Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:00pm – 10:45pm

Dulcimer Virtuoso at Branford Folk

Sponsored by: Branford Folk Music Society

Walt Michael, an influential figure during the revival of the hammered dulcimer in folk music in the 1970s, will appear with his ensemble on Saturday, Oct. 13 at 8 p.m. at the Branford Folk Music Society.

The concert will take place in the auditorium of the First Congregational Church of Branford, 1009 Main St., on the Town Green. Admission is $20 for non-members, $17 for members and $5 for children age 12 and under. For more information, call 203-488-7715 or access the society’s Web page at www.branfordfolk.org/

Throughout his more than four decades as a hammered dulcimer virtuoso, Maryland’s Walt Michael has virtually “played it all”.

He’s appeared at The White House, the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the closing ceremonies of the XIII Olympics Winter Games at Lake Placid, N.Y. And with his ensemble, Walt Michael & Co., he’s also appeared at major folk festivals throughout America, Canada and Europe and enjoyed appearances on a multitude of national television and radio stations.

Michael was an influential figure in reintroducing the hammered dulcimer to folk music audiences in the 1970s, establishing a repertoire that ranges from old-time Southern Appalachian, to Celtic, to his own breath-taking and lyrical compositions. He’s a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist as well with 14 albums and instructional videos to his credit.

He will be joined for this concert by what he terms his “New York Ensemble” featuring the twin fiddling of Evan Stover and Frank Orsini, both thoroughbreds of the Hudson River Valley music scene, as well as the signature bass playing of Tom Wetmore. Seamless four-part vocals additionally distinguish this ensemble from other fiddle bands.

The members of Walt Michael & Co. have been in one another’s musical circles and recordings in various scenarios since 1973 and joined forces in 1988. Michael’s previous incarnations included the string bands Bottle Hill and Michael, McCreesh & Campbell.

Most important, Michael serves as Artist in Residence at McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland (his alma mater when it was Western Maryland College), as well as founder and executive director of Common Ground on the Hill, an international arts organization with ties to the college which seeks to promote interracial harmony through the traditional arts. Common Ground recently marked 24 years of concerts, lectures and workshops at the college, culminating in an annual summer festival that attracts thousands to the campus.

In addition, Michael’s diverse musical background includes composing and performing collaboratively with both the Pilobolus Dance Theater and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. He was the musical producer, composer and recording artist for the Outdoor Living Network’s documentary, Cowboy 101. His music figures prominently in the feature length movie “The Last Blast” in which he also plays two roles: a punk rocker and a G-man.

It’s little wonder that The Living Tradition Magazine said this about Michael: “An antidote to all the spoon feeding in-yer-face music that thrusts itself upon us – yes even in the folk world, Walt Michael’s music steadfastly refuses to show even a glimmer of lowest common denominator, and here remains resolutely intelligent, both in its selection and execution of the material.”

Admission: $20, $17
First Congregational Church of Branford
1009 Main Street
Branford
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