Centrum Fires Up Summer Fun with Voice Works and Fiddle Tunes
With summer shining, it’s time to make plans, and fast, before the fleece pops back out and the leaves start falling. This brings me to memories of last year when I was fortunate enough to spend some time in Port Townsend at Fiddle Tunes. Port Townsend is an incredible village offering hints of a Norman Rockwell vibe (west coast-style) with lemonade stands, roaming deer and delicious bites. Add to that pockets of fiddlers, banjo pickers and mandolin players jamming along the open grounds, sweet coffee brewing at Java Gypsy and an outstanding lineup of performers and master musicians hailing from Ireland to Cajun Country to West VA.
So now it’s time to tune your chords and bust out the strings; thanks to Centrum, we can enjoy the perfect sunshine excursions including Voice Works and Fiddle Tunes at Fort Worden in Port Townsend. Check out even more reasons why you should spend June/July in this magical spot here.
Voice Works lands June 25 – July 1, 2012 with classes ranging from Irish Folk and Harmony with Aoife O’Donovan of Crooked Still (among others) to Singing with Emotion alongside Joy Kills Sorrow‘s Emma Beaton to Lead Vocals with Caleb Klauder of the Foghorn Stringband.
I’m originally from Louisiana so am always excited when folks head up here from the Pelican State. This year’s Louisiana touches include Courtney Granger of the Pine Leaf Boys and Balfa Toujours, Kelli Jones-Savoy of T’Monde and Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton. Courtney transports his Cajun roots (cousin of Christine Balfa) and George Jones-style vocals front and center releasing powerful fiddling and a masterful sound. Kelli Jones-Savoy is the lovely and highly talented wife of Joel Savoy and daughter of Carl Jones. She combines old time and Cajun fiddle with extensive touring, dancing, singing and teaching experience. Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton finds his roots from the heart of Louisiana to Compton, L.A. and embodies rapturous wit, storytelling and 1930s blues reincarnated.
Again, if you can’t make the classes, don’t fret. Check out one or all of the beautiful performances lined up including:
Friday, June 29, noon – 1pm, Nora Porter Commons – Abby Mae and the Homeschool Boys– Free
Fiddle Tunes, created in 1977, rings in the following week, July 1 – 8, as beginners to professionals join together for a total-immersion camp combining workshops, classes, band labs, tutorials, dances, dance calling, concerts, singing, open jams and hat parties. Fiddle sets the stage, but there’s plenty more to discover including accordion, mandolin, clogging, and then some. Master artists travel far and wide to Port Townsend offering a learning and jamming opportunity like no other.
This year’s faculty and tutors include Joel Savoy (the son of Marc & Ann Savoy and owner of Valcour Records), Jesse Lége (SW Louisiana legend w/Cajun as his first language), Byron Berline (famous Bluegrass fiddler) and Genticorum (Quebecois power-trio). 94-year-old Cajun fiddler and member of Iry Lejeune & the Lacassine Playboys, Milton Vanicor also graces the stage along with Irish star Kevin Burke and elder New Mexican accordionist Antonia Apodaca of Bayou Seco.
Just looking for amazingly fun times? Check ’em out here:
Wednesday, July 4, 1:30pm, McCurdy Pavilion – Fiddlin’ on the Fourth (Elmer Rich, Kimberley Fraser & Dave MacIsaac, Bruce Molsky, George Wilson & Bob McQuillen, Dwight Lamb with Mette Kathrine Jensen & Kristian Bugge, Bayou Seco and Kevin Burke’s Open House) – $18/$26/$37 (Free for 18 & Under)
Saturday, July 7, 1:30pm, McCurdy Pavilion – Fiddle Grand Finale (Jerron Paxton, Vesta Johnson, Byron Berline, Antonia Apodaca with Jeanie McClerie and Ken Keppeler, Franklin George with Kim Johnsonand Genticorum).
For all of the above performances, grab your tickets here, and if you still don’t believe me, you can get a glimpse of these teasers. See y’all there!!
KEXP Greg Vandy’sfilm on Jerron “Blind Boy” Paxton
KEXP – Cajun Country Revival (Joel Savoy, Jesse Lege & Caleb Klauder)
Pharis and Jason Romero