up/Texas Girls/We Pity Our Bosses Five/The Scabs Crawl In/Swarthmore Girls

24. Open the Door Softly/Road to Athay/Why Do Scotsmen?

25. Hold Up Your Petticoat/Where Have All the Flowers Gone? (Pete Seeger)/Step By Step/Joe Hill’s Last Will (Joe Hill)

26. Vive La Quince Brigada

27. Suliram (Indonesian Lullaby)

28. Wimoweh (The Weavers)

29. Michael, Row the Boat Ashore

30. Commentary

31. Bourgeois Blues (Lead Belly)

32. Black Girl (Lead Belly)/ Kisses Sweeter Than Wine (The Weavers)

33. Tzena, Tzena, Tzena

34. Worried Man Blues (A.P. Carter)

35. Conclusion

About Smithsonian Folkways Recordings

Smithsonian Folkways Recordings is the nonprofit record label of the Smithsonian Institution, the national museum of the United States, dedicated to supporting cultural diversity and increased understanding among peoples through the documentation, preservation, and dissemination of sound.

Through the dissemination of audio recordings and educational materials, Smithsonian Folkways seeks to strengthen people’s engagement with their own cultural heritage and to enhance their awareness and appreciation of the cultural heritage of others. This mission is the legacy of Moses Asch, who founded Folkways Records in 1948 to document “people’s music,” spoken word, instruction, and sounds from around the world.

The Smithsonian acquired Folkways from the Asch estate in 1987, and Smithsonian Folkways Recordings has continued the Folkways commitment to cultural diversity, education, increased understanding, and lively engagement with the world of sound.


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