Here’s the most recent note we sent to our mailing list, 4-9-2014:
In some ways, times are getting a little better and once again, a few performers and agents are starting to contact the Folk Music Society about doing shows in our series. Many uncertainties remain, however, such as the true local, national, and worldwide course of the COVID Pandemic and when room bookings will even be possible at Caltech, so we will be patient as the virus plays out. We’ll work through this. Meanwhile, we have some enrichment and entertainment suggestions for you below. Stay well!
While we haven’t been able to put on shows in person right now, that doesn’t mean some of us haven’t been busy. Nick Smith, who you will probably remember as MC at our shows and the person who often sells you your tickets, has been working with the National Storytelling Network (NSN) on a project. It’s called Earth Up, and it’s an online conference and set of storytelling performances, coming up this weekend, April 9th to 11th. Earth Day is coming and some are calling this Earth Month. We’ve got a lot to tend to. Stories are as old as Humankind. They come from cultures all over the world and are linked to our environment, and to the lives of people, animals, plants, and the world in which they all live. Earth Up is a blend of environmental science and traditional storytelling. There is a fee to attend the whole conference, but there are also free links to performances of stories from the work of author and storyteller Margaret Read MacDonald. You can purchase tickets for the entire event or for specific segments. The full-length of the film Green Fire, which was shown in an abridged form on PBS, will also be screened. There will be workshops panel discussions, and LOTS of storytelling going on.
We hope that some of you will be able to virtually attend this event. You can find details and register here. In case you can’t watch everything live, paid attendees will have access to the events later. Nick will MC the big Saturday night performance, but if you want to hear him telling a story as staff member of the Pasadena Public Library’s Children’s Department , here he is telling the story Lazy Jack, or pick and chose from this list of other stories.
Here are a few musical programs we have heard about or stumbled on. All are top notch, and we have tried to woo several of these performers to perform in our series. It seems that the great Scottish singer, musician, and songwriter, Dougie MacLean, has been doing free weekly (sometimes 2 a week!) live solo shows online since the beginning of the Pandemic, and they are all still available, 80 of them! You can get them on Facebook, Youtube, or Vimeo. Note that many of the shows start several minutes into the video, so click ahead on the time bar below the video, or be patient. Pharis and Jason Romero are a duo from Canada, great singers, musicians, and songwriters, and they will be performing in an online show with Bruce Molsky(fiddle, banjo, guitar) tomorrow, Friday, April 9 at 8PM, $15. Listen to A Wanderer I’ll Stay for a taste. It is going to be a great show, and you can buy a ticket here.
Many of you who have attended our shows have probably taken in a show at the Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena, site of 3 or 4 concerts a week from diverse performers from all around, in a wonderful intimate setting, up until the Pandemic hit. Bob Stane, the man behind this wonderful place, is holding a fundraising event online to help manage the past year of paying rent while having no income and he’s eager to get the room ready to re-open as soon as that’s possible. The event will be Saturday, May 1 at 7PM and feature people such as Richie Furay, John McEuen, Herb Pedersen, and many others. It should be a great show. If you are familiar with Bob and the Coffee Gallery Backstage, we urge you to help him out. It has been a very tough year for someone who spends his time bringing great music to Southern California. Find many more performer names and links for attending and donating are here.
This just in: The Caltech Live! series has just announced a special free program relating music and science, How Music Can Make you Better, this Monday, April 12 at 5PM. Indre Viskontas is both an opera singer and a Professor of Sciences and Humanities at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of San Francisco. She has written a book with the same title as the program and she will be interviewed by Maia Jasper, musician and teacher at Colburn School of Performing Arts. Make a reservation here for this free show, which will include time for Q & A .
Guitarist, singer, songwriter extraordinaire, Richard Thompson, who has just published his first book, Beeswing: Losing My Way and Finding My Voice 1967-1975, about his early days with Fairport Convention and then his marriage and musical partnership with Linda Thompson, will be one of the featured authors at the online Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, on Monday, April 19 at 5:00 PM. This one has a charge ($6.65) and you need to register in advance, but most events are free. The Times did an interview with Richard this week and you can read it here. Walter Mosley is also a featured guest, and though the online version this year won’t be the big, festive event it is at USC, it is still a great chance to live in the world of ideas and books. The Festival runs Saturday, April 17 through Friday, April 23 and you can see the schedule of events here.
The Radio is a great place to be also, and you can hear Mary Katherine Aldin on Roots Music and Beyond this Saturday, April 10, 6-8 AM on KPFK, 90.7 FM and Art Podel next Saturday. Master musician, Tom Sauber, (banjo, fiddle, guitar, mandolin and singer) will be Mary Katherine’s guest, talking about and playing songs from his new recording. Great music to start the day, and the show’s Facebook page is becoming a great source of information on the many marginsof folk music. FolkScene, with Allen Larman and Kat Griffin will be on Sundays, 6-8 PM. Last week’s guest was Joachim Cooder (son of Ry Cooder) featuring songs from Uncle Dave Macon. FolkScene always provides a couple of hours of great music. We don’t know who this week’s featured guest will be, but it is always worth checking in. You can hear the guest portion of the show on FolkScene’s Apple podcasts site or FolkScene’s Soundcloud site (scroll down just a bit to find it.) Both shows can be heard online at the KPFK Audio Archives for 2 weeks after their broadcast. Just look them up by date and by time.
Artnight Pasadenawill be online this time around and is coming Friday, April 16, 6-10 PM with an interesting array of online events, including Six Feet ApART, a joint event from Boston Court and Lightbringer Project, featuring invited members of the community to come paint their reflections of the past year and hopes for the future on three new outdoor art walls.
While we’re on the subject of science, the Mars helicopter, Ingenuity, will make its historic flight early Monday morning, April 12 at 12:30 AM. JPL/NASA’s website has links to the Facebook and Youtube coverage of this historic step, as well as a wealth of other information that you can see now. And if you like birds, check out the Audubon Society’s monthly show,I Saw a Bird the last Wednesday of every month. As you wait for April 28 to roll around, you can view past programs, which are all quite interesting. The Bird world is probably much more fascinating than you realized.