Kevin Burke and John Carty, two world-renowned Celtic fiddlers, were in town on Thursday, playing at In Your Ear studios, as well as making appearances at two local schools.
Their performance is part of a series held by the nonprofit JAMinc, which puts on one concert a month, excluding the summer months, featuring a variety of music from jazz to bluegrass. Unfortunately, the 7:30 p.m. show at In Your Ear is sold out, but the lucky students at Mary Munford Elementary School and Maggie L. Walker’s Governor School will get to hear Burke and Carty perform during their visit to Richmond. Here’s a clip of the duo playing in San Francisco:
In Your Ear, a recording studio at 1813 E. Broad St., seats 80 people in a house-concert setting, says Robbin Thompson, a member of JAMinc’s board of directors. “It’s a very homey atmosphere,” Thompson says. Guests are even encouraged to bring a covered dish to share with the rest of the audience.
Tim Timberlake, another member of JAMinc’s board of directors, says that 85 percent of the cover charge ($20 in advance, $25 at the door for Thursday’s show) goes to the artists and 15 percent goes toward renting the space, JAMinc’s PayPal fees and soft drinks for the audience. JAMinc has been putting on the concerts for 10 years. Timberlake says that artists enjoy playing at these small concerts because of the attentive audience, rather than for the money. The board of directors decides whom to invite to the next concert, though there has been an increase in artists inquiring to play for JAMinc. A recording featuring highlights from the shows, JAMinc Concert Series 1, is available through In Your Ear.
“Our mission is to bring in music that would not necessarily come through Richmond and songwriters that may not be on the tour,” Thompson says. He says that the artists invited to perform are also encouraged to play for children at both public and private schools in the area.
Timberlake adds that these visiting artists have played for 53,000 students in the area over the years. “Our school outreach is the main thing we are proud of,” he says.
Looking ahead, Missy Raines and the New Hip are the next group scheduled in the series. Their show is set for March 20 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance. Raines is a seven-time recipient of the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Bass Player of the Year Award. The New Hip includes guitarist and co-producer Ethan Ballinger, mandolinist/acoustic guitarist Jarrod Walker and drummer/percussionist Josh Fox.