Following a sold out show at In Your Ear Studio Wednesday night, The Fireside Collective rolled into Sabot at Stony Point Thursday morning to entertain and educate about 200 pre-K to middle schoolers.
Harkening back to the early days of acoustic bluegrass, the five member band performed for about 45 minutes huddled around a single microphone. In addition to performing mostly original tunes, the band took questions and song requests from the students. It wasn’t long before many of the pre-K’s were up and dancing while the older students clapped and sang along. The band was impressed with how knowledgeable the students were about their instruments and music in general.
As the performance was wrapping up one student requested a Beatles song. The quintet responded with an excellent cover of “Eleanor Rigby”. Dobro player Tommy Maher added that they are the only bluegrass band they know of doing that song. Needless to say the kids and teachers loved it.
After the school performance the band jumped back in their van to head back to Raleigh, NC to continue performing as part of the IBMA celebrations where they had performed Tuesday evening at the Governor’s Mansion. The band seemed energized by the students and the feeling was mutual at the school.
JAMinc proudly presents a free screening of the film Fiddlin’ at the Byrd Theater.
As a fitting followup to the 15th edition of the Richmond Folk Festival, JAMinc and the Byrd Theater are excited to provide the opportunity for you to see this lovingly crafted film before it’s general release.
Sister filmmakers, Julie Simone and Vicki Vlasic, returned to their Appalachian roots to film at the Old Fiddler’s Convention run by the Galax Moose Lodge. They were given permission to film for the first time in its 80 year history after Lodge members discovered they knew the sisters’ grandpa. Their local connection also earned them the trust of the talented musicians who opened their hearts and shared their stories.
Fiddlin’ is a celebration of true Americana and artistic expression in the face of adversity. This rollicking, inspiring film shines a light on what is best about America and shows the uplifting power of music. Fiddlin’ pays tribute to Old Time and Bluegrass music at the 80th annual Old Fiddler’s Convention where musicians travel from around the world to compete and jam with friends, without a cell phone in sight.
Wayne Henderson, a world-renowned luthier known as the “guitar god,” is both a master craftsman and master storyteller. His friendship with 11-year old Presley Barker shows just how closely knit a community of musicians can be. The endearing relationship between them is a testament to the music’s power. As Presley and Wayne vie for top prize in the ultra-competitive Adult Guitar Competition, the film reaches its climax. Determined to keep the music and traditions alive, all exclaim they will pass it on to future generations and play till the day they die!
The film also features Dori Freeman, Kitty Amaral, Eddie Bond, Karen Carr, Martha Spencer, Annabelle Watts, Ivy Phillips, Uma Peters and Virginia’s state folklorist, Jon Lohman. For fans of old time and bluegrass music, there will be many familiar faces in the film, including moments with Bill Monroe and never before seen footage of Doc Watson.
In the spirit of the Richmond Folk Festival, admission to this special screening is free but donations will be welcome to defray costs. For further information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Arriving at In Your Ear Studios Wednesday afternoon, The Fireside Collective was greeted with a most welcome sight – “Sold Out!” – posted on the studio’s front door. In fact, the show had been sold out for several weeks. The band had driven up from Raleigh, NC after playing the night before with the legendary Jim Lauderdale at Governor Roy Cooper’s mansion as part of the IBMA.
After getting their collective fill from the evening’s pot luck buffet (quite a buzz about the Mexican cheese cake) the band and audience settled into Studio A for 90 minutes of what the band calls “honest, heartfelt music.” It was high-energy and wide-ranging string Americana music that covered bluegrass, new grass and even a bit of rock and roll. Their two sets included original tunes, a tribute to the Grateful Dead (the band’s favorite road music), the Eagles and even a cover of the Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby.” The audience enthusiastically demanded an encore and Fireside Collective served up a rousing cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Miss You.”
Fireside Collective performed at IYE Studios on September 25, 2019. Thanks to Charlie Reilly for the photos; click for a larger look.
All-in-all it was an evening that surpassed expectations. One in the audience was heard telling their friend, “I have a new appreciation as to what bluegrass music can be.” Mission accomplished!
Thursday morning the band paid a visit to The Sabot School at Stony Point and then hit the road back to Raleigh to continue participating in several IBMA performances.
Quickly blazing a name for themselves with their progressive approach to American folk music, Fireside Collective delights listeners with memorable melodies and contemporary songwriting. Formed in the mountain city of Asheville North Carolina, the band plays original songs on stringed instruments, intended for a modern audience. Following the release of their debut album Shadows and Dreams, the band hit the road seeking to engage audiences with their energetic live show built on instrumental proficiency, colorful harmonies, and innovative musical arrangements. Well what do you call it?
“Bluegrass, Newgrass, perhaps Progressive folk…” These are some descriptions mandolinist and songwriter Jesse Iaquinto chooses to identify with. “Depending on where you come from and your experience with folk music, you may think we’re very traditional, or on the other hand, consider us a progressive act. We appreciate both ends of the spectrum and may lie on a different end on any given night.” While roots music lies at the core of the Collective’s songs, a willingness to explore the boundaries and present relevant new material remains fundamental.
The band burst onto the scene in early 2014 following the release of Shadows and Dreams. The album weaves bluegrass, funk, rock, and blues influences into a refreshing representation of modern folk music. From the opening track “Poor Soul” with it’s energetic bluegrass overtones to the closer “Shine the Way Home”, the album takes listeners on a journey through simple love songs to complex themes such as metaphysics and coexistence. The album, recorded in Asheville at Sound Temple Studios, features guest musicians from Asheville’s rich acoustic music scene alongside members of the Fireside Collective.
In 2016 they were winners of the MerleFest band competition. In 2017 they were nominated for an IBMA momentum award for best band. They’ve become crowd favorites at prestigious nearby events like FloydFest and Red Wing Roots. If you savor the sounds of acoustic instrumentation, enjoy the excitement of energetic live performances, and delight in the creation of original songs, then join us for an engaging evening in the acoustic perfection of In Your Ear’s Studio A with the Fireside Collective on Wednesday, September 25.
JAMinc is beyond excited to accept a very generous check from Mary Munford Elementary’s PTA, representing proceeds from a very successful coffee sale.
On the occasion of his 70th birthday, they sold more than 170 bags of “Greg Muzik’s Bluegrass Blend” from Lamplighter Coffee, in honor of their beloved principal and music lover.
JAMinc has partnered with Mary Munford for at least 60 artist appearances in their auditorium over the years, by far our most popular outreach venue. Greg’s willingness to always give our touring musicians a place to play is key to our mission. Thanks to “Dr. Muzik” and to all at MM for your continued focus on what music can mean to a young mind.
Nellie McKay, accompanied by her companion dog Bessie, performed at Mary Munford Elementary School Thursday afternoon before heading to the In Your Ear studios. The nearly full auditorium of students was delighted to see Bessie on stage.
Nellie began her 30-minute set singing “If I Fell” by Lennon and McCartney while playing ukulele. After the song she asked the kids if any of them knew who the Beatles were. To her surprise, nearly all raised their hands.
A few songs later, when Nellie added harmonica, the students laughed as Bessie began to accompany her – standing and howling along with the song. Towards the end of her performance Nellie moved to the school’s piano and was joined on a few songs by JAMinc board member Samson Trinh playing saxophone. Nellie also passed one of her ukuleles and a harmonica to the students so they could examine the instruments.
Remarking on how engaged and well behave the students were, she told them they were one of her best audiences ever and thanked them for coming to see her.
The bluegrass division winner of our 2017 Scott Street Five String Finals scores a big one. The International Bluegrass Music Association has awarded a scholarship to G Rockwell to attend the Blue Ridge Banjo Camp, hosted by Béla Fleck.
G Rockwell, a 16 year old from Bridgeport, CT, has been playing for 8 years. He is a banjo picker and guitarist, occasional mandolin player, with a style fusing bluegrass, jazz and classic rock.
Rockwell competed live on the CarMax Family Stage at the Richmond Folk Festival on October 14, 2017. Each year the Scott Street Five String Finals, a banjo competition for young players 18 and under, honors the memory of beloved JAMinc board member, distinguished attorney and dedicated banjo player Scott Street. The competition is open for entries for the 2019 Richmond Folk Festival. Check it out.
Eric Stanley started his Thursday afternoon school visit to Mary Munford Elementary high-fiving seated students while the remaining students entered the auditorium. From the first notes he played on his violin the 400 or so students were captivated. Using recorded loops, Eric connected with the students by incorporating several nursery rhymes into his performance.
At one point Eric asked if there were any dancers in the audience. Of the 30 raised hands he selected a young boy to come up on stage and show off his moves. You could tell it was a moment the youngster had been waiting for as he busted some impressive moves while Eric played. Once done Eric congratulated the student on having a big heart and the courage to get up and be himself in front of his fellow students.
Friday morning Eric visited with about 300 students at Chimborazo Elementary in Church Hill. Once again he connected immediately with the students and this time invited two to perform with him – one singing and the other dancing while Eric played. The collected students gave all an enthusiastic round of applause.
As he does at every school he plays, Eric encouraged the students to always be who they are and to stay inspired. The kids were off to a good start after seeing Eric’s performances.
After board member and long-time friend Samson Trinh’s introduction of Nellie McKay to the nearly full house in Studio A, she stepped to the microphone, ukulele in hand, and began to sing without saying a word.
She immediately captivated the audience with her sweet and wide vocal range. During the rest of the evening she proved that great things really can come in small packages. Besides singing and playing both ukulele and piano, she did several funny yet poignant “conversations” with herself as subtle commentary on today’s political landscape. In a word, Nellie was entertaining.
Towards the end of the all-too-short evening, which kicked off with yet another spectacular potluck buffet, Samson joined Nellie, now on the studio’s grand piano, for a couple of songs playing saxophone. The evening was capped off when local jazz vocalist and musician John Winn (who happened to be in attendance) joined the two (at Samson’s urging) for an improvised jazz vocalization number known as “scat” singing. The audience signaled their approval of the performance, and the evening in general, with a standing ovation.
Nellie McKay is hard to categorize. She’s done Brecht on Broadway, opened for Lou Reed at Carnegie Hall, sung Woody Allen movie songs at the Hollywood Bowl, performed on A Prairie Home Companion, duetted with Eartha Kitt and Triumph The Insult Comic Dog, played Hilary Swank’s sister on the big screen, paid tribute to Doris Day, and released three wildly acclaimed albums of original music.
Her music is as tuneful and clever as the best of the Great American Songbook – part cabaret, part sparkly pop. But beneath the charming melodic surface is a wit that cuts, and a sharply tuned social conscience.
Sister Orchid marks Nellie McKay‘s seventh label release. Previous albums include, Pretty Little Head Obligatory Villagers, Normal as Blueberry Pie: A Tribute to Doris Day, Sweet Mobile Home, Get Away From Me and My Weekly Reader (both co-produced by Beatles engineer, Geoff Emerick.
She won a Theatre World Award for her Broadway portrayal of Polly Peachum in The Threepenny Opera. As a motion picture actress, Nellie has been in “P.S. I Love You” and “Downtown Express.” Film soundtracks include “Rumor Has It”, “Monster-in-Law” and her music has been heard on television’s “Mad Men”, “Boardwalk Empire”, “Weeds”, “Grey’s Anatomy”, “NCIS” and “Nurse Jackie”. Nellie has performed on TV shows including The Late Show with David Letterman, Conan, Ferguson, and The View.
Nellie has made numerous radio appearances on NPR’s Mountain Stage, A Prairie Home Companion, and Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz. The Chase Brock Experience produced a ballet of her album, Obligatory Villagers, and her writing has appeared in The Onion, Interview, and The New York Times Book Review.
Nellie is a recipient of PETA’s Humanitarian Award and The Humane Society’s Doris Day Music Award in recognition of her dedication to animal rights.
The Newport Folk Festival Foundation has made a donation on behalf of Lucy Dacus to support JAMinc’s school outreach efforts.
“JAMinc is beyond grateful to Richmond’s own Lucy Dacus for tapping us as her musical non profit-of-choice,” said JAMinc’s President, Tim Timberlake.
“It’s so important for us to provide opportunities for young people to hear music performed live, never knowing how one single moment might trigger the lifetime joy that only music can provide.”
Since 2004 JAMinc has taken studio concert artists to public schools with more than 90,000 students served so far. This donation will be used to underwrite the instructor fees JAMinc provides each artist.
Lucy Dacus, one of Richmond’s best known singer/songwriters of late, will be performing at the Newport Folk Festival on July 27, 2019.
JAMinc is pleased to be partnering with the Richmond International Film Festival
to present the screening of BLUE NOTE RECORDS: BEYOND THE NOTES, a documentary
exploring the unique vision behind the iconic jazz record label.
Through rare archival footage, current recording sessions and conversations with Blue Note artists, the film reveals a powerful mission and illuminates the vital connections between jazz and hip hop, with Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Robert Glasper, Norah Jones, Don Was and many more.
BLUE NOTE RECORDS: BEYOND THE NOTES will be screening at the Richmond International Film Festival at the Byrd Theatre: 2908 W. Cary St. Richmond, VA 23221 on Sunday, the 28 at 1:30 pm.
Buy your tickets at rvafilmfestival.com