This month’s “Go See This” is written by guest blogger Elisabeth Lewis Corley.
“The show always goes on, even if it’s six months later,” says Pittsboro musical artist, Sue Wilson.
Wilson recalls that the upcoming concert of old-time, celtic, and world music by Baltimore’s nationally acclaimed father-son roots duo Ken & Brad Kolodner, joined by guitarist Luke Chohany making it a trio, was originally scheduled for January at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church. An ice storm hit Pittsboro and the concert had to be rescheduled. Fortunately, the CD release tour, celebrating the trio’s release of their third recording The Swift House, continues.
Regarded as one of the most influential hammered dulcimer players and old-time fiddlers in North America, Ken Kolodner has joined forces with his son Brad Kolodner, a rising star in the clawhammer banjo world. Together, they infuse their own brand of driving, innovative interpretations of traditional and original fiddle tunes and songs. Regularly performing with guitarist Luke Chohany, who shares their passion for traditional music, the trio combines a faithfulness to those traditions with a unique musicality and inventiveness.
The trio weaves together a captivating soundscape on hammered dulcimer, banjo, and fiddles that push the boundaries of the old-time tradition into uncharted territory. Chatham County will have this one night only opportunity to catch them in action in a beautiful venue in downtown Pittsboro.
Sue Wilson credits the internationally renowned Kolodner as her teacher and mentor and says, “This concert is always a joy. This will be the third time Ken and Brad have performed in Pittsboro in the last five years. Past audiences have loved the variety of instruments brought to the stage, as well as the cozy atmosphere. Ken has quite a following among hammered dulcimer players in the Triangle area. You might be surprised at the number of hammered dulcimer players there are out there! Many have been influenced by his style of play and teaching skills. I’ve been teaching folks to play the instrument since 2006 myself. I’m always thrilled to have the chance to play with my teacher and to introduce my own students to the master.”
Wilson met Kolodner at the Swannanoa Gathering, a program of summer folk arts workshops held on the Warren Wilson College campus in the Swannanoa Valley near Asheville in the heart of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Wilson says, “There’s nothing more fun than playing music with other people. That’s what keeps us going—these get-togethers with other musicians.” Wilson still studies with Kolodner at his annual Sandbridge Dulcimer Workshops held near Virginia Beach.
“We can’t wait to play again in this intimate venue. St. Bartholomew’s provides a truly beautiful setting. And we’ll be bringing some beautiful instruments into it,” says Wilson. Expect to hear hammered dulcimer, clawhammer banjo, English concertina, guitar, fiddles, and the hammered mbira, an instrument modeled after the African mbira but played with hammers.
Referring to a photo on the Trapezoids of the Triangle Facebook page showing twenty-one different hammers for her hammered dulcimer, Wilson says, “I’m embarrassed to say they are all mine. A victim of hammer lust.”
The Local Connection
Wilson plays the hammered dulcimer with her friend and music partner, Betsy Kraus, also from Chatham County, on the English concertina. Wilson says, “Betsy and I met nearly twenty years ago when we were infants in our musical development and we have grown together in our musicianship. I would never have been able to accomplish the level of play I now enjoy without Betsy!” Wilson and Kraus will play a short set to open the concert and then will play some with the Ken & Brad Kolodner Trio. “We invite all those who play this type of music to bring instruments and join in the jam session after the concert. The musicians will be right there for the audience to meet and greet and you can be sure some members of the audience will join in the jam. It is always great fun.”
Music buddies since 1998, Wilson and Krauss play an eclectic mix of acoustic, traditional dance music that will set your toes tapping. Drawing primarily from the rich traditions of Celtic and old-time music, Sue and Betsy pair two seldom seen instruments—the hammered dulcimer and the English concertina—to produce a lively and unique sound. This intimate concert features a re-imagining of Old-Time, Celtic, and World music at St. Batholomew’s Episcopal Church. Jam following the concert.
Event Name: Pittsboro Concert with The Ken & Brad Kolodner Trio and Sue Wilson & Betsy Kraus
Event Host: St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church
Event Location: 204 West Salisbury Street, Pittsboro, NC 27312
Event Days, Dates, Time: Saturday, July 29th at 7 p.m.
Cost of Admission * : $20 door, $15 advance, $12 kids under 13. A portion of the proceeds will go to St. Bart’s operating fund.
For a sample of the music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRz0U-WOuZk
Is there an Event Reception?: Acoustic jam to follow the concert.
Event Preview: Hammered dulcimer workshop with Ken Kolodner, July 29th 2:00 –5:00 p.m. at the Pittsboro Community House, 65 Thompson Street, Pittsboro, NC 27312. Cost: $40;
Clawhammer Banjo with Brad Kolodner, July 29th 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. at N. Rouse Wilson office building, 767 West Street, Pittsboro, NC 27312. Cost: $30.00
Who and how many artists are participating?: Sue Wilson, Betsy Kraus, Ken Kolodner, Brad Kolodner, Luke Chohany, and acoustic instrument players from the audience during the jam following the concert.
What kind of art does the event feature?: Old-Time, Celtic, and World Music
What’s the goal of the event?: A celebration of the CD release The Swift House from The Ken & Brad Trio and a benefit for St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church.
Number of years this event has been held?: This will be the third concert in the past five years.
Is the event appropriate for children?: Yes.
* For credit card reservations visit: www.kenkolodner.com ($1 service fee applies)
If you’d prefer, make a check payable to “Ken Kolodner” and mail it to: Sue Wilson, P.O. Box 940, Pittsboro, NC 27312.
To receive confirmation of receipt and your reservation, please include your email address or phone number.
For information about reservations or website help contact: kenkolodner_at_aol_dot_com or 410.746.8387.