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The Harry Martin Heritage Arts Studio Student Showcase

Posted on: October 25th, 2023 by Russell Gusetti

Please call in your reservations for our November 26, 3:00 p.m. free matinee concert featuring BRT's students and instructors to 401-725-9272.

This free event will showcase many of the students, along with their instructors, who are currently involved in classes at Blackstone River Theatre. At today's showcase, Blackstone River Theatre will also formally announce the renaming of its arts education programming as the Harry Martin Heritage Arts Studio as we honor our dear friend who passed away in Sept., 2020. Additional class ideas, workshops, collaborations, and scholarship opportunities will be discussed followed by student and instructor performances.

Featured at the event will be members of the Broad Street Fiddlers with instructor Cathy Clasper-Torch, 5-string banjo students along with instructor Ed Sweeney, intermediate bodhran (Irish drum) students with their instructor Kyle Forsthoff, folk singers with Aubrey Atwater and ukulele students from Armand Aromin’s classes. Their will also be a few demonstrations of clogging and dulcimer.

Harry Martin loved music. He loved being with friends enjoying the experience together ... And he loved Blackstone River Theatre. A longtime and very frequent patron of BRT since almost the beginning, Harry also never missed a Solstice Festival and would always be on hand helping during the setup preparations. If you knew Harry, you remember he always had a kind word, a gentle smile, and a mischievous chuckle. And he was always SO supportive of our mission at Blackstone River Theatre. He loved being a part of the BRT family ... and we certainly felt the same toward him. Join us in giving a special thank you to our dear friend, Harry Martin, for his estate donation to help support BRT programming. His generosity will help BRT bring music and arts education to our community for many years to come.  



Posted on: August 7th, 2023 by Russell Gusetti

This show is SOLD OUT as of 11/20/23. Thank you!  Ticket pricing includes all service fees.

We are thrilled to bring back our friends Lúnasa with their "Irish Winter Solstice Celebration" concert featuring special guest vocalist Dave Curley! Named for a Celtic harvest festival in honor of the Irish god Lugh, patron of the arts, Lúnasa is indeed a gathering of some of the top musical talents in Ireland. For more than 20 years, its members have formed the backbone of some of the greatest Irish groups of the decade. Bassist Trevor Hutchinson was a key member of The Waterboys. Kevin Crawford, considered to be among the finest flutists in Ireland, played with Moving Cloud and piper Cillian Vallely comes from the same talented musical family as brother Niall, of Buille and the Karan Casey Band. Dynamic guitarist Ed Boyd will be joined by fiddler Colin Farrell whose 2015 CD "Make A Note" was awarded Instrumental Album of the year by LiveIreland. Inspired by the legendary Irish group The Bothy Band, Lúnasa uses melodic interweaving of wind and string instruments pairing flutes, fiddle, whistle and pipes in breathtaking arrangements. They are universally acclaimed as one of the best Irish bands in the world. Dave Curley, a multi-instrumentalist, singer and dancer from Corofin, Co. Galway, has been making big waves in the Irish music scene in the last number of years. After graduating from the University of Limerick’s groundbreaking Irish Music and Dance programme with 1st class honours, Dave became a creative member of award-winning bands SLIDE and RUNA. 


Posted on: August 7th, 2023 by Russell Gusetti

You are invited to Blackstone River Theatre's 15th annual Holiday Craft Fair and Festival which runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event is FREE!

Please come out and support future Blackstone River Theatre programming as well as area craft vendors and home-based businesses while you do your holiday shopping locally! We will have 25 vendors on site between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. and the event will also feature continuous live music with Bob Drouin, Josh Kane, Ed Sweeney, Dean Robinson, Cathy Clasper-Torch, Atwater~Donnelly, The Vox Hunters, and The Broad Street Fiddlers, plus raffle prizes and a bake sale table including Welsh cakes! Door prizes will be raffled off from each vendor with the proceeds to benefit BRT's future programming. Think out of the box (store!) Vendors are: L&N Toasty Totes, The Willow Grove, Shelley Katsh Handmade Designs, Scentsy, Ken Dono Photography, Ducharme Creations in Wood, Elk River Soap, Wooden Buttons, Bells on My Toes, Tree’s Creations, Legging Crazy & More, BeachArt by Chrissie, Little Loops Knits, Crios/Cross, Judi Goudreau Studio, Jack Canavan Canavan Woodworks, Kissable Lips & Make up by Crissy, Elderberry Arts, Pocasset Wampanoag Creations, Aissis Original Art, Welsh Cakes, Saffire Moon Jewelry, Nuts and Bolts Nursery Co-op, South County Herbals, Little Gagnon Design


Posted on: August 7th, 2023 by Russell Gusetti

You can call in your reservations for our November 19, 3 p.m. matinee with James Keelaghan to 401-725-9272. BUY TICKETS ONLINE VIA SQUARE . Ticket pricing includes all service fees. 

Dave Marsh, the award-winning American music critic and historian not so long ago stated that James Keelaghan is “Canada’s finest songwriter,” and those few but powerful words of praise say it all about an artist who continues to set the bar at a lofty height. As the calendar pages have turned, for almost 25 years now, this poet laureate of the folk and roots music world has gone about his work with a combination of passion, intent and intensity, and curiosity. His recent album, “Second Hand” was named in the Top 10 Folk Charts of 2022. Admiration and respect for his work amongst his peers is best summed up by David Francey who recently stated that, “James Keelaghan is a voice in contemporary Canadian songwriting that has helped us define who we are as a people. He writes with great humanity and honesty, with an eye to the past and a vision of the future. He has chronicled his times with powerful and abiding songs, with heart and eyes wide open.” Don’t miss this JUNO and CFMA award winning singer-songwriter returning to Blackstone River Theatre for the first time in more than 10 years!


Posted on: August 7th, 2023 by Russell Gusetti

You can call in your reservations for our November 18, 7:00 p.m. concert with Damn Tall Buildings to 401-725-9272. BUY TICKETS ONLINE VIA SQUARE . Ticket pricing includes all service fees. 

In their early days as students at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, Damn Tall Buildings didn’t rehearse – they busked. Now, whether live or on record, the trio still radiates the energy of a crew of best friends playing bluegrass on the street. Anchoring that energy is their instrumental chops, their strong songwriting, and their varied influences that stretch beyond bluegrass, even beyond American roots music altogether. Whether sharing lead vocals and instrumental solos or blending their voices into high-spirited harmony, Damn Tall Buildings is a tight unit that contains more than the sum of its parts. Primary vocalist and lyricist Max Capistran’s singing recalls old blues and The Band-style roots-rock, whereas Sasha Dubyk’s time studying musical theater is evident in her rich vocal tone and soulful flair. Avery Ballotta’s fiddle brings stratospheric dimension to the churning rhythm section of Capistran’s guitar and Dubyk’s bass. The band’s harmony singing is tight without being too slick – they sound like three individual voices joined together in celebration, not a perfectly polished machine. The band has  relocated to Brooklyn, NY and tour widely, appearing at festivals like Grey Fox, Philadelphia Folk Festival, Freshgrass, Blissfest and Merlefest. “Bluegrass at heart, but pulling from a wide range of influences including swing, ragtime, jazz, and even a hint of contemporary perspective in the songwriting, they offer virtually unmatched energy and enthusiasm, underpinned by intelligent songs that don’t skimp on the infectiousness…” – . Don't miss their Blackstone River Theatre debut!


Posted on: August 7th, 2023 by Russell Gusetti

You can call in your reservations for our November 12, 3:00 p.m. matinee concert featuring Larry & Joe to 401-725-9272. BUY TICKETS ONLINE VIA SQUARE . Ticket pricing includes all service fees. 

Larry & Joe were destined to make music together. Larry Bellorín hails from Monagas, Venezuela and is a legend of Llanera music. Joe Troop is from North Carolina and is a GRAMMY-nominated bluegrass and oldtime musician. Larry was forced into exile and is an asylum seeker in North Carolina. Joe, after a decade in South America, got stranded back in his stomping grounds during the pandemic. Larry works construction to make ends meet. Joe's GRAMMY-nominated "latingrass" stringband Che Apalache was forced into hiatus, and he shifted into action working with asylum seeking migrants. Currently based in the Triangle of North Carolina, both men are versatile multi-instrumentalists and singer-songwriters on a mission to show that music has no borders. As a duo they perform a fusion of Venezuelan and Appalachian folk music on harp, banjo, cuatro, fiddle, guitar, maracas and whatever else they decide to throw in the van. Their concerts feature a distinct blend of their musical inheritances and traditions as well as storytelling about the ways that music and social movements coalesce. Larry has accompanied countless Venezuelan musical luminaries including Cristina Maica, Teo Galindez, and Rumi Olivo. While touring the country as a performer, he and his wife opened Casa Vieja, a school dedicated to teaching Música Llanera. In three years, he taught nearly five hundred students and launched Monagas’ first Musicá Llanera festival. 



Posted on: August 6th, 2023 by Russell Gusetti

You can call in your reservations for our November 4, 3:00 p.m. matinee concert featuring Harvey Reid and Joyce Andersen to 401-725-9272. BUY TICKETS ONLINE VIA SQUARE . Ticket pricing includes all service fees. 

Songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and music educator Harvey Reid has honed his craft since the '70s in countless clubs, festivals, and concert halls across the nation. He has been called a "giant of the steel strings" and "one of the true treasures of American acoustic music," and is considered to be one of the modern masters and innovators of the acoustic guitar, autoharp and 6-string banjo. His 32 recordings on the Woodpecker record label showcase his mastery of many instruments and styles of acoustic music, from hip folk to slashing slide guitar blues to bluegrass, old-time, Celtic, ragtime, and even classical. He was inducted in 2023 into the Maine Music Awards Hall of Fame. Joyce Andersen is a veteran musician who has enjoyed a 25 year career as side-gal, session player, singer-songwriter, and band leader. Andersen's music has brought her from the coffeehouses of her native New England, national & international touring as a solo artist and also with husband, Harvey Reid, Childsplay, Richard Thompson and a host of other artists. Andersen has made 9 CDs – 5 solo and 4 with husband Harvey Reid. 


Posted on: August 6th, 2023 by Russell Gusetti

You can call in your reservations for our October 29, 3:00 p.m. matinee concert featuring April Verch and Joe Newberry to 401-725-9272 or BUY TICKETS ONLINE VIA SQUARE. Ticket pricing includes all service fees. 

Growing up, Joe Newberry and April Verch absorbed traditions of home and hearth – in his Missouri Ozarks and her Ottawa Valley of Canada. Although they are on the road much of the year, the two musicians are fond of saying that they are rarely homesick, because their music means they always have a bit of home with them wherever they go. Known around the world for his clawhammer banjo playing, Joe Newberry is also a powerful guitarist, singer and songwriter. A longtime guest on A Prairie Home Companion, he was a featured singer on the Transatlantic Sessions 2016 tour of the U.K., and at the Transatlantic Session’s debut at Merlefest in 2017. April Verch started step dancing at age three and fiddling at age six. In a Newberry & Verch show, delighted audiences see first-hand the roots of their music, their love of performing, and their strong musical connection. Before launching her professional career, Verch was the first woman to win both the Canadian Grand Masters and Canadian Open Fiddling Championships. In 2000, she formed “The April Verch Band,” and together they toured the world. She has released 14 solo recordings to date, receiving JUNO, Canadian Folk Music, and Independent Music nominations and awards for several of those releases. Whether it is the power of two voices lifted in harmony, or the sound of traditional tunes calling people to get up and move, these two masters of tradition put on an unforgettable show. 


Posted on: August 6th, 2023 by Russell Gusetti

You can call in your reservations for our October 28, 3:00 p.m. matinee concert celebrating the Music of Jimmy Devine to 401-725-9272 or BUY TICKETS ONLINE VIA SQUARE. Ticket pricing includes all service fees. 

This special concert originally planned for the Summer Solstice Festival is a fundraiser for the Jimmy Devine Scholarship Fund. There will be a 70-minute performance followed by a short intermission as we set up for an Irish session which will follow. Rhode Island musician, preservation carpenter, and inspiration to countless fiddle students, Jimmy Devine, sadly passed on June 7, 2021. Jimmy was born in New York to Irish parents, and was one of the true lynchpins of the Irish scene in Providence – playing for dances, sessions, house parties, with his band, The Erinoids, and teaching. Our celebration of THE MUSIC OF JIMMY DEVINE will feature his good friends Mark Roberts, Teddi Scobi, Patrick Hutchinson, Benedict Gagliardi, Armand Aromin, Sarah Blair, Tina Lech, Mance Grady, Bob Drouin, Alan Bradbury, and Hannah Devine, Jimmy’s daughter, playing music that Jimmy composed as well as some of the tunes he loved to play. They will be joined by step dancers Kevin and Maureen Doyle.


Posted on: August 6th, 2023 by Russell Gusetti

You can call in your reservations for our October 22, 3:00 p.m. concert with the Soggy Po Boys to 401-725-9272 or BUY TICKETS ONLINE VIA SQUARE. Ticket pricing includes all service fees. 

The Soggy Po Boys, native to New England, are quickly becoming an institution and we are proud to welcome them in for their Blackstone River Theatre debut! Spreading the good news of New Orleans music across the northeast and beyond, the 7-piece band plays concert halls and street corners, music festivals, bars, libraries ... wherever the party requires. Part of the beauty of New Orleans music is that it's celebrated and appreciated wherever it goes, from the street to the theater. “These guys have done their homework, worked it out on the bandstand and put in the hours in the studio. It all adds up to a party you can bring with you when you want to treat your friends to a real good time.” - Ben Schenck of New Orleans’ Panorama Jazz Band. The Po Boys formed in 2012 to shake the walls of a local club on a Fat Tuesday but have honed their sound and become more than a Mardi Gras centerpiece. Exploring the vast musical traditions of New Orleans and expanding their repertoire to look beyond NOLA jazz, the band includes traditional Caribbean tunes (it’s been said that New Orleans is the northernmost city in the Caribbean), as well as Meters funk, soul, and brass band / street beat music. The Soggy Po Boys are: Stu Dias - Vocals / Guitar; Eric Klaxton - Clarinet/Soprano Sax; Josh Gagnon - Trombone; Nick Mainella - Tenor Sax; Mike Effenberger - Piano; Brian Waterhouse - Drums; and Scott Kiefner - Bass.