2011 Festivals - Western USA if possible

2011 Festivals - Western USA if possible

Am looking for a new ITM festival-type event to attend this year…something that includes concerts, lessons, sessions or some combo. Am located in California and play whistle. I usually attend Lark in the Morning camp in Mendocino but probably can’t make it this year, and the Sebastapol Celtic Festival is apparently now defunct (it always had incredible lineups of great performers; don’t know how they did it).

The more local the better, but have heard of other events in the USA such as Swannanoa that sound really intriguing.

Have searched The Session and the internet but have not gotten the results I wanted. Maybe my search technique is faulty as I know these things are out there!

Many thanks to anyone who can help.

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Re: 2011 Festivals - Western USA if possible

Fiddle Tunes in Port Townsend, Washington is a great festival. This year, its Liz Carroll and John Doyle for Irish and Andrea Beaton and Troy MacGillivray for Cape Breton. There is also New England, Old Time, and many others. Always well attended and in a beautiful location.

Re: 2011 Festivals - Western USA if possible

zoukfest in new mexico looks like a good one

Re: 2011 Festivals - Western USA if possible

There’s a new one coming in October, called Portal Irish Music Week in Portal, Arizona.

Teachers are currently slated to include Brian Conway, Paddy O’Brien, Turloch Boylan, Matt Heaton, Marla Fibish, Will Harmon, Dain Forsythe, myself, and maybe a few others.

Dates are currently scheduled for October 13-18. It’s supposed to be gorgeous down there at that time!

It will be a teaching festival, with small class sizes, sessions, performances, and some non-music-related activities for spouses, etc.

But really, it will be all about immersion into the music!

Re: 2011 Festivals - Western USA if possible

Gah! Sebastopol is no more? That is very sad news.

As John mentioned, Fiddle Tunes is a fine way to spend a week. They attract some amazing musicians. As a whistle player, you may not be quite mainstream, but you could do a lot worse. The nightly dances are terrific, especially if you don’t need sleep.

You might also keep your eye on the Coastal Celtic Festival in Yachats (usually 2nd weekend of November). They had an impressive run of music for several years, then went dark. The festival is back and appears to be building momentum again.

The Portal week sounds intriguing, especially since Sebastopol is off the calendar.

Re: 2011 Festivals - Western USA if possible

John do you have a link for the Fiddle Tunes festival? I found what I thought was it and they didn’t list Liz Carroll or John Doyle (but John Carty WAS listed!!!) - but maybe it’s not the right festival….?

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Re: Fiddle Tunes here in Port Townsend, they haven’t yet posted the lineup on the Centrum website, but it should be up sometime this month. As John mentioned, Liz Carrol and John Doyle are slated (John Carty was here last summer). This I think will be the second or even third time we’ve had Liz in town. In addition to the performances and lessons during the day, the evenings are loaded with sessions, some lasting most of the night. Some indoors, some outdoors in the campground areas. Lots of old-timey, but also a few Irish sessions.

Re: 2011 Festivals - Western USA if possible

There will be a week of workshops and sessions in Portal, AZ, October 13-18, 2011. I’m one of the organizers and instructors (fiddle).

The web site for the Portal Irish Music Week will launch soon with more info.

Instructors are:

Brian Conway - fiddle
Paddy O’Brien - button box
Turlach Boylan - flute and whistle
Marla Fibish - mandolin
Matt Heaton - guitar
Pete Strickler - tenor banjo
Dain Forsythe - bodhran

I’ll post a link as soon as the web site launches.

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Re: 2011 Festivals - Western USA if possible

agghhh, cross posted with Reverend…. mutter, mutter. 🙂

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Re: 2011 Festivals - Western USA if possible

Check out ZoukFest at www.zoukfest.com. The coming years instructors will be posted soon.

Re: 2011 Festivals - Western USA if possible

Great stuff, as usual. Have not heard of either the Portal Irish Music Week or Fiddle Tunes. Thanks John, Reverend, and Will.

Portal looks particularly interesting…I know Marla from playing in the SF Bay Area, have met Matt Heaton at one of their house concerts, and love Brian Conway’s and Paddy O’Brien’s playing. This one is pretty much what I was looking for.

Does anyone have a direct link for Portal? I’m interested in what sort of accommodations are available, tuition cost, etc. I found only references to it from other web sites.

Michelle, I was really crushed to hear Sebastapol is defunct this year. Sorry to be the one to let you know! Will look for the Coastal Celtic Festival (where is Yachats??)

THANKS, Everyone.

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Re: 2011 Festivals - Western USA if possible

One of my favorites is Friday Harbor Irish Music Week, in the San Juan Islands of Washington state:
http://www.fridayharborirish.com/
It takes place in the second week of March, a period not over-loaded with other such happenings. About a hundred students is the norm, with emphasis on fiddle, flute, button accordion, and concertina. I like Zoukfest a lot, too - think it can’t be beat for the plucked string player.
Thanks for the heads-up on Portal, Pete and Will. It’s in a good period of the year, too.

Re: 2011 Festivals - Western USA if possible

If you’re looking for Irish music specifically, I think the Catskills Irish Arts Week is one of the best, and biggest, Irish Trad festivals in the world.

http://www.irishvillageusa.com/catskills-irish-arts-week

The festival itself is nealy ten (yes, ten) times as large as many of the other festivals mentioned, and is almost exclusively straight-up trad music, from dawn till dawn, and well past.

In my humble opinion, CIAW is the closest thing you’ll get to the Willie Clancy Summer School, outside of Willie Week itself. Between the literally dozens of brilliant world-class musicians teaching and performing there, and the nightly sessions that go well past the point any normal person would go to bed (and well past the time when most normal people go to work!)

Plus, with the location relatively convenient to the Irish-trad hubs of Boston, New York City, and Philadelphia/Baltimore/DC, the CIAW gets a considerable number of people, many of whom are excellent musicians themselves, who show up just for the craic—and they definitely find it.

The biggest difference between the CIAW and most of the other US Irish trad festivals/summer-schools is that the sessions in the evenings are largely spread out over a few miles in the various Irish pubs in the town and surrounding area. On one hand this means that the sessions are often (but not necessarily) more overtly drinky, but it also means that you have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to choosing where to go and who to play with (or listen to). Want to go hear the Kane Sisters, Mary Bergin, and Michael O’Raghallaigh? Go down the road a mile. Want to visit a quiet singing session led by Robbie O’Connell? Go down the road the other direction for a quarter-mile. Do you specifically like East Clare or East Galway tunes? Got it covered. Want to go to a packed house with great music being played by a bunch of people you’ve never heard of? Got that too. Want to play some quiet tunes with the nice folks you met last night? No problem. It’s pretty much all there, and you have the opportunity, and the motivation, to be picky and find the kind of musical experience YOU like.

Re: 2011 Festivals - Western USA if possible

Addie, Yachats is on the Oregon coast.

Re: 2011 Festivals - Western USA if possible

Yachats is just a weekend - the workshops and concerts are excellent, but there weren’t many sessions this year. Hopefully they’ll work on that for next time.

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Yachats is a great little town! I was a whale watch volunteer just south of there one gray whale migration. Lots of rain and big waves. I’d love to sit in on music in Yachats….

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Re: 2011 Festivals - Western USA if possible

Hey there, Will,
Portal’s kind of out there. What will the facilities be?

Re: 2011 Festivals - Western USA if possible

Thanks for the Friday Harbor link, will morgan . Maybe I can go in 2012. ;)

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Re: 2011 Festivals - Western USA if possible

Heya Will,

Yep, Portal is small and remote. But it’s a mecca for serious birders hoping to add South and Central American species to their life lists. So there are a number of lodges and guesthouses in the area offering lodging from rustic up to luxurious.

Also lots of fun things to do for non-musical spouses or when you’re not lashing out tunes. Very diverse ecosystem with good wildlife watching opportunities, dark-sky preserve with a couple of big telescopes for stargazing, terrific hiking, and museums, galleries, and old sites for history buffs.

We’re aiming to make the Portal event a combination of intense music immersion *and* a relaxing retreat. With top notch faculty.

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Re: 2011 Festivals - Western USA if possible

OK then, that sounds pretty good - I think I’ll try to make it, since ZoukFest isn’t in the cards this year. Let me know when the website is up.

Re: 2011 Festivals - Western USA if possible

March 11 and 12, we hold our Ceili at the Roundhouse in Evanston WY (1 hour east of Salt Lake City), this year featuring Vasen and De Dannan (the one with Alec Finn and Johnny McDonagh but sadly no Frankie Gavin), as well as many more regional groups and performers, sessions, workshops, etc.

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