Since 2011, DC-based bilingual folk-rock band ELENA & LOS FULANOS has been creating music that ranges from twangy, heartbreak-themed folk Americana, to soothing, introspective, violin-infused Latin rock. Influenced by front-woman Elena Lacayo’s experience growing up in two cultures (Nicaraguan and American), Elena & Los Fulanos creates a world where language and tradition meld with catchy melodies and inventive chords to enhance appreciation for diversity in an increasingly multi-cultural world.
Funds will be used by the ADN to support Nicaraguans in the country and continue solidarity actions in the U.S.
Thank you to all our musicians, guests and volunteers!
The last concert of the 2017-2018 Carroll Café season was a few weeks ago, and it is long since time to offer our thanks to all who have been part of this terrific collaboration of and for the community.
To the wonderful and gifted musicians who have graced our stage, please know how incredibly grateful we are that you shared your time and talents with us. You have contributed immeasurably to how Carroll Café fulfills its call:
that music is a gift that brings a deeper understanding and experience of the Creator and ourselves in a way different from any other discipline;
that music is a gift for everyone, and everyone’s own music can be good and useful;
that music from other places, cultures, and times can be important for everyone to bring us to mutual understanding.
that music can promote cooperation, compassion, empathy, and friendship amongst all people.
that roots music is a living tradition that grows out of the relationships between an artist and an audience.
We are called:
to offer excellent music to the community at the nexus of Takoma Park, Montgomery County, and the Greater DC area for education, inspiration, enlightenment, and joy so everyone can receive the gifts that music offers.
to provide a venue for musicians to present their music and thoughts; where they can be paid a fair wage for their skill and dedication.
to help visitors learn more about, and experience the hospitality of, Seekers Church.
to use music to create a world of equality, fellowship, and justice.
To each and every person who came to a single concert or many to support the music and musicians, and the team that forms the foundation of the venue, our gratitude knows no bounds.
Then there are the volunteers who come out to help at one concert or many, there enough that we can say to convey the thanks of the community. Without you we couldn’t offer this venue to anyone.
We are pleased to say that our 2018-2019 season will be another great opportunity to immerse yourselves in music, music, music! Please see the schedule and look for the email announcing that registration is open for concert number 1 with Magpie!
With sincere thanks,
Glen Yakushiji, Denise Leclair, Margreta Silverstone, Doug Dodge, Sandra Miller
Eleanor Ellis & Back Porch Blues is an all-star down-home acoustic trio consisting of the incredible guitar and vocal work of Eleanor Ellis, the blues harmonica virtuosity of Jay Summerour, and the percussion talents of Eric Selby. Together they deliver real-deal acoustic blues, from the Piedmont to the Hills to the Swamp, blues without compromise in a relaxed, fun musical atmosphere…just like sittin’ with friends having a jam session on the back porch. Back Porch Blues has performed at various venues throughout the country including the Greenwood Blues Cruise in South Carolina, the Music Center at Strathmore, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.
ELEANOR ELLIS, a native of Louisiana, has performed at clubs, festivals and concerts in the United States, Canada and Europe and has and has developed a distinctive and personal approach to the music. According to one reviewer, “More than copying one artist or another, Ellis distills the elements of the originals and transmits them, intact, in her own expressive way.” She has a long involvement with the blues scene; has traveled and played with the late gospel street singer Flora Molton and bluesman Archie Edwards, and sometimes accompanied Delta Blues great Eugene Powell. She is a founding member of the DC Blues Society and the Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation, has written about the blues for several publications, teaches guitar privately and at various blues camps, and is producer and editor of the video documentary Blues Houseparty, which features well-known Piedmont blues musicians such as John Jackson, John Cephas, and Archie Edwards. She also worked at the Archive of New Orleans Jazz at Tulane University in New Orleans, and at the New Orleans Jazz Museum. www.eleanorellis.com
ERIC SELBY is a much sought-after producer/drummer/percussionist for many genres of music with concentration on the blues. Eric has performed live and recorded with many talented artists, including: Billy Thompson (Little Milton, Albert King, Art Neville), Ron Holloway (Warren Haynes, Dizzy Gillespie, The Allman Brothers, Sonny Rollins, Tedeschi/Trucks), Daryl Johnson (The Neville Brothers, Daniel Lanois, Emmylou Harris, U2, Bob Dylan), James East (Elton John, Lionel Richie, Eric Clapton), Guy Davis, Warner Williams (Piedmont blues legend, 2012 NEA National Heritage Fellowship Winner), Drink Small (Piedmont blues legend, 2015 NEA National Heritage Fellowship Winner), Bill Payne (Little Feat, J.J. Cale, The Doobie Brothers), Lenny Castro (Adele, The Rolling Stones, Steely Dan, Maroon 5, Stevie Wonder) and Mike Finnigan (Jimi Hendrix, Joe Cocker) to name a few. Eric has been named Blue411‘s Drum Thumper “Jimi” Award winner, been nominated for multiple WAMMIE awards, inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame, #1 on Blues411‘s charts multiple times and was featured in Modern Drummer for his approach and perspective in their “Drummer Blogs.” For more information: www.ericselby.com
Hohner Harmonica endorser JAY SUMMEROUR has been involved with music for well over 40 years. Beginning his musical education on the trumpet at age 7, Summerour learned the harmonica from his grandfather Smack Martin, an accomplished blues harmonica player.
Largely self-taught, Summerour picked up bits and pieces from “folks he ran into”—like Sonny Terry, James Cotton, and Magic Dick. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Summerour took the traditional harmonica into the popular arena, joining the Starland Vocal Band and playing with Nils Lofgren and his band Grin. Four of the Starland Vocal Band’s records went gold during Summerour’s tenure. He also plays with blues artist Warner Williams to perform at folk festivals, blues festivals, and Smithsonian concerts under the name Little Bit of Blues.
Sally Rogers performs traditional, contemporary and original ballads and songs, interwoven with stories taken from her life as a performer, a wife and a mother. She accompanies herself on guitar and Appalachian dulcimer, or performs without accompaniment in a voice that needs no further enhancment. Reviewers have described her voice in superlatives ranging from “remarkable” to “mesmerizing.” As one critic summarized, “…it’s really next to impossible to do justice to a voice of that quality.” Much of the material performed by Sally includes her own compositions, many of which are considered classics of the folk and popular genre.
Like a jester, Claudia Schmidt weaves anecdotes throughout a concert that bring people to expect a relationship between themselves and memories driven deep. Her endless display of self-0realization through humor and longing leaves audience members yearning to become an integral part of her world.
To say that Schmidt is simply a performer with a talent to entertain would be a miscarriage of understatement. Schmidt takes her audiences into her world as easily as the child who discovers the endless universes that exist in a cardboard box.
Self-taught guitarist Danny Paul Grody is a solo musician and founding member of San Francisco-based bands Tarentel and the Drift. The melodies at the core of his songwriting bring to mind his love of West African kora, Takoma-style fingerpicking and all things minimal, repetitive and hypnotic. He released his first solo album, Fountain, in 2010. His sixth album, Other States, was released in 2016 by Geographic North for their (excellently-curated) Sketch for Winter IV cassette series.
Dylan Golden Aycock is an American Primitive guitarist and experimental musician from Tulsa, OK. NPR named his Church of Level Track “one of the Top 10 Solo Guitar Records of 2016.” Uncut described him as “respectfully expanding on Takoma School roots, moving towards the sort of chamber folk compositions mastered by James Blackshaw and William Tyler.” Pitchfork‘s Marc Masters notes that Aycock “is credited with nine different instruments, including violin, drums, and synthesizers . . . but each of [Church of Level Track‘s} seven songs focuses squarely on acoustic guitar, using other elements to add atmosphere to [his] thoughtful picking.”
Performing a unique mix of Brazilian music from different regions and eras, the DC Choro Quartet specializes in choro or chorinho, instrumental music with intricate melodies and counterpoint, swinging rhythms, and rich harmonies rooted in early-1900’s Rio de Janeiro. The band brings keen musicianship and great energy to Brazilian popular musical genres including samba, bossa nova, and forro, a style from Brazil’s northeast featuring call-and-response vocal lines over a rousing dance rhythm. The quartet is Andy Connell, clarinet and saxophone, Gigi McLaughlin, rebolo and vocals, Richard Miller, 7-string guitar, and David Sacks, trombone.
Guy Davis once said, “I like antiques and old things, old places, that still have the dust of those who’ve gone before us lying upon them.” Blowing that dust off just enough to see its beauty is something Guy has excelled at for over twenty years of songwriting and performing. It’s no wonder his reverence for the music of the Blues Masters who’ve gone before him has been evident in every album he’s ever recorded or concert he’s given.
Guy has had his musical storytelling influenced by artists like Blind Willie McTell and Big Bill Broonzy, and his musicality from artists as diverse as Lightnin’ Hopkins and Babatunde Olatunji. However, there’s one man that Guy most credits for his harmonica techniques, by stealing and crediting from him everything that he could, and that man is the legendary Sonny Terry.
“Truth be told, there just aren’t many who can deliver Americana in as interesting and entertaining a manner – or give acoustic traditional blues such a contemporary sound – as Davis. . . .”
—The Blues PowRBlog
Guy Davis has spent his musical life carrying his message of the blues around the world, from the Equator to the Arctic Circle, earning him the title “An Ambassador of the Blues.” His work as an actor, author, and music teacher reveal him as a renaissance man of the blues. What music and acting have in common, he explains, “is that I don’t like people to see the hard work and the sweat that goes into what I do. I want them to hear me and be uplifted.”
When Guy plays the blues, he doesn’t want you to notice how much art is involved. “It takes work making a song that’s simple, and playful, and easy to do,” he says. “And I don’t want people to see that. I want some little eight-year-old kid in the front row to have big eyes and say, ‘Hey, I want to do that!'”
Sparky and Rhonda Rucker perform throughout the U.S. as well as overseas, singing songs and telling stories from the American folk tradition. Sparky Rucker has been performing over forty years and is internationally recognized as a leading folklorist, musician, historian, storyteller, and author. He accompanies himself with fingerstyle picking and bottleneck blues guitar, banjo, and spoons. Rhonda Rucker is a musician, children’s author, storyteller, and songwriter. Her blues-style harmonica, piano, old-time banjo, and bones add musical versatility to their performances.
Sparky and Rhonda are sure to deliver an uplifting presentation of toe-tapping music spiced with humor, history, and tall tales. They take their audience on an educational and emotional journey that ranges from poignant stories of slavery and war to an amusing rendition of a Brer Rabbit tale or their witty commentaries on current events. Their music includes a variety of old-time blues, slave songs, Appalachian music, spirituals, ballads, work songs, Civil War music, railroad songs, and a few of their own original compositions.