THREE BRIDGES CONCERT SERIES: a Celebration of Traditional Music
The Library Arts Center is excited to present the Three Bridges Concert Series: a celebration of Traditional Music again in 2020! The series is once again curated and coordinated by musician Eric McDonald, who will also be performing in parts of the series. Following the tremendous concerts we experienced in the past three years, we are excited to welcome these exceptional musicians from around New England and beyond. Find out more about the musicians and their music at the links below.
APRIL – OCTOBER 2020
LIBRARY ARTS CENTER | MAIN GALLERY
All performances begin at 7:00pm | Open Seating | Doors open at 6:30pm
Tickets are $16 in advance / $20 at the door (as space allows)
CONCERT SERIES LINEUP:
April 4th – 7:00pm – Bellwether – CANCELED due to COVID-19
Bellwether is an exciting new international folk trio. Collectively hailing from Orkney in Scotland, Somerset in England and Boston in the USA, their sound brings a fresh perspective to traditional music while simultaneously remaining entirely folkie. Stoking the embers sparked by pioneers of the previous generation’s folk revival Louise Bichan, Alex Cumming and Eric McDonald coalesce their talents to create a rich and savory feast of three part harmony and dynamic multi-instrumentalism. Crystal clear voices swirl above driving fiddle, sparky accordion and dynamic guitar lines, culminating in a tapestry that reaches from dulcit to all out raucous, and everywhere in between. Cumming’s strong piano playing is featured often, and creative arrangements are rounded out with the occasional sounds of banjo and mandolin, performed by Bichan and McDonald respectively. This unlikely trio converged in Boston, and through a mutual desire to expand musical horizons, found common ground. For three trained musicians steeped in folk traditions, common ground is a license, and Bellwether took it. The thing most apparent in their music is a willingness to play together, to collaborate with each other.
The name is an Old Scots word meaning a charm, magic spell or piece of mischief and it aptly describes the unexpected twists and turns in their musical arrangements, likewise the compelling potency of their musicianship. Originally formed as a quartet, Cantrip sprung from a local session in Edinburgh nearly twenty years ago. Their driving music immediately caught the attention of the masses, and they were quickly signed to the Foot Stompin’ label. With their first album “Silver” (2001) in hand, Cantrip made its way across the water to the United States, where they were received with roars and shouts (of enjoyment). After years of significant touring, the band parted ways with Foot Stompin’ and began producing albums on their own. Two albums later (“Boneshaker” in 2005 and “Piping the Fish” in 2008), Cantrip had cemented itself as a perennial figure. After a period of hiatus in which children were born and continents were left for new ones, Cantrip redefined its sound. Trimming itself to a trio, the band tightened its arrangements while expanding its influence. New inspirations began creeping into the sound, complementing the traditional foundation of the band. This more mature sound debuted on their recent release “The Crossing” (2016) and has been catching the ear of listeners and concert goers all over again. Find out more about the trio at www.cantrip-music.com.
June 27 – 7:00pm – Nic Gareiss-Solo Square Dance
Solo Square Dance is a one-person percussive dance performance created and performed by Nic Gareiss commemorating the 1935 Irish Dance Halls Act which banned citizens from dancing in homes. His performance features pieces inspired by this and other such dance bans, including the dancing ban in Pound, Virginia (only lifted in 1999!) which required that dancing permits not be granted “to anyone who is not a proper person, nor to a person who is not a person of good moral character.” Set in the round in houses, Solo Square Dance engages traditional and original step dance movement from Ireland, Canada, and Appalachia to explore the dialectic of public/private life, probing the subversive power of dancing bodies. The show begs the question: in light of its historic prohibitions, can dance act as a vehicle of transgression, liberation, and social transformation for our times?
Named by Dance Magazine as one of 2019’s “25 to Watch,” dancer and dance researcher Nic Gareiss has been hailed by the New York Times for his “dexterous melding of Irish and Appalachian dance” and called “the most inventive and expressive step dancer on the scene” by the Boston Herald. He reimagines movement as a musical practice, recasting dance as medium that appeals to both eyes and ears. Originally from Michigan, Gareiss engages many percussive dance traditions, weaving together a dance technique
facilitating his love of improvisation, traditional clog and step dance footwork vocabulary, and musical collaboration. He has concertized in sixteen countries for over ten years with many of the luminaries of traditional music and dance. He has performed at London’s Barbican Centre, the Irish National Concert Hall, the Munich Philharmonic, and the Kennedy Center. Nic holds degrees in Anthropology and Music from Central Michigan University and a MA in Ethnochoreology from the University of Limerick.
July 31st — 7:00pm – Liz & Dan Faiella
Liz and Dan Faiella bring to life the traditional music of their roots, with crisp vocals, mesmerizing fingerstyle guitar, lyrical fiddling, and exhilarating rhythmic drive. Their music calls to mind the convivial grange hall contradances of their youth in New Hampshire, while conveying a wistfulness for their ancestral Ireland.
Liz and Dan have taken the mainstage at premier folk venues throughout New England, including Club Passim, the Acadia Trad Festival, Maine Celtic Celebration, Little Sea Folk Festival, the Seacoast Irish Festival, and the Boston Celtic Music Festival. They are sought-after teachers, sharing their craft with students at camps, festivals, and community music schools.
Responsive and down-to-earth in performance, they often disregard their setlist and rely on sibling intuition, anticipating where the music is leading them, with a nod—or a sharp nudge, if that’s too subtle. They navigate with their audiences through haunting ballads, the intricate compositions of Turlough O’Carolan, snappy and danceable jig and reel medleys, and poignant slow airs. They play with detail and polish, with heart and effervescence.
Their debut album, At Long Last (2018), explores heartache, wonder, and joy, expressed through the traditional music they love.
Eloise & Co. features the combined creative force of two of the country’s most sought-after dance musicians, Becky Tracy and Rachel Bell. These two, sometimes playing as a duo and other times joined by various guest guitarists including Owen Morrison, Andrew VanNorstrand, and Bethany Waickman, crank out dance and concert music with unbridled energy and soaring beauty. Their depth and versatility is evident not only in their dynamic playing but also in their rich and unique repertoire, ranging from exciting original compositions to rock-solid traditional tunes. Eloise & Co. was born out of Becky and Rachel’s transcendent melodic connection, their shared love for powerful rhythmic momentum, and their joy in making music together. The blissful vibe is contagious, drawing everyone in the room into a sublime and memorable experience.
October 2nd – 7:00pm – Maeve Gilchrist (Harpweaver)
Described by one critic as “a phenomenal harp player who can make her instrument ring with unparalleled purity”, Maeve Gilchrist has taken the Celtic harp to new levels of performance.
Born and raised in Edinburgh, Scotland, and currently based in Brooklyn, New York, Maeve‘s innovative approach to her instrument stretches its harmonic limits and improvisational possibilities. She is as at home as a soloist with an internationally renowned orchestra as she is playing with a traditional Irish folk group or using electronic augmentation in a more contemporary, improvisatory setting.
She tours internationally as a band leader as well as maintaining a number of collaborations including a duo project with percussive dancer Nic Gareiss, a more electronics based project with Viktor Krauss and as a member of the Irish network commissioned ‘Edges of Light’ quartet: a multidisciplinary group featuring the piper David Power, dancer Colin Dunne and the fiddler Tola Custy. She has appeared at such major music events as Celtic Connections in Glasgow, Tanglewood Jazz festival, the World Harp Congress in Amsterdam and the opening of the Scottish Parliament. She has played with such luminaries asEsperanza Spalding, Tony Trishka, Ambrose Akinmusire, Solas and Darol Anger.
Maeve has released five albums to date, including her most recent recording Vignette, on Adventure Records, with Nashville legend Viktor Krauss while on her own label her solo Ostinato Project is a beguiling exploration of the possibilities of her instrument. Maeve was the first lever harpist to join the faculty of the iconic Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she taught for five years before switching to a visiting roots department artist this spring. She has written several instructional books published by Hal Leonard Music.