Branford Folk Music Society

The Branford Folk Music Society, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization recognized as tax exempt under the Internal Revenue Service Code section 501(c)(3). The Society sponsors the Branford Folk Coffeehouse, a monthly folk music concert series, September through May, at the First Congregational Church, on the green in Branford, Connecticut.

The group also holds monthly "House Hoots" at members' homes, open to all for informal singing and playing, and produces a monthly newsletter with schedules and information on concerts and folk performers in Connecticut and the region. Branford Folk Music Society members receive a copy of the newsletter in the mail, as well as discounts in admission to our coffeehouse concerts. Become a member of the Branford Folk Music Society. Facebook members: Look us up on Facebook.

Branford Folk Coffeehouse

The Branford Folk Coffeehouse is in the auditorium of the First Congregational Church of Branford, 1009 Main Street, Branford, CT. Wheelchair accessible. Concerts begin at 8:00 P.M. Unless otherwise specified, admission is $15 for non-members, $12 for members, and $5 for children 12 and under.

Admission policy for this season's great folk shows: Pay at the door. Thanks!

Directions: Take I-95 Cedar Street exit #54, go south on Cedar Street to the end (crossing Route 1), turn left on Main Street. The Congregational Church is the brick church on the green (on the right). For more information, call 203-488-7715. Email:
If parking immediately next to the Church and the Green is full, there is additional parking nearby.

Please contact us if you are interested in helping the coffeehouse as a volunteer. In particular, refreshment donations will be welcomed.

If you are wondering if a concert will be held on an evening when the weather is bad, please call 203-488-7715. (There is no one at the church who can give out concert information.) Also, cancellations will be posted on WTNH Channel 8.

September 12, 2015: Jay Ungar and Molly Mason

If you love American acoustic music, don’t miss Jay Ungar & Molly Mason. These extraordinary musicians won international acclaim after Ken Burns’ The Civil War  hit the airwaves. Their performance of Jay’s haunting composition Ashokan Farewell – the musical hallmark of the PBS series – left a lasting impression on everyone who tuned in. The soundtrack won a Grammy and Ashokan Farewell was nominated for an Emmy.

A Jay & Molly concert appeals to all ages. There are timeless renditions of hard-driving Appalachian melodies, Cajun and Celtic fiddle tunes, stirring Civil War classics, sassy songs from the golden age of swing and country, stunning waltzes, and moving original works. Wit, warmth and consummate musicianship add up to an exciting evening that cheers the heart and feeds the soul.

Admission to this concert will be:
$20 for the general public, $15 for members, and $5 for children age 12 and under. Pay at the door on the night of the concert.

Jay and Molly

Brian and Jeff

October 10, 2015: Brian Peters and Jeff Davis

Sharp’s Appalachian Harvest is a special multimedia folk music show researched and performed by England’s Brian Peters and Jeff Davis, of the USA.

Their presentation is devoted to the astounding collection of songs and music made by Cecil Sharp and Maud Karpeles in the Southern Appalachians over three summers in 1916, 1917 and 1918.  The English folklorists had ventured into the heart of the mountains to seek out old British ballads still being sung in remote mountain settlements, and their haul of over sixteen hundred pieces is one of the greatest folk song collections ever made.

November 14, 2015: To be announced

December 12, 2015: Lissa Schneckenburger and Bethany Waickman

This concert is a reschedule due to last February’s snow storm. We are thrilled that Lissa and Bethay were able to work with us to find date this season. Lissa and Bethany play traditional New England fiddle tunes and folk songs, with some original and contemporary music thrown in. A truly sparkling acoustic music creation! The traditional music of New England can be as warm and comforting as a winter fire or as potent and exhilarating as a summer thunderstorm. Fiddler and singer Lissa Schneckenburger is a master of both moods, a winsome, sweet-voiced singer who brings new life to old ballads and a skillful, dynamic fiddler who captures the driving rhythm and carefree joy of dance tunes old and new.

Bethany Waickman grew up in a musical family. One of her earliest experiences with traditional music was attending Meadowlark music camp with her family. It was there that she was inspired to take up the guitar. Bethany started performing with Lissa in December of 2008, and can be heard with Lissa in tours throughout the US, Canada, and Europe.



January 16, 2016: Fiesta del Norte (This is a 3rd Saturday)

Fiesta del Norte is an exciting versatile Mariachi band that plays music of Mexico and other Latin American countries. Dressed in traditional "charro" outfits, our repertoire spans from the Mariachis of Jalisco, Nortenas of Chihuahua, harp music of  Vera Cruz, and marimba music of Chiapas.

Feb. 13, 2016: Notorious

Lauded as "sparkling" and "exhilarating", If you haven't heard them yet, it won't take you four beats to realize that this isn't just any ordinary folk band. Sweet vocals and virtuosic fiddling coupled with driving rhythm and snappy guitar solos make for a thrilling musical experience in genres that span many continents.

March 12, 2016: John Kirk and Trish Miller

Since 1988, John Kirk and Trish Miller have toured as a duo throughout the world playing music and singing in concerts, festivals, and schools, and calling contra and square dances. Many of their music selections are rooted in the local lore of the northeast woodlands. A love of traditional tunes and witty songs are presented with brilliant arrangements using fiddle, guitar, banjo, mandolin and warm clear vocals. Humorous, story telling, original and poetic pieces make their shows delightful entertainment for all ages.

April 9, 2016 Stacy Phillips and His Bluegrass Characters

A bluegrass band featuring some of the best acoustic musicians in Southern New England on banjo, mandolin, dobro, fiddle, guitar and bass.  Rumor has it that he will be joined this night by Kenny Kosek on fiddle.

May 14, 2016: To be announced

TradMad Folk Camp

Co-sponsored by Branford Folk Music Society Coffeehouse. Discounted registrations for Branford Folk members. Scholarships available too!

WHEN? Saturday 29 August – Friday 4 September 2015

WHERE? At Pinewoods Camp, Plymouth MA

WHAT? Workshops, dances, concerts, one-shots, camper concerts, jamming, singing, swimming in two lovely ponds, relaxing, learning, and generally having fun.

More specifically (subject to staff availability, phases of the moon, etc.):

  • We'll start each day with warm-ups for singers and for dancers
  • "If you don't pick it or squeeze it, it will never get better" – Beginner to advanced classes in banjo, concertina, dulcimer, fiddle, guitar, mandolin, recorder, ukulele
  • Dancing: Advanced English and American; Ritual dances (Morris, Rapper, Sword, Molly, Garland); plus evening dance parties for all
  • Singarounds
  • Ballads
  • Jams of various varieties – old time, bluegrass, Celtic
  • Jug band
  • Blues
  • Duckie Flash Mob Swim
  • . . . and more. Lots more.

What else do you want? Let us know!

WHO? Singers, pickers, and dancers who love traditional music and dance.

Here is our final staff list.

This event is being put together by a bunch of associated organizations, including Branford Folk Music Society; CD*NY (Country Dance * New York); FMSNY (Folk Music Society of New York); FSSGB (Folk Song Society of Greater Boston); FSGW (Folklore Society of Greater Washington); Golden Link Folk Singing Society; and others, with help and advice from CDSS (Country Dance & Song Society) and the folks at Youth Traditional Song Weekend.

WHY? Because we are mad about traditional music and dance of all flavors

HOW MUCH? The fee covers all events, lodging, and meals from dinner on Saturday through breakfast on Friday.
Members of associated organizations – $725 per adult
Non-members – $775 per adult
Some scholarships and work scholarships will be available – contact us if you are interested.

We're busy working to get this event organized. To ask questions, make suggestions, or be added to our email list, send us an email.

Previous concerts at the Branford Folk Coffeehouse

Branford Folk Photo Gallery

Restaurants in Branford

Lodging in Branford

Volunteers Needed!

The Branford Folk Music Society is looking for a volunteer to manage the signs that we put up at the church for each concert. This includes storing the signs at your home, bringing them to each concert and setting them up. If you are interested or would like more information, please let us know at a concert or by email at

New Board Members Sought

The Board of Directors is currently accepting nominations to fill at large positions on the Board.

  • Qualifications: enjoyment of traditional folk music and desire to see it continue in Branford. Skills in particular areas such as finances, grant writing, small business administration, etc. are welcome but not required. Must become a member of BFMS if not already a member.
  • Responsibilities: attend about eight board meetings a year, attend and help at most of the nine concerts of the season (September through May).
  • Benefits: free attendance when you help out at a concert, decision making contribution to the programming and other issues of the society, opportunity to get to know some wonderful people who are musicians.

Click here for the application form.

The Branford Folk Music Society is a member of the North American Folk Music and Dance Alliance,
and the Arts Council of Greater New Haven.

The Branford Folk Music Society primarily books "traditional" and/or "traditions based" acoustic music, rooted in the Anglo-Celtic and/or American folk genres, and other traditional forms, such as Cajun, French Canadian, Klezmer, etc. We are also open to booking "traditions based" performers who write their own material provided their music demonstrates a knowledge and respect for these long established traditions.

The Branford Folk Music Society posts monthly concert listings on the following web sites and blogs: at
Nonprofit Bulletin at

Other folk music events in Connecticut and southern New England

Branford Folk Music Society
P.O. Box 441
Branford, CT 06405