The Kathy Kallick Band

Tickets: $20 advance, $23 at the door.
Click here to purchase advance tickets.

Please join us for an evening of contemporary bluegrass music with The Kathy Kallick Band Live at Empty Sea!

“Veteran West Coast roots singer/guitarist Kathy Kallick makes bluegrass records that at their best — and decades into it she makes nothing less — are exciting propositions. She’s as gripping a vocalist as anybody on the scene, she has a superior band and she writes and chooses superb material. If you ask for more than that, may the universe forgive you.” - Jerome Clark, Rambles

The band is based along the west coast — the SF Bay Area, Portland, Seattle, and Anchorage — but their powerful mixture of original and classic material, mirroring their distinctive combination of traditional and contemporary sensibilities, has great appeal everywhere.

“They still play the tried-and-tested mixture of hot bluegrass and cool originals, and latter category provides the album’s opening trio of standout cuts, in my book all virtually guaranteed instant-classic status. [But] every single cut exhibits that characteristic sense of sparkling yet relaxed drive and entirely confident instrumental chops, with splendid, almost incidental, vocal harmonies from every member of the band – you can sure tell they’re in tune with each other in every sense.” - David Kidman, Fatea

Kathy’s exceptional career includes: winning a Grammy and two IBMA Awards … receiving a Lifetime Membership from the California

We are broadcasting this show live on the Roots Channel, click here to learn more

Bluegrass Association … co-founding the internationally-acclaimed band, Good Ol’ Persons, and releasing five albums with them … performing and recording with the Frank Wakefield Band … appearing on three high-profile Rounder collections of bluegrass songs by women … writing and releasing award-winning music for children and families … touring throughout North America, Europe, and Japan … having five title tracks and albums each spend a year in the upper echelon of the national bluegrass charts … and collaborating with the country’s top acoustic musicians – including her mighty current band:

• Annie Staninec (fiddle, vocals)
• Tom Bekeny (mandolin, vocals)
• Greg Booth (dobro, banjo, vocals)
• Cary Black (acoustic bass, vocals)
• Kathy Kallick (guitar, vocals)

“Kathy Kallick is one of the best songwriters in bluegrass and acoustic music, always coming up with interesting, sometimes playful, always sure-handed songs [featuring] conversational yet evocative lyrics and solid bluegrass sensibilities. The Kathy Kallick Band is a wonderful combination of youth and experience. All are strong musicians and they create a distinctive band sound.” - Chris Stuart, Sing Out!

Led by one of the music’s extraordinary composers and vocalists, the Kathy Kallick Band has nearly as much fun as the audience when performing. The material is compelling, the tone ranges from humorous to bittersweet to soulful, the instrumental playing is electric, the vocals luminous, the presentation inclusive.

Hollis Peach and The Murphy Beds

Tickets: $16 advance, $20 at the door.

Click here to purchase advance tickets.

In the spirit of American Greats like Townes Van Zandt, Simon & Garfunkel, Joanna Newsom, Pete Seeger, and John Prine, Hollis Peach strives to create authentic innovative music.  With a deep personal story, Dan Sherrill (songwriter and guitarist) draws inspiration from his experience as an Early Childhood and Special-Needs teacher, intimate relationships, world travels, and living in a “tiny home”.  His singing partner Jacqui Aubert rounds out the musical soundscape with her velvety voice.  This, paired with distinct arrangements and lyrics, showcases their skillful treatment of harmony, and a grasp for the overt simple beauty of two voices singing together. 

They released ther debut album, “Sometimes We Feel the Same”, independently in the spring of 2016, under the guidance of Grammy-Winning producer Dave Clauss.  And have toured extensively throughout the PNW, opening for folk-star Brett Dennen, and sharing several shows with Oakland’s T Sisters.

We are broadcasting this show live on the Roots Channel, click here to learn more.

For 2017 Hollis Peach plans on touring nationally, working on their sophomore album, and, with their inventive songwriting and on-stage charm, expanding their current fanbase. 

“Dan is a monster of a guitar player.” – Kenneth Pattengale, Milk Carton Kids


The Murphy Beds (Jefferson Hamer and Eamon O’Leary) present traditional and original folk songs with close harmonies and deft instrumental arrangements on bouzouki, guitar, and mandolin. They have performed and collaborated with artists across the folk spectrum including Beth Orton, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Anais Mitchell, and Sam Amidon. 

“Their great feat turns out to be taking what’s best of the classic Irish folk revival without falling into any of its clichés. The resulting album bears repeated listening from start to finish, with ten beautiful, crystalline songs.” –Huffington Post

Eamon started playing Irish music while growing up in Dublin through his friendship with the Mayock family, traditional musicians from County Mayo. When he moved to New York City in the early 90’s, he immersed himself in the city’s traditional music scene and travelled widely, performing with many of the great players in Irish music. In 2004 he and fiddler Patrick Ourceau released the album Live at Mona’s. Eamon has taught at many traditional music programs in the US and also records and performs original music. His last solo record, Old Clump, was released in 2012.

Jefferson is a guitarist and singer based in Brooklyn, NY. In 2013, in addition to The Murphy Beds, he and songwriter Anais Mitchell released Child Ballads, a collection of new adaptations of English and Scottish folk songs which won a BBC Radio 2 Folk Award. His original songs are featured on the 2016 album Great Shakes by Cambridge, MA roots rock ensemble Session Americana. In the Oct. 2013 issue, Acoustic Guitar magazine wrote, “A gifted guitarist and singer, Hamer is able to hit close harmonies… and weave gorgeous instrumental lines.”

 

 

 

Rio Con Brio: Concert & Live Webcast

Tickets: $12 advance, $15 at the door

Click here to purchase advance tickets.

Rio Con Brio captivates audiences around the country with their intimate performance of the beautiful and esoteric Brazilian repertoire known as choro, the early 20th Century street music of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Influenced by equal parts Afro-Brazilian rhythms and the contemporary cafe music of Italy, France, Spain and Portugal, choro is both exotic and familiar, evoking in turn the carnival of Rio and the cafes of Paris.

Guitarist Mike Burdette and mandolinist Tim Connell exhibit finesse and passion in their playing, while displaying a sincere love of the choro repertoire and connection to their audience. An evening with Rio Con Brio is a delightful tour of European and New World music as experienced by the mandolin and guitar and as told by two soulful, intelligent, modern musicians – a beautiful intersection of Brazilian rhythm, classical technique and jazz improvisation.

Rio Con BrioMike Burdette has been performing Brazilian choro and gypsy jazz guitar for the past seven years with many of Portland’s best, including Tim Connell, Jason Okamoto, David Stassens, and Joseph Appel. His pursuit of excellence in these styles has led him to study with many of today’s leading players, including Mike Marshall and Choro Famoso, Dudu Maia, Douglas Lora, and Don Stiernberg. He also builds and repairs instruments for many of Portland’s finest players at Portland Fretworks, and pickers throughout the Northwest enjoy playing on frets he has installed. He lives in rural Newberg, Oregon, with his beautiful wife, Katherine, his chickens, and his honeybees.

A graduate of the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music and a virtuoso multi-instrumentalist with over twenty years professional performing experience, Tim Connell is a rising star in the acoustic music world, forging a unique and sophisticated new voice for the mandolin in his work with Mike Marshall’s Ger Mandolin Orchestra and through his recordings and tours with noted jazz guitarist Eric Skye, mandolin duo Mando Planet and the Brazilian choro group Rio Con Brio.  His in-depth study of both Brazilian and Irish music, combined with his  earlier years as a professional bassist, pianist and arranger have led Tim to synthesize a personal style on the mandolin which is harmonically advanced, rhythmically diverse and brimming over with sparkling ornamentation and romantic intensity.

 

Jack Dwyer & Tim Connell, Twin Mandolins

Tickets: $12 advance, $15 at the door.

Click here to purchase advance tickets.

Tim Connell and Jack DwyerMad Professors of the Mandolin

Hypnotic, Trans-Global Ear Candy for Two Mandolins

Portland-based mandolinists and Lewis and Clark College music professors Jack Dwyer and Tim Connell come together to produce a show of lively acoustic groove music drawn from global folk traditions. Their two mandolins become one as they create a stunning soundscape of harmony and counterpoint.

Both Dwyer and Connell are celebrated modern m

asters of the mandolin, virtuoso players and highly energetic performers who delight the audience with their well-honed arrangements and flights of solo and ensemble improvisation.  Performing hypnotic mandolin duets from dance music traditions around the world, Jack and Tim take us on a dizzying tour from Ireland to Brazil, from Zimbabwe to Greece, deep into Appalachian Mountain country, before landing feet-first in an Eastern European Jewish shtetl.

Their freshly-released debut album (Mandolin Planet, 2013) is an ode to acoustic folk music, rhythm, and the mandolin. Intimate, raw and energetic, the songs on this release simultaneously honor and push the boundaries of traditional music. But beneath it all is a steady unshakable groove that will have you stomping your feet all the way home.

Advance Praise for Mandolin Planet:

“Jack Dwyer and Tim Connell have accomplished something special with this mandolin duo recording. They’ve made a studio recording that sounds like a live performance, where every tune is delivered with spontaneity, drive, passion, and obvious joy.  Dwyer and Connell effortlessly trade the lead back and forth between their mandolins as if they are finishing each other’s thoughts, in much the same way as the great Louvin Brothers did with their singing. The mix of tunes, including Celtic, African, Jewish, Brazilian, and even an original song by Dwyer, are a reflection of the varied backgrounds and interests of these two up-and-coming mandolinists, but above all, this recording is a love letter to the acoustic music traditions of the world. You can’t ask for a better album than this.” –Hermon Joyner, Mandolin Magazine

“The mandolin has seen a burst of creativity and wonderful new ideas these past 5 -10 years.  It’s like our little instrument is having it’s own (not so quiet) Renaissance while the world spins out of control towards the next “app” and folks rush about trying to find solace. Let this quiet meek instrument show us a way, right?  Tim and Jack have gathered their handsome talents, creative energy and wide musical tastes and honed it all into a collection of clear and concise gems in these mando duets. Whether they are playing an Irish Jig, a Brazilian Choro or improvising freely on one of their original tunes, the music always has focus and authenticity, never pushing their instruments too far or trying to be bigger than life. Just letting the instruments speak for themselves through these fine musicians. Groove meets melody, harmony and energy. What else is music?” –Mike Marshall, Wuppertal, Germany

“Tim and Jack have put together an extraordinary collection of music with everything a listener can ask for: a wide variety of musical genres the blend together seamlessly, clever arrangements, spectacular playing, and tone and taste in spades. This is how mandolins should be played!  It’s a terrific recording that should do well.” –Scott Tichenor, Mandolin Cafe

About Jack and Tim:

Tim and Jack have performed on stage at the Wintergrass Bluegrass festival, the Alaska City Arts Folk Festival in Anchorage and at David Grisman and Mike Marshall’s Mandolin Symposium in Santa Cruz.

Jack has recently cut a wide swath up and down the West coast, touring with bluegrass quintet the Blackberry Bushes. Tim is also known to audiences from his work with Mike Marshall and Radim Zenkl in the Ger Mandolin Orchestra and from his performances with Brazilian choro group Rio Con Brio and Santa Cruz Guitars Signature Artist, Eric Skye.

Both artists are currently on the Music faculty at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, teaching mandolin.

 

 

TAARKA: Concert & Live Webcast

Tickets: $12 advance, $15 at the door.

Click here to purchase advance tickets.

David and Enion Pelta-Tiller met in New York City in the spring of 2001. Big changes were waiting in the wings that spring, for the world at large, and for the world of music. Spheres of influence collided, and the unique brand of music called gypsy chamber-grass was born, in the subways and on the streets of the big apple.

Wielding powerful and lightning quick mandolins and fiddles, the pair sallied forth, westward, to carry their brave new sound to the pacific side of the country. There they planted the seeds and grew the dominion of Taarka, there they transplanted the flowering vine, Thamusemeant, and there they wrote scores of beautiful and strange melodies, ensconcing all the fruits of their labors on compact discs for all the world to share. The florid outgrowth of intrepid David and Enion’s oeuvre was fed and watered with the rich nutrients of history:

They’ve performed with members of the Grateful Dead, Phish, and String Cheese Incident, Yonder Mountain String Band, Darol Anger, Joe Craven, ALO, Keller Williams, Mike Marshall, Danny Barnes, Leftover Salmon, Steve Kimock, Garaj Mahal, Colonel Bruce Hampton and Aquarium Rescue Unit, Kaki King, Drew Emmit Band, Rob Wasserman, Tony Furtado, The Slip, The Motet, Dan Bern, The Everyone Orchestra to name a few and have been Mark O’Connor fiddle camp performers and instructors.

They’ve performed festival stages and concert rooms throughout North America over their 11 year journey. In time they yearned for higher climes, and packed up the old caravan to trundle along to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and a little town that rang out day and night with tuneful noise, Lyons. The trip passed more quickly with a song and sing they did, adding voices to the formidable arsenal of furious stringed instruments. Their latest album, Adventures In Vagabondia, to be released this fall, features an impressive cast of characters such as Darol Anger, others from the David Grisman Quintet and many other stringed instrument greats.

Dudu Maia’s “Trio Brasileiro”: Live Concert / Webcast

Sorry, this show is completely sold out!  No more tickets will be released.  However, we’re webcasting the show live in HD video – click the box to the right to learn more!

Formed in 2011, Trio Brasileiro has already made a name for itself as an ensemble worthy of international attention. Their stunning virtuosity matched with a deep devotion to the language of early jazz from Brazil achieves a compelling sound ranging from subtle beauty to sultry grooves. The trio delivers fresh interpretations of some of Brazil’s most famous composers providing a unique blend of European-influenced melodies and Afro-Brazilian rhythms

Trio Brasileiro includes Douglas Lora, member of the award-winning Brasil Guitar Duo; one of Brazil’s finest mandolin virtuosos, Dudu Maia; and the amazing percussionist Alexandre Lora.

Opening the show are Portland choro trio The Brazillionaires ft. Zak Borden-mandolin, Peter Fung – Guitar and Simon Lucas – percussion.

Douglas Lora, Guitar

Composer and guitarist Douglas Lora moves with versatility between classical and popular music, has established himself as one of the most prominent Brazilian guitarists of his generation. A member of the Brasil Guitar Duo (with Joao Luiz) for more than fifteen years, and seven-string guitarist of the choro and samba band Caraivana, Douglas Lora has a full touring schedule worldwide, and has collaborated with artists including Paquito d’Rivera, Marco Pereira, Jovino Santos Neto, Ney Rosauro, Marina Piccinini, and many others. In 2011 he joined his brother, percussionist Alexandre Lora, and mandolin virtuoso, Dudu Maia, to form an ensemble dedicated to Brazilian traditional music, Trio Brasileiro.

Lora has performed as a soloist with the Dallas Symphony, Houston Symphony, Dayton Philharmonic, Orquesta Metropolitana of Sao Paolo, and the Orchestra of the Americas. Critics and audiences around the world have praised his recordings with the Brasil Guitar Duo, and distinguished artists and chamber ensembles have recorded his compositions.

Douglas Lora studied composition and classical guitar at Faculdade de Artes Alcantara Machado in Sao Paolo and received a Master’s Degree in Performance from the University of Miami. Lora was a winner of the Concerts Artists Guild Award in 2006 with the Brasil Guitar Duo, and has eight recordings and five original film soundtracks to his credit.

Dudu Maia, Mandolin

A virtuoso of the mandolin Dudu Maia served for five years as the bandolim (Brazilian mandolin) professor of Brazil’s most respected Choro school, the Escola Brasileira de Choro Raphael Rabello in the nation’s capital, Brasília. Considered to be one of Brazil’s top mandolin players, Dudu brings to his work a lifetime of research and study of Brazil’s greatest musical traditions. For the past four years, Dudu has worked as the Brazilian mandolin instructor at David Grisman & Mike Marshall’s Mandolin Symposium in Santa Cruz, California. During the symposium, which features some of the most important mandolin players in the world, Dudu teaches the particular aspects of Choro harmony and its vocabulary and history. In 2010 Dudu went to Savona, Italy, spreading the word of Brazilian culture at Carlo Aonzo’s Accademia Internazionale di Mandolino Italiano, a European version of the mandolin camp in California. In 2011 and 2012 Dudu led the annual Choro Workshop at Centrum in Port Townsend, WA.

His discography includes “Dudu Maia”(2006) his first solo CD; “Bandolim Brasileiro”(2007) with AQuattro, performing compositions of Luperce Miranda, a legendary Brazilian mandolinist; ” Caraivana” (2009) and “Ser Feliz” with the Brazilian ensemble, Caraivana, which was produced by Daniel Vangarde, and featuring musicians from various regions of Brazil; and his latest album “Grande Circular”, which will be released in 2012, also on DVD.

Alexandre Lora, Pandeiro (Percussion)

Alexandre Lora moves easily among different styles of Brazilian popular music, performing as both drummer and percussionist. He has recently been recognized internationally for his work as a choro and samba pandeiro player as a member of the choro ensemble, Caraivana. Lora also acts as drummer in the instrumental music trio Zera Reza. He has performed with Martin Fondse and Ramon Valle (XLJazz Orchestra- Netherlands), Ney Rosauro, Seu Jorge, Mariana Aydar, Baiao Brazil (Spain), and the Brasil Guitar Duo. Lora completed his Master’s Degree in Musicology and Music Education at the UAB (Autonomous University of Barcelona – 2009), and bachelor’s degree in instrument (drums) at the FAAM (Faculty of Arts Alcantara Machado 2002).

 

Radim Zenkl

Tickets: $14 advance, $18 at the door.

Click here to purchase advance tickets.

Radim Zenkl was born in Opava, Czech Republic. He grew up in the town of Ostrava (about 200 miles east of Prague), where his father teaches classical music at the University of Ostrava. Zenkl began his musical studies with piano and singing, then later on classical guitar. In addition to classical music, his early influences were folk music and Czech unique “tramp music”. He began playing the mandolin at thirteen. He also plays mandola, Irish bouzouki, ukulele, tin whistle, ethnic flutes, and didgeridoo.

The discovery of bluegrass music came by listening to records that were smuggled in via those that had escaped from this communist country. The sound of a bluegrass mandolin initiated the spark that launched a decision to play music as a career at the age of seventeen and subsequently led Zenkl beyond bluegrass to an eclectic array of styles. Zenkl’s choice of mandolin came as no great joy to his father, who claimed that the instrument had no “real” repertoire, fueling his desire to create one of his own. He started transcribing music from other instruments and later on began composing.

Radim’s style features progressive original and eastern European traditional music flavored with bluegrass, jazz, new age, flamenco, rock, classical and other. The US Mandolin Champion is at the cutting edge of the mandolin’s future, designing new instruments within the mandolin family and creating new playing techniques which sound like two instruments simultaneously. Besides collaborating with the top musicians of the acoustic music scene, Radim has built up an extensive repertoire for solo mandolin, mandola and Irish bouzouki. He has recorded eight solo CDs (released on Acoustic Disc, Shanachie and Ventana) and has appeared on more than sixty other recordings.

Zenkl went on to record two CDs for David Grisman‘s record label “Acoustic Disc”. Galactic Mandolin (1992) is comprised of 13 original solo works, each in a different tuning. Czech It Out (1994) features original and Czech and Slovak traditional tunes on solo mandolin, mandocello and mandolin banjo.

On several occasions in 1995 he substituted for Mike Marshall in the classical group Modern Mandolin Quartet.

In the same year, Zenkl signed a recording contract with Shanachie Records and recorded String & Wings, which was released in 1996. Included in this CD are improvised duets with 20 different artists such as Jerry Douglas, Bela Fleck, David Grisman, Tony Rice and Rob Wasserman among others, featuring 20 different acoustic string instruments. A new CD entitled Restless Joy was released in November 1999.

Today, Zenkl’s virtuosity and innovation have placed him at the forefront of the modern acoustic music scene.

“Radim has reinvented the mandolin in several different ways.”
- David Grisman

“Imaginative and great.”
- Jerry Garcia

“Excellent technique and lots of great ideas!”
- Bela Fleck

 

Double Duos: Michael Connolly & Miller McNay w/ Prairie Wolfe

The Next Gen Folk Series is jointly presented by Hearth Music, Victory Music and Empty Sea Studios.


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 CravenG-Love & Special Sauce, and Ben Winship as well as opening for Tim O’ BrienDanny Barnes, and The Wilders.

Prairie Wolfe

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.”

 

Mandolin Overload!

Tickets: $12 advance, $16 at the door.

Sorry, this show is completely sold out!  No tickets will be released at the door.

Please join us for this special double bill of groundbreaking instrumental music!  Mandolin duo Michael Connolly & Miller McNay will release their brand-new studio album The Mandolin Casefiles, and upright/mandolin duo bass+mandolin will share their original works with a Seattle audience for the first time.

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 CravenG-Love & Special Sauce, and Ben Winship as well as opening for Tim O’ BrienDanny Barnes, and The Wilders.

bass+mandolin: Original music for mandolin & upright bass

As acoustic musicians go these days, Brian Oberlin (mandolin) and Josh Feinberg (upright bass) have a chemistry like no other. They have only been playing together for a single year, yet each concert is full of new ideas as they spring and lope through songs, bouncing off each others nuances with a lively thrill. Their repertoire is mostly original music written particularly for mandolin and bass. The few covers they play are arranged tightly for the duo across the genres, new acoustic, swing, jazz, and classical. The sound of mandolin and bass, being at opposite ends of the musical note spectrum, balance and complement each other while Brian digs from his bluegrass and swing background and Josh feeds from his classical, jazz, and Indian music background.

Brian Oberlin, originally from Rockford, MI., spends much of his time teaching mandolin and his own mandolin camp in Portland, OR. (River of the West Mandolin Camp) He also performs as a solo act around the pacific northwest playing anything from Vivaldi’s mandolin concertos with an orchestra, to performing western swing music at festivals and concerts. He also has started the Oregon Mandolin Orchestra which has 25 members all in the mandolin family playing American and European music. His wide variety of styles on mandolin and crooning voice add a perfect fit to the sound of Bass Mandolin. Brian was a finalist at the 2003 Winfield mandolin championship and a member of the award winning band, Grasshoppah.

Josh Feinberg was introduced to music through piano at age 4. He switched to the upright and electric bass at 8. He was soon playing in state orchestras and prestigious youth symphonies across the North East performing at venues such as Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, Hofstra University and Queens College’s LeFrak Hall. Many of these were as principal bass for the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra- in which capacity he also appeared on television at a live concert celebrating Martin Luther King Day in Albany. In the 2000 NYSMA competition, he scored the highest marks in the eastern United States for his jazz bass playing. In 2002, he entered the New England Conservatory of Music where he was granted two merit-based scholarships. Josh is a 2006-07 Fulbright Scholar to India where he spent 9 months studying North Indian Classical Music in Kolkata. Josh also studies sitar, and receives training from Maestro Ali Akbar Khan.

Brownesville Highway – CD Release Party

Tickets: $10 advance, $14 at the door.

Click here to purchase advance tickets.

Please join us as we celebrate the release of Brownesville Highway’s inaugural studio album, recorded here at Empty Sea.

Georgia Browne, previously with the acclaimed a cappella trio, Bella, and Americana group Chele’s Kitchen, has played a variety of festivals and such venues as the Triple Door and the Intiman Theater. While Georgia’s songwriting comes from a deeply personal space, her lyrics are easily accessible and universally understood. With her soulful, heartfelt delivery, Georgia’s songs are evocative and unforgettable.

Rob Gilbert, a cartoonist and animator by trade, has followed a long-time interest in music that began in bars and dives in New York City playing in rock/blues/funk bands. Over a decade ago, he eschewed electric instruments and has developed a passion for acoustic music. Influenced by a variety of styles including old-time county, classical, jazz, and Appalachian mountain music, he pulls from his Southern American and Eastern European ancestral roots to write diverse songs which are at once fresh and timeless.

“It’s been quite a wonderful and amazing experience to see our two styles blending and creating something new, musically.” Georgia explains, “We’ve been playing together for about a year now, and the songs we write together are reflective of our individuality, but take on a crazy life of their own.” The pair switch instruments continuously, keeping things interesting using various pairings of voice, guitar, banjos, mandolin, mandola, mountain dulcimers, and upright bass. “We’re constantly learning and reinventing ourselves, and try not to take things too seriously,” says Gilbert.

“The music of Rob Gilbert and Georgia Browne  -a.k.a. “Brownesville Highway”- offers listeners so much.   With Rob’s playful, complex, and driving instrumentals (such as “Huckleberry Whine” and “Russian River”)  and  Georgia’s deeply honest and poetic songwriting (“John Denver,”  ”Good Man” and more)  Brownesville Highway’s debut CD is one that gets better with each listening.   The instrumental work is fresh, sometimes delightfully quirky, and always interesting.  Georgia’s voice–both tender and strong–will break your heart and put it back together again.  As a duo, Rob and Georgia’s chemistry is evident in the interplay of their voices and their instruments–and you can also see it in their eyes in the picture inside the  CD cover!  If music is about telling honest stories and evoking a variety of feelings with well-crafted sounds and words, Brownesville Highway is the real deal.”
–Laura Silverstein–
www.laurasilverstein.com

Ryan McKasson, Ashley Broder & Dave Bartley

Tickets: $13 advance, $15 at the door.

Click here to purchase advance tickets.

Ryan McKasson, Ashley Broder & Dave Bartley are all quite well-known in their respective fields, but never before performed as an ensemble.  This unprecedented collaboration on the Empty Sea stage will provide a night of music-making never before heard!

Ryan McKasson started his classical violin studies at the age of four and began his viola studies when he was fourteen. At the same time, he switched from classical violin to begin his traditional fiddle journey with the renowned fiddler and teacher, Carol Ann Wheeler. Under her instruction he explored a wide range of American and Celtic styles, but found a new passion in the music of his heritage, Scotland. In 1993 Ryan attended the Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School for the first time. There he heard the fiddling of Alasdair Fraser and Buddy MacMaster, who have since been his greatest influences. In 1995, Ryan was winner of the National Junior Championship, and went on a year later to be the youngest winner of the National Scottish Fiddle Open Championship in Loon Mountain, New Hampshire. As a fiddler, Ryan has performed with artist Bobby McFerrin. He has also shared the stage with pop artists Elvis Costello, Beck, Bjork, Galvin Friday and composer Phillip Glass. In 2001 Ryan collaborated with fiddler Richard Greene and the Greene String Quartet in Los Angeles for the Harry Smith Project. 

An accomplished classical musician, Ryan attended the University of Southern California in Viola Performance as a student of Donald McInnes. He has been awarded fellowships to many prestigious music festivals, including the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara and the Bowdoin Music Festival in Maine.

Ashley Broder began her classical violin studies at the age of eight in Ventura County, California. Her violin teacher, Charl Ann Gastineau, also encouraged her to simultaneously learn mandolin where she became familiar with fiddle styles associated to the instrument. Ashley traveled the west coast competing in fiddle contests, winning several. In 2005, after studying classical violin and cello in college, she met fiddler Jamie Laval and the duo set off on a four year musical touring adventure that took them across the U.S. numerous times and to the U.K. Ashley has worked with renowned mandolinist Mike Marshall at the Mandolin Symposium in Santa Cruz, CA as well as helped organize his series The Mandolin Method Books. Now pursuing another passion, composition, Ashley is currently working on arranging singer-songwriter, Billy Jonas’, songs for orchestra.

Dave Bartley plays mandolin, guitar, cittern, and numerous other plucked string instruments in numerous bands. He has also written over 250 tunes, some of which are working their way into repertoires around the country. He can provide a quiet foundation, inject a fiery driving rhythm, or pull wicked licks out of thin air. His odyssey from flashy rock guitarist to classical musician to eclectic sideman to tunesmith filters through his fingers.

Dave has played mandolin onstage in the Seattle Opera in the 1999 and 2007 stagings of Don Giovanni and played steel-string acoustic guitar with the Seattle Symphony in 2004 for performances of Naive and Sentimental Music by composer John Adams, as well as mandolin for Mahler’s 7th and 8th symphonys with the same orchestra.

John Reischman & John Miller

Tickets: $20 advance / door.

Click here to purchase advance tickets.

John Reischman

Mandolinist John Reischman and guitarist John Miller combine in an instrumental duo that specializes in Latin Jazz, with forays into boppish original numbers and Celtic-influenced originals, all played with gorgeous tone and intense listening. The duo has performed internationally, in England, Japan, and Canada, as well as the United States. Their two CDs have received international acclaim.

John Reischman and John Miller’s debut CD, The Singing Moon (Corvus Records CR004) offers a beautiful musical journey, from Reischman’s Choro For Shadow, through Jacob do Bandolim’s Noites Carioca, and Miller’s haunting title cut to it’s soulful conclusion, Damien Miley.

John Miller

The Singing Moon is an increasingly rare instance of melody holding its own with harmony and rhythm. -Scott Nygaard

John Reischman and John Miller’s The Bumpy Road (Corvus Records CR009) continues in the vein established by The Singing Moon, with hits like Kenny’s GoneDanzaThe Three Lions and Snake Eyes, but with some notable differences. John Miller steps forward more often into a soloing role, and singer Koralee Tonack joins the duo for the eerie The Path Downhill. John Reischman expresses himself with the sumptuous tone and grace we’ve come to expect from his playing.

Taarka

Tickets: $13 advance, $15 at the door

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Emerging from a long tradition of gypsy circus troubadours come the solar- powered travelers: carriers of a new musical light; Taarka. This merry band is the culmination of the new millennial, sonic adventures of David Tiller (mandolin, tenor guitar, vocals), Enion Pelta-Tiller (five string violin, vocals), Daniel Plane (cello, vocals), and Troy Robey (bass, vocals) – a virtuosic cadre of performers who have roamed the freeways and backroads of the new and old acoustic caravan trail in search of a revolutionary ancient sound for modern times. While the four musicians have individually been spreading song and tune over the aural superhighway since the last century, their collaborative intersection marks a new era of Taarkan tunesmithing. Taarka has realesed their 4th CD, Seed Gathering for a Winter Garden, in March 2009; a collection of beautifully written and arranged songs and original instrumentals swimming the gamut of indie-gypsy chamber folk.

What is Taarka? While meaning many things in many tongues to many peoples, the musical Taarka of your concern hails from Lyons, CO and performs a patented and irreplaceable blended evolution of Western and Eastern folk traditions of jazz, rock, bluegrass, old-time, gypsy, Indian, and Celtic music interpreted through the highly capable ears and hands of four of today’s top classically trained, eclectic-acoustic music pioneers.

Collectively and individually, members of Taarka have shared stages with members of the Grateful Dead, Phish, and String Cheese Incident, Yonder Mountain String Band, Darol Anger, Joe Craven, ALO, Keller Williams, Mike Marshall, Danny Barnes, Leftover Salmon, Steve Kimock, Garaj Mahal, Widespread Panic, The Samples, Colonel Bruce Hampton and Aquarium Rescue Unit, Kevin Mohagoney, Kaki King, Drew Emmit Band, Rob Wasserman, Tony Furtado, The Slip, The Motet, Dan Bern, The Everyone Orchestra, and have been Mark O’Connor fiddle camp performers and instructors.

Taarka has performed at such music festivals as High Sierra, Joshua Tree, Northwest String Summit, Oregon Country Fair, Whole Earth, Telluride Bluegrass, Bumbershoot, Seattle Folklife, Earthdance, Full Moon Dream Dance (String Cheese Incident), Horning’s Hideout with Leftover Salmon, Faeirieworlds, Willamette Valley Folk, Seattle Hemp Fest, Seattle Rhythm Fest, Bite of Portland, Nedfest, Lightening in a Bottle, Berkeley World Music, Stone Soup World Music, Bend Summer Music, Boise Alive After 5, Frogville Records Frogfest, Yellowstone Music Festival, Garden Valley Bluegrass, Remembering Jerry, Eagle Island Experience, Solano County Fair, Dancin’ in the Dunes, Groovefest, Crested Butte Festival for the Arts, Aspen Bluegrass Sundays, Rogue Valley Earthday Celebration, San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival, and The Millpond Folk Festival.

Viper Central w/ Squirrel Butter

Tickets: $13 advance, $15 at the door.

Click here to purchase advance tickets.

Based out of Vancouver, BC, Viper Central is a six-piece acoustic string-band that takes that “high lonesome sound” to new places. All six band members contribute original songs, but won’t hesitate to deliver up their take on an ages-old mournful waltz or bring the house down with a barn-burning bluegrass standard. The band first came together through a love for the old timey sounds of such artists as Ralph Stanley, Bill Monroe, Hazel Dickens, and the New Lost City Ramblers along with the more contemporary styles of acoustic innovators David Grisman, Béla Fleck, and David Lindley. Everyone brings a colourful resume and a unique sense of creativity to this collaboration. While the members of the band play significant roles in many other roots music projects (The Mountain Bluebirds, The Fugitives, The Blue Island Trio, Whiskey Jar, Headwater, Redgrass, Badgentina), the chemistry of the six members gives Viper Central a one-of-a-kind sound that will stick with you long after the show is over.

In the summer of 2008, Viper Central released their debut album, The Devil Sure is Hard to Please.  Blending instrumental prowess with innovative arrangements and creative vocal harmonies, the album showcases the diverse songwriting talents of every member in the band and is quickly earning them a place among the bands to watch for in Canada’s thriving roots music scene.  The band was also featured on the Whiskey Hollow Bound compilation album, which showcases six Vancouver bluegrass and old time bands and has been receiving rave reviews across the country since its release in 2007.


SbutterAppearing with Viper Central is Squirrel Butter, the duo of Charlie Beck and Charmaine Li-Lei Slaven. Charlie and Charmaine began performing together in 2005 after meeting at the Portland Old Time Gathering and discovering that they lived merely blocks away from each other in Seattle. The pair began busking, and soon realized that their individual styles, sense of rhythm, and tendency towards the quirky and obscure blended well together. It wasn’t long before they began performing at venues off the street.

Charlie Beck, hailing from Indianapolis, Indiana, is a highly accomplished musician. His mastery of guitar and banjo come from years of consistent study. He is well versed in jazz and swing, is an avid enthusiast of old American blues and string band music. His repertoire includes a bushel of traditional folk tunes along with many jazz numbers. A talented songwriter, Charlie’s original compositions combine modern approaches with traditional styles, giving his songs a unique sound. Charlie is an outstanding vocalist, and also plays brilliantly on fiddle.

Charmaine “Lady Li-Lei” Slaven, from Stevensville, Montana, is a gifted dancer, and her skill at traditional percussive buckdancing is phenomenal. She is also an adept rhythm guitarist, ukulele player, and vocalist. Her clear, strong singing style is reminiscent of the Carter family. She brings a fine repertoire of traditional ballads to the duet, along with several of her original works.

Cahalen Morrison & Zoe Muth

Tickets: $8 advance, $10 at the door.

Click here to purchase advance tickets.

Amongst red rocks, dry soil, and clear sky, Cahalen Morrison was reared on Hot Rize, Doc Watson, Norman Blake and Rory Block while running around in a diaper, trying (at times unsuccessfully) not to fall into patches of prickly pear.  Now, he’s got the ears for roots music. Hopping effortlessly from fingerpicking to mandolin, clawhammer banjo to lap slide guitar, Cahalen’s writing encompasses everything from punchy political commentaries, to soul warming serenades, branching out into instrumental rags and fiddle tunes, yet still retaining his subtle musical signature.

Though only 24, he is quite well traveled, having toured nonstop for 2 years.  In June of 2008, Cahalen debuted his first full length record.  Subcontinent has been applauded by his peers, and by spun regularly by DJs and fans across the country. After its release, Cahalen hit the road hard, not spending more than two weeks anywhere for a solid 13 months before taking a break. From Santa Fe to Seattle, New Orleans to Minneapolis, Nashville to Boston, he has played most every nook and cranny of this fine country.

In November of 2009, Cahalen released his second record, a live album entitled Old-Timey & New-Fangled featuring his father Dave Morrison on guitar and fiddle, Santa Fe fiddler Andy Cameron, and Jenny Fisher on harmony vocals. OT&NF was recorded live on August 14th, at the historic Western Jubilee Warehouse Theater in downtown Colorado Springs, Colorado by Butch Hause (engineer for Norman Blake, Don Edwards, and Waddie Mitchell.)

Joining Cahalen will be Eli West, former singer and guitarist of the bluegrass band Loose Digits, playing musical chairs on clawhammer banjo, flatpicking guitar, and octave mandolin.


Sharing the bill with Cahalen is Seattle’s own Zoe Muth.

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