ITHACA NY — Saturday Oct 16th 2010 — Nightingale instrumental workshop for musicians on Oct 16th 2010 from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm at the Canaan Rd music workspace. It will be open to all instruments, intermediate level and up. $25- each participant. Nightingale is Jeremiah McLane (accordion, piano), Keith Murphy (voice, guitar, mandolin, piano, foot percussion), and Becky Tracy (fiddle). RSVP’s are requested as the number of participants is limited. Email Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a seat and obtain directions. Facebook event http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=150393128323810 FULL STORY and MUSICIANS BIOGRAPHIES below and here http://canaaninstitute.org/mikesmusic/viewtopic.php?p=3557#3557
Quote from the band: “Workshop title: Arranging traditional songs and instrumentals — Nightingale will teach about the various kinds of musical elements that go into our arrangements; how we choose them, how we combine them and how we create a sense of coherence and shape in our pieces. We’ll show the progression of an arrangement by playing the core of a piece in its most basic form, then gradually adding the elements that form the completed piece. The we’ll take a tune suggested by the group and put it through the same ‘arranging mill’. This is a workshop designed for participants to play so please bring instruments. If time permits we’ll also look at arranging medleys for contra dancing. We’ll talk about creating distinctive dance medleys that have a specific theme or shape, and demonstrate rhythmic and textural techniques that produce a distinctive mood. We’ll also discuss programming these kinds of arrangements in an evening of dancing.”
These super talented musicians will be in Ithaca to play for a double header contra dance later that afternoon into evening. http://hands4dancers.org/future/ They are also performing a house concert on campus Sunday at a student co-op as part of Cornell Folk Song Society http://www.cornellfolksong.org/events/index.html
Nightingale is Jeremiah McLane (accordion, piano), Keith Murphy (voice, guitar, mandolin, piano, foot percussion), and Becky Tracy (fiddle). Band website http://www.nightingalevt.org/index.html
More about Nightingale …
Nightingale was formed in 1993 by Jeremiah McLane (accordion, piano), Keith Murphy (voice, guitar, mandolin, piano, foot percussion), and Becky Tracy (fiddle). The nightingale bird is a poetic figure that appears in traditional songs from many places including parts of Northern Europe, Canada and the United States. So the nightingale was an appropriate emblem for a band commited to drawing inspiration from a wide musical territory that includes Ireland, France, Scandinavia, Newfoundland and Quebec.
McLane, Murphy and Tracy were all established players in the traditional New England contra dance scene when they met and Nightingale quickly became a highly sought after New England dance band. But from its inception, Nightingale explored music outside the bounds of New England contra dance and could never be pigeon holed as simply a dance band. Songs of Quebec and Newfoundland were a staple of their repertoire and in their concerts they stretched the format of traditional dance music. Still, their experience as dance musicians generated an obsession with rhythmic integrity and the sustaining pulse that is the essence of dance music. The listener could never miss the underlying drive of much of Nightingale’s music.
The band’s first recording, The Coming Dawn was made in 1994, barely a year after the band’s formation. It was produced by Pete Sutherland and it captured the fresh, raw energy of the band as well as establishing Nightingale’s sophistication as players and arrangers of an eclectic mix of traditional music.
Less than two years later, the band took on a more ambitious recording project - Sometimes When the Moon is High, produced by Grey Larsen. The album was recorded in Joliette Quebec at the (just newly finished) studio of La Bottine Souriante pianist, Denis Frechette. More musically complex and more tightly arranged, this album won the band cudos from a wider audience.
Throughout this period, Nightingale travelled extensively playing concerts and dance events around the U.S. and also in Canada, the U.K., France and Denmark.
But eventually, after six years of intensive touring, the band needed a break, some rejuvenation and time to consider the group’s next phase. In 1999 the band began a nine month sabatical during which all three players explored other musical projects. In 2000, Nightingale reconvened and began reworking its repertoire, drawing more extensively on original compositions from band members Jeremiah McLane and Keith Murphy.These compositions frequently synthesize elements of the band’s traditional repertoire with subtle references to contemporary music. With this new repertoire, the group’s sound and energy also evolved, once again proving the creative resourcefulness of the band.
This work culminated in Nightingale’s most recent recording - Three , released in June 2004. The CD was produced by Denis Frechette and recorded in Brattleboro, VT. It reflects Nightingale’s past while also breaking new ground.
Nightingale has performed on CBC radio in Canada and was recently chosen for the Meet the Composer series in Saranac, New York. The band continues to perform at festivals, performing arts centers, folk clubs, and major dance events everywhere.
The music of composer, accordionist, and pianist Jeremiah McLane is a unique blend of Franco-American, Celtic, jazz, and roots influenced music that is at once exuberant and introspective, tender and passionate. He places familiar sounds in unusual settings, and combines a gift of improvisation with a keen appreciation for the power of melody.
The early years
I was raised in a large family with deep connections to the state of New Hampshire (my great-grandfather was governor from 1905-1907) and to traditional music (there was contra dancing in my father’s family home in Manchester for over 75 years). In our family we listened to many different kinds of music: Edith Piaf, Ragtime, Harry Belafonte, The Beatles, Eric Satie, Jimi Hendrix, Bach, Beethoven, etc. My mother played piano, and my father sang. Songs and music making were a regular feature of family gatherings. I started on clarinet when I was nine and then switched to piano at eleven. I had classical lessons but also learned to play boogie-woogie and blues from my older siblings.
Jeremiah McLane Early on I was influenced by the music of Memphis Slim, Roosevelt Sykes, and other blues artists. As a teenager I was introduced to the music of Miles Davis, Les McCann, Bill Evans, Bud Powell, John Coltrane, and other jazz greats. I went to Oberlin Conservatory where I studied classical and jazz piano, then transferred to the Cornish Institute in Seattle and studied with Gary Peacock. I also studied Indonesian Gamelan, West African drumming, and the music of minimalist composers Steve Reich and Philip Glass.
In 1980 I started studying Celtic music and began playing the accordion. My major influences at that time were the Bothy Band and Dedanann. I started playing in Celtic bands and studied with Chicago accordionist Jimmy Keane and Cape Breton pianist Doug McPhee. In the early 1990s I helped start two bands with strong traditional New England roots: The Clayfoot Strutters and Nightingale, both of which are active today. Nightingale has recorded three CDs and tours regularly throughout the US. In 2003 I formed Le Bon Vent, a sextet specializing in Breton and French music.
Learning and teaching
In 2001 I attended the New England Conservatory of Music and got a Master’s of Music in Contemporary Improvisation. In 2005 I started the Floating Bridge Music School, where I teach traditional and contemporary music. I am a faculty member at the State University of New York in Plattsburgh, NY, and also teach at various summer music camps including Ashokan Fiddle & Dance, Augusta Heritage Arts Center and Centrum’s American Festival of Fiddle Tunes.
Since 1990, I have recorded 9 CDs: three with Nightingale, one each with the Clayfoot Strutters, Ruthie Dornfeld and Le Bon Vent, and three solo CDs. My second solo recording, Smile When You’re Ready, was nominated by National Public Radio in their “favorite picks” of 1996. Hummingbird, with Ruthie Dornfeld, received the French music magazine “Trad Mag” Bravo award for 2003, as did Le Bon Vent’s Goodnight Marc Chagall in 2006. I have composed music for theatre and film, including Sam Shepard’s “A Lie Of The Mind”, and been awarded the Ontario Center For The Performing Arts “Meet The Composer” Award, and the Vermont Council On The Arts “Creation Of New Work” grant.
Jeremiah McLane solo recordings and performances:
Accordionist/pianist Jeremiah performs a unique blend of Franco-America, Celtic and Jazz influenced music featuring his own compositions as well as arrangements of traditional pieces. His music is at once exuberant and introspective, tender and passionate. He places familiar sounds in unusual settings, and combines his unique gift of improvisation with a keen appreciation for the power of a simple melody. He has appeared at numerous festivals in the U.S. and in Europe including the Royal Festival Hall in London, England, the Picolo Spoleto Festival, the St. Chartiers Festival (France), and the Philadelphia Folk Festival. He has composed music for theatre and film, including Sam Shepard’s “A Lie of the Mind”, and received numerous grants and awards including the Ontario Center for the Performing Arts Meet the Composer Award, and the Vermont Council on the Arts Creation of New Work Grant. National Public Radio selected his second solo recording, Smile When You’re Ready, in their “favorite picks” of 1996. His fifth release, Hummingbird, received the French music magazine “Trad Mag” BRAVO award for 2003. Jeremiah teaches world music, accordion and piano at the State University of New York in Plattsburgh.
Jeremiah McLane as part of Nightingale
CD - Nightingale: Three/Trois Over the past decade the three superb musicians who make up Nightingale, Becky Tracy (fiddle), Jeremiah McLane (piano, accordion), and Keith Murphy (guitar, mandolin, foot percussion, vocals), have charmed audiences with their vibrant and imaginative explorations of musical traditions that carry listeners across New England to Quebec, Newfoundland, Ireland, France, and beyond.
Hailed in Sing Out! Magazine for their “impeccable playing… danceable and exciting, with a reflective approach to the music”, Nightingale has fashioned a fresh and distinctive sound that is innovative while rooted in Celtic and Northern European folk traditions. From a Newfoundland ballad to a blazing set of Irish reels, from a rollicking Quebecois chanson-a-repondre to a lilting bourree from Central France, their song and tune arrangements find the perfect balance between tradition and innovation.
Newfoundland-born KEITH MURPHY began absorbing his native musical languages - folksongs, ballads and dance music - from an early age. A proficient multi-instrumentalist, he has long applied much of his considerable energy to the rhythmic side, becoming a valued band member (NIGHTINGALE, ASSEMBLY) and sought-after sideman on guitar, mandolin and foot percussion. At the same time, Murphy’s natural and lyrical singing and piano playing add a complementary dimension to his music, a thoughtful, well-crafted and ever-respectful take on tradition.
Now residing in Southern Vermont, Keith has variously called Ottawa and Toronto home. Irish ceilidhs, Scottish balls, Quebecois sets and American contras - dance accompaniment was and continues to be much of his career path.His many musical encounters with top players in many styles saw him develop both a harmonic sensitivity and the propulsive right hand that has become his signature sound. His distinctive guitar playing in the popular DADGAD tuning, alternating with a driving chordal mandolin style, and often underlined by his unerring French-Canadian style footwork has accompanied such noted players as Liz Carroll, Martin O’Connor, Winifred Horan, Oliver Schroer and more in the studio and on stage throughout North America and Europe.
Three recordings by Murphy’s long-running trio NIGHTINGALE were the first to showcase his vocal abilities, which show the influence of his Maritime forbears along with his passion for - and bilingual facility with - Irish and Quebecois traditional singers and songs. Keith’s gentle and expressive tenor voice recalls balladeer Paul Brady and his style a good bit of chantey-masters A.L Lloyd and Lou Killen, but his “ownership” of the songs he carefully chooses to sing is unquestioned. A skillful band arranger schooled in the decades-long folk revival, Murphy brings all of these many talents to the plate for his first vocally-oriented solo outing, “Bound for Canaan”released in 2005.
Becky Tracy has dance music in her blood. Her grandparents were active in the dance scene around Boston in the 1930’s and were involved in the early years of NEFFA (New England Folk Festival Association) - still an important institution in the New England dance scene. Becky’s parents met through dancing and were leaders of community dances for many years.
Becky herself began playing for contra dancing in Maine, bending her early classical training to the demands of dance music. Later, she studied Irish fiddling styles with Brendan Mulvihill and Eugene O’Donnel and French Canadian fiddling with Lisa Ornstein. All these elements combined to give Becky her distinctive clarity of tone, a rhythmic attack owing much to French Canadian playing and the melodic quality of Irish music. Her sound is unmistakable.
She has been a defining presence in some of the most popular and innovative contra dance bands to come out of New England, being the fiddler for both Wild Asparagus and Nightingale. Becky is featured on recordings by both these groups. She has performed for dance events and concerts in about 40 states across the US, as well as Canada and Europe and is a popular fiddle teacher at summer music camps.
Check out her solo recording, Evergreen from 2001.