agranoff

On Monday, March 11, 2013, noted folk singer, Mike Agranoff, will be playing in the intimate setting of the Medford Arts Center.

If you’ve been around the folk scene, you couldn’t miss seeing Mike. Tall, red beard, and always around where the music is. He’s been on the scene for many many years, listening to the fine details of what makes this genre of music so special to the soul, so able to make us laugh and cry and think. And lucky for us all, he got serious about having fun at it.

Equally at home in the contemporary and traditional camps of the Folk world, he is a fine musician and storyteller. His prime instrument is the guitar, upon which he shines with intricate fingerstyle arrangements of anything from Tin Pan Alley tunes of the ’20s to fiddle tunes to his own music. He also plays concertina, piano, banjo, or sings acapella. He can be uproariously funny, contempletive, and powerfully emotional in the space of a few minutes. The man will capture your attention, and then your heart.

Not only a performer, Mike is involved in presenting folk music as well. He is one of the prime movers of The Folk Project, New Jersey’s oldest and strongest folk music organization. For over two decades he has been chairman of that organization’s Minstrel Coffeehouse, one of the longest lived and most respected folk venues in the country.

Agranoff will be performing in the intimate and totally acoustic setting of the Medford Arts Center. As always, an acoustic jam will follow the performance. Coffee and light refreshments will be served.

The MAC is located at 18 North Main Street, in beautiful, historic Medford, NJ. Doors open at 7pm. The performance is free to current SJARMS members and $10 for non-members.

On Monday, January 14, jazz guitarist Dave Birmingham will be playing for the SJARMS community in our first concert of the year.

Dave Bermingham picked up his older brother’s guitar at the age of 8 and seemingly has not put it down since then. Dave is a graduate of Temple University with a degree in jazz guitar performance where he studied with local jazz luminaries Larry McKenna, Dennis DiBlasio and Tom Giacabetti among others. After college Dave went on to play guitar for many local bands including the Joe Luca Orchestra and Cornerstone, a touring contemporary Christian band. Dave currently writes original jazz tunes and performs them with his group, M-Town Jazz Jam.

Besides playing and writing music, Dave is the president of South Jersey Music Education Partnership (SJMEP), a recently founded non-profit organization that supports music education in our local community. SJMEP gives performance opportunities to students through participation at M-Town Jazz Jam rehearsals and concerts. Just this past year M-Town Jazz Jam and SJMEP have been featured on the NBC 10! Show, KYW Newsradio 1060 and the CBS 3 Philadelphia evening news and a story in South Jersey Magazine has already been written and will be published in early 2013.

In March of 2013 M-Town Jazz Jam will be releasing their first CD that features many of Dave’s original songs as well as some jazz standards. The CD will also feature many of the students that play with M-Town Jazz Jam on a regular basis. 100% of the profits from CD sales will go to fund the music education scholarships SJMEP plans to start offering in 2013.

Dave is excited to be playing for SJARMS in the intimate and totally acoustic setting of the Medford Arts Center. As always, an acoustic jam will follow the performance. Coffee and light refreshments will be served.

The MAC is located at 18 North Main Street, in beautiful, historic Medford, NJ. Doors open at 7pm. The performance is free to current SJARMS members and $10 for non-members.

On Monday, November 12, The Copper Ponies will be playing for the SJARMS community in our final concert of the year.

The Copper Ponies consist of Annie Donahue and Erik Balkey — a singer-songwriter duo from New Jersey. With a focus on lyrics, melody and harmony, and an understated delivery, the music is simple and unadorned. The Copper Ponies’ songs are just that, understated and unadorned, while still being lean-in, edge-of-your-seat compelling. Their songs blend an authentic mix of roots influence with contemporary perspectives navigating the line of roadworn and hopeful.

Prior to the duo forming this year, Erik Balkey won recognition in over a dozen national songwriting contests and traveled as a touring songwriter from 2002-2008. His songs have been played on over 100 folk radio programs worldwide. With Annie, the duo now writes together as The Copper Ponies tapping their collective muse and employing a sympathetic blend of two layered and personal perspectives.

“In a musical world cluttered with louder and faster attempts to get attention, The Copper Ponies have the confidence to stand poised, sing softly and deliver powerfully moving songs like a calm whisper in a hectic crowded room. You’ll be drawn in and touched by their melodies, harmonies and musical soul.” – Joe Crookston / singer-songwriter and International Folk Alliance Album of the Year winner in 2009.

Here’s a taste of what The Copper Ponies bring to their performances:

The Copper Ponies will be performing in the intimate and totally acoustic setting of the Medford Arts Center. As always, an acoustic jam will follow the performance. Coffee and light refreshments will be served.

The MAC is located at 18 North Main Street, in beautiful, historic Medford, NJ. Doors open at 7pm. The performance is free to SJARMS members and first time visitors. $10 for visitors who have already been to one of our meetings but have not yet joined as a member.

Advance tickets for the September 8th Beppe Gambetta/John Carlini concert at the Medford Friends Meetinghouse are no longer available. Tickets are still available at the door. Doors open at 6:45 pm. The Meetinghouse is located at 14 Union Street in Medford, NJ. Call 609-217-1388 with any questions.

Internationally renowned guitarist, David Grier, will be performing a concert for SJARMS at the Medford Friends’ Meetinghouse (14 Union Street) on Saturday, July 28, 2012. Doors open at 7pm, and Larry Ragone and Jon Sutton will be playing an opening set.

Widely considered one of the preeminent acoustic guitarists of his (or any) time, Grier has been voted Guitarist of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association. With an active touring schedule, a catalog of multiple albums and DVDs, and a recent cover story in The Fretboard Journal under his belt, Grier has established himself as a guitar force to be reckoned with. Primarily known as a bluegrass guitarist, Grier’s latest solo release, “Evocative,” showcases his compositional and playing skills across a number of genres.

Although Grier is a household name among bluegrass aficionados, here is a brief clip which nicely captures the fluidity and preciseness of his playing (not to mention his impeccable taste in headware):

Tickets for this special concert are $20 in advance for SJARMS members, $23 in advance for non-members, and $25 at the door. Advance tickets are available for purchase on-line here through July 9th.

On Monday, May 14, John Carlini will be serenading SJARMS with his unique blend of jazz and swing guitar.

Carlini is a veteran guitarist and composer whose portfolio reflects a fascinating journey from classical to Broadway to jazz to bluegrass. An often-cited founding member of the seventies’ West Coast “New Acoustic Music” scene, John is also an acclaimed arranger, orchestrator and conductor. Over the last four decades, he has performed extensively with David Grisman, who selected Carlini to replace Jerry Garcia as guitarist for the Great American Music Band.

In 1995, Carlini collaborated with long-time friend and fellow guitar legend, Tony Rice, to release River Suite For Two Guitars. For years, Carlini also recorded and toured as founding member of the John Carlini Quartet, which performed selections of bluegras/jazz/classical standards. Currently, John records for Blue Night Records, and specializes in interpreting jazz and acoustic standards on acoustic guitar.

John is also an accomplished teacher: he has been on the faculty of Steve Kaufman’s Flakpicking Kamps for the past six seasons and is a regular columnist for Flatpicking Guitar Magazine. John has also released a series of instructional DVDs. The clip below, which features some really beautiful chord melody, is from one of his DVDs:

Carlini will be performing in the intimate and totally acoustic setting of the Medford Arts Center. As always, an acoustic jam will follow the performance. Coffee and light refreshments will be served.

The MAC is located at 18 North Main Street, in beautiful, historic Medford, NJ. Doors open at 7pm. The performance is free to SJARMS members and first time visitors. $10 for visitors who have already been to one of our meetings but have not yet joined as a member.

On Monday, March 12th, Frank Fotusky will be bringing his captivating mastery of acoustic blues guitar to SJARMS.

Fotusky plays in the blues style reminiscent of the great East Coast “Piedmont” players such as Rev. Gary Davis, Blind Boy Fuller, John Jackson and Blind Willie McTell. East coast or Piedmont Blues style is easily recognizable as it consists of melodic and syncopated fingerpicked guitar which is often reminiscent of ragtime piano. Fotusky’s repertoire consist of both blues and rag standards from the early 20th century and original compositions rooted in the style of that long-gone era. Fotusky has performed with notable Virginia bluesmen John Jackson, Paul Geremia, Roy Book Binder, Hubert Sumlin and has been festival headliner in his own right. His CD “Teasin’ The Frets” has received rave reviews from notable blues publications.

Here’s Fotusky playing some blues:

Here’s Fotusky singing some holy blues:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=caDfa1RP1vs&feature=related

Fotusky will be performing in the intimate and totally acoustic setting of the Medford Arts Center. As always, an acoustic jam will follow the performance. Coffee and light refreshments will be served.

The MAC is located at 18 North Main Street, in beautiful, historic Medford, NJ. Doors open at 7pm. The performance is free to SJARMS members and first time visitors. $10 for visitors who have already been to one of our meetings but have not yet joined as a member.

On Monday, January 9th, bluegrass guitarist Jim Hurst will kick off our 2012 Featured Performer lineup at SJARMS.

Jim Hurst’s unique picking style and mastery of bluegrass guitar wows audiences and is revered by both novice guitar players and his musical peers alike. His eclectic career has made him a remarkable performer, experienced instructor and highly sought after session musician. His affability and gregariousness make him one of the most approachable musicians of his caliber.

The product of a musical family, Jim honed his musical style after being influenced by the likes of bluegrass legends Tony Rice, Clarence White and Jerry Reed. He got national exposure with Holly Dunn’s Rio Band playing acoustic guitar and mandolin, and singing harmonies. He then went on join Trisha Yearwood’s band as guitarist and harmony vocalist, during which time he made several high profile television and radio appearances. Jim has also performed with country music icons Travis Tritt and Sara Evans.

Itching to play more bluegrass, Jim joined the Grammy-nominated Claire Lynch and her Front Porch String Band in 1995 where he teamed up with kindred spirit bassist Missy Raines. While with Claire Lynch, Missy and Jim formed a duet, creating ground-breaking arrangements. They earned IBMA Guitar and Bass Player of the Year for 2001 and 2002.

Jim has since embarked on a solo career in order to pursue greater artistic freedom. With three solo works to his credit, Open Window, Second Son, and his latest release, A Box of Chocolates, Jim’s virtuosity shines as he consistently sways audiences with his deft finger work and smooth vocals. Jim performs his show full time and teaches at guitar workshops and music camps in North America and Europe. While he occasionally collaborates with other bluegrass greats, notably David Grisman, and Rob Ickes, his solo performance is what keeps audiences mesmerized.Jim will be performing in the intimate and totally acoustic setting of the Medford Arts Center. As always, an acoustic jam will follow the performance. Coffee and light refreshments will be served.

The MAC is located at 18 North Main Street, in beautiful, historic Medford, NJ. Doors open at 7pm. The performance is free to SJARMS members and first time visitors. $10 for visitors who have already been to one of our meetings but have not yet joined as a member.

Mike Kaufman will close out our 2011 concert series with a performance on November 14th at the Medford Arts Center.

Mike is a wonderful singer, songwriter and instrumental guitarist who performs both original songs and his own arrangements of classics. He has released a wonderful album, A Bluebird’s Wing, and is currently working on arranging a series of hymns for fingerstyle guitar. Mike, a resident of Medford and one of the founding members of SJARMS, has performed throughout the region at concerts, coffeehouses, bars, churches and other venues. Most recently, Mike opened for bluegrass legend Beppe Gambetta last month

Here is a clip of Mike playing one of his original tunes, A Bluebird’s Wing (which features the melody of the famous fiddle tune, St. Anne’s Reel) with his brother Steve:

And here is a clip of one of Mike’s instrumental hymn arrangements:

Mike’s smooth voice and fluid playing will be a fitting end to a great year of performances at SJARMS (see below for our 2012 artist lineup). As always, there will be an acoustic jam following the performance. Doors at the Medford Arts Center (18 North Main Street) open at 7pm. The concert is free to members and first time visitors; $10 to returning visitors. Coffee and light refreshments will be served.

SJARMS turned 1 on September 13th!

We would like to thank our members, featured performers and the Medford Arts Center for helping us get our group off to a great start. Over the past months, we have developed many solid friendships (both social and musical) which we believe will help SJARMS become an important and lasting fixture in the regional music scene for years to come.

Although it’s fun to reflect on the many great performances (and other events) from the past year, we’re looking onward and upward, and have been doing everything we can to snag some of the finest roots musicians around to play for us in 2012. Here is a preview of next year’s featured performers:

Jim Hurst (January) — Bluegrass/Country Guitar

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c29XQ_CL6sw&feature=related

Frank Fotusky (March) — Acoustic Blues Guitar

John Carlini (May) — Acoustic Jazz Guitar

Caryl Weiss (July) — Ballads, Sea Shanties and Drinking Songs

Barry Mitterhoff (September) — Mandolin

Erik Balkey (November) — Folk Singer/Songwriter

In addition to these great performances, we will continue hosting open mics, jams, presentations, workshops, social events and special concerts. We hope you’ll swell the crowd.

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