The Pasadena Folk Music Society continues to work on restoring live concerts at Caltech, and we are very excited to tell you about an important musical film, Small Island Big Song, this coming Tuesday, April 18, at 7:00 p.m. at Caltech, presented by Caltech Campus Events. Celebrate Earth Day a few days early by joining us for this free show in Beckman Auditorium, the large theater where we presented Old Blind Dogs and the Tannahill Weavers last year. The hall is just east of Beckman Institute, where we have had most of our concerts in prior years.
The film was three years in the making and features live performances by indigenous people on small islands in the Pacific and Indian oceans, including the Solomon Islands, Easter Islands, and 14 others. Music critic Tom Orr has noted in the RootsWorld Review that the diverse musicians “…sound like one very big, very happy family doing what they do best while helping get the word out on a most serious issue.” These islands are among the most affected places on Earth threatened by climate change, with rising seas, dying coral reefs and people trying to keep their cultures alive. However, the music is celebratory and uplifting. Stanford University did a fine write-up about the show here. After Tuesday night’s screening, the film’s director, Tim Cole, will do a Q & A along with its producer, BaoBao Chen (on a live feed from Taiwan). You can register at the Caltech Public Events website, or just come and join us for this enriching and enlightening program that is part of Caltech’s “Movies that Matter” series.
Masking and proof of vaccination are not required, but all attendees are asked to bring their own good health and good sense. The hall is large, so it will be easy to keep your distance if you have concerns. Call Caltech Ticket Office at (626) 395-4652 Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with any questions.
The Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival will have three stages of performers April 22 and 23, on Main Street in Old Town Newhall. The lineup of musicians ranges from Kathryn Legendre or TK and the Holy Know-Nothings to Poi Rogers or the Honey Buckets . The schedule and ticket information are here.
Live music will accompany the exhibits of dozens of artists’ work at the Sierra Madre Art Fair May 6 and 7 at Memorial Park in Sierra Madre. The full lineup is not yet posted, but singer-songwriter Rick Shea will play an acoustic show at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 7.
The Julian Family Fiddle Camp, May 3 to May 7, puts an emphasis on instruction and family experience but also will include evening concerts by New Old Time on May 5 and Fiddle Fever on May 6. The site is Camp Whispering Winds in the Cuyamaca Mountains near Julian, a couple hours south of Pasadena.
The Americana West Music Festival 2023 will bring more than two dozen performers to the Hotel Café in Hollywood on Friday, May 5, and Saturday May 6, on two stages from 7 p.m. to midnight.
Judy Collins will be playing at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills on Friday, June 2. That’s among the listings in the events calendar that Mary Katherine Aldin maintains on the Facebook page of the Roots Music and Beyond program on KPFK radio. The Saban also lists an Oct. 19 concert by guitar virtuoso Jesse Cook, with tickets already on sale. Mary Katherine alerts swing fans that the Hot Club of Los Angeles (with amazing guitarist Josh Workman) has resumed playing every Monday night at the Cinema Bar in Culver City. Hear them on this clip of Django Reinhardt’s Belleville recorded there.
If you’re in the mood for a variety of folk music in one location, the Annual Sam Hinton Folk Festival will offer a mix of Bluegrass, Olde Time, Irish music, and much more. Presented by the San Diego Folk Heritage group, this free festival will be held Saturday June 3 starting at 11:00AM at the Old Poway Park (14134 Midland Road, Poway, CA 92064). The full concert line up will be posted at a later date.