Skylark Celtic Band

Friday, November 10, 2017

Driving rhythms, poignant and lyrical songs, and a contagious energy define Skylark Celtic Band’s live performance. Featuring fiddle, flute, guitar, bouzouki, pennywhistle, and vocals, they present an electrifying combination of jigs and reels, and the best in traditional and contemporary Celtic songs. Based in the Washington, D.C., area, they’ve played everywhere from the Kennedy Center to the Birchmere, from New York to Paris. Skylark is Seán Heely on fiddle and vocals; Elise Kress on flute, vocals, and pennywhistle; and Zan McLeod on guitar and bouzouki.

Reggie Harris and Ken Whiteley

October 13, 2017

Reggie Harris, a consummate musician and storyteller, combines a strong folk and gospel leg- acy with a solid background in classical, rock, and pop music. Creative curiosity, years of road and stage experience, and interactions with performers such as Pete Seeger, Ysaye Barnwell, Jay Leno, Harry Belafonte and others all contribute to music that entertains and inspires.

A well-traveled performer, lecturer and cultural ambassador, Reggie has earned wide acclaimed and respect from peers and audiences alike throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe and around the world. He combines spirituals and roots music, historic inspiration, and moving original songs, often in the themes of unity and social justice. Knowing this, audiences have bestowed upon him a fitting slogan: “Songs of Joy, Hope, and Freedom.”

Ken Whiteley, one of Canada’s most respected “roots” musicians, has played at virtually ev- ery major folk festival in Canada and performed and recorded with legends Pete Seeger, John Hammond Jr., Tom Paxton, Blind John Davis, and many others. A prolific songwriter, a gifted and versatile instrumentalist, and a powerful singer, Whiteley’s music communicates themes of freedom, love, spiritual aspiration, and social comment.

Ken is a busy musician who is always involved in a number of projects. He is an active record producer, having worked on more than 135 albums. His productions have resulted in 11 Gold or Platinum albums22 Juno nominations, 2 Juno winners and 2 Grammy nominations, with total sales in excess of 8 million copies. He has written the music for a number of films and television programs. Whatever he does, it reflects his “briliant musicianship and high test passion”.  In the words of Sing Out! magazine, “Ken Whiteley is one of the best.”

Mara Levine with Gathering Time

Last show of the season!
June 9, 2017

Called “one of the best singers of her generation” by Christine Lavin, folksinger and jewelry designer Mara Levine has been creating beautiful interpretations of fine traditional and contemporary folk songs for many years. She has an ear for both new songs and for classics that can be reshaped to sound fresh and new.

Layering one harmony line on top of another, she creates rich tapestries of sound and emotion. Levine’s version of Bob Franke’s “Straw Against the Chill” with Joe Jencks and her arrangement of Paul Simon’s “Leaves That Are Green” with Gathering Time both reached #1 as singles on the Folk Chart and appear on Jewels and Harmony.

Gathering Time with Mara Levine

Voted best band runner-up (and top folk band) in the 2011 Long Island Press readers’ poll, Gathering Time is like a high-energy Peter, Paul & Mary or a co-ed Crosby, Stills & Nash, with various parts of The Byrds, Joni Mitchell, the Eagles and America mixed in; a head-turning folk-rock harmony trio described recently as “getting a whole beehive-full of buzz” on the northeast regional folk scene.

“[Mara Levine’s] Jewels and Harmony is an incredible album. It’s beautiful and something to be proud of. I enjoyed ‘Blackberry Time’ very much.”

—Roger Sprung, bluegrass musician

Make a reservation now!

We invite you to enjoy delicious refreshments from the Café
at Carroll Café available before the show and at the intermission.
A changing choice of savories enough for a light meal, topped off with fabulous desserts and beverages, will add to the happiness of the concert experience! Always vegetarian, with some vegan and gluten-free options most months, all lovingly provided by Sandra.

Thank you for your support of Carroll Café.

OCEAN Celtic Quartet Benefit

Benefit Concert for Ocean Conservancy
MAY 12, 2017

Carroll Café this month celebrates the 25th wedding anniversary of Margreta and Jeffrey Silverstone. Margreta and Jeffrey met at a contra dance sponsored by the Folklore Society of Greater Washington at Takoma Park Middle School, so it is natural for them to celebrate their anniversary with the Takoma community. In true Takoma Park style, this is an invitation to a party! The Silverstones love Celtic folk rock and they knew they wanted the OCEAN Quartet to perform, especially as former members of the group were work colleagues of Jeffrey’s.

OCEAN Celtic Quartet (Jennifer Cutting on accordions & keyboard; Lisa Moscatiello on vocals, whistles & guitar; Andrew Dodds on fiddle, and Steve Winick on vocals and percussion) play music packed with pure pan-Celtic pizazz, putting their unique spin on traditional songs and Cutting’s original compositions, from soaring ballads and stirring sea chanteys to blazing fiddle and accordion tunes. As much at home in the concert hall as on the festival stage, OCEAN has played to sold-out and enthusiastic crowds at Maryland venues such as the Strathmore Mansion, Annapolis Maritime Museum, and Globe Theater in Berlin; and outdoor festivals and concert series such as Southern Maryland Celtic Festival and Riverside Concerts at Washington College in Chestertown. They have also performed at Musikfest in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the Folk Project’s Minstrel Concert Series in New Jersey, the Birchmere in Virginia, Mystic Seaport’s Sea Music Festival in Connecticut, and elsewhere in the Mid- Atlantic and the Northeast.

OCEAN is known for getting audiences up on their feet to dance to their electrifying jigs and reels, as well as for raising goosebumps with their soaring vocals and otherworldly airs. They perform originals contemplating the seasons of nature and human life, right alongside the oldest songs from British and Celtic tradition. Add a penchant for deep scholarship and a great sense of humor, and you have a band that will captivate all ages.

“The most dazzling performance . . . was given by . . . Jennifer Cutting. Live, her music was nothing short of spellbinding.”

—Sean Daly, Washington Post

Reserve your seat now!

Jennifer Cutting, a protégée of A.L. Lloyd and a Library of Congress ethnomusicologist, is a pioneering bandleader who founded OCEAN, and before that, The New St. George (which also featured Lisa Moscatiello). At home in the studio as well as onstage, Cutting has written and produced songs for artists such as Maddy Prior and Annie Haslam. Lisa Moscatiello has a voice that Billboard described as “one of the most gorgeous vocal instruments in all of folk-tinged pop,” and sang earlier in her career with bands such as Ceoltoiri and Whirligig. Stephen Winick, a Library of Congress folklorist, studied folklore with Kenny Goldstein and singing with Frank Harte. He has a PhD in Folklore from the University of Pennsylvania, and teaches at George Washington and George Mason universities. Champion Scottish fiddler Andrew Dodds teaches Celtic music at George Mason University. Together, they combine soaring vocals, award-winning original songs, rollicking tunes, and innovative arrangements of rare traditional repertoire uncovered by original archival research . . . a signature blend they call “Celtic Music for Ancient Moderns.”

To extend the party spirit, proceeds from the concert (aka contributions and gifts) will be donated to the OCEAN Quartet’s preferred charity, the Ocean Conservancy. To save a space for yourself to this event, book now. We do expect a full house. Come and party on May 12, 2017!

Make a reservation now!

We invite you to enjoy delicious refreshments from the Café
at Carroll Café available before the show and at the intermission.
A changing choice of savories enough for a light meal, topped off with fabulous desserts and beverages, will add to the happiness of the concert experience! Always vegetarian, with some vegan and gluten-free options most months, all lovingly provided by Sandra.

Thank you for your support of Carroll Café.

Rob Flax & Round About

April 21, 2017


Rob Flax is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist, composer, and educator from Evanston, IL with a playful heart and an open mind. He has performed nationally and internationally with groups of many different styles, including opening for B.B. King and Tower of Power; collaborating with dancers and filmmakers (including work on the soundtrack of James Franco’s film As I Lay Dying); and working on several original projects. Rob is a recent graduate of the New England Conservatory (M.M. 2012 – Contemporary Improvisation, Music In Education) and a dance accompanist at the Boston Conservatory. He teaches both group and private lessons in the greater Boston area. Visit Rob’s website for mailing list signup, sounds, video, and more.

“He’s a master of bringing people together and making art out of nothing in a short amount of time.”
—Katy Boc, South Shore Living

 

Round About is an original Washington, D.C.-area pop/rock band that has been performing locally since 2010. Their melodic pop combines quirky, perceptive lyrics with catchy, upbeat melodies to create a unique and accessible sound. Both of their albums feature songs that earned awards from the Songwriters Association of Washington.

While Round About is typically a four-piece rock band, Patrick Garrity (rhythm guitar and vocals) and Aaron Lowenberger (lead guitar and vocals) are delighted to bring an acoustic duo format to Carroll Café. They are joined on piano, organ, and vocals by Mark Bower, a member of popular local acts The Walkaways and Wes Tucker & the Skillets.

Minas

March 10, 2017



Minas takes Brazilian and American roots to create a sound that is fresh and innovative, from ballads tinged with melancholic traits of blues and choro, to folk coasting on the subtle coolness of a bossa nova pulse, to upbeat Sambas elaborated with instrumental jazz improvisation, scat singing and whimsical whistling.

“The wonder is that such percussion-based music can be so luxuriously relaxing. In Rio is like an aural massage.”
–David Hiltbrand, Philadelphia Inquirer

Orlando Haddad and Patricia King formed Minas in 1978 at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. They proceeded to play all over the eastern United States before moving to Brazil, where they lived, entertained and traveled, absorbing the essence of Brazilian culture. In 1984 Orlando and Patricia returned to the United States and raised a family while performing and recording extensively, building their reputation as one of the most sought-after Brazilian groups of its kind. Multi-talented as composers, vocalists and instrumentalists, and equally comfortable in Brazilian festive music and jazz, folk and classical genres, Minas has developed various performance styles which have placed them in front of every kind of audience and venue.

With recordings of original music and a collection of over 100 songs, Orlando and Patricia’s compositions have been compared to classics by Cole Porter and Antonio Carlos Jobim. Capturing the essence of great songwriting with memorable melodies, inventive harmonies, and poetic lyrics, the music of Minas is engaging and timeless.

Ladybird

February 10, 2017


Brought together by their mutual love of the traditional American songbook, Ladybird draws on a multi-dimensional background, including European classicism, Swedish folk, and jazz to create a sound that echoes like a wind through the Appalachian pines. Their original material is informed by these textures and brought to life by their instrumental abilities, but thrice as nice are their voices:

“Emoting deep from the back of their throats, each artist nuanced not only with the character of her instrument but also with the individuality of her vocals.” 
Tri-State Indie

Ladybird is:
  • Anna Cecilia Ferneborg (vocals, guitar, mandolin)
  • Sarah Williams Larsen (vocals, fiddle, mandolin, guitar)
  • Laura Kay (vocals, dobro, banjo, guitar)
Ladybird has shared the stage with acts like Steep Canyon Rangers, Peter Mulvey, Cahalen Morrison & Eli West.

It is their diverse background that lends new treatments to old time songs. Their EP, “Hey There, Ladybird!” consists of three traditional songs (High On a Mountain, Rain and Snow, Red Rocking Chair) and one original.  Ladybird’s renditions of the three traditional songs are uncommon. Sarah says, “The best advice we ever got was from Ry Cooder; he said ‘why play a song the way it’s been played before? Doesn’t matter if it’s better or worse, at least it’s different.’” While playing their traditional instruments, the girls, with producer Michael Southerton (Song Dogs) began to experiment with harmony and texture. The result is an EP dipped in sepia and soaked in a Southern honey, radiating with a dark beauty and warmth.

The Sweater Set

January 13, 2017

The Sweater Set will pluck at your heart strings,” with “an intimidating number of instruments” (WaPo) and soaring soprano-alto harmonies. You are invited into Sara Curtin & Maureen Andary‘s joyful friendship as they sing about loves lost and found, accompanying themselves with elaborate arrangements of accordion, banjo, ukulele, guitar, and flute.

BrightestYoungThings nominates them as “D.C.’s most endearing duo,” claiming their attraction to them in live performance was “instant and inescapable.”

The Sweater Set won the 2014, 2013, 2012, and 2011 Washington Area Music Awards for Best Contemporary Folk Duo and the 2013 Washington Area Music Award for Best Contemporary Folk Recording. They have toured throughout Ireland, the UK, & the Northeast & Southern United States; opened for Dar Williams, Aoife O’Donovan, and Michelle Shocked; served as Artists-in-Residence at the Strathmore Center for the Performing Arts; and partnered with the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities as Artist Fellows in 2015.

The Second Fridays Coffeehouse