The Cranberry Coffeehouse 2018-2019 First Half of the Season
September 15, 2018– John Roberts - was born and raised in Worcestershire, England, of a Welsh family, and currently lives in Schenectady, NY. He came to the USA many years ago to go to attend graduate school at Cornell, but, as they say, it didn’t take, and so he became more of a folksinger than he was already. Oh, what a folksinger he became!As a solo performer, he often accompanies the songs with banjo or concertina, or sings them a cappella, depending on what a song needs according to his well-honed musical sensibilities. He is steeped in the lore and traditions of the English folk world, and has become quite expert at the music’s interpretation. John presents the songs in a completely delightful and entertaining manner, and brings his audiences right into the pub, to the deck of a 19th century sailing ship, or British farmer’s living room. John may be best known for his work with Tony Barrand, another ex-pat Brit who arrived at Cornell at the same time as John. So, they became the two lively Brits who sang folksongs, often wore funny hats, and went on to sing at folk festivals including Fox Hollow, Mariposa, Philadelphia, Hudson River Revival, and Old Songs. With Tony he became part of Nowell Sing We Clear. For over 40 years this ‘different’ Christmas show featured pub carols, midwinter customs, a death-and-resurrection mummers’ play, visiting customs, and their songs. John's musical arrangements and melodious baritione, served as the foundation of the success of both performing groups.As a solo, he has performed at various folk festivals including the Mystic Sea Music Festival, the Newfoundland Folk Festival, New Bedford's Summerfest and Working Waterfront Festivals, the San Francisco Sea Music Festival, the Fox Valley (IL) Festival, and the Old Songs Festival, close to home in the Capital Region of NY. As part of his expertise in musical traditions, music of the sea is one of John’s specialties. His knowledge and research into the maritime traditions adds an authority to his performances of the music. This will be a wonderful evening with one of the most influential and entertaining performers in English traditional music.
October 20, 2018 – The Klez Project -is a traditional klezmer band from central New York. Members include allen lutins (clarinets), Rima Grunes (violin), David "Melnick" Zakalik (piano/accordion), Dana Mandel (mandolin), Greg Ezra (percussion) and Ryan Zawul (trombone/tuba). What is klezmer? The word "klezmer" (derived from the Hebrew "vessel for music") originally referred to a musician, but in the 20th century came to refer to the musical style instead. The origins of klezmer lay in various Jewish folk music traditions from eastern Europe, which drew heavily on local folk traditions, near eastern music, and the cantorial-style chanting of the Jewish synagogue. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries these traditions were influenced in Europe by Romany and military band styles and, when brought to the United States by Jewish immigrants in the 20th century, were further influenced by jazz and stage music.The music originally consisted of instrumental accompaniment to the various dances and ceremonies associated with celebrations (particularly weddings and bar mitzvahs). With the assimilation of Jews in the U.S., klezmer experienced a severe decline in popularity, but a resurgence in the 1970s resulted in numerous groups taking up the style in the latter portion of the 20th century.In addition to eastern European derived pieces, the modern klezmer repertoire is typically augmented by Yiddish melodies, Israeli folk music, tunes from early 20th century American Yiddish theatre productions, and modern compositions in the traditional style. This will be a lively and delightful evening for all!
November 17, 2018 Lazy Aces - began as an old-time string band trio whose music ranged from Texas rags to Appalachian ballads to modal melodies and breakdowns. They performed at the Philadelphia Folk Festival, the Clearwater Festival, the Brandywine Mountain Music Festival and elsewhere and recorded “Still Lazy After All These Years” for the Marimac label. The band later added bass and drums and broadened its repertoire to include contradance tunes and honky-tonk standards. Though the larger-format Lazy Aces is no longer active, founding members Dave Howard and Bill Christophersen have continued to play together as a duo. They have been featured at concerts, festivals and music camps, where they performed old-time tunes and country songs drawn from the likes of Gid Tanner’s Skillet Lickers, the Carter Family, Fiddlin’Arthur Smith, the Louvin Brothers, Lefty Frizzell and Ray Price. Their collaboration can be heard on "Hell and High Water," Bill’s 2009 old-time music recording. In addition to these, Dave Howard has released his solo album of heart songs from 1930 to 1960 entitled "Smooch" in 2018.
Middle Set - The Cranberry Coffeehouse encourages all musicians, vocalists, story tellers, and dancers to share their talents in the middle set. Middle set performances are limited to 5 minutes