The Hillbillies from Mars will be landing at the Felton Community Hall for the first Sunday of the month Contra Dance sponsored by the non-profit Santa Cruz Traditional Dancers on January 5, 2014 at 7:00pm. The Hillbillies are a favorite dance band from the San Francisco Bay Area that’s been together since 1982, combining elements of Celtic and American traditional fiddle music blended with some swing, Latin and African rhythms to keep your feet moving. The band includes interstellar musicians Kevin Carr (fiddle, bagpipes, accordion, banjo), Ray Bierl (fiddle, guitar), Paul Kotapish (mandolin, guitar, percussion), and Daniel Steinberg (keyboards, flute, percussion). Susan Petrick will be prompting the dances. While you can pick up the dance moves on the fly, you’re welcome to attend a newcomers orientation session at 6:40pm for a head start. The tradition of contra dancing involves frequent changes of partners and movements with everyone in the room, so you’re welcome to come alone or bring a friend.
The Wake the Dead band who are mostly from the SF Bay Area, blends traditional Celtic music played on acoustic instruments with the songs of the Grateful Dead. They’ll be performing at Don Quixote’s International Music Hall in Felton, CA on Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 8pm. The band includes Danny Carnahan, a singer, fiddler, and player of just about anything with frets, and a two-time NAIRD (National Association of Independent Record Distributors) “Indie” award winner, Sylvia Herold, guitarist and amazing singer, Paul Kotapish, tasty and talented mandolin and guitar player and occasional vocalist, Kevin Carr, singer, fiddler, whistle & pipes player, Maureen Brennan featured on harp, Cindy Browne on bass, and Brian Rice on percussion.
Bua, a band from Chicago playing Irish traditional music, will be appearing at Don Quixote’s in Felton, CA on Tues, Oct 1, 2013 at 7:30pm. Presented by the Celtic Society of the Monterey Bay, Bua consists of four musicians playing uilleann (elbow) pipes, fiddle, flute, whistle, concertina, bouzouki and guitar blended with fine harmony singing in Gaelic as well as English. They also sing unaccompanied ballads in the spine-tingling stark sean-nos style (“old style”) and can do a bit of traditional dancing as well, closely matching steps with the rhythms of the tunes. They’ve performed at many of the top Irish and folk festivals in North America and received an Irish Music Award in 2009 as the “Top Traditional Group.” Their latest album is highly recommended by the Backroads folk show here at KZSC (Sundays, 12-2pm).
From Scotland, Mànran will be performing at Don Quixote’s in Felton, CA on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at 7:30pm. Mànran is a six-member high-energy band playing a mix of Scottish traditional and contemporary music, singing in both Gaelic and English. They’ve headlined in major festivals throughout the United Kingdom and Europe, including a special performance at the 2012 London Olympics. They’re known for titanic sets of tunes and songs driven by Gary Innes on accordion, Ewen Henderson on fiddle, Norrie MacIver on lead vocals, Ryan Murphy on uillean pipes, flute, and saxophone, Scott Mackey on drums, and Ross Saunders on bass. They received a Creative Scotland Award for helping to raise over two million pounds for the benefit of under privileged children in Scotland from sales from their song “Take You There.” Presented by the Celtic Society of the Monterey Bay, Mànran will be celebrating the release of their second CD “The Test.”
Scottish fiddling master Alasdair Fraser hosts a week-long Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School every year, culminating with an annual concert which this year falls on Friday, Aug 30, 2013 at 8pm at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium. Performances showcase the exceptional instructors, along with over a hundred of their students on the stage, who occasionally add an accompanying wall of sound. Traditional and original fiddle tunes and songs from Scotland, Ireland and Quebec will be featured by Alasdair (Scottish), along with Andre Brunet and Eric Beaudry (Quebec), Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh (Irish, from the group Altan), singer and fiddler Laura Cortese (Boston), amazing step dancer Nic Gareiss, cellist Natalie Haas plus another 11 all-star fiddlers.
Two members of the traditional Irish music group Patrick Street, Kevin Burke and John Carty, will be performing as a duo on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 7:30pm at the Resource Center for Nonviolence, in Santa Cruz, CA. Both are outstanding fiddlers, Kevin with his distinctive County Sligo fiddling style that anchored the sound of the influential Bothy Band in the past, and John playing not only the fiddle, but tenor banjo, flute and guitar, and being a recipient of a “Traditional Musician of the Year Award” in Ireland. The concert is presented by the Celtic Society of the Monterey Bay
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