Award-winning Irish flute player and singer Hanz Araki is the quintessential world music musician. After six generations, the name Araki is synonymous with the Japanese shakuhachi (an end-blown bamboo flute) which Hanz mastered, making his professional debut in 1988.
After four years of concert appearances and teaching at the prestigious Keio University in Tokyo, Japan, Hanz returned to his hometown of Seattle, WA and found himself drawn to the world of Celtic music. The penny-whistle and the Irish flute became his single-minded focus, and jigs and reels became a second language. His unique style and passion laid a path to a twenty-year career in Irish music.
Hanz also discovered his voice was well-suited to the songs of Scotland, Ireland, and England. He is highly regarded for his interpretation of folk songs, many considering him one of the finest singers in this exciting and living tradition.
After several tours across the US, Canada, and the UK (first with the Juno Award winning Paperboys, then Casey Neill) as well as a return to Japan, now as a well-respected Irish flute-player and singer, Hanz moved to Portland, Oregon in 2006. This move proved to be most fortuitous as it led to the musical partnership with Kathryn Claire.
A self-taught guitarist and accomplished vocalist and fiddle-player, Kathryn has asserted herself in a new generation of traditionally-inspired musicians. Her violin-playing exhibits a technical grace which is matched only by her truly captivating voice. While she possesses the rare ability to move seamlessly across genres, her love and deep respect for traditional music has long been a driving influence, and those roots can be heard in her own original music.
Early classical training gave her a strong foundation, but naturally gave way to her own creative inclinations. Kathryn taught herself guitar at a young age in order to explore her own voice as a songwriter and accompanist and has developed a hypnotic, driving accompaniment style. She has spent years cultivating her craft as an instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter.
Kathryn and Hanz quickly discovered their shared love of harmony, and a creative process began that has produced a tremendous body of work. Their shared passion for traditional music is magnetic and they have become a favorite at music festivals and venues in the US and abroad.
Tickets: $16 advance, $20 at the door
Dublin-born Róisín O is one of the most promising new artists to emerge from the competitive Irish music scene in recent times. In a relatively short time-span she has shared both stage and studio with some of Ireland’s leading artists, showing an expressive voice full of warmth and depth, and proved that combining a unique songwriting style with a commitment to hard work is still the best way to progress.
Róisin O released her debut album The Secret Life of Blue in September 2012, and went straight into the Irish Official Album charts at number 21.
The Secret Life of Blue was released by 3ú Records and recorded in the Studio Black Box in France with Grammy Award-winning producer David Odlum (The Frames, Gemma Hayes, Josh Ritter).
Colleen Raney is among the best young Celtic singers of her generation, inspired by the Irish and Scottish songs and tunes that she grew up with as a member of the multi-talented Raney family and alongside the world renowned harp and dulcimer duo Magical Strings.
“Raney brings a rich, heart, and inviting voice – unmistakably American and without affectation or pretense – to her music.” Sean Smith, Boston Irish Reporter, May 2012.
Raney is often found singing with a band culled from the cream of the Irish music crop in Portland, Oregon where she makes her home. She is also a member of the band Story Road, based out of Northern California featuring fiddler John Weed, and guitarist and mandola player Stuart Mason.
Dublin, Ireland-born Colm MacCárthaigh is an in-demand Irish session musician who now calls Seattle, Washington his home. After studying and playing extensively in Ireland, Seattle has seen him play with musicians such as Tom Creegan, Dale Russ, Leo MacNamara, Aurora Burd as well as on stage with Magical Strings in their annual Celtic Yuletide Celebration. Colm is recognized on both sides of the pond for his deft and lively guitar playing.
Tickets: $12 advance, $15 at the door
Described by SF Weekly as a “collision of Django Reinhardt and David Grisman,” Taarka is the new acoustic “supergroup” (Flagstaff Live) led by the husband-and-wife team of David Pelta-Tiller (mandolin, tenor guitar, vocals) and Enion Pelta-Tiller (five-string violin, vocals) joined by bassist Troy Robey, with a malleable crew of cellists, fiddlers and other string mavens rounding out the sound.
David, a versatile picker raised in Virginia on a steady diet of bluegrass, Celtic, classical and gypsy jazz, and Enion, a classically-trained violinist who can switch seamlessly between Bartók and bebop (not to mention gypsy jazz, punk, rock, bluegrass) began their journey together in 2001. After meeting at a Brooklyn Browngrass gig, the two began a Gypsy jazz busker act in the New York City subway before hitting the road as Taarka.
Though Taarka presently balances between singer songwriting and instrumentals, from its beginnings as a purely instrumental string band putting a modern spin on Gypsy and Eastern European folk music, Taarka has drawn from wide-ranging influences over the past 10 years. Sophisticated listeners would be able to distill flavors of Western and Eastern folk traditions, jazz, rock, bluegrass, old-time, gypsy, Indian, and Celtic music all in a string band setting. Taarka has lately been gaining notice for their songwriting, which is informed by traditional bluegrass, old-time and folk from America and Europe, 19th century poetry, and rock inspired by performances with some of the greatest names in songwriting today, including Darrell Scott, Greg Brown, James McMurtry and Nathan Moore, but which incorporates sweeping pop and popping gypsy elements.
Since 2006, when David and Enion landed in Lyons, CO—known for its bluegrass and new acoustic scene—their compositional output has taken on a decidedly American aura, with vocals added to enhance the stories told in their songs. Their fifth studio album, Adventures in Vagabondia, was released in January 2013.
Taarka’s joyous recordings benefit from starry guest performances and David’s masterful production work—each a carefully crafted travelogue tracing a phase of the group’s evolution. Yet unsurprisingly, Taarka’s calling card is its colorful live show. Of Taarka’s performance at the Oregon Country Fair, Synthesis Magazine wrote, “Taarka began driving the painted and costumed crowd into a dancing frenzy…they combined Roma, Klezmer and jazz, infusing their rousing and exciting tunes with breakneck Zappa-esque breakdowns and insurmountable gusto. Regardless of your particular musical tastes, Taarka is a band that simply must be witnessed.”
The band is equally potent whether as a down-and-dirty duo act or a stellar extended line- up featuring a top-notch array of fellow travelers. David and Enion have performed with members of the Grateful Dead, Phish, and String Cheese Incident, Yonder Mountain String Band as well as Darol Anger, Joe Craven, ALO, Keller Williams, Danny Barnes, Steve Kimock, Taj Mahal, Widespread Panic, The Samples, and Aquarium Rescue Unit, Kaki King, Rob Wasserman, Tony Furtado, The Motet, Dan Bern and The Everyone Orchestra.
Taarka has performed at major festivals across the country including High Sierra, Joshua Tree Music Festival, Oregon Country Fair, Sisters Folk Festival, Telluride Bluegrass, Mendocino Music Festival, Bumbershoot, Seattle Folklife, Nedfest, Lightening in a Bottle, Berkeley World Music Festival, Aspen Bluegrass Festival, San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival and The Millpond Folk Festival and many more…
Tickets: $20 advance, $25 at the door
Seattle’s own Colleen Raney brings her band home with her for a very special concert at Empty Sea Studios. Hailed as an “undiscovered gem” (TradConnect, 2012) Colleen’s distinct style of contemporary Celtic music has been gaining recognition and popularity after the successful releases of 2011′s Cuan and Lark and 2008′s Linnet. Featuring music in development for a new studio album, the entire concert will be recorded and each audience member will receive a copy as a memento of the evening as well as a sneak peek into the next full Colleen Raney album. Join Colleen, acclaimed box player Johnny B. Connolly, and Seattle favorite Casey Neill for an exclusive concert and experience.
ABOUT THE COLLEEN RANEY BAND:
Musicians don’t come with much more history in the craft than Irish singer Colleen Raney. She’s been singing for more than two decades, and has been immersed in America’s Celtic music and dance scene for three. Raised in Seattle, previously based in New York, she now calls Portland, Oregon home.
Only in the last several years has Colleen translated the tapestry of her upbringing in the multi-talented Raney family into recordings. Her first album, 2008’s Linnet, showcases her aptitude for re-imagining classic Irish songs, as well as her own songwriting, which she manages to present as well-loved and firmly rooted in tradition. 2011’s Lark saw Colleen take on co-producing duties, and drew on contributions by Northwest music scene staples Casey Neill, Hanz Araki, Zak Borden, Ezra Holbrook, Colm MacCárthaigh, and Matt Jerrell, all of whom play live with Colleen in various combinations. The end of 2011 saw the release of Cuan, a duo album with master guitarist Colm MacCárthaigh, and extensive touring in the U.S. and Ireland. Today Colleen can be heard on the radio from Dublin to New York to Maui, Hawai’i.
Rarely is an artist as deeply entrenched in a musical niche as Colleen Raney has been able to present centuries-old music with an eye toward current and future listeners outside of the genre. By adapting and developing her voice, at turns lullaby-soft and intensely powerful, and by surrounding herself with a constantly-evolving ensemble of the best musicians the Northwest has to offer, Colleen manages to credit her background and stake claim as a serious presence in contemporary Celtic music.
JOHNNY B. CONNOLLY – button accordion
Johnny B. Connolly was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland. He began playing when he was eight and by age 15 he was a regular feature around his hometown, performing with musicians sometimes twice his age. Johnny’s dexterity on the accordion earned him a place with the established Celtic ensemble, Anam, at the age of seventeen. In 1996 Johnny seized an opportunity to bring his skills to America. In 2001 he signed with Green Linnet records and released his first album entitled Bridgetown named after his adopted hometown, Portland. While based in Portland, Johnny tours internationally, performing at festivals, and concerts.
CASEY NEILL – guitar
Casey Neill is a singer/songwriter and guitar player out of Portland, Oregon. In addition to an active career performing with his rock band (Casey Neill & The Norway Rats), he has been working as a sideman with many of the top names in Celtic music. Casey has backed up and recorded with master traditional fiddlers such as Kevin Burke, Martin Hayes, and Johnny Cunningham. Johnny also produced 2 of Casey’s CDs and played in his band for many years. Irish supergroup Solas recorded Casey’s original song “Lowground” on their CD’s Waiting for an Echo and Reunion.
“Raney brings a rich, hearty, and inviting voice – unmistakably American and without affectation or pretense – to her music.” – Sean Smith, Boston Irish Reporter, May 2012
“Singing with a deep love for the tradition, and for the dark poetry of Celtic song, Colleen has been drawing new life from the old ballads and renewing our love for Celtic music.” – Devon Leger, Hearth Music
Tickets: $11 advance, $14 at the door.
Click here to purchase advance tickets.
Roy Douglas – from a large musical family, growing up in Illinois – left the endless horizons of the Midwest to explore what lie beyond. Carried by curiosity, so began a life of poetry and music, of perpetual discovery and learning.
Roy learned that music is a universal language, and like the endless horizon from whence he came, his appreciation and love for it is unbounded. His compositions are drawn from a diverse spectrum of music, which includes traditional folk, avant-garde, the mainstream radio of his youth, bluegrass, Celtic, classical, hints of jazz and more. He finds inspiration in the ever-changing ever-constant melody rhythm timbre and lyric poetry of life and living. Most of his songs he receives as gifts from the stories’ demeanor circumstance and day-to-day experiences of people he meets, observes, hears, or reads about. Other songs are simple commentaries about the unfairness society inflicts on folks that might be better served with compassion and a helping hand. His compositions are accessible and tuneful, shaped by tempo and tonality, balanced with dynamics and inflection, creating a body of work that reflects the unity, continuity and diversity of human experience.
Roy enjoys being immersed in throngs of people, uninhibited conversation, the embrace of the open outdoors, the quiet absorption of empty cathedrals, and spinning around in circles (arms flailing). Besides performing, rehearsing, and composing, Roy likes to read, write, walk, think, listen – and smile.
For the majority of the evening, Roy will be playing his own material. However, showcasing one of his rarely glimpsed musical facets and accompanied by the talented Chris deLeon on piano, the performance will begin with a short recital featuring favorite Italian arias, folk songs arranged by Aaron Copland, works by Stephen Foster, and more. The evening’s presentation promises to be especially unique, entertaining, and a delightful treat.
Don’t miss this animated, energetic, and engaging performer for his last appearance in the United States. Roy will soon be traveling to Europe, continuing his work as mentioned above, and then some. And then some more.
Tickets: $12 advance, $15 at the door.
It is seldom that a young folk duo emerges with so focused a direction and critical regard. After their first show together, Emma Beaton and Nic Gareiss’ sound was lauded “delicate and broken and perfectly sweet.” Perhaps it was to be expected considering their respective burgeoning solo careers: Emma, a folk cellist, vocalist, and banjo player originally from Vancouver Island, has performed across North America and Scotland with notable musicians such Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas, Bruce Molsky, Laurie Lewis, Crooked Still, and Back of the Moon.
Emma is also the front-woman of the Boston-based modern American stringband Joy Kills Sorrow. Her 2008 solo release, “Pretty Fair Maid” was awarded a Canadian Folk Music Award, naming her the 2008 Young Performer of the Year. Her singing has been described as “gorgeous and clear,” the music, “diverse and inventive”.
Nic, a dancer, singer, and bouzouki-player from northern Michigan has danced and played across Europe and the states with The Chieftains, Tim O’Brien, Footworks, and Uncle Earl. He has studied and performed music and dance internationally, including a year in Irish Music Performance at the University of Limerick in Ireland, where he is now studying to earn his Masters degree. Emma and Nic first met at several music camps and began playing together late at night after square dances and evening-long fiddle tunes sessions. The songs they sang became the last music of the night. Today, their music retains a sense of staid nostalgia and quiet, almost secretive intimacy, grounded in Celtic and Americana traditions, but ultimately all their own.
“I fell in love at once, their music reminds me why I listen to folk music in the first place.” – Cover Lay Down, 2008
PLEASE NOTE: Due to unforeseen circumstances, tonight’s concert has been cancelled. Advance ticketholders will receive a full refund through Brown Paper Tickets.
We apologize for the inconvenience!
In 1986, Scotsman Donnie Macdonald and Irishman James Keigher came together to perform Irish and Scottish folk music, combining traditional and contemporary styles. The name “Men of Worth” was chosen from the title of a folk song written by the Scottish singer/songwriter Archie Fisher.
Together, Men of Worth blend their voices with harmony and support their collection of songs with their varied selection of instruments. They have a very simple approach to their
presentation, and in keeping with tradition, remain true to the music and story. Their show is a unique combination of humour, exciting tunes, and soulful, heartfelt ballads.
Men of Worth are an international act, and have earned much respect and success in two decades of touring. Performing concerts, festivals, and having recorded ten albums, Men of Worth continue the very tradition from which they evolved.
Sorry, this show is completely sold out! No tickets will be released at the door.
Please join us as double mandolin meets double fiddle in this special evening of instrumental music!
Mandolin duo Michael Connolly & Miller McNay will present music from their breakthrough mandolin duo album The Mandolin Casefiles.
To kick off the evening, fiery Celtic fiddler Prairie Wolfe will be joined by Michael Connolly on fiddle, chromatic button accordion and guitar for an opening set of Irish and French Canadian tunes.
With tunes spanning the blues, old-time, bluegrass, Irish and French Canadian genres, this is a Next Gen Folk show you won’t want to miss!
Michael Connolly & Miller McNay: The Northwest’s premier mandolin duo
Playing their mandolins together for more than five years, Michael Connolly and Miller McNay have traveled along and across genre boundaries, from bluegrass to old-time to swing. In their inaugural album celebrating the unusual pairing of two mandolins, Connolly and McNay share the sound they’ve developed as a duo: transparent and open, but warm, varied, and eminently listenable.
In The Mandolin Casefiles: It Takes Two To Mando, Connolly and McNay offer up a mix of traditionaltunes, covers, and originals like McNay’s “The Grapes of Rag,” which introduces the disc, and Connolly’s “Mr. Pick’s Blues,” a chromatic, colorful adventure in 12/8. A vintage Gibson mandola makes an appearance on “Over The Waterfall” and on the duo’s cover of Lennon and McCartney’s “In My Life.” Exhibiting an unparalleled responsiveness to each others’ playing, the musicians slip effortlessly between lead, accompaniment, and even percussive roles.
Recorded live in the studio with no overdubs, The Mandolin Casefiles captures the palpable energy and moment-by-moment musical dialogue between two longstanding collaborators at play.
Michael Connolly’s love affair with the mandolin began at age six. During his musically charged upbringing in Memphis, Tennessee, he delved deeply into bluegrass, old-time, Irish traditional, blues, and swing music. The result is a unique “hornlike” approach to the instrument. His deft ear and sensitive accompaniment have won him appearances touring with and performing alongside Michelle Shocked, Coyote Grace, and The Indigo Girls.
An accomplished multi-instrumentalist, Connolly performs regularly on fiddle, piano, and accordion as well as maintaining a busy teaching schedule. He has recorded widely, appearing on nineteen albums. The Mandolin Casefiles is the twelfth to feature his mandolin playing.
Miller McNay’s mandolin story began in his native Charlotte, North Carolina. Winner of the Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival’s mandolin contest, he has played with Free Roaming Buffalo Herd,and Barnyard Stompand as a founding member of Captain Gravel.
McNay’s impeccable tone and rhythmic drive have led to his sharing the stage with Joe Craven, G-Love & Special Sauce, and Ben Winship as well as opening for Tim O’ Brien, Danny Barnes, and The Wilders.
Seattle-based Celtic fiddler Prairie Wolfe never intended to play the fiddle at all. “I wanted to play the celtic harp as a kid,” she reports. It was French-Canadian/Metis fiddler Anne Lederman who influenced her to try her hand at the fiddle. “I’ve definitely always been attracted to the raw, unrefined sound of the fiddle.” It is this raw energy and the old-world accents that stand Prairie apart from other fiddlers and distinguishes her dynamic, rhythmic playing.
In 2005, Prairie’s talents whisked her from her westcoast home to Europe on a tour with Irish trio Damanta. The band played Ireland, Holland, Germany and Austria, bringing to audiences what Prairie describes as their unique “Christina Ricci meets Ashley MacIsaac” sound. Following the tour, she landed in Boston and decided to stay a while. During her stay, Prairie was quickly initiated into the New England contradance scene, playing dances at the Guiding Star Grange in Greenfield, MA and getting involved with teaching, busking, and frequenting the odd session or two at the Burren.
The Burren is a long way from the church basement meetings of the Vancouver Scottish Fiddle Club, where Prairie got her start and where she met her initial mentor and teacher, Juno-Award winning fiddler Shona Le Mottee, of “Paperboys” and “Lord of the Dance” fame. Before long, she was performing in Vancouver’s CelticFest, doing demonstrations at schools, and hosting “Fiddlers For Funds: Tsunami Relief Benefit Concert.” “I have been amazingly lucky to play with all of Vancouver’s very best fiddlers and musicians, and to know them personally too. It’s been a charmed life.”
Tickets: $12 advance, $16 at the door.
Molly’s Revenge is a dynamic, acoustic Celtic band known for its unique and infectious on-stage enthusiasm. The classic combination of bagpipes, whistle, fiddle, and song — set against a backdrop of guitar, bouzouki, and mandola accompaniment — guarantees an enjoyable experience for all fans of Scottish and Irish music. Their arrangements of traditional jigs and reels bring these dance tunes up to date with a driving, hard-edged accent that always leaves audiences shouting for more.
From epic sets on highland pipes and fiddle, to angelic folk songs over bouzouki and mandola, to ripping sets of Irish jigs and reels, the lads of Molly’s Revenge have expanded their range on their seventh release, “The Western Shore.” The new record was produced by John Doyle, a founding member of Irish supergroup Solas. Guest performers include percussionist Fraser Stone (Old Blind Dogs), John Doyle, and vocalist Moira Smiley (VOCO).
David Brewer has been playing whistle and four types of bagpipes for about 15 years. He studied in Scotland at the Ceolas Music School in South Uist under the tutelage of some of the best pipers in the world. His authentic and unique style of playing has earned him the reputation of being one of the most accomplished pipers on the West Coast. David has composed close to 200 traditional style tunes, many of which have appeared on recordings, independent films, and television.
John Weed is a classically-trained violinist who switched to playing Irish fiddle about 10 years ago. John lived in Ireland in 2000 and taught fiddle workshops at the Flowing Tide International Music School in Doonbeg, County Clare. He hones his skills annually by attending the Frankie Kennedy Winter School in Dunlewey, County Donegal where he has studied with Ciaran O’Maonaigh and Dermot Mcloughlin.
Pete Haworth grew up in the Blackburn area of Lancashire County, England, where he collected and sang the local folk songs. He brings an authentic vocal style, a very big bouzouki, and an unflagging sense of humour to the band. He and his family moved to California in 1982.
Stuart Mason has been collecting and performing traditional music for over 30 years. He has appeared on stage from Ireland to China performing Celtic, old time bluegrass, and his original compositions, which have won awards from the West Coast Songwriters Association. He leads workshops and classes in traditional music techniques at music festivals and camps.
Tickets: $13 in advance, $15 at the door.
Kat Eggleston is one of the most accomplished guitarists and singer/songwriters in the folk, Celtic and traditional music genres. Elating, moving, and amusing audiences with her beautiful blend of sweet melodies, gentle honesty and searing humor, Kat’s music reflects a wide range of life’s experiences with unusual clarity and authority.
In a clear alto with flawless intonation, Kat Eggleston goes straight to the lyrical and emotional truth of every word and every note. Her musings on home, childhood, and her father’s garden are gems of direct, unassuming plainspokenness. Her narratives push hard at our senses and demand we return again and again to pick up the pieces we dropped on first hearing, expanding our comprehension of difficult, personal and universal experience
Kat has released five CDs to date, three of which are available from Waterbug Music, one from Redwing Music, and the most recent – Speak – in August 2009 as an independent release.
Also an actor, teacher and hammered dulcimer player, Kat has been a lead singer with The Otters and with Bohola, and recorded a duo CD with Kate MacLeod. She has played live and on recordings with David Bromberg, Bohola, the David Munnelly Band, Niamh Parsons, Jim Tullio, Tom Dundee, Dennis Cahill, Michael Smith, Brooks Williams, Andrew Calhoun, and many others. She has toured in Europe, Australia, Ireland, England, and Scotland as well as the U.S.
Robyn Landis is a writer of unusual depth and literacy. Her distinctive, powerful command of songcraft garners repeatedcomparisons to Richard Shindell and Dar Williams.
Writing poetry at four and her first published magazine piece by 19, Robyn had a full career as a writer and author (publishing two bestselling health books in her twenties) before turning her focus to music. Her gifts and skills as a writer, applied to songcraft, earned her quick recognition. Since 2005 she has accrued more than 40 songwriting awards and honors.
She has won Grand Prize in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, first place at Woody Guthrie Folk Festival, second place in the Unisong International Songwriting Competition, a Telluride Troubadors honorable mention, and was a Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Emerging Artist in 2009.
Robyn is especially respected for her unflinching honesty, vulnerability, and fierce intelligence. Her courageous, heartfelt songs tackle subjects ranging from war to weather to love; adoption and dementia, betrayal and longing, friendship, child abuse, old sitcoms, and the environment.
Unpretentious, wistful and intimate vocals infuse her memorable folk-pop-Americana melodies with warmth and feeling.
Her followup/solo recording Many Moons, released May 2009, has guest appearances by Michael Lille, Mark Graham, Kat Eggleston, Larry Murante, Joe and Karena Prater (Cat Loves Crow), and Hans York; and features Paul Elliott on fiddle and Cary Black on bass.
Mark Tucker of Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange (FAME) says of Many Moons, “Every cut here is a keeper, and Landis obviously either lavished a good deal of time on the arrangements or has a natural gift for it, probably both. Like David Wilcox, her work is rich with sympathy for human frailty and the thousand and one disappointments the flesh is heir to… Robyn Landis, I’m quite sure, waited until her art was fully matured and, man, does it ever show.”
Indie-Music.com says, “Smooth vocals, like an earthy Laurie Lewis…Landis has won a lot of songwriting awards, and it’s easy to see why…Her writing is like a good short story.”
Nancy Vivolo, VICTORY REVIEW: “…smooth vocals caress the sensitive poetry and bittersweet sorrow…With each literary illustration, the landscape blurs by around another winding curve and bump in the road; another set of headlights grow then disappear in a flash, and yet a ghostly image remains…she can put you behind the wheel with her cohesive words and melody. Landis has been turning heads at many songwriters’ contests and festivals and as a result has chocked up her share of nominations and awards. Listening to the content and production quality of Many Moons, there is no doubt as to why…Many Moons is a brightly polished piece of work that will capture and carry you gently along on an intricate narrative adventure; an exceptional release.”