Or call in your reservations for our October 7, 8:00 p.m. concert with Symbio to 401-725-9272.
The music of Symbio has been described as musical storytelling where folk, minimalistic art music and electronic dance music meets and becomes a cinematic experience for the listener. Symbio is regarded as one of the most prominent new bands from the Swedish Folk & World music scene. With their strong stage presence, original compositions, and a magical interplay of hurdy-gurdy and accordion – the duo constantly surprises their audience and takes them on a moving and dreamy musical journey. During concerts the duo perform with both seriousness and joy, telling personal and vivid stories about the music. Through a playful, energetic and close interaction Symbio creates new music where two becomes more. The duo was awarded as ”Best Newcomer of the Year” at the Swedish Folk & World Music awards in 2016, and received the”Scholarship for young music ensembles” from the Royal Swedish Academy of Music in the same year. Since the release of their debut album in 2016 they have been touring extensively in Sweden and 20 different European countries. This will be their first appearance in Rhode Island ... don't miss it!
Máire Ní Chathasaigh and Chris Newman
Or call in your reservations for our October 15, 8:00 p.m. concert with Máire Ní Chathasaigh and Chris Newman to 401-725-9272.
The celebrated virtuoso partnership of Máire Ní Chathasaigh – “the doyenne of Irish harpers” (Scotland on Sunday) and Chris Newman – “one of the UK’s most staggering and influential acoustic guitarists” (fROOTS), has brought its special musical vision to venues large and small in 22 countries on five continents. Their performances – described by The Irish Times as “music of fire and brilliance from the high-wire act in traditional music” – are rooted but eclectic, emotional but adventurous. Simply put it's a breathtaking blend of traditional Irish music, hot jazz, bluegrass and baroque, coupled with striking new compositions and Chris’s delightfully subversive wit. Chris was also named "Male Musician of the Year” in the 2019 Live Ireland Awards! Gradam Cheoil TG4, the national Irish-language TV station’s Award for Irish Traditional Musician of the Year, was presented to Máire in 2001 “for the excellence and pioneering force of her music, the remarkable growth she has brought to the music of the harp and the positive influence she has had on the young generation of harpers” at a televised ceremony in the Cork Opera House. The Gradam is the highest, most prestigious honour for a traditional Irish musician and Máire is the sole harpist recipient to date. We are thrilled to present them for the first time at Blackstone River Theatre making good on our March 2020 Covid-canceled original date!
Reverie Road featuring Winifred Horan and John Williams
Or call in your reservations for our October 22, 8:00 p.m. concert with Reverie Road to 401-725-9272.
Delivering the driving lilt and lift of Irish music, Reverie Road features Winifred Horan and John Williams, both formerly of Solas, and Katie Grennan and Utsav Lal in a newly-combined and unforgettable concert experience. Embracing humor with their musical insight and natural abilities, Reverie Road offers a powerful mix of curated gems including distilled airs, upbeat reels and jigs, as well as original soundscapes that weave the roots of the Irish musical traditions with fresh new departures. The band chemistry features two accomplished fiddlers who share a common history as award-winning Irish dancers along with two instrumentalists who have sought to redefine rhythmic accompaniment. Winifred Horan is an American violinist and fiddler of Irish descent. After classical training, she played with the all-female Celtic music ensemble Cherish the Ladies before co-founding the award winning and renowned American Irish band Solas. Accordionist John Williams, also a co-founder of Solas, is internationally regarded as one of the foremost players of Irish music today. With five All-Ireland titles to his credit, John is the only American-born competitor ever to win first place in the Senior Concertina category. Pianist Utsav Lal holds a Bachelors in Jazz from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and a Masters in Contemporary Improvisation from the New England Conservatory of Music. He is recognized for his "Ragas to Reels" concert tours that bring together Indian classical music and traditional Irish music in a piano and flute combination. Katie Grennan's traditional fiddle playing carries the articulation of a gifted classical musician tempered by the soul of a champion Irish dancer. Katie was the fiddler in the popular celtic-fusion band Gaelic Storm for over five years.
Or call in your reservations for our October 29, 8:00 p.m. concert with Gadan to 401-725-9272.
Gadan is a new band created by four experienced and well-known musicians in the Irish trad and European folk/rock scenes. On this New England debut, Gadan brings a dynamic repertoire with a powerful live appeal and a sound comparable to new-trad acts such as Talisk and WeBanjo3, but with a unique identity thanks to years of experience in folk music, from Traditional Irish & Scottish music to Appalachian & Old Time music, not to mention the deep connection with regional folk ballads of Northern Italy. Gadan musically and lyrically explores the deep connection between emigrating people from different part of Europe, such as Ireland and Italy, to the United States, through a reinvigorating and modern musical approach. Two banjos – tenor & clawhammer – fiddle, mandolin, bouzouki and guitar result in a “strings-only” sound with a hint of electronics and driven by a powerful rhythmic pulse. Who said you need drums to groove? Gadan features Andrea Verga: mandolin, banjo, vocals; Jacopo Ventura: guitar, bouzouki, vocals; Joan Gatti: fiddle; and Lorenzo Testa: tenor banjo, mandolin, guitar, vocals. Not to be missed!
Le Vent du Nord
Or call in your reservations for our Friday, November 4, 8:00 p.m. concert with Le Vent du Nord to 401-725-9272.
The award-winning and highly acclaimed band Le Vent du Nord returns to Blackstone River Theatre as part of their 20th anniversary tour! Dynamic fiddler André Brunet (Celtic Fiddle Festival, La Bottine Souriante) is joined by Simon Beaudry (vocals, bouzouki, guitar), Nicolas Boulerice (vocals, hurdy-gurdy, piano), Olivier Demers (fiddle, guitar, foot-tapping, mandolin), and Réjean Brunet (basses, accordion, jaw harp, vocals). Le Vent du Nord is a leading force in Quebec’s progressive francophone folk movement and an iconic name in Quebec’s traditional music revival. The group’s vast repertoire draws from both traditional sources and original compositions, while enhancing it’s hard-driving soulful music with a broad range of global influences. Le Vent du Nord has performed well over 2,000 concerts over 4 continents and racked up several prestigious awards, including a Grand Prix du Disque Charles Cros, two Junos (Canada’s Grammys), and a CFMA & “Artist of the Year” at the North American Folk Alliance Annual Gala. Their last concert sold out quickly ... don't delay!
Flynn Cohen and Matt Heaton
Or call in your reservations for our Sunday, Nov. 6, 7:00 p.m. concert with Flynn and Matt to 401-725-9272. Full info on 4-5 p.m. Guitar Workshop below!
Flynn Cohen and Matt Heaton are two of New England's most experienced acoustic guitar players, each having performed with some of the finest performers in folk music. Both are known to audiences for their respective main projects (Low Lily and Matt & Shannon Heaton), but once in a blue moon, the picks come out, and Flynn and Matt join forces for a night of tunes and songs on guitars, bouzouki and mandolin. They got the idea of playing together years ago when they performed Paul Brady & Andy Irvine’s classic album in its entirety, and that record is still a major influence on their arrangements. Expect a night of classic tunes, songs, and probably some tuning … Acoustic Guitar magazine says of Matt, "Powerfully rhythmic playing" and Dirty Linen magazine calls Flynn "a versatile string virtuoso.” Their Fall tour celebrates the 20th anniversary of the release of Flynn’s solo debut album "Dead String Rhythm." Flynn and Matt will offer a Guitar Workshop on rhythm accompaniment styles for Irish trad music from 4-5 p.m. Geared toward intermediate players who use a pick, fee is $20 for the workshop only or $30 for the workshop plus one concert ticket. Email email@example.com for workshop registration.
Or call in your reservations for our November 12, 8 p.m. show with Mile Twelve to 401-725-9272.
Mile Twelve is a progressive string band from Boston, Massachusetts. Winners of the 2020 IBMA New Artist of the Year award, they have been making waves in the acoustic music community with their seamless blend of expertly-crafted songs, creative arrangements, and virtuosic execution. The band takes their name from the mile marker that sits at Boston’s southern border on Route 93, a road sign they’ve passed countless times while heading out on tour. They've found receptive audiences across the globe, touring throughout North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. The Mile Twelve lineup offers five of the most promising young musicians in bluegrass: Catherine “BB” Bowness (banjo), Evan Murphy (guitar, lead vocals), Nate Sabat (bass, lead vocals) and new members Ella Jordan (fiddle, vocals), and Korey Brodsky (mandolin). Join us for a great night of bluegrass!
Patrick Ball – "The Fine Beauty of the Island"
Or call in your reservations for our November 13, 3:00 p.m. matinee concert with Patrick Ball to 401-725-9272.
Patrick Ball is one of the premier Celtic harp players in the world as well as a captivating storyteller. In playing the legendary brass-strung harp of Ireland with its crystalline sound, and in performing tales of wit and enchantment, Ball not only brings new life to two cherished traditions, but blends them to create a richly theatrical and hauntingly beautiful performance. There is only one person on the stage, but as Patrick Ball performs "The Fine Beauty of the Island," a whole culture appears before us. Through the voice of his Celtic harp, the lilt of his penny whistle, and the brogues of a pubful of characters, contemporary bard Patrick Ball casts a spell out of scraps of stories, researched history, and the raucous dark humor of the Irish. The play tells some of the story of The Blasket Islands which lie three miles off the coast of County Kerry in Ireland. For centuries they were a lonely, remote place, a place of fishermen and farmers, of poets, musicians and storytellers. In the early 1950s, however, the last remaining inhabitants of the islands were forced to leave their homes and settle on the mainland, for their turf was gone, their land poor, and their seas plundered of fish by large trawlers from England and France. The islanders loaded all that they could carry into their curraghs and rowed away - a leave-taking known historically as "The Vanishing." But they also carried with them their tales and legends, one of which told of a deeply haunting tune that was heard on the winds of the islands, then passed on through generations of island musicians. Twenty years after "The Vanishing," Patrick Ball heard this tune in an Irish bar in San Francisco, and his life was changed forever. In "The Fine Beauty of the Island," Patrick tells the story of his journey in search of the origin and meaning of this strange, enchanting tune which led him back not only to a Blasket Island community and culture "whose like will not be seen again," but to a long-neglected corner of his own past.
ATWATER~DONNELLY BAND with Cathy Clasper-Torch and Erin Lobb Mason
Or call in your reservations for our November 20, 3:00 p.m. matinee concert with Atwater~Donnelly Band to 401-725-9272.
BRT favorites Aubrey Atwater and Elwood Donnelly return in a band format with Cathy Clasper-Torch on fiddle, cello and vocals and Erin Lobb Mason on bass and vocals to present an engaging concert of traditional American and Celtic American folk songs, a cappella pieces, hymns, poetry, dance tunes, and original works. This concert will celebrate the release of Aubrey and Elwood's new CD, their 14th album, called "The Boat You Row.” They will also be coming out with their 9th book soon, "Song By Song, Volume II." Elwood and Aubrey blend unusual vocal harmonies and play guitar, Appalachian mountain dulcimer, Irish tin whistle, harmonica, old-time banjo, bones, limberjacks and other musical surprises. Performances are appealing to all ages, and with humor, audience participation and a highly relaxed stage presence, Aubrey and Elwood also explain song origins to give more relevance to the material. Atwater-Donnelly performs widely in the Northeast and other parts of the U.S. and their recordings receive international airplay. They have performed and researched folk music extensively in New England, Ireland, England, Prince Edward Island, the Ozarks, and Appalachia. Clasper-Torch plays regularly with many ensembles and is also the fiddle instructor at Blackstone River Theatre.
Kevin Doyle’s Roscommon Soles Thanksgiving Holiday Concert – “Health to the Ladies”
Or call in your reservations for our November 26, 7:00 p.m. concert with Kevin Doyle's Roscommon Soles to 401-725-9272.
Travel “over the river (the Blackstone, of course) and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go” to celebrate a Thanksgiving weekend with Kevin Doyle’s Roscommon Soles! Funded in part by a grant from Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, this custom-themed concert “Health to the Ladies” is named for an old traditional jig and calls out a toast to the generations of women who keep Irish traditions alive from pantry to parlor as old ways and new customs blend around holiday hearths at home and in America. “Health to the Ladies” will spotlight the contributions in dance, music, and song made by some amazing and historic Rhode Island women of the performing arts. Their influence was felt nationally and locally, from vaudeville to the age of radio and television, and on dance stages or in concert halls and recording studios. This seasonal celebration of families and their ladies features Kevin Doyle, National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellow; Mary Lee Partington, regional vocal award-winner/NCTE inaugural Teacher of Excellence; Sheila Falls, American & All-Ireland fiddle champion and director of Gaelic Roots at Boston College; Torrin Ryan, multiple All-Ireland medalist and first on uilleann pipes; Tim Keohane, noted guitarist/vocalist of traditional Irish folk and popular repertoire; and a cameo dance appearance by The Dancing Doyles – Maureen Doyle & Shannon Doyle. Josh Kane, honors at Ireland’s Fleadh Cheoil and original cast member of Roscommon Soles, performs on flute and whistle and draws on his early training in step dance to infuse the tunes with the rhythm and roots of tradition.
BRT Holiday Craft Fair and Festival
You are invited to Blackstone River Theatre's 14th 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 BRT programming as well as area craft vendors and home-based businesses while you do your holiday shopping locally! We will have 24 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, Atwater~Donnelly, 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!)
A Very, Very Cassie and Maggie Christmas
Or call in your reservations for our December 3, 8:00 p.m. Christmas show with Cassie and Maggie MacDonald to 401-725-9272.
From the deepest roots of Canada and its very earliest musical traditions come Nova Scotian sisters Cassie and Maggie MacDonald, putting their own 21st century stamp on the Celtic soundtrack of this nation. Exciting and innovative, their talent is surpassed only by the sheer joy they exude in performance. Alternating between Gaelic and English, traditional and contemporary, haunting and electrifying, the duo is nothing short of mesmerizing and we are thrilled to have them return to BRT for the first time in many years! The award winning musical sister duo are no strangers to holiday magic. Part of a multi-generational musical dynasty, Christmas was always a time to gather near and sing boisterously, as in days of old. The doors were always open to company with the New Year just around the corner. Tonight, The MacDonald sisters invite you to bring your kin to A Very, Very Cassie and Maggie Christmas celebrating not only yuletide fun but their new album of the same name. The trademarks of their stage show will be there as sure as reindeer fly! Fiddle, guitar, piano, sibling harmonies and percussive step dance will mark the season, as well as classic Christmas hymns, ancient carols, and a sassy ode to the most mysterious of Santa's reindeer, Vixen ... The sisters have turned heads wherever they go – 2018 JUNO award nominees, Galaxie Radio Rising Star award winners, 17 Canadian Folk Music, East Coast Music and Music Nova Scotia awards and nominations, Female Singers of the Year by Live Ireland Radio, Female Vocal Album of the Year by Chicago Irish American News, and Album of the Year by NPR’s Celtic Connection. Join us for their very special Christmas celebration!