34th Annual Sea Music Festival
Become a Friend of the Festival
The Friends of the Festival is a leadership gift club for the Sea Music Festival. We invite you to join this dedicated group of individuals who, through their generosity, ensure the well-being and future of the Sea Music Festival. To learn more, call the Mystic Seaport Advancement Department at 860.572.5365 or e-mail email@example.com.
Meet the 2013 Sea Music Festival Performers
The musical tradition of Sicily includes many songs that speak of the sea, sing its praises, or are sung by those whose work connects them to the water. Together, acclaimed musicians Michela Musolino and Vincenzo Castellana, pay tribute to Sicily's sea through their music. Musolino, a vocalist known for her performances of Sicilian Roots Music, and Castellana, a noted percussionist of the Sicilian drumming tradition, have created a work of song, percussion, and recitations which illustrates the intimate connection of Sicily, its history and its culture to the sea which surrounds it.
Jerry Bryant is a singer and independent folk scholar specializing in the musical artifacts of maritime culture. Accompanying himself on concertina, guitar, banjo, ukulele, and other instruments, he presents old and new songs that open a window on the lives of fishermen, packet rats, and whalers. By researching the music he is able to add historical insights to his performances. This has also provided him with subjects for making new songs, in the spirit of the tradition. Jerry has appeared regularly at the Sea Music Festival since 1984.
For the past 30 years or so Jon Campbell has been making up songs for his own amusement and the amusement of his pals around Point Judith, RI. Some of this has turned out to amuse other singers and listeners in far-flung parts of the World, at least along the coasts. He has been a participant in the New Bedford Working Waterfront Festival since its inception, and has performed line of sight to salt water in venues from Maine to Alaska. His involvement with the Fisherpoets Gathering in Astoria, OR introduced him to many others working in the field of contemporary Maritime poetry, prose, and song. He has been a recognized Folk Artist with the RI State Council on the Arts since 1982, a position which generates no income.
With a voice that blends Celtic and Appalachian styles, Debra Cowan performs a cappella and with guitar, interpreting a wide range of traditional and contemporary folk songs. Her performances gives listeners old and new story-songs reflecting the human experiences, comedic short ditties, and all the while encouraging the audience to join in on choruses and refrains. Debra's performances impress listeners with her clarity, warmth, agility, and respect for the words and melodies she offers. A proud union member, she is currently serving a three-year term as Vice President of American Federation of Musicians Local 1000.
Mary Garvey was born in a lumber town on the Columbia River, and now lives at the mouth of the same river in Seaview, Washington. She has been involved in folk music for many years, through song circles in Seattle, Portland, and St. John's Newfoundland. She runs a small music camp, called Sunnycamp, on the Long Beach Peninsula in Washington, and has written a number of songs on fisheries and other traditional aspects of the Pacific Northwest. She is starting to be involved in putting out CDs, and participated in ones on tugboats and one on the Columbia Bar with Maritime Folknet. She also put out CDs on the Irish potato famine, lullabies for children in need, and is just finishing one on canneries and other fishing support trades on the Columbia River.
Sara Grey and Kieron Means
Sara Grey is a fine American singer, banjo player, and song collector. She's immersed in the song traditions of both sides of the Atlantic. She has performed throughout the UK, Europe, North America, and Australia for the past 50 years. Kieron Means is a singer and guitar player of great merit. He was born in the United States and grew up in Britain with the music of both traditions. He is a fine performer of traditional and contemporary songs. He has toured in the States, UK, and often performed with his mother, Sara Grey.
The duo perrforms a wide range of American traditions including old-time songs and ballads from the Appalachians, Ozarks, New England and the West, blues and gospel music, as well as a few of their favorite written songs. The passage of songs from Great Britain and Ireland to America is of particular interest. Sara and Kieron encourage audience members to join in singing the chorus of many of their songs.
Cliff Haslam is a native of Warrington, Cheshire - about 16 miles up the Mersey from Liverpool. He is as fine as an exemplar of the British folk tradition as you'll find this side of the pond. His songs display a fine sense of humor, a bit of British bawdy along with great vocal artistry. Everyone should have the chance to hear Cliff shake the walls as his booming bass baritone breathes new life into an old chantey...and in the next moment render a ballad so tender it would bring tears to the eyes of an executioner.
A mainstay in the folk music scene in New England for many years, Cliff Has inspired countless people to sing, learn songs, and to join in the community of folk music.
Hoolie is an internationally-acclaimed trio from Bay City that specializes in sailor songs and chanteys, tunes from the lakes and the salt water, music from our own Great Lakes sailing traditions, and some original songs having to do with maritime history. Leading Hoolie as head chantyman and playing guitar is Jerry Casault. Singing along with him and playing the banjo, bodhran, and tinwhistles is Kathy Morris. Adding fiddle, concertina, and vocal harmonies is Bruce Macartney.
Hoolie has been featured at maritime festivals and has played in the Netherlands, Scotland, England, Wales, Germany, Norway, and Belgium. Stateside, they have been a featured act at Mystic Seaport, The Erie Maritime Museum, and have played tall ships festivals and light houses around the Great Lakes and Canada. Hoolie has two CDs out, Getting Underway and Fair Winds.
Kapriol'! has performed in The Netherlands, at international concerts and festivals throughout Europe, and the United States. The band's repertoire comprises free interpretations of ancient Dutch songs and dance tunes, combined with their own compositions. Their music has influences from Medieval, Renaissance, Scandinavian, and Celtic music, as well as various kinds of world music. Great vocal harmonies and unusual instruments give their music a specific effect.
Kapriol'! also presents a maritime program with strong a cappella singing, including traditional Dutch shanties, sea songs, and instrumental tunes. The group presents an admirable balfolk repertoire for an exciting evening which includes Scottisches, Mazurkas, Andros, Bourrees, Jigs, and Circassian Circles that have been popular around Western Europe. Kapriol'!'s musicians are: Marita Kruijswijk - flutes, shawm, vocals; Marian Nesse - accordion, vocals; Rutger Dijkstra - bass, guitar, violin, vocals; and Ad Bos - cajon and other percussion instruments, keyboard, vocals.
Margaret McCandless's performance work includes college years on the west coast and more recent years at museums and schools around New England. Along with music, Margaret enjoys telling true tales of other's childhood adventures at sea. Margaret's recordings include a mix of classic sea chanties, ballads, and old poetry set to music, plus some songs of her own. She savors the sound of many voices, so be prepared to sing along. In fact, this year Margaret will be performing as part of Aunt Sallie's Band. Dee McCandless and Margaret have been singing sea songs together since childhood, making each other laugh while making harmony, whether on dry land or in boats. Mark Edwards and Joe Maurer bring in humor, too. They all take turns singing lead and playing interesting instruments. Dee (performing in Texas and New England) plays whistles and accordion. Mark (Texas, New England, and Alaska) plays washtub bass, rub-board, and more. Joe (from Brown U's pirate band Aaaaaargh), grew up singing in family gatherings at Margaret's house. He and Margaret (from Massachusetts) take turns on banjo, concertina, fiddle, whistles, and odd stuff. All of them play kazoos and loved sharing sailing and sea songs with Uncle John and Aunt Sallie.
mudhook (mud-hook) n. 1. Slang word for anchor used by sailors. 2. A Portsmouth, NH-based band specializing in maritime music, including traditional shanties, fo'c's'le ballads, instrumentals and contemporary songs of the sea. After meeting at the traditional music sessions around the New Hampshire seacoast, friends Alan Eaton, Peter Hale, Dave Hallowell, and Mike Jeanneau realized that their strong voices and musicianship could combine to create a fun, familiar, and distinctive sound. In 2007, they came together and formed Mudhook, focusing on creating new arrangements of maritime music, while remaining true to the tradition. Each member of Mudhook is a multi-instrumentalist, so their arrangements can feature any combination of bouzouki, fiddle, guitar, banjo, bodhran, and tin whistle - all while singing up a mighty storm.
Mudhook has performed at the Portsmouth Maritime Folk Festival, Boston's Harborfest and 4th of July Celebration, Ocean State Tall Ships Festival, the NH Fish & Lobster Festival, and the Piscataqua Waterfront Festival. Band members have also performed onboard for several visiting tall ships, including Blue Nose II, Pride of Baltimore II, Spirit of Carolina, The Roseway and the Gazela Primeiro - the world's oldest active wood-hulled sailing vessel. They released their CD First Home in 2011.
The New Boys of Old New York
Red-hot strings ignite an old Long Island fiddle tune; oversized mandolins weave together on a rare Irish song from the Adirondacks; spoons and hambone bring Western NY dance tunes leaping back to life; two lone voices belt out a Catskill lumbercamp song in haunting unison. Jeff Davis and Dave Ruch present New York State traditional music with a unique flair as The New Boys of Old New York.
Davis is well-known for his authoritative interpretation of American traditional music ("worth a lot of salt" - SingOut!), and Ruch for his deep research and great sense of fun on stage ("Mighty. The audience loved it" - Mick Moloney). Together, The New Boys delight in exploring the unusual and underappreciated. With a pile of fascinating stories and two carriage-loads of instruments, the music of New York's canallers, Great Lakes sailors, African-American fiddlers, Irish lumberjacks, and hill-country homemakers is in great new hands.
OCEAN Celtic - From soaring songs and ballads to high-energy fiddle and accordion tunes, OCEAN Celtic pushes the boundaries of celtic, folk, and folk-rock. Internationally known for music that is both excitingly fresh and impeccably researched, OCEAN Celtic specializes in giving new life to rare repertoire uncovered by original research. At an OCEAN concert, you'll hear Irish ballads, English chanteys, Manx fishing songs, and Caribbean folksongs, as well as infectious jigs, reels, and hornpipes. For all these songs and tunes, they craft innovative, textured arrangements on both traditional and contemporary instruments.
Bandleader Jennifer Cutting (squeezeboxes and keyboards) is steeped in traditional song, both as the last protégée of English folk revival leader A.L. Lloyd, and as an ethnomusicologist and research librarian at the Library of Congress Archive of Folk Culture. She brings this experience to her arrangements of traditional songs and tunes, as well as her original, award-winning songwriting. Lisa Moscatiello (vocals, guitar, whistle), is one of the outstanding voices performing Celtic music in America. A former member of The New St. George, Ceoltoiri, and Whirligig, she has a voice that has been compared to those of Sandy Denny, June Tabor, and K.D. Lang. Singer Stephen Winick is a Ph.D. folklorist, a protégé of Kenny Goldstein, and a published authority on folksongs who has presented at the Mystic Seaport Music of the Sea Symposium. He has been singing traditional ballads and sea chanteys in English and French for over twenty years, and currently performs with Ship's Company Chanteymen in addition to OCEAN. Bob Spates is a champion Scottish fiddler, has performed with countless pop stars, from Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie to Barry White and Christina Aguilera, has played jazz at the Montreux Festival, and has been a featured classical mandolinist in the Opera at New York's Lincoln Center. He has just recorded an Irish record with legendary Irish musicians Finbar Furey, Francie Conway, and Matt Kelleghan (from the band Moving Hearts).
William Pint and Felicia Dale
"William Pint and Felicia Dale rank among North America's most exciting interpreters of music based in the traditions of the British Isles and France... unconventional but spine-tingling... unique and mesmerizing." - Dirty Linen
Maritime music, nautical music, the music of the sea. Whether they be contemporary songs with the sea as a theme or chanties, the traditional work songs sung aboard the tall ships to organize the labor of the crew. Those crews were English, Irish, German, French, from the West Indies, the United States and other sea-going nations, but the music itself was inspired by the oceans that link all these places together and cover two thirds of our planet. We take all of this as a source of inspiration for our music - giving it our own spin with guitar, hurdy-gurdy, mandolin, and other exotic sounds. The result is an unusually energetic and exciting approach to folk music.
Tim Radford is an unaccompanied English-born singer who has been living on Cape Cod since 1996. He has been singing traditional music for more than 40 years and specializes in songs of the south of England, particularly from Hampshire where he was born.
Tim has 3 CDs: Home From Home, George Blake's Legacy, and the latest - From Spithead Roads, that is dedicated to sea songs collected from 1905 to 1909 in his home county of Hampshire.
SASIEDZI (the Neighbours) was formed in 2001 in Gliwice (Poland). The name of the band originates from the pub where they first played music together. Initially, they performed mostly folk and sea chanteys (maritime work songs performed a cappella in Polish, English, French and Russian). Today their set list also includes their own original compositions. Additionally, they incorporate music from other cultures in their repertoire, including traditional tunes from Cape Breton, Ireland and Scotland, as well as their own Silesian folk and also some early music compositions. The combination of musicians in SASIEDZI give the band its own unique sound. The magnetism of the group lies in intricate harmonies orchestrated with richly acoustic instrumentation. SASIEDZI have developed their own distinctive style.
London-born Danny Spooner is regarded as the foremost traditional singer in Australia. He learned his craft as a boy on the Thames River and at sea with a singing skipper, then through the Australian folk revival of the 1960s. As a historian, in introducing songs, he is able to give the context for his British and Australian material. Through years of festivals, concerts, house concerts, and camps in Australia, Europe and North America, he's welcomed for his personal warmth, and loves to pass songs on. He still enjoys learning and researching the music of working people, and has a lively interest in the American tradition.
The Sound School Regional Aquaculture Center located at City Point on New Haven Harbor in Connecticut has proven to be an ideal home for sea chanteys. The introduction of sea music to the school originated during a week-long sailing trip in Maine several years ago. This sparked the formation of a Maritime Culture class the following year. The idea was to offer Maritime History accompanied by the songs of life at sea. While student interns were assisting in the building of the schooner Amistad at Mystic Seaport, another group of students kept busy building Margru, the ship's boat, in their shop class. Song filled the air around campus, and the magic of this language became contagious. The S.S. Chanteens formed in 2002, with many of its members coming from the rowing and sailing teams. Paula Daddio, previously of the trio Shipping News, and Kristi Otterbach act as the group's advisors. Although the members of the group change every few years, they all have an incredible love of the water and a passion for chanteys and other traditional music. They perform with the expected enthusiasm of a bunch of teenagers.