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Saturday, September 22, 2018 at 8:00 PM
  • $16
  • Tickets

EMERALD RAE / TORRIN RYAN

Call in your reservations for our September 22 show with Emerald Rae and Torrin Ryan to 401-725-9272.

Fiddler and folksinger Emerald Rae brings the duo of strings and song to a new plateau with mesmerizing dexterity. Hailing from the historic fishing community of Gloucester, Mass., Emerald is both a small-town girl steeped in cherished folk traditions and a world-class artist breaking new ground with inventive fiddle effects. A degree in Film Scoring from Berklee College of Music in Boston gave her the freedom to cast a wide creative net, while her intensity was earned during her 20-year career as a powerhouse fiddler and dancer. Rae embarked on her first journey into songwriting and multi-instrumentalism with "If Only I Could Fly" in 2013, featuring her prowess on fiddle, vocals, guitar and the crwth [an ancient Welsh fiddle, pronounced "krooth"], and took to the road from the Canadian Maritimes to Shanghai. Zeroing in on the synergy of voice and fiddle, her new self-produced, self-titled album "Emerald Rae" released last May offers a rare scope of vision and reveals her depth as an artist. Her collection of homespun vignettes will take you on a journey and leave you spellbound.

 

Torrin Ryan is from Attleboro, Mass., where he began playing music at a young age and discovered traditional Irish music on the tin whistle at age 9. After hearing the uilleann pipes for the first time, he decided to learn how to play them himself. Since then, Torrin has competed in several Mid-Atlantic Fleadhs where he's won first place on both whistle and pipes. In Ireland, he has won five All-Ireland medals across Tullamore, Derry, and Ennis, and is the 2013 All-Ireland Uilleann Pipes Slow Airs champion. He performs at many sessions in New England, has frequently performed with Pendragon, and in 2018, Torrin was the recipient of a grant from the Southern New England Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program in order for him to teach Irish music and history to several apprentices and further the art of the session in New England. 

*All ticket prices include a $1.00 per ticket restoration charge

 

Saturday, September 29, 2018 at 8:00 PM
  • $16
  • Tickets

PARTINGTON & SWEENEY / CHRIS & MEREDITH THOMPSON

Call in your reservations for our September 29 split concert with Partington & Sweeney and Chris & Meredith Thompson to 401-725-9272.

Singer-songwriter Mary Lee Partington and guitarist Ed Sweeney joined forces in 2017 as a music-making duo, Partington & Sweeney. They are captivated by song and instrumental traditions rooted in rocky New England, which yield a harvest of American folk and popular music from across the centuries and across a continent. Combining an award-winning voice and the homegrown stylings of Martin guitars and custom longneck or fretless banjos superlatively played, Partington & Sweeney have set out to perform, record, entertain, and make music that travels with the tradition or that revels in the original. Partington & Sweeney's repertoire cultivates collaborations and charts a course for a new journey. This concert, shared with folk duo Chris & Meredith Thompson, will see Partington celebrate her 35th anniversary of performance devoted to regional traditions shared with BRT. She and Ed currently are recording their debut CD “Commonplace" with engineer David Correia of Celebration Sound. Sweeney performs a wide-ranging repertoire of traditional music on 6- and 12-string guitar, 5-string banjo, and fretless banjo, two uniquely traditional American instruments. Ed also teaches guitar and banjo at Blackstone River Theatre.

Chris & Meredith Thompson are powerful performers with a natural warmth for the live concert stage. Best known for the unique blend of their nearly identical voices, the Thompsons weave vocals, flute, guitar and percussion together creating a sound that is genuine, beautiful, and moving. These identical twin sisters grew up down the street from Stone Soup Coffeehouse in Providence. They played their first show at Stone Soup in 1992, and have since played in venues across the U.S. and released six albums. Chris plays percussive, riff-driven guitar. Meredith plays authentic Latin rhythms on congas and adds flute to their sound. Both sisters sing in close harmony both earthy and ethereal. The Thompsons tell stories that resonate with the audience, stories that celebrate common experience. With the release of their sixth CD, “Live," Chris & Meredith Thompson showcase their vocal range on songs influenced by traditional spirituals, achieving harmonies known uniquely to siblings. This will be their Blackstone River Theatre debut!

*All ticket prices include a $1.00 per ticket restoration charge

 

Saturday, October 06, 2018 at 8:00 PM
  • $16
  •     Tickets    
    or $18 at the door

NORTH SEA GAS

Call in your reservations for our October 6 show with North Sea Gas to 401-725-9272.

North Sea Gas is a folk band from Scotland who have been performing their blend of poignant and rousing songs and high-energy instrumentals for 36 years. With a combination of fiddle, guitar, mandolin, bodhran and bouzouki, complementing strong three-part vocal harmonies and a keen sense of humor, an entertaining evening is always guaranteed. North Sea Gas has now recorded 19 albums and played to audiences all over Great Britain, Europe, Scandinavia, the U.S. and Canada. This marks their 14th appearance at BRT as they tour behind their newest CD, “When We Go Rolling Home." A previous project, "The Fire And The Passion Of Scotland" won the 2013 Album of the Year award from Celtic Radio in the U.S. as well as first place in the "Jigs and Reels" category for a set of tunes on the album. The band is led by founder Dave Gilfillan on lead vocals, guitar and banjo, well-known for his tongue-in-cheek humor. Ronnie MacDonald on lead and harmony vocals, guitar and bouzouki is joined by Grant Simpson on high-energy fiddle and vocals. 

*All ticket prices include a $1.00 per ticket restoration charge

 

Saturday, October 13, 2018 at 8:00 PM
  • $16
  •     Tickets    
    or $18 at the door

BOHEMIAN QUARTET

Call in your reservations for our October 13 show with Bohemian Quartet to 401-725-9272.

The mission of keeping a rare musical flame alight is a noble and often challenging one, but the Bohemian Quartet is more than up to the task. In this case, the acclaimed Rhode Island-based ensemble featuring violin, viola, cello, and bass specializes in music of the "Romani" or "Gypsy" tradition, along with related Eastern European folk styles. The Bohemian Quartet was formed in 2005. Violinist Stan Renard, a composer and virtuoso player with an impressive list of credentials, assembled the group with the idea of preserving the tradition and indulging in the virtuosic playing of classic gypsy music. Renard recruited like-minded and ambitious friends: Christine Harrington on cello, Nancy Richardson on viola, and Dave Zinno on upright bass. Together, they've made a commitment to the genre, and aspired to performing it with both reverence and adventure. Indeed, like every good curator, the ensemble embraces tradition, and still wanders off in newer, unpredictable directions. The name "Bohemian Quartet" was borrowed from the original Bohemian Quartet (also known as the Czech Quartet after 1918), a string quartet of international repute that was founded in 1891 and disbanded in 1934. Both groups share a passion for the deep-rooted authenticity of the Romani tradition, as well as the ability to play that historic repertoire with extraordinary joie de vivre. Their third CD project "For You" was released at Blackstone River Theatre last year. 

*All ticket prices include a $1.00 per ticket restoration charge

 

Saturday, October 20, 2018 at 8:00 PM
  • $16
  •     Tickets    
    or $20 at the door

TONY McMANUS & JULIA TOASPERN

Call in your reservations for our October 20 show with Tony McManus & Julia Toaspern to 401-725-9272.

Tony McManus has come to be recognized throughout the world as the leading guitarist in Celtic music and has been named among Guitar Player Magazine’s 50 Best Acoustic Guitarists ​​of all time. From early childhood his twin obsessions of traditional music and acoustic guitar have worked together to produce a startlingly original approach to this ancient art. In Tony’s hands the complex ornamentation normally associated with fiddles and pipes are accurately transferred to guitar in a way that preserves the integrity and emotional impact of the music. Joining him is Julia Toaspern, a multi-talented musician from Berlin who combines classical training on violin and voice with a wide interest in genres such as jazz, baroque and traditional music. Their twin guitar treatment of traditional music is unique and each supports the other in exploring the harmonic possibilities of these old, and not so old, tunes. Each of the pair both flatpicks and fingerpicks at the highest level but always at the service of the tune rather than a display of technique. Her violin can effortlessly morph into a fiddle as she weaves from Italian madrigal to Scottish reel. As a singer, Julia’s songs go to the heart of love and loss, hope and survival and are inflected with musical influences from an eclectic experience of musical life.

*All ticket prices include a $1.00 per ticket restoration charge

 

Saturday, October 27, 2018 at 7:30 PM
  • $20
  • Tickets

BRENDA BENNETT - CD release!

Call in your reservations for our October 27 show with Brenda Bennett to 401-725-9272.

Life's mysteries and highways are not always explained to us. We are met with certain destinies – some of which are fulfilled and some which remain open-ended, never to be chased. Some doors in life we are lucky to enter and close behind us while others stay slightly ajar, swinging and teasing with a taunting nag. In the mid 80s, it was the destiny of musician Brenda Bennett, who had recorded and sung the world over as a member of Vanity 6 and Apollonia 6, to record a solo album under the guise of her mentor Prince. It never came to be. After a farewell concert in 2016 Brenda told journalists she planned to take it easy. The possibility of a 2nd CD after her solo CD "A Capella" was not out of the cards but also not a priority. It was here when fate intervened. When Prince died in April that same year not only were his fans left shocked, but his former associates and collaborators were blindsided. While Prince was laid down to eternal rest a flame ignited inside Brenda Bennett and thoughts returned to that unrecorded solo album from the 1980s. What was once a destiny had became an afterthought and a missed opportunity. But was it? Inspired by her grief and the legacy of her mentor, Brenda dove headfirst into her second solo album, titled “Once Again.” The album that was never made in the 1980s was now going to be made. Encouraged by her fans' response, Bennett embarked on a creative journey that would put certain ghosts to rest, ignite new fires, close some of the doors to the past, and open new ones for the future. On “Once Again” Brenda Bennett reaches her full potential as an artist, singer, and musical force. The ten tracks unfold like a journey through time touching on loss, gain, power, love, life, and death. This album is a career best and a personal triumph. Prince would be very proud. R.I. Music Hall of Fame inductee Brenda Bennett will perform "Once Again" in its entirety tonight along with the co-producer and engineer of "Once Again," George Dussault on guitar and vocals, Betsy Listenfelt on acoustic guitar and vocals, Sharlene Denardo on bass, Matt Demick on drums, and Theresa Ronan on keys. There will be a 30-minute opening set by How's About Charlie, an acoustic vocal trio from Providence featuring Amanda Centrella, Nicole Gauthier, and Beth Killian. 

 

Saturday, November 03, 2018 at 8:00 PM
  • $18
  •     Tickets    
    or $22 at the door

HANNEKE CASSEL, MIKE BLOCK, and KEITH MURPHY

Call in your reservations for our November 3 show with Hanneke Cassel, Mike Block, and Keith Murphy to 401-725-9272.

Effervescent and engaging, Boston-based fiddler Hanneke Cassel is a performer, teacher and composer whose career spans over two decades. Her style fuses influences from Scotland and Cape Breton Island with Americana grooves and musical innovations, creating a cutting-edge acoustic sound that retains the integrity and spirit of the Scottish tradition. Cassel's music is a blend of the contemporary and traditional, described by the Boston Globe as "exuberant and rhythmic, somehow wild and innocent, delivered with captivating melodic clarity and an irresistible playfulness." Cassel's latest release, "Trip to Walden Pond," features traditional Scottish and Cape Breton tunes and seventeen new pieces composed in the Scottish idiom. While her lively style is very much evident, this new album carries a deep, soulful sound with songs of celebration and farewell. "Trip to Walden Pond," similar to Cassel's five previous albums, offers arrangements of traditional fiddle music and original tunes that evoke humor and heart. This latest album also includes several compositions penned by Hanneke as commissions to benefit Many Hopes, a children's education nonprofit based in Kenya that she avidly supports. A native of Oregon, Hanneke started out as a Texas-style fiddler and went on to win the 1997 U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Championship, which awarded her the opportunity to study with Alasdair Fraser and introduced her to fiddle camps and the folk community, both of which continue to play an integral role in her life. The Hanneke Cassel Band features Mike Block on cello and guitarist/vocalist Keith Murphy. In addition to performing with her own band, Cassel has been featured on PBS with Boston-based fiddle band Childsplay and has performed with Baroque/Celtic group Ensemble Galilei at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the National Geographic in Washington, D.C. Hanneke and her husband Mike live in Boston and are active within many circles of musicians. Besides their involvement in the Scottish fiddle scene and at Berklee College of Music, they are frequent performers at Club Passim and are rooted in the thriving local music community.

*All ticket prices include a $1.00 per ticket restoration charge

 

Saturday, November 10, 2018 at 8:00 PM
  • $22
  •     Tickets    
    or $26 at the door

Sandeep Das and The Hum Ensemble: DELHI TO DAMASCUS

Call in your reservations for our November 10 show "The Delhi to Damascus Project" to 401-725-9272.

"Delhi to Damascus" is a celebration of the historical and cultural ties between India and Syria. The two countries have a deep connection that dates back to when they were integral to the legendary Silk Road. This connection facilitated a vibrant cultural, linguistic and musical exchange as witnessed in their common Sufi music tradition and the ancient Indo-Iranian and Indo-European Sanskrit language that originated from Syria and traveled to India. This shared heritage inspired Tabla maestro Sandeep Das to create "The Delhi to Damascus" project. For this concert he will bring in Syrian oud master Issam Rafea joined by Indian vocalist and sarangi player, Suhail Yusuf Khan, and sitarist Rajib Karmakar. All of these musicians are master performers and audiences will hear Indian and Syrian music, many for the first time. Equally important is the concept behind the HUM project – Harmony and Universality through Music. In Sandeep’s own words: “Having performed and composed for Yo Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble and having had the added experience of performing for 20 years with the best artists that India has produced, I felt it was time I did something to carry forward Yo Yo Ma’s idea of connecting the world’s neighborhoods again – through music and other art forms. I strongly believe that in current times one cannot live insulated lives anymore and the more we care about and share one another’s treasures, the better it is." 

Funding provided in part by a grant from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, through an appropriation by the Rhode Island General Assembly, a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and private funders.

*All ticket prices include a $1.00 per ticket restoration charge

 

Saturday, November 17, 2018 at 8:00 PM
  • $19
  •     Tickets    
    or $22 at the door

NEWPOLI - CD release!

Call in your reservations for our November 19 show with Newpoli to 401-725-9272.

Newpoli is a group of skilled musicians who specialize in southern Italian folk music, primarily from the regions of Campania and Puglia. Their music crosses through time culture and musical styles. The South of Italy has a multicolored past with influences from northern Africa, the Middle East and ancient Greece. These influences can still be heard in the traditional melodies and rhythms of the pizzica, tarantella and other musical genres of the South. Called “…a brilliant outfit…who grab southern Italian traditional music by the neck and recast it in a dramatic style” by Songlines (UK), Newpoli is a unique group with a powerful sound and a 21st century take on tradition. With exciting interpretations of traditional music plus originals that draw deeply from one of the world’s lesser known music traditions, Newpoli is Italy’s next inspiring interpreter of southern Italy’s taranta tradition. The group produces a mesmerizing sound that melds traditional Italian folk music, Greek and Turkish grooves, and Mediterranean and Spanish accents, while adding a contemporary sensibility they call “Mediterranean Pulse - Ritmi della Terra.” The eight-piece ensemble is fronted by singers Carmen Marsico and Angela Rossi and concert audiences hear the tamburello, played by virtuoso Fabio Pirozzolo, pounding out the heartbeat of Newpoli’s music. When the two female singers start up a wild, frenetic dance audiences have a very hard time sitting still as the drama and passion can be heard in every note. Newpoli was named the 2016 Winner - Independent Music Awards for "Best World Traditional Album."

*All ticket prices include a $1.00 per ticket restoration charge

 

Saturday, November 24, 2018 at 7:30 PM
  • $20
  • Tickets

BRT HOMECOMING CONCERT AND SILENT AUCTION FUNDRAISER

featuring Atwater~Donnelly, Kim Trusty, Yacouba Diabate, Torrin Ryan, and more to be announced!

Call in your reservations for our November 24 Homecoming concert to 401-725-9272.

With family and friends in town for Thanksgiving, BRT's 19th annual fundraiser will feature some of the best of Rhode Island's homegrown talent as well as others who now live in the Ocean State. Starting at 6:30 p.m. and during intermission, Blackstone River Theatre will also hold a silent auction featuring CDs, jewelry, original artwork, Christmas items and gift certificates. 100% of the proceeds from both the concert and the silent auction will go to support Blackstone River Theatre's programming and operating expenses. Says BRT executive director Russell Gusetti, "this is not only BRT's one big fundraiser for the year but it also serves as an excellent sampler as audiences get to see seven different acts in one evening, all who will be performing concerts in the coming months.

Featured performers, who are all donating their time, include Atwater~Donnelly who will perform Appalachian, original and Celtic-inspired folk music and clogging, and traditional songs and tunes. Torrin Ryan will play a solo set of traditional Irish music on the uilleann pipes. Kim Trusty will play a set of her jazz and blues-based original music and we will welcome the debut of Yacouba Diabate who is a master kora player from West Africa. 

*All ticket prices include a $1.00 per ticket restoration charge

 

Saturday, December 01, 2018 at 9:00 AM
  • FREE Admission!

11th annual Holiday Craft Fair and Festival

Blackstone River Theatre invites the community to our 11th annual Holiday Craft Fair and Festival fundraiser! Please come out and support BRT programming as well as area craft vendors and home-based businesses while you do your holiday shopping locally! We will have 26 vendors on site between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. and the event will also feature continuous live music with Bob Drouin, Russell Gusetti, Ed Sweeney, Cathy Clasper-Torch, The Broad Street Fiddlers and more, plus raffle prizes, a bake sale table, and refreshments. Door prizes will be raffled off from each vendor with the raffle proceeds to benefit BRT's programming. Think out of the box (store!) 

 

Thursday, December 06, 2018 at 8:00 PM
  • $35
  •     Tickets    
    or $38 at the door

CHERISH THE LADIES - A CELTIC CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION

Call in your reservations for our December 6 Christmas Celebration with Cherish the Ladies to 401-725-9272.

Celebrating 32 years of music making, Cherish the Ladies continues to delight audiences with its beautiful vocals, captivating arrangements and stunning step dancing. You’ll delight in the special Christmas music that embodies the beauty of the season – Celtic style! “It is simply impossible to imagine an audience that wouldn’t enjoy what they do,” says the Boston Globe speaking of Cherish the Ladies, the long-running, Grammy Award-nominated, Irish-American super group formed in New York City in 1985 to celebrate the rise of extraordinary women in a male-dominated Irish music scene. The past three decades have included world tours, concerts at the White House and the Olympics and 17 critically-acclaimed albums including their Emmy Award-winning special, “An Irish Homecoming,” which was broadcast on PBS. Under the leadership of All-Ireland Flute and Whistle Champion Joanie Madden, named by The Irish Voice Newspaper as one of the Top 25 most influential Irish Americans of the past quarter century, Cherish the Ladies create an evening that includes a spectacular blend of virtuoso instrumental talents, beautiful vocals, captivating arrangements, and stunning step dancing.

*All ticket prices include a $1.00 per ticket restoration charge

 

Friday, December 07, 2018 at 8:00 PM
  • $30
  •     Tickets    
    or $35 at the door

LUNASA – Christmas from Ireland with special guest ASHLEY DAVIS

Call in your reservations for our December 7 "Christmas from Ireland" show with Lúnasa and special guest Ashley Davis to 401-725-9272.

We are thrilled to bring back our friends Lúnasa with their "Christmas from Ireland" concert with special guest, Ashley Davis. Lúnasa is widely acknowledged as being the finest traditional Irish instrumental band of recent times, renowned for stunning shows featuring superb musicianship. Lúnasa’s inventive arrangements and bass driven grooves have steered Irish acoustic music into surprising new territory. Their recordings have sold over a quarter of a million copies while being hailed as some of the best and most important world music albums anywhere, while their blend of intelligence, innovation, virtuosity, and passion has brought them to the forefront of Celtic music. Lúnasa — featuring Kevin Crawford on flute, low whistle, and tin whistle; Trevor Hutchinson on double bass; Ed Boyd on guitar; Collin Farrell on fiddle and low whistle; and Cillian Vallely on uilleann pipes and low whistle will be joined by Ashley Davis, a native of Kansas. Ashley has emerged as a leading singer/songwriter in the Irish tradition, performing as soloist for “Lord of the Dance” and named as one of the most influential Irish Americans under 40.

*All ticket prices include a $1.00 per ticket restoration charge

 

Monday, April 08, 2019 at 7:30 PM
  • $40
  •     Tickets    
    or $44 at the door

DOUGIE MacLEAN

Call in your reservations for our April 8, 2019 show with Dougie MacLean to 401-725-9272.

Dougie MacLean is considered by many to be Scotland's pre-eminent singer-songwriter and is certainly one of the country's greatest musical treasures. Dougie received a Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting at the BBC 2 Folk Awards in 2013. From his home base in Butterstone near Dunkeld, Scotland, MacLean tours the world with his unique blend of lyrical, 'roots based' songwriting and instrumental composition. He has built an international reputation as songwriter, composer and extraordinary performer which has led to concerts and festivals worldwide including New York's Carnegie Hall. Dougie's songs have been covered by hosts of artists and his "Caledonia" has become one of Scotland's most popular contemporary songs. His music has been used in Hollywood films ("Last of the Mohicans") and he has been the subject of three BBC TV music-documentaries. Described as " ...a musical hero" (Wall Street Journal) MacLean is renowned for his meaningful, haunting and emotion-filled music. His innovative work has created a modern interpretation of this music but its fundamental values remain rooted in the ancient Scots culture. We are thrilled to welcome Dougie back ... this show WILL sell out so reserve your tickets early!

*All ticket prices include a $1.00 per ticket restoration charge