2020 - 2021 CONCERT SERIES
[Scroll to watch the series + musician interviews]
Thank you for participating in the Concert Series. Tapestry Folkdance Center generated six virtual concerts from October 2020 to June 2021.
We want to recognize the Minnesota State Arts Board for an Operating Support Grant during COVID. These dollars allowed us to keep moving forward and enabled Tapestry Folkdance Center to bring comfort through the sounds of the talented musicians and groups that participated in keeping us connected to the joy of world music! We are grateful to everyone for their time and commitment to our mission. Thank you so much!
AMARYLLIS | Friday, February 19, 2021
AMARYLLIS, multi-instrumentalists Anne Benson and Ken Steffenson, combine musical styles and abundant good humor.
The evening was filled with acoustic roots music from Celtic and North American traditions. Reels, jigs, airs, songs, and original tunes, played on hammered dulcimer, flute, fiddle, guitar, and mandolin.
Anne Benson and Ken Steffenson have been part of the Twin Cities folk dance community since the 1980s. They met playing for the "Woven Ring," an English Country dance performance group, and soon after teamed up with Pat O'Loughlin and Sherry Ladig to form "Thistledown," one of Tapestry’s first contra dance bands. As part of the "Compass Rose String Band" with Erin Walsh and Joel Petersen, Ken and Ann were regulars at Tapestry contras until the COVID-19 shut down. Ken also played for Sunday night English dances with the "Anytime English Players," and wrangled the "Patchwork Players," Tapestry’s 5th Saturday community band.
THISTLEDOWN - 1980’S
Discussion from Ken and Anne: “I think Thistledown was Tapestry's first contra band. Thistledown grew out of the Saltari house band, and morphed into the four-some mentioned here when Tapestry began to do monthly contra’s. … In the beginning, I think we were the band. Another band, Coleraine, which Pat played in, had done some combined contra/English dances at Powderhorn Park rec center prior to that, so we weren't the first contra band in town, but I think we were the first at Tapestry.”
COMPASS ROSE STRING BAND | Friday, May 21, 2021
COMPASS ROSE STRING BAND has been playing for contra dances since 2015, bringing together the decades of musical experience and varied musical backgrounds of its members.
Compass Rose is: Ken Steffenson (fiddle and banjo), Anne Benson (hammered dulcimer and flute), Joel Petersen (guitar) and Erin Walsh (cello and bass). Their contra medleys include Irish, Scottish, French Canadian and Old Time tunes, spiced with modern and original compositions. Compass Rose String Band brings hot tunes, tight harmonies and driving rhythms.
You’re gonna wanna dance!
COMPASS ROSE STRING BAND CONCERT
COMPASS ROSE INTERVIEW
CONTRATOPIA | Friday, April 9, 2021
CONTRATOPIA is a contra dance band composed of two musicians from Minnesota and two from northeast Iowa. Erik Sessions (fiddle), Patrice Pakiz (piano, percussion), Pat O'Loughlin (english concertina and banjo) and John Goodin (mandolin and guitar) began playing together in late 1999 and decided that the rewards of working together outweighed the challenges of geographical separation. The band shares their enthusiasm for jigs, reels and waltzes with many groups of dancers from Montana to Florida.
CONTRATOPIA played frequently in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and completed several tours of the mid-Atlantic region playing in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Glen Echo and Frederick, MD to Shepherdstown, WV, Richmond and Bluemont, VA. The band also enjoyed tours of North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee. Contratopia has been the featured band at dance weekends in Flordia, Missouri, Minnesota, Montana, Wisconsin, Iowa and North Carolina and has played for workshops in Scandinavian dance, English Country Dance and general couples dancing. In addition to live performances Contratopia has recorded four CDs: Riff City (2014), Smitten (2004) & Hands Four (2001), collections of mostly original reels, jigs and waltzes. Ballroom Echoes (2002) is mostly original waltzes. Occasionally the band ventures into the hinterlands of Winneshiek County, Iowa to play concerts and dances in Decorah, where Erik and John make their homes.
DUNQUIN | Friday, June 25, 2021
DUNQUIN Irish trio is Sherry Ladig (piano), Don Ladig (flute and whistles), and Rosa Wells (fiddle). Together for fifteen years, Dunquin plays traditional music of West Kerry in Ireland and the band has branched out to other Celtic music and even Scandinavian music. The town of Dunquin in County Kerry was a major embarkation point of Irish emigrants to America; hence our name reflects a strong Irish-to-American connection. Dunquin performs at festivals and events in Minnesota and Wisconsin, including the Minnesota Irish Fair and several historic sites.
Dunquin presents several concerts every year and is available for weddings, parties and celebrations of all kinds. Dunquin has recorded two studio albums and several live concerts.
FLOUR CITY DOUGHBOYS | October 20, 2020
FLOUR CITY DOUGHBOYS, this Minneapolis-St. Paul area band has a varied musical background, but playing for contra dances is what they do. They draw from Bluegrass, Old Time, Scandinavian, Irish, Scottish, various North American styles and a pinch of swing and jazz. Art Bjorngjeld is on fiddle and accordion, Doug Lohman plays the bass, Danny Hansen is on guitar and Pat O'Loughlin alternates between the English concertina, banjo and cajun.
For this virtual concert Flour City Doughboys will sing a bit more and call a couples dance or two!
FLOUR CITY DOUGHBOYS CONCERT
NORTHERN AIRE | Friday, March 19, 2021
There’s a fresh breeze blowing out on the prairie: Northern Aire combines the driving fiddle of Tim Reese (Pigs Eye Landing) with Pat O’Loughlin's banjo and concertina (Contratopia) plus guitar/piano/squeezebox from Bob Walser. Together they stretch the boundaries of Northern (Scots, Irish, Quebecois and Old Time) dance music with improvisation and creativity. For Northern Aire the fun is all about connecting with the dancers: their music is the invisible link that can unite a room into an explosion of joy.
NORTHERN AIRE CONCERT
NORTHERN AIRE INTERVIEW