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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. Admission prices are listed for each concert.

To Branford Folk's Members and Friends:
We must increase our admission prices starting with our September season-opening concert. This is the first admission increase since fall, 2008. Admission to Branford Folk Music Society concerts will now be $20 for non-members and $17 for members. The fee for children 12 and under will remain at $5. For concerts where the performer fee is higher than our standard fee schedule admission will be $25 for non-members and $20 for members.
The admission fee increase, approved by the society's Board of Directors, stems from two major factors: Our rent for the church venue is doubling and artists are seeking increased performance fees. Still, the board believes that BFMS concerts remain a bargain. Just compare our admission prices for others' concerts in Connecticut. And, our concerts are even a better bargain if you take out a membership in Branford Folk and get our discounted admission, not only here but also at other select venues.
- The Branford Folk Music Society Board of Directors

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: branfordfolk@gmail.com
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.

Old Howard Troupe

September 10, 2016: The Old Howard Troupe

The society starts its 2016-2017 concert season with what we fully know will be a raucous night featuring The Old Howard Troupe, an ensemble of veteran artists devoted to bringing the experience of the Old English Music Hall right to our Branford stage. Members of the troupe wear Victorian-style stage costumes typical of the era and perform the hits of the music hall stage, with and without accompaniment.

Roll up, roll up, and hear the entertainment! This is not a dry lecture or a workshop, it's a full-out show! The troupe's vintage ensemble style features some old favorites of the music hall stage: rousing chorus songs, songs that might make you blush, and bittersweet but tender songs that tug at the heartstrings. There's literally something for everyone in the group's fast-paced and fun performance. And have no fear that the entertainment will lapse because the troupe's steadfast chairman will keep things moving along smoothly with his keen wit and saucy comments.

The Old Howard Troupe is a group of singers with big voices and includes: Lynn Feingold, Anabel Graetz, April Grant, Jeff Keller, Angela Kessler, Jeremy Kessler, Jean Monroe, Phillip Nimerskern and Lynn Noel. All have extensive performance experience, both as solo performers and group performers, throughout New England and beyond.

Curious? Come out and join us for what will be a bang-up start to a glorious Branford Folk Music Society concert season.

Admission: $20 Non-members, $17 Members, $5 Children 12 and under.

October 8, 2016: Calan (from Wales)

Fiddles, guitar, Welsh harp , accordion, bagpipes and step dancing explode into life when Welsh group Calan takes the stage. We're delighted to have them with us this fall for their Connecticut concert debut. It will also be a bit of history-making for the folk society: This is the first time in our 43 years that we've welcomed a Welsh group to our stage.

Calan gathers together the remarkable talents of five young musicians who give a fresh and vibrant sound to traditional Welsh music. With a contemporary and lively approach they breathe new life into the old traditions through their sparkling melodies, foot tapping tunes and spirited and energetic performances of Welsh step dancing. They blast their way through some of the old favorite reels, jigs and hornpipes with fast paced and uplifting arrangements before melting into some of the most beautiful and haunting songs.

Following release of their debut album Bling in 2008, which attracted four star responses from the critics, the five-piece band has been playing to large audiences and rave reviews at concerts and festivals around Britain and Europe, including the coveted Cambridge Festival and Celtic Connections soirees. Concert tours have taken them to Italy, Austria, Brittany and Belgium. They come to Branford fresh from a tour of Canada. They released their second album Dinas last year.

The group, who've raised some eyebrows with a deliberate policy of eye-catching clothes and presentation, despite the ancient roots of their music, see themselves as a new generation of ambassadors, striving to take their new sound to new audiences, while raising the profile of Welsh traditional music on an international level. With their unique instrumental blend and the percussive sound of the Welsh clogs, Calan is certainly finding their musical niche. As BBC Radio Wales put it, "Calan has it all. Energy, attitude, freshness, a sense of fun and above all, real talent."

Admission: $20 Non-members, $17 Members, $5 Children 12 and under.

Calan

Elias Ladino Ensemble

November 12, 2016: Elias Ladino Ensemble

Since 1976, the Elias Ladino Ensemble has performed the songs of the Sephardic Jews in venues all over the world. Though Ladino is on the verge of extinction; in the hands of this ensemble the music remains as vibrant as the community once was. There is a "Ladino soundtrack" for every aspect of life. Many of the songs date back to ancient Spain while some reveal melodies and rhythms of the Balkan and Middle Eastern communities where Sephardic groups lived in exile.

The Elias Ladino Ensemble – Daniel Elias, musical director and clarinet; Maurice Sedacca, guitar and oud, and Casey Bond on doumbek – is one of the very few Sephardic groups whose vocalists are native speakers of Ladino. They are the real thing, having been born and raised in the musical tradition of the Spanish Jews, descendants of the Jews who left the Iberian Peninsula in the late 15th century. Their instrumentalists have mastered "A la Turka" ensemble playing as well as world class solo virtuosity.

The group has performed together since their debut at the Smithsonian Institution's Festival of American Folklife in 1976. Since then they have performed and collected material in every corner of the Ladino-speaking world, including Istanbul, Izmir, Bat Yam, Safed, San Juan, Miami, Toronto, Barcelona, Zaragoza, and at folk festivals, universities, Hispanic institutes, and congregations of many religious denominations. In performance, they will explain each song and how it fits into the Ladino culture and where the songs came from.

Admission: $25 Non-members, $20 Members, $5 Children 12 and under.

December 10, 2016: Bruce Molsky

Bruce Molsky is "one of America's premier fiddling talents" (Mother Jones) and a twice-Grammy-nominated artist on fiddle, banjo, guitar and song. He has dug into the deepest reaches of mountain music, while growing his own unique voice. Admission: $25 Non-members, $20 Members, $5 Children 12 and under.

Bruce Molsky

April Verch

January 14, 2017: April Verch Band

While Verch is perhaps best known for playing traditional fiddle styles from her native Ottawa Valley, Canada, her performances extend into old-time American and Appalachian styles and beyond, for a well-rounded tour-de-force of North Americana sounds. Verch tours with world-class musicians as a trio, featuring acoustic guitar, mandolin, bass and clawhammer banjo in addition to Verch's vocals, fiddle and foot percussion. Admission: $25 Non-members, $20 Members, $5 Children 12 and under.

February 11, 2017: Coracree

Coracree melds a transatlantic mix of traditional Celtic, Old-time, European, and original music with a playful, improvisational style. Featuring the lively fiddling of Jane Rothfield, the driving swing of Bill Quern on tenor banjo, mandolin & melodeon, Sarah Gowan's inventive guitar stylings and the melodic and rhythmic stand-up bass playing of Allan Carr. Admission: $20 Non-members, $17 Members, $5 Children 12 and under.

Coracree

Rani Arbo and daisy mayhem

March 11, 2017: Rani Arbo and daisy mayhem

Harmony, rhythm, indelible songs are the hallmarks of Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem. This band's steadfast brew of wit, camaraderie, and musicality leaves audiences everywhere humming and hopeful, spirits renewed. Rani Arbo & daisy mayhem are Rani Arbo (fiddle, guitar), Andrew Kinsey (bass, banjo, ukulele), Anand Nayak (electric and acoustic guitars) and Scott Kessel (percussion). Admission: $25 Non-members, $20 Members, $5 Children 12 and under.

April 8, 2017: Lou and Peter Berryman

Lou and Peter Berryman are musical humorists who have delighted nationwide audiences for more than thirty-five years. Frequent comparisons to Tom Lehrer, Flanders and Swann, and Gilbert and Sullivan notwithstanding, these two are originals, blending Midwestern culture with intelligent observation in a whimsical and wonderfully accessible performance. Admission: $20 Non-members, $17 Members, $5 Children 12 and under.

Lou and Peter Berryman

Tom Lewis

May 20, 2017 (third Saturday): Tom Lewis

Tom is a 24-year veteran of Her Majesty's Royal Naval diesel submarines; although now he's comfortably located on dry land. His songs cover a wide range of nautical topics, from life on board H.M. ships, through the loneliness and lure of the sea, to traditional shanties and classic nautical poetry, set to his own, and others' melodies. Admission: $25 Non-members, $20 Members, $5 Children 12 and under.


House Hoot September 9

It's time to Hoot again.

The September House Hoot will be at 7:30 on Friday, September 9th, at Sheldon Campbell's house, 85 Heloise St., Hamden, CT 06517. The theme (for the first round only, and not enforced, merely encouraged) is Mechanical Contrivances; after that, it's every man and woman for themselves. Also bring a snack or drink(s) to share; if you're a beer fan, please bring your own, I don't know anything about beer and it'd be a big mistake to count on me for that.

The House Hoot, loosely associated with the Branford Folk Music Society, has been going since the 1950s. It's an opportunity to get together and Sing Good Songs, mostly folk but occasionally wandering into other musical realms. All acoustic instruments and voices are welcome.

Sheldon Campbell


Previous concerts at the Branford Folk Coffeehouse

Branford Folk Photo Gallery

Restaurants in Branford

Lodging in Branford

Volunteers Needed!

Branford Folk Coffeehouse performers are often provided overnight accommodations by volunteers in their homes. However, some performers are very sensitive to furry critters, so if you can provide overnight accommodations in a pet-free environment, please let us know, either at a concert or by email at branfordfolk@gmail.com. Hosts receive complimentary admission to the show! Thank you!

Wanna be on our Board?

The all-volunteer Board of Directors of the Branford Folk Music Society is looking for new members with a passion for traditional and tradition-based folk music and the skills to help us bring the joy of that music to wider audiences. We are seeking interested people with the time and willingness to take an active role in creating awareness of Branford Folk Music Society events in Connecticut, particularly in the broader shoreline community, and with skills to complement those of members of the current Board. These could include experience in public relations, arts or events coordination (not necessarily in music), outreach or fundraising; or connections with media, historical and cultural organizations in the New Haven area and towns along the shoreline. Anyone interested should contact us at 203-488-7715 or branfordfolk@gmail.com.


The Branford Folk Music Society is a member of the Folk Alliance International,
the Arts Council of Greater New Haven and the Shoreline Chamber of Commerce.

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:

americantowns.com at http://www.branford.americantowns.com/
Nonprofit Bulletin at http://www.nhbulletin.blogspot.com/


Other folk music events in Connecticut and southern New England

Please send event listings to the editor at bshall@cox.net.


Branford Folk Music Society
P.O. Box 441
Branford, CT 06405
http://branfordfolk.org/