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2012 Homegrown Concerts

Online Archive of Past Homegrown Concerts

All of the materials from the Homegrown Concert Series are available to visitors in the Folklife Reading Room. Selected materials will be made available online as digital versions are available. Scroll down to see available webcasts and event flyer essays for the 2012 season.

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Mariano Gonzalez
Mariano Gonzalez.
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September 26, 2012, 12:00 noon
Coolidge Auditorium, Ground Floor, Thomas Jefferson Building

Mariano Gonzalez y sus Invitados Especiales (Mariano Gonzalez and his Special Guests): Paraguayan Folk Harp Ensemble from Nevada

Read the Flyer essay [PDF, 2 pp., 219KB]

View the webcast Running time 01:08:00

The Paraguayan folk harp is one of the most recognizable folk music traditions in South America. Las Vegas resident Mariano Gonzales mesmerizes audiences with his delightful and sometimes surprising repertoire on this handcrafted traditional instrument.  Mariano’s career as a professional harpist, composer, and harp maker has taken him around the world and into multiple musical genres, but he remains enamored of the unique and exquisite Guarania folk music of his homeland. Born and raised in Buena Vista, Paraguay, he began playing the harp at the age of five, under the tutelage of his father and grandfather. His passion for music propelled him onto the world stage where he expanded his repertoire to include lively Latin rhythms, free-spirited jazz, and original arrangements of popular standards.  Since moving to Las Vegas to tour with Tony Orlando and Dawn, he has generously shared his beloved harp with local audiences in community venues. His solo performances have included concerts at prestigious venues including Carnegie Hall in New York and Suntory Hall in Tokyo.

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Los Tres Reyes
Los Tres Reyes: Gilberto Puente, Raúl Puente, and Bebo Cárdenas.
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September 13, 2012, 12:00 noon
Coolidge Auditorium,
Ground Floor, Thomas Jefferson Building

Los Tres Reyes: Mexican Trío Romántico from Texas

Read the flyer essay [PDF, 2 pp., 155KB]

The Mexican trío romántico consists of three suave male voices backed by two, and sometimes three, guitars, singing romance-drenched lyrics in lush harmony. The style rocketed to pan-Latin popularity in 1948 with the pioneering group Trío Los Panchos. Los Tres Reyes (The Three Kings), known as “the last of the great trios,” epitomize the trio sound and continue to make it a mainstay of Mexican acoustic music. High-voice Cuban singer Bebo Cárdenas joins founding members, brothers Gilberto and Raúl Puente, to show us how, in Cárdenas’s words, “The trío romántico is synonymous with intimacy.” The trio has a new album on the Smithsonian Folkways label called Romancing the Past (SFW40562).

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The Singing and Praying Band
The Singing and Praying Band.
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August 23, 2012, 12:00 noon
Coolidge Auditorium,
Ground Floor, Thomas Jefferson Building

The Singing and Praying Band: African American A Capella Sacred Music from Delaware and Maryland

Read the flyer essay [PDF, 2 pp., 242KB]

View the webcast Running time 00:59:49

The Singing and Praying Bands of Delaware and Maryland (Eastern and Western Shore) belong to an African American devotional/musical tradition that is unique to the Delmarva region, probably the oldest living African American musical tradition in Delaware and Maryland. In the past, almost half of the Methodist churches around the Delaware and Chesapeake Bays had their own band. With origins in West African religion, Christianity, and African American ring shout traditions, Singing & Praying Bands developed during slavery. The ministry of the Singing & Praying Bands takes place in host churches, often at a camp meeting after an evening preaching service is over. Members line out a hymn, pray a prayer, and end with a spiritual in which the group forms a circle, marching counterclockwise out onto the church grounds. Since the 1950s, the bands have diminished in number, and the singers have consolidated into one large band comprised of fifty to a hundred active members from twenty to thirty different churches. They come together most Sundays in the spring, summer, and fall, at a different church each week, and hold service there, keeping this tradition alive.

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Robert Shafer, Bobby Taylor, and Robin Kessinger
Robert Shafer, Bobby Taylor, and Robin Kessinger.
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August 16, 2012, 12:00 noon
Coolidge Auditorium,
Ground Floor, Thomas Jefferson Building

Robert Shafer, Robin Kessinger and Bobby Taylor: Flatpick Guitar and Fiddle Music from Kanawha County, West Virginia

Read the flyer essay [PDF, 2 pp., 846KB]

View the webcast Running time 01:06:35

Bobby Taylor, Robert Shafer, and Robin Kessinger, three of the Kanawha Valley’s best traditional musicians, have played together over many years at various musical events in the Valley and throughout West Virginia. They were heavily influenced by the musical talents of Clark Kessinger, a world renowned fiddler. Clark Kessinger recorded many tunes on the Brunswick label from 1928 to 1930, and later, five albums in the 1960s. He has influenced a world of fiddlers and musicians for many decades. Clark Kessinger lived near where Robert, Robin and Bobby grew up in the Kanawha Valley, and Robin is his great nephew. This trio uses Clark’s beautiful arrangements as a foundation for the music they play. Just like Clark Kessinger, who used every technique possible, they continue to explore new and exciting ways to play the great old tunes.

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Les Bon Hommes Du Nord
Les Bon Hommes Du Nord.
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August 8, 2012, 12:00 noon
Coolidge Auditorium,
Ground Floor, Thomas Jefferson Building

Les Bon Hommes Du Nord: Patrick Ross and Jean Theroux, with Dalton Binette and Bow Thayer: French-Canadian Fiddle Music & Songs from New Hampshire

Read the flyer essay [PDF, 2 pp., 846KB]

View the webcast Running time 01:01:16

Patrick Ross and Jean Theroux will present a program of fiddle tunes and songs drawn from their French-Canadian heritage. Ross, a frequent winner at fiddle contests throughout Northern New England, is a fifth-generation fiddler. Theroux is a well respected community-based fiddler and vocalist. They will be joined by Dalton Binette and Bow Thayer. All four musicians hail from the northernmost area of New Hampshire, adjacent to the Canadian border, across which people and cultural influences have flowed steadily over the last hundred years or more. The fiddle, accordion, and guitar are the most common instruments used in French-Canadian music. The playing style is spirited and based upon rhythmic patterns of the Celtic world: jigs, reels, and waltzes. However, the music is not exactly Celtic: the bowing style has a different swing and the tunes are ornamented in a distinctive way. Singing in the French language with family and friends is also an important part of French-Canadian musical heritage, and many of the songs are classified as "chansons à répondre," or "call and response," a style developed so a large group can join in the fun without knowing all the words.

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Ruže Dalmatinke
Ruže Dalmatinke.
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July 18, 2012, 12:00 noon
Coolidge Auditorium,
Ground Floor, Thomas Jefferson Building

Ruže Dalmatinke Traditional Croatian Singing from Washington State

Read the flyer essay [PDF, 2 pp., 158KB]

View the webcast Running time 01:02:43

Ruže Dalmatinke, from Seattle, Washington. Deep passion and intense devotion to Croatian musical heritage have kept the group active since 1981, and have inspired the group's lead vocalists, sisters Binki and Alma, since childhood. Binki Franulovic Spahi (lead voice) and Alma Franulovic Plancich (second voice) lead Ruze Dalmatinke in singing, and are responsible for the group's adherence to traditional purity in their music. From the town of Vela Luka on the island of Korcula, Dalmatia, Croatia, they immigrated with their family to the United States after World War II. Having sung together since childhood, the sisters brought with them their lifestyle of singing, as well as an oral tradition generations old. Their voices are accompanied by instrumentation, adding to the vocal harmonies. The band members, also vocalists, along with Binki and Alma, perform music from the many different regions of Croatia - from the tranquil Dalmatian ballads to the strident melodies of the interior.

June 26, 2012, 12:00 noon
Coolidge Auditorium,
Ground Floor, Thomas Jefferson Building

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UNUKUPUKUPU
UNUKUPUKUPU.
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UNUKUPUKUPU: Hālau Hula (Hula School) of Hawai'i Community Colllege, Hilo, Hawai'i

Read the flyer essay [PDF, 2 pp., 191KB]

View the webcast Running time 01:10:22

UNUKUPUKUPU is the traditional Hālau Hula (Hula School) of Hawai'i Community College, Hilo, Hawai'i. Here ancient dances and songs, rooted in the sacred 'Aiha'a Pele (Ritual Dance of Volcanic Phenomena) intermingles with the rigor of academic inquiry to produce a community of traditional dancers functionally aware that Hula is one of the world`s sacred dances of environmental kinship and global connections.

June 21, 2012, 12:00 noon
Coolidge Auditorium, Ground Floor, Thomas Jefferson Building

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Dennis Stroughmatt with fiddle.
Dennis Stroughmatt.
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Dennis Stroughmatt et L'Esprit Creole — Creole Fiddle Music from Missouri

Read the flyer essay [PDF, 2 pp., 169KB]

View the webcast Running time 01:04:17

Dennis Stroughmatt, born and raised in southeastern Illinois, is an authority on French Creole music and culture of "Upper Louisiana," aka Illinois-Missouri-Indiana, an area once known as the Louisiana Purchase. By an amazing string of chance events, young Dennis Stroughmatt came upon the descendants of these Midwestern settlers, and he spent over three years in southeast Missouri studying and learning to speak Illinois French Creole, play the fiddle, and sing many of the traditional songs that have permeated the region for over three hundred years. He would also go on to live, work and play music in the "Cajun country" of Louisiana, and to study in Quebec, thus completing the circle of French culture in North America. A medley of music, language, stories, and culture secreted away in the Missouri Ozarks now has a voice in the tapestry of this world. With the blessing of the Creole people of the Midwest, Dennis Stroughmatt et l'Espirit Creole are its passionate ambassadors, expanding interest and excitement in a region that has been, in many ways, ignored by the history books. It’ll make your soul jump, your head spin, and your heart glad to know that it is still here. As they say in the hills: "On est toujours icitte: We are still here!"

 

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