Laura Cortese w/ Mariel Vandersteel at the Canaan Institute May 8th

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


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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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