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Norwood Village Green Concert Series welcomes 41st season on May 29


NORWOOD — When Joseph M. Liotta sat down to review the 41st annual season he put together for the Norwood Village Green Concert Series, he realized there were lots of strings attached.

“I didn’t try to do it specifically that way, but afterwards I saw a big string theme that came across,” said Mr. Liotta, president and founding program director of the series.

The 17 acts range from banjos and guitars played by one of the hottest groups in bluegrass to a “Harper’s Delight” program featuring “Adirondack Harper” Martha Gallagher. Dan Duggan, winner of the National Hammered Dulcimer Championship, will appear with two separate acts at the series, which will also include the Sultans of String.

All concerts for the 41st annual Norwood Village Green Concert Series are at 7 p.m. except for the opener.

The lineup:

Thursday, May 29 Choral/Band Festival

The series has a traditional opening with the St. Lawrence County Music Educators Association Pop Choral/Stage Band Festival. Performances are from 4 to 8:30 p.m. by St. Lawrence County school music ensembles.

Thursday, June 5 The RPO Marimba Band

The Rochester-based group is composed of members of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra’s percussion section. The band performs on two marimbas, vibraphone, steel drum, drum set and various percussion instruments. It primarily features ragtime xylophone selections and novelty music from the early decades of the 20th century along with many Latin and jazz tunes.

Thursday, June 12 The Onyx Clarinet Quartet and Riverside Brass Quintet

The clarinet quartet features veteran music educators from the Syracuse and Rochester areas. Its repertoire ranges from classical to popular music.

Members of the Riverside Brass Quintet are also performers with Northern Symphonic Winds and have a connection to SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music. The quintet performs a wide variety of musical styles, including songs originally written for brass quintet and some music “borrowed” or arranged for quintet.

Sunday, June 15

Sonic Escape

This trio consists of Shawn Wyckoff on flute, Maria Kaneko Millar on violin and Nan-Cheng Chen on cello. All are graduates of the Juilliard School in New York City. Members have traveled the world in roles as diverse as soloing at Carnegie Hall, fiddle-dancing in “Riverdance,” jamming with blues bands and playing rock at clubs in New York City.

“Maria’s ancestry is part Irish and part Japanese,” Mr. Liotta said. “They also do Japanese folk songs that have strings with flute.”

In addition to the concert on June 15, Sonic Escape will perform a series of “flash concerts.” They are at 1 p.m. June 14 at the Ives Park gazebo in Potsdam and at 4:30 p.m. the same day at the Norwood Village Green. On June 15, in addition to the 7 p.m. concert, they will perform at 10:30 a.m. at the Colton gazebo and 6:30 p.m. at the Hometown Cafe in Norwood.

Thursday, June 19

Tas Cru

With a passion for roots music, guitarist and vocalist Richard Bates — aka Tas Cru — performs a variety of formats, from solo acoustic to original country blues. He is a regular performer at blues festivals across the country. His latest album is “Tired of Bluesmen Cryin’.” The Quebecois phrase “Tas Cru” translates roughly to “raw potato.”

Sunday, June 22


This band, which consists of a violinist, stand-up bass player and guitarist, performs klezmer music, which originated in the villages and ghettos of Eastern Europe, where nomadic Jewish musicians known as “klezmorim” performed at weddings and other celebrations. The group mixes in classical, jazz, blues, country and folk.

Thursday, June 26

Northern Symphonic Winds

Northern New York’s only professional wind ensemble is drawn from Crane School of Music faculty, north country music teachers, professional musicians and select Crane students.

Sunday, June 29

The Cathie Ryan Band

The Los Angeles Times has described Ms. Ryan as “one of the leading voices of Celtic music.” Her band consists of Matt Mancuso on fiddle, guitar, trumpet and other instruments, Patrick Mangan on fiddle and Brian Melick on percussion.

Sunday, July 6

The All Star Big Band

This group, under the direction of north country resident Wally Siebel, will feature guest pianist and vocalist Tony DeSare. He has had three top 10 Billboard jazz albums and has been featured on CBS’s “The Early Show,” NBC’s “Today” and National Public Radio. His latest album is “PiANO.”

Wednesday, July 9

The Susquehanna String Band

This group, founded in 1979 in Bainbridge, Chenango County, on the banks of the Susquehanna River, consists of Dan Duggan, John Kirk and Rick Bunting. Mr. Bunting is past chairman of music education at Crane School of Music. The musicians play a range of stringed instruments, from hammered dulcimer to fiddle.

Sunday, July 13

Harpeth Riseth

This group, named after the river in Tennessee, consists of Jordana Greenberg on fiddle, Rebecca Reed-Lunn on guitar and banjo and Maria Di Meglio on cello. They fuse folk, bluegrass, rock ’n’ roll and classical music. They are also known for their three-part harmonies and energetic live shows.

“It’s all original material, except they will do things like ‘Norwegian Wood’ by the Beatles,” Mr. Liotta said.

Thursday, July 17

Sultans of String

This Canadian group describes its music as a “global sonic tapestry” of Spanish flamenco, Arabic folk, Cuban rhythms and French manouche gypsy-jazz. The group’s latest album is “Symphony!,” recorded live with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra.

“They are Canada’s ambassadors to musical diversity,” Mr. Liotta said.

Sunday, July 20

The Gibson Brothers

Mr. Liotta said this bluegrass group attracted the largest crowd ever at the series, more than 3,000 people, when they appeared in 2012.

He signed them before they received awards in 2011 that greatly increased their demand. The band’s 2011 album, “Help My Brother,” was named the International Bluegrass Music Association’s album of the year.

Since then, they have earned more accolades, receiving the International Bluegrass Music Association’s entertainer of the year award two years in a row. At the last IBMA awards in September, Eric Gibson was named songwriter of the year and the quintet also won vocal group of the year.

Eric and Leigh Gibson, on banjo and guitar respectively, grew up on a dairy farm outside of Ellenburg Depot, Clinton County. They are joined by band members Mike Barber on bass, Clayton Camble on fiddle and Jesse Brock on mandolin.

Thursday, July 24

Martha Gallagher

Ms. Gallagher, a Watertown High School graduate, is celebrating her 25th anniversary as the Adirondack Harper. She has been a guest artist/clinician at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and the Boston Conservatory.

She also has been a featured guest performer and workshop presenter at national harp conferences and festivals and has performed with the Chieftains.

Sunday, July 27


Dan Duggan also is part of this trio, along with Dan Berggren and Peggy Lynn. The band is named after the old-time river drivers who broke up logjams. The trio plays a blend of folk, blues, ballads, gospel and dance tunes.

Thursday, July 31

The Brass Firemen

This Norwood Fire Department band is a north country institution. It has performed at two presidential inaugurals, the opening ceremony of the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo, the Indianapolis 500 and other events.

Sunday, Aug. 3

Northbound with special guest King Kong

Northbound consists of north country musicians Michael Welch, Don Cannamela and Larry Baycura. They play a mix of folk, acoustic and classic rock.

King Kong consists of local musicians Andy Van Duyne and his son, Geoff Van Duyne, who uses the name Geoff Hayton as his stage name. They perform principally on acoustic guitars.

The details
WHAT: The 41st season of the Norwood Village Green Concert Series. It opens May 29 and runs through Aug. 3.
WHERE: Norwood Village Green Band Shell
COST: No admission fee, but “pass the bucket” donations are encouraged. The series also continues to take donations by check. They can be mailed to: Norwood Village Green Concert Series, 3 Bicknell St., Norwood, NY 13668
IN CASE OF RAIN: Concerts are held rain or shine. Rain site is the village’s municipal building, except for the Northern Symphonic Winds, the All Star Big Band and the Gibson Brothers concerts, whose rain site is the auditorium of Norwood-Norfolk Central School.
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