From vocal roots to honky-tonkin’, fiddles, fireworks, and National Heritage Fellows, Centrum’s Voice Works festival and 35th annual Festival of American Fiddle Tunes culminate in July with an eclectic lineup of five concerts and dances, including the traditional “Fourth at the Fort” concerts and fireworks display, and an historic performance featuring five winners of the prestigious NEA National Heritage award. Festival performances begin on July 2 with a day-long concert and dance “Vocal Roots and Honky Tonkin,” to cap off Centrum’s Voice Works festival; and also include an outdoor country and Cajun dance on July 8 during Centrum’s Fiddle Tunes festival. In all, more than 50 artists are featured in concerts and dances at McCurdy Pavilion and on the lawn at Littlefield Green, on the campus of Fort Worden State Park.
Tickets to all events are available on the phone at 800-746-1982, in person at the Centrum office, 223 Battery Way, Fort Worden State Park, Monday through Friday from noon-4 p.m., or on the web at www.centrum.org.
Tickets are also available at the venue box office, one hour prior to performance.
The 2011 Centrum summer season also features a return of, “Free Fridays at the Fort,” on six consecutive Fridays beginning July 1 from noon-1 p.m. on the lawn of the Fort Worden Commons. The public is invited to bring a picnic lunch, or purchase food from the Commons. Admission is free, and blankets and low-back chairs are encouraged.
Centrum’s popular “Concerts for Kids” series returns starting July 8 with a performance from longtime Fiddle Tunes artists and Centrum favorites the Canote Brothers, with their unique blend of artistry and humor. Using fiddles, banjos, ukuleles and their genetically matched voices, Greg and Jere Canote delight with vintage American music, forgotten fiddle tunes, swing classics and quirky novelty songs. The series continues on August 5 with singer/songwriter Lauren Sheehan, a charismatic performer and celebrated interpreter of timeless songs learned from some of America’s greatest folk and blues artists. Both concerts begin at 11 a.m. at the Chapel at Fort Worden State Park.
On Saturday, July 2 at 1:30 p.m., Centrum’s Voice Works festival presents, “Vocal Roots and Honky-Tonkin’: A Day-Long Concert and Dance.” The concert features the celebrated “high-lonesome” sound of Canadian Bluegrass vocalist Jenny Lester, traditional Balkan melodies from Seattle singer Mary Sherhart, and old-time country duets from Northwest favorites Cliff Perry and Laurel Bliss. Daniel Steinberg leads the World Harmony Chorus, comprised of Voice Works festival workshop participants, and featuring the music of Africa, Europe and the Americas; and Pharis Romero from Horsefly, British Columbia, with the timeless sound of the far north. The concert closes with the legendary Alice Gerrard, whose folk, bluegrass, and old-time music career spans forty years.
Beginning at 5 p.m., the music moves outdoors onto Littlefield Green for dancing with the blues of Portland, Ore. based Lisa Mann and Her Really Good Band, and vintage New Orleans swing from punk-jazz vocalist Meschiya Lake, accompanied by Seattle-based Casey MacGill and the Blue 4 Trio. Country crooner Reeb Willms, a member of both The Shadies and The Country Messengers, performs; and the evening closes with fiddle virtuoso and Balfa family member Courtney Granger joining the Caleb Klauder Country Band for Cajun and honky-tonk favorites.
Food, including vegetarian options, is available for purchase during the concert courtesy of Port Townsend’s Dos Okies. Dos Okies offers barbeque catering for private parties, weddings, and social events all over the Olympic Peninsula and beyond. In addition, a beer garden will be available for patrons 21 and over.
The Festival of American Fiddle Tunes
On Monday, July 4 at McCurdy Pavilion, Centrum’s Festival of American Fiddle Tunes presents two concerts for the traditional, “Fourth at the Fort” celebration. The matinee concert, “Old Time Glory,” begins at 1:30 p.m. with the music of Washington old-time fiddle champion Hank Bradley, the old-time banjo of Candy Goldman with Seattle’s Dan Lockshon on guitar, and Bertrand Deraspe and Alain Turbide with the highly rhythmic dance fiddling of the Acadian tradition — the sound that migrated from Canada to Louisiana to form the roots of Cajun.
Bluegrass legend Alice Gerrard, pioneering old-time music advocate and longtime partner of Hazel Dickens, returns to the Fiddle Tunes stage joined by the big resonator banjo sound of Rick Good. The matinee also includes the music of Cajun master and National Heritage Fellow Michael Doucet, and Trio Chicontepec from near the Gulf coast of Mexico, performing the danzas, sones viejos, and huapangos that define the Huastecan tradition. Finally, Eddie Bond and Kirk Sutphin celebrate the spirit of old-time masters such as Tommy Jarrell and Fred Cockerham through the unmistakable Round Peak tradition.
The July 4 evening concert, “Fiddles and Fireworks,” begins at 7 p.m. in McCurdy Pavilion. The concert features old-time Kentucky masters Paul David Smith and Jimmy McCown, longtime Bill Monroe and Ricky Scaggs sideman Bobby Hicks with Adam Masters, and Andrea Beaton with Troy MacGillivray. Andrea is the youngest member of the legendary Mabou Beaton Family of fiddlers from Cape Breton in Nova Scotia.
The evening closes with Port Townsend’s annual Independence Day fireworks display beginning at approximately 10 p.m. Concertgoers are invited to stay for the fireworks, which can be seen from the bluff at Fort Worden.
Food is available for purchase during the concert, courtesy of Port Townsend’s Cape Cleare, offering wild-caught Alaskan salmon, organic greens, and hearty sandwiches. A beer garden is also available for patrons 21 and over.
On Friday, July 8 at 6 p.m., Centrum presents, “Country Cajun Stomp,” a concert and dance on the lawn at Littlefield Green, adjacent to McCurdy Pavilion. The concert features the Savoy Family Band — Marc and Ann Savoy and their sons Joel and Wilson, the first family of Cajun music; Balfa family member Courtney Granger, a fiddle prodigy who recorded his debut album for Rounder Records at the age of 15, and country roots band Marley’s Ghost, whose 22-year career includes nine studio recordings and countless national shows.
On Saturday, July 9 at 1:30 p.m. in McCurdy Pavilion, Centrum is proud to present, “The Master Hands Project: NEA National Heritage Award Winners.” The performance is a rare gathering of five winners of the NEA National Heritage Award, the nation’s highest honor for traditional artists and musicians. The concert features Appalachian guitarist and master luthier Wayne Henderson, celebrated New England contra and barn dance caller Dudley Laufman and family, legendary Cajun accordionist Marc Savoy and his family band, American Swedish Spelmans Trio founder Paul Dahlin and family, and junior and senior All-Ireland fiddle champion Liz Carroll, the first Irish-American musician to be nominated for a Grammy. Carroll is joined by guitarist John Doyle, a former member of Irish-American super-group Solas, and Carroll’s partner for their Grammy-nominated release, Double Play.
Food, including vegetarian options, is available for purchase during the concerts on July 8 and 9, courtesy of Port Townsend’s Dos Okies. Dos Okies offers BBQ catering for private parties, weddings, and social events all over the Olympic Peninsula and beyond. In addition, a beer garden will be available for patrons 21 and over.
The Festival of American Fiddle Tunes is made possible, in part, through support of the National Endowment for the Arts, WESTAF, the D’Addario Foundation, and Sage Arts.
Tickets for Voice Works, American Fiddle Tunes