Back to list of Past Seasons

Date Artist / Event Description / Program
September 11, 2003 A LITTLE BIT OF BLUES Little Bit of Blues combines the warm vocals and piedmont guitar-picking of Warner Williams with Jay Summerour's soaring harmonica to produce some of the finest blues anywhere. The pair, both area natives, have played together for more than a decade. Their credits include the Smithsonian's Festival of American Folklife, the National Folk Festival, the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, and the nationally broadcast American Roots 4th of July Festival on the Mall.

Part of Capitol Roots Concert Series 2003.
September 18, 2003 ROBERTO and LORENZO MARTINEZ and Family Presenting Hispanic music from New Mexico, Roberto and Lorenzo -- father and son -- are receiving a National Heritage fellowship from the National Endowment for the arts this week for their contributions to preserving New Mexican culture. The Martinezes specialize in the Spanish Colonial music of Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado, while also playing the more familiar form of mariachi and composing new corridos.

Part of Homegrown: The Music of America.
September 13, 2002 SUZANNE VEGA & FRIENDS A concert by New York songwriter Suzanne Vega and fellow members of the Greenwich Village Songwriter's Exchange featuring their songs from the Vigil Project, a collection honoring the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Included is her own "It Hit Home"--a song expressing "feelings, thoughts and observations from someone trying to make sense out of something seemingly senseless."
September 30, 2003 BRUBECK INSTITUTE WORKSHOP The Brubeck Institute was established in 2000 by Dave and Iola Brubeck, alumni of the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, where the Institute is based. The mission of the Institute is to preserve, promote, and pass on Dave Brubeck’s rich legacy to future generations through the study and performance of jazz and contemporary classical music along within a humanities curriculum. The university is also home to the Dave Brubeck Collection, one of the largest personal jazz collections in the world. it contains hundreds of published and unpublished compositions, original manuscripts, recordings, photos, writings, press clippings, and memorabilia.

The Library of Congress will present the Living Legend Award to Dave Brubeck, in conjunction with a concert featuring the Dave Brubeck Quartet and Brubeck Institute fellows joined by the Institute’s artistic director, bassist Christian McBride.

Dave Brubeck "was and is unique and that's
what jazz is all about."
Legendary jazz pianist-composer whose work embodies "the optimism and spirit of this uniquely American music" leads his famed quartet and six gifted young musicians of the Brubeck Institute joined by the Institute's artistic director, bassist Christian McBride.
October 8, 2003 at Noon WYLIE and the WILD WEST One of the country's finest Cowboy and Western ensembles, led by Wylie Gustafson, rancher and champion yodeler from Dusty, Washington. Perennial favorites at the Cowboy Poetry gathering in Elko Nevada, Wylie & the Wild West have earned an international reputation through their recordings and concert appearances. Folklorist, Jens Lund will journey from Washington state to introduce the band.

Part of Homegrown: The Music of America.
October 16, 2003 ETHEL

"...hippest bunch of vibrating strings, taking the new music world by storm."
A string quartet that transcends taste, genre, and style to embrace a music of our time and with irreverence and panache, takes the audience on an intense and muscular ride of arena-rock proportions.

" ...exquisite texture...thrilling and poignant..."
Winner of the 2002 Best Latin Jazz Grammy, Afro-Cuban jazz pianist-composer Gonzalo Rubalcaba--with Ignacio Berroa on drums and Armando Gola on bass--interweaves musical idioms from the rhythms of rumba and the batá to strongly classical components.
October 21, 2003 SPAELIMENNINIR

"unadulterated good mystery...and pure beauty"
Based in the Faeroe Islands between Iceland and Norway, Spaelimenninir ("the folk musicians")--a native Faeroese, a Swede, two Americans, and two Danes--perform traditional and contemporary folk music and song from Scandinavia and America on fiddle, recorder, piano, guitar, mandolin, and acoustic bass.
October 22, 2003


"...the overall style of the Juilliard remains large, generous, and aggressive..."
Bach: Contrapuncti I-IV from The Art of Fugue
Babbitt: Joy of More Sextets (McKim Commission)
Beethoven cycle (Part II): String Quartet in B-flat Major, op. 130/ Grosse Fuge, op. 13
October 23, 2003 at Noon TATIANA SARBINSKA World-renowned Balkan singer Tatiana Sarbinska will be joined by a group of outstanding musicians. Ms. Sarbinska, world-renowned Balkan singer, has had a long and illustrious career spanning East and West and is regarded as one of the preeminent soloists of her generation. Born in the village of Rila in Bulgaria, she was, for many years the featured soloist of the internationally acclaimed Pirin Ensemble. She toured and recorded extensively with Pirin, earning "national treasure" status and renown as "the voice of Bulgaria." Her extensive repertoire includes music form all of Bulgaria's folklore regions. A Boston Herald reviewer wrote, "Tatiana Sarbinska performs with a brilliant style, with a rich vocal technique, a wide vocal range, and a lively artistic presence." Sarbinska currently lives in New Market, Maryland.
with Charles Neidich, Clarinet

"Babbitt is a superb musical authentically great some ways hard to take, but he's also zany, wild, and...more than a little bit mad."
Bartók: String Quartet no. 1, op. 7
Babbitt: Clarinet Quintet
Beethoven cycle (Part II): String Quartet in C-sharp Minor, op. 13

"...known to provoke whoops and cheers out of ordinarily staid audiences."
Mozart: String Quartet in C Major, K. 465 ("Dissonance")
Bartók: String Quartet no. 5 (Coolidge Commission)
Dvorák: String Quartet in D Major, op. 10
October 30, 2003 MUSIC FROM CHINA
Annual Founder's Day Concert

"...emotional language that cuts through any cultural barrier"
Founder's Day An extraordinary world-class ensemble offers the sights and sounds of "silk strings and bamboo winds" with fiddles and flutes; the ancient sounds of the pipa and erhu; and the percussive strength of gongs and woodblocks--in works by Zhou Long, Chen Yi, Zhou Qinru, and James Mobberley.
November 7, 2003 KODÁLY QUARTET

"Enchantingly warm...Olympian breadth and intensity..."
Haydn: String Quartet in E Major, op. 2, no. 2
Haydn: String Quartet in D Major, op. 20, no.4
Haydn: String Quartet in B Minor, op. 33, no.1
Mozart: String Quartet in G Major, K. 387 (Dedicated to Haydn)

"...a rapid-fire ninja...transferring the energy of flamenco guitar to the keyboard."
"Cádiz in the soul and Monk in the fingers," pianist Domínguez and his trio joined by three accompanying musicians (a player of the Afro-Peruvian cajon, a singer, and a dancer--all three clapping) create hybrid music that merges an ancient tradition with the leading edge of jazz.
November 12, 2003 at Noon CHUNA McINTYRE, Yup'ik song & dance
Chuna McIntyre, who was featured at this year's National Book Festival, will bring the Nunumpta Yup'ik (eskimo) singers and dancers to present a program of stories, songs and dances from native Alaska. Born in the tiny village of Eek on the coast of the Bering Sea, McIntyre uses traditional stories learned from his grandmother to create contemporary stories, sounds, and images of Yup'ik culture. Folklorist Suzi Jones will present the group. No tickets are required.

Part of Homegrown: The Music of America.
November 13, 2003 ODETTA
75th Anniversary of the Archive of Folk Culture

Odetta, "Queen of American Folk Music" and "Mother Goddess of Folk/Blues" will receive a Living Legend Award from the Library and perform songs from the Archive of Folk Culture.

Co-sponsored by the American Folklife Center
November 14, 2003


"A remarkable aural imagination of an uncommonly rarefied kind."
Composer of symphonies, operas, and ballets, three-time Oscar nominee for his film scores, and jazz pianist, Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, one of the most versatile composer-performers of today--in a cabaret featuring his own works and selections from the American Songbook.
November 19, 2003 JUILLIARD STRING QUARTET with Masao Kawasaki, Viola

Beethoven: String Quintet in C Major, op. 29
Beethoven cycle (Part II): String Quartet in A Minor, op. 132
November 20, 2003 at Noon GANGA The Roy family ensemble Ganga will present the music of their native Bengal, reflecting the history and continuity of the myriad traditions that form the regional folk traditions of the Indian sub-continent. Ganga's repertoire is drawn from the tea plantations of the lush countryside, from the foothills of the Himalayas, and particularly from the rivers of Bengal which have been especially fertile ground for the songs sung by peasants and boatman. Formed in 1984, Ganga, named for the holy river Ganges, has performed at festivals and concerts all over the United States, and in other parts of the world.

Part of Capital Roots Concert Series 2003.
with Brent McMunn, Piano

"Hoiby's music--permeated by an unashamedly gentle and vulnerable sensibility and ... a subtle sweetness."
Haydn: String Quartet in F Minor, op. 55, no. 2 ("The Razor")
Hoiby: Serenade for Violin and Piano (McKim Commission)
Beethoven cycle (Part II): String Quartet, op. 135
Michael Barrett and Steven Blier,
Artistic Directors

"...superb performances [and] terrific songs rescued from oblivion..."
Celebrating its fifteenth anniversary, the New York Festival of Song with Jennifer Aylmer, Judy Kaye, Joseph Kaiser, and pianist Steven Blier features music from the Vernon Duke and the Richard Rodgers collections in the Library of Congress.
December 11, 2003 at 12:00 Noon SENSACIÓN VALLENATA con GUSTAVO NIETO Sensación Vallenata con Gustavo Nieto will bring the lively regional dance music of Columbia's coastal region to the Library. Vallenata is a traditional, acoustic form of dance music, surrounded by local legend and enriched by multi-ethnic roots, that has become one of Columbia's most popular styles. Accordionist Gustavo Nieto, who grew up with the older traditional style of vallenato, moved to the United States some time ago and lived in New York and Chicago before settling in the Washington, D.C. area in the early 1990s and forming his group. They regularly play for "Columbian Night" at a club in Wheaton, Maryland, and always manage to pack the house. No tickets are required.

Part of Capital Roots Concert Series 2003.
December 12, 2003 HESPERUS and Friends

"... constantly lively, colorful, inventive...performed with energy..."
Hesperus members--co-directors Scott Reiss and Tina Chancey, Grant Herreid, Bruce Hutton, Rosa Lamoreaux--are joined by Peter Sutherland, Elke Baker, and a trio of cloggers in Winter Light--a heartwarming celebration of the winter season with music that crosses cultural and historical boundaries.
December 16, 2003 MENAHEM PRESSLER, Piano

"Phrase after phrase left you smiling with its sensitivity, its impudence, its joy."
On this day of Beethoven's birth, the quintessential chamber musician and founding pianist of the renowned Beaux Arts Trio celebrates his own 80th birthday with a solo recital on the Coolidge stage.
December 18, 2003 Stradivari Anniversary
Schubert: Quintet in C Major, D. 956
Beethoven cycle (conclusion): String Quartet in B-flat Major, op. 13
February 13, 2004 DÍAZ TRIO with LUZ MANRIQUEZ, Piano

Roberto Sierra "is a master of rhythm and atmosphere."

"Impeccable interpretations, ...each player is a distinctive virtuoso...bold [and] risk-taking..."
Ysaÿe: String Trio "Le Chimay"
Sierra: Kandinsky (World Premiere)
    Commissioned by the McKim Fund in the
    Library of Congress.

Beethoven: String Trio in G Major, op. 9, no. 1
February 20, 2004 BRODSKY QUARTET

"...lucid, raptly expressive,...eloquent, rich toned, and full of color..."
Britten: String Quartet no. 1 in D Major, op. 25 (Coolidge Commission)
Schubert: String Quartet in A Minor, D. 804 ("Rosamunde")
Tchaikovsky: String Quartet no. 1 in D Major, op. 11
February 27, 2004 BUDDY & JULIE MILLER

"...depths of heartache and loneliness... with plenty of twang to ease the way."
Husband-and-wife singer-songwriter duo from Nashville offers a broad brush of songs--country and folk ballads, hybrids and out-and-out rock, pop and "gutbucket honky-tonk," and their own special brand of "non-urban art songs"--bridging country's deepest roots in old-time mountain music with today's more rockin' country.

"...never simply beautiful, but always rich with character."
Haydn: String Quartet in C Major, op. 76, no. 3 ("Emperor")
Bolcom: String Quartet (Washington Premiere)
Mendelssohn: String Quartet in E-flat Major, op. 44, no.3
March 6, 2004 SPIRIT OF FÈS

"...a fest of musical praise, soul-searching, and peacemaking."
From the highly acclaimed Festival of World Sacred Music held in the Moroccan city of Fès, music, song, and dance from the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim traditions featuring the Algerian-Jewish singer Françoise Atlan; the Women's Hadra Ensemble from the Taroudant region of southern Morocco, and the Anointed Jackson Sisters gospel group from Goldsboro, North Carolina.

"...perhaps the most unjustly ignored American singer of the 20th century."
One of the most original and exceptional voices in the history of popular song, for more than fifty years admired by fellow singers from jazz to pop including Billie Holiday, Nancy Wilson, Ray Charles, and Madonna, the elder statesman of jazz vocalists is joined by his trio--bassist "Hill" Greene, pianist Mike Kanan, and drummer "Cook" Broadnax--for a glimpse of what an evening in a mid-fifties show club must have been like.
March 12, 2004 KENNEDY CENTER CHAMBER PLAYERS Beethoven: Trio in B-flat Major for Clarinet, Cello, and Piano, op. 11
Poulenc: Sonata for Flute and Piano (Coolidge Commission)
Brahms: Piano Quartet in G Minor, op. 25
Elizabeth Patterson, Director

"Seamless ensemble, seductive phrasing...crisp, rhythmically dancing performances."
Music of the Americas from songs sung aboard the ships of Columbus to contemporary works, performed by a choir of men and women ranging in age from eighteen to sixty from diverse occupations and musical backgrounds.
Winners of the Naumburg Competitions
Top winners of the Walter W. Naumburg International Competitions in Chamber Music: Biava String Quartet; Violin: Frank Huang; and Piano: Gilles Vonsattel---make their Library of Congress debut in a concert honoring the founding primarius of the Juilliard String Quartet.

"To listen to d'Ambrosio is to abandon oneself to her charm."
Jazz singer-pianist, calligrapher, watercolorist, creator of eggshell mosaics, composer, lyricist, recording artist, and teacher--with a distinctive "dusky, sensuous voice" and understated style: performances of "quiet passion"and "meditative intimacy."
April 1, 2004 at Noon MASTERS of MEXICAN MUSIC Masters of Mexican Music explores the musical traditions of an important and growing segment of the U.S. population. Master musicians from four distinct regional traditions - the mariachi of Jalisco, the Veracruz harp tradition ensemble, the accordion-based conjunto of the Texas-Mexican border area, and the marimba of southern Mexico will be performing. Featured artists include Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano, José Gutiérrez, Mingo Saldivar, and Marimba Chiapas. The national tour is produced by the National Council for the Traditional Arts and the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation.

Presented by the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress
with RICARDO MORALES, Clarinet

"urbanity and...admirable unity of thought and utterance."
Mendelssohn: String Quartet no. 6 in F Minor, op. 80
Ives: String Quartet no. 1 ("A Revival Service")
Brahms: Clarinet Quintet in B Minor, op. 11
April 15, 2004
Old Time country music from Georgia
Norman Blake is one of the most respected musicians in the field of country music. His career, spanning almost fifty years, includes over thirty recordings, as well as hundreds of sessions and appearances, with artists ranging from the Carter Family and Johnny Cash to Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson, and John Hartford. A virtuoso guitar and mandolin player, he and his wife, Nancy, have received four Grammy nominations for their traditional music recordings.
Christophe Rousset, Conductor/Harpsichord
Anna Maria Panzarella, Soprano

"...obviously enthusiastic... their playing is a joy."
The critically-acclaimed period instrument ensemble specializing in French and Italian repertoire of the 17th and 18th centuries performs instrumental and vocal works by Handel, A. Scarlatti, Lully, Leclair, Lambert, and Montéclair.
April 23, 2004 OLIVIER BAUMONT, Harpsichord

"An excellent balance of vibrancy and elegance."
Works by Chambonnières, F. Couperin, Daquin, Handel, J. C. Bach, Reinagle, and James Hewitt's Yankee Doodle Variations.

"A brash bunch of brass wizards" shares an evening with a "vibrant and thrillingly cogent" string quartet
"Boundary-stretching" works by Richard Shemaria, Kirk Nurock, Elliott Sharp, and Frank Zappa; followed by Beethoven and Shostakovich string quartets.

"...a wise, sweetly troubled voice...pure and vulnerable."
Nashville-born, New York City-based, longtime DJ of the weekly Radio Thrift Shop, and "neo-traditionalist country" singer-songwriter whose music has resonated with critics and fans on both sides of the Atlantic--in a program of vintage country music and original country-pop gems.

"Energetic and fearsomely talented."
Haydn: String Quartet in D Major, op. 64, no. 5 ("Lark")
Larsen: Schoenberg, Schenker, and Schillinger
Mozart: Adagio & Fugue in C Minor, K. 546
Mendelssohn: String Quartet in D Major, op. 44, no. 1
May 8, 2004 SHIRLEY HORN

"Songs are lucky when Shirley Horn chooses them."
A "romantic chanteuse without peer"and "straight-ahead swinger" sings "heart-stopping" ballads with "exquisitely unhurried pace--inviting listeners into an elegant and sincere musical embrace.

"...steeped in pop culture and social-protest ingenuity."
Created and led by Kwikstep and Rokafella, New York City's preeminent b-boy and b-girl, this street-wise crew of break dancers celebrate the "full circle" of Hip-Hop culture--from the issues to the trends, from the roots to the fashion--in a flourish of Latin, African, and urban dance styles punctuated by spoken word breaks.

"a vibrant...and swinging amalgam of individual voices playing as one."
Unconventional contemporary jazz ensemble of saxophone, vibes, trombone, bass, and drums led by the #1 Bass Players in the DownBeat Critics Poll for three consecutive years.

"Hazel Dickens' voice is the call of the high lonesome."
"Helen is one of the few singers who can move [one] to silence."
Two uniquely individual singer-songwriters on the Coolidge stage: Hazel Dickens--pioneer of bluegrass music and one of the greatest mountain and old time singers of our time; and Helen Schneyer--one of the most powerful contraltos and intensely emotional singers in the folk song world, a frequent guest on the Prairie Home Companion.

Presented in cooperation with the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

May 18, 2004 at Noon DON ROY TRIO and FLORENCE MARTIN
Franco-American music from Maine
Don Roy is one of the finest Franco-American fiddlers in the Northeast. Roy learned to play the fiddle from his uncle, Lucien Mathieu, a master of the French Canadian style. He organized and played with the Maine French Fiddlers for eleven years, during which he played at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Wolf Trap, and on A Prairie Home Companion. In 1990 he won the Maine State Fiddle Championship. Also in the group are Don’s wife, Cindy, a pianist and step dancer, and bassist Jay Young. Florence Martin, from Lewiston, Maine, is an accomplished singer of Acadian songs which she learned when growing up in the Saint John’s Valley on the Maine-New Brunswick border.
May 21, 2004 MAN ABOUT TOWN

"Bernstein's music in all its contemporary irony and postmodern glory."
Works from the Leonard Bernstein Collection in the Library of Congress, performed by mezzo-soprano Joyce Castle, baritone Kurt Ollmann, and pianist Scott Dunn, with assisting pianist Lucy Mauro, display the range of the charismatic composer's oeuvre that crossed traditional boundaries between Broadway musicals and classical song.
June 4, 2004 at Noon
The Army Blues Jazz Ensemble of the US Army Band (Pershing’s Own)
Formed in 1972, The Army Blues carries on a tradition begun by the Army Dance Band which entertained soldiers and civilians in the battle zone during World War II. As the premier jazz ensemble of the U.S. Army, and one of the few remaining professional groups of its kind, the Blues' present-day mission is to promote America's art form: jazz. The Blues pay tribute to the big bands of yesterday by performing music by such greats as Ellington, Basie, Miller and Herman. The Army Blues perform their own versions of the latest and most innovative sounds of contemporary composers, as well.
June 8, 2004 at Noon FREEDOM SONGS
Bernice Johnson Reagon and Toshi Reagon
Songs of the Freedom Singers and the music of the civil rights movement will highlight this stirring concert.
June 15, 2004 at Noon PASCHALL BROTHERS
African American gospel quartet from Virginia
The Paschall Brothers stand firmly in the great tradition of unaccompanied religious singing in Tidewater Virginia. The black gospel quartet tradition can be traced back to plantation life in the South. The style blossomed in the region and by the 1920s found a national following with groups such as the Heavenly Gospel Singers and, notably, the Golden Gate Quartet of Norfolk. Formed in 1981 by the late Rev. Frank Paschall , Sr., the Paschall Brothers carry on this remarkable tradition and bring new life and energy to this venerable style.
July 14, 2004 at Noon OINKARI BASQUE DANCERS from IDAHO


The Oinkari Basque Dancers, from Boise, Idaho, perform the traditional dances brought from the Basque region of the Pyrenees Mountains of France and Spain to the West by immigrants in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In 1960 a group of young Basque Americans traveled to the town of Donosti in Basque country and became inspired to form a group that preserved these dances. Now after forty years, the sons and daughters of the founding members carry on the tradition. The name "Oinkari" means "fast feet," an apt description of the acrobatic dance style.
August 18, 2004 at Noon PHONG NGUYEN ENSEMBLE
Vietnamese Music from Ohio
Phong Nguyen is one of the world’s foremost performers and scholars of Vietnamese music, and has received a National Heritage Fellowship Award from the National Endowment for the Arts for his efforts to preserve and present this music in the United States. Raised in the Mekong Delta region, he comes from a family of prominent musicians, and was traditionally trained to play numerous instruments in various regional styles. He left his native land in 1974, received a doctorate in ethnomusicology from the Sorbonne in Paris, and came to United States shortly thereafter.