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2015 Schedule
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  • We will continue our popular Monday Zumba Toning classes at 5:30 p.m. and Zumba classes at 6:30 p.m. with April Hilliker
  • A 4-week session of 15 levels of Irish step dance classes for children, teens and adults with Erika Damiani continues in November on Thursday, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
  • A 6-week session of 6 levels of group fiddle classes with Cathy Clasper-Torch continues in November on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
  • The 2nd class in a new monthly series of roots music appreciation classes with Duke Robillard will take place November 1.

NOTE: If a show at BRT has an advance price & a day-of-show price it means: If you pre-pay OR call in your reservation any time before the show date, you get the advance price. If you show up at the door with no reservations OR call in your reservations on the day of the show, you will pay the day of show price.

Leave your name, number of tickets desired, for which show, your phone number and please let us know if you would like a confirmation phone call.

Mondays in November, $5.00 per class, $8.00 for both classes same day

Sunday, November 1, 4-6 p.m., $25.00 (includes CD of music covered)

PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED! For all music lovers, not specifically geared toward guitarists.
Every Duke Robillard roots music appreciation class will feature listening, discussion, and Q&A on a wide variety of musical styles and rare recordings. A CD of the material covered will be included in the class fee as Robillard touches upon all types and aspects of the Blues and all of its styles and influence on other music forms. Classes will investigate folk and country music and explore the earliest recorded examples and development of each genre and style from within each form. Upcoming classes will study early dance bands, society orchestras and the origin of jazz and big bands from the mid-'30s through the '40s and much more. While Robillard is world-renowned as a blues and jazz guitarist, he emphasizes that these classes are not solely for guitarists but aimed at anyone who loves music and wants to learn its history, connections and influences. When did the blues start? Why are there tunes from the early 1900s with blues in the title that are closer to popular tunes of the day or that utilize a ragtime-type structure? Is blues Southern black music derived exclusively from the field hollers of slaves to relieve the stress of intensely hard, long hours in the Southern heat? Or, is it a form of early jazz founded by New Orleans black and creole musicians that created a new music based on improvisation on simple melodies and strains of sounds the musicians picked up on the street? Blues is truly a part of all these things and certainly in the last century, the blues has shown up as acoustic music played by a lone guitarist or piano player or group of players. It is found in the sound of many a jazz player who picks up a horn of any type. It's heard in the dance band music of the '20s, '30s and '40s and is a factor in the development of Bop, Rock and Roll, Country music, R&B, Soul music and more. Indeed, the far-reaching influence of the blues is heard just about everywhere whether you immediately recognize it or not. This ongoing series will be spent listening to and talking about obvious and also obscure examples of blues-infused music. The Blues Foundation has named Duke Robillard "Best Blues Guitarist" no less than four times and B.B. King said "Duke's one of the great players." Leading up to his induction into the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame in 2014, Robillard has not only maintained his status as one of the world's finest blues guitarists, he has become known worldwide as one of our greatest jazz players as well.

Saturday, November 7, 8 PM, $15.00
When four young jazz virtuosos decided to join forces, The Rhythm Future Quartet was born. Named after a Django Reinhardt tune, the Rhythm Future Quartet performs dynamic and fiery arrangements of Gypsy jazz standards and original compositions that draw from rhythms heard around the world. Jason Anick and Olli Soikkeli, the front-men and lead soloists of the group, have been receiving critical acclaim this past year and are considered 'rising stars' in the world of Jazz and Gypsy Jazz. Soikkeli, who recently made the move from his home country of Finland to New York City, is rapidly becoming a top call guitarist in the bustling Brooklyn jazz scene and has been aptly coined "the Finnish boy wonder." Anick, who is also an award-winning composer, is one of the youngest professors at the esteemed Berklee College of Music in Boston. Over the years they have individually been performing alongside notable musicians like John Jorgenson, Frank Vignola, Tommy Emmanuel, Bucky Pizzarelli, and Howard Alden and have now joined forces to form this special group along with Max O'Rourke on guitar and Greg Loughman on bass. For their debut self-titled album, the Rhythm Future Quartet decided to re-visit and record classic jazz and Gypsy jazz favorites. Through their intricate and creative arrangements, they have brought new life to songs like "Night and Day" and "Summertime." Coupled with musical sensitivity and virtuosity, the Rhythm Future Quartet's debut album acts as an enticing example of the future of Gypsy jazz music. Don't miss their Rhode Island debut!

Friday, November 13, 7-9 PM, $20.00 or two for $35.00
For tickets, call Joe at 658-1766. Winetasting event includes raffles and cheeses and light appetizers. The Cumberland Land Trust is a private, non-profit, charitable conservation organization run by a dedicated group of volunteers. Their mission is to preserve the natural resources of Cumberland for present and future generations by preserving land for open space. Since incorporation in 1989, CLT has protected 354 acres of land acquired through purchase, donation and conservation easements. The Land Trust applies for grants from private foundations and organizations and from government sources to help acquire select properties including streams, ponds, wetlands, open space, working farms, scenic and natural sites and historically significant properties. For more information visit

Saturday, November 14, 8 PM, $15.00 adv / $18.00 day of show

Funding provided in part by a grant from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts,
through an appropriation by the Rhode Island General Assembly,
a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and private funders.
This very special concert brings together The Johnson Girls, Robbie O'Connell and Dan Milner who will explore U.S. and other world traditions dealing with the specific focus of songs of the sea and shore. The sea shanties especially - a cappella songs done while working aboard ships - are an unusual example to most audiences of how music was used in everyday life. Sea music may well have been the first "world music." Ships were often melting pots, with crew-members from many countries who were heavily influenced by the music they heard while traveling around the world and from other crew members. These sailors incorporated into their work songs and other shipboard music the different rhythms and styles from their own diverse cultures as well as those they encountered during their voyages.

The Johnson Girls have been a force on the folk and maritime music scene for almost two decades as the leading all-woman, a cappella maritime group in the world. Having burst through the barrier of this previously male dominated genre, Joy Bennett, Alison Kelley, Bonnie Milner and Dierdre Murtha each bring a special influence to the group. Whether performing at packed international folk festivals, intimate venues, or presenting school and library programs, The Johnson Girls remain true to their mission of keeping chantey singing alive, bringing women's voices to the fore, and encouraging everyone to join in the revelry. The Johnson Girls have performed at major festivals, clubs, coffeehouses, schools, and more across the United States, in Canada, England, Wales, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, and France. Widely acclaimed for their powerhouse performances of rousing work songs, sensitive renderings of haunting ballads and laments, and hair-raising harmonies, The Johnson Girls sweep their audiences along in a tidal fervor.

Joining together to perform the first half of this split concert will be Robbie O'Connell and Dan Milner. Singer-songwriter Robbie O'Connell grew up in Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary. In 1977, he joined the legendary Clancy Brothers with whom he recorded 3 albums. With the 1982 release of his first solo album Robbie emerged as an artist of major stature. The Boston Globe describes Robbie as "a writer of timeless sounding, emotionally powerful and often hilarious songs" and places him "among the most respected guitarists and songwriters in Celtic music." Dan Milner has been involved in traditional song all his life as a singer, author, collector and organizer. He teaches "Storytelling in Song: The Ballad Tradition" at New York University and is on the staff of The Journal of New York Folklore. Dan has made six recordings; his 2009 CD, "Irish Pirate Ballads," received Indie Awards nominations for Best Album and Best Song - World Traditional.

Saturday, November 21, 8 PM, $15.00
Providence performing songwriter Mary Ann Rossoni has a slightly smokey voice that conveys incredible depth and meaning without trying to impress you. She uses it gently, but always with character and attention to the words she is singing. A graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, she has been a freelance illustrator and graphic designer most of her adult life. Right alongside that, she has written songs and has toured the country both as a solo vocalist/ acoustic guitarist and with her full band. Rossoni turns her affinity for ordinary people into beautiful portraits of people in moments of meaning and discovery. After 30 years of touring nationally and seven recordings, Mary Ann is now back to her roots with the recent release of her newest album and her first acoustic recording, "Edentown." Mary Ann is a two-time chair and founding member of the Rhode Island Songwriters Association, now in its 20th year, and is also on the board of directors of the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame. Born and raised in Johnston, RI, and after years of touring in Fuzek Rossoni, with Rossoni, and also with the Rossonians, Mary Ann is now back to her roots. She says, "It's all about the song," and she remains very active in the songwriting process. To this day, Mary Ann does not record a song without first running the tune by her RISA critique pals. Tonight, Mary Ann will perform solo and also in a band setting featuring Mederick Bellaire on guitars, mandolin and vocals, Fred Wilkes on bass, Paul Dube on harp and accordion, Matt Dube on percussion, and Betsy Ritz on violin. In addition to her cross-generational, original Americana music on BRT's stage, Mary Ann will have her paintings and illustrations exhibited in BRT's Art Gallery. Join us for her opening art reception at 6:00 p.m. followed by her concert at 8:00 p.m!

Saturday, November 28, 7:30 PM, $20.00
featuring Eastern Medicine Singers, John Fuzek, Robbie O'Connell, Pendragon, Grant Maloy Smith, Ed Sweeney, and The Vox Hunters!
With family and friends in town for Thanksgiving, BRT's 16th annual fundraiser features some of the best of Rhode Island's homegrown talent as well as others who now live in the Ocean State. Starting at 6:30 p.m. and during intermission, Blackstone River Theatre will also hold a silent auction featuring CDs, jewelry, original artwork, Christmas items and gift certificates. 100% of the proceeds from both the concert and the silent auction will go to support Blackstone River Theatre's programming and operating expenses. Says BRT executive director Russell Gusetti, "this is not only BRT's one big fundraiser for the year but it also serves as an excellent sampler as audiences get to see seven different acts in one evening, all who will be performing full concerts in the coming months." Pendragon will act as hosts this evening and will perform a set of their Celtic-inspired music joined by Irish step dancer Erika Damiani. Other featured performers, who are all donating their time, include the BRT debut of Americana musician Grant Maloy Smith, Irish songs and tunes with The Vox Hunters (Armand Aromin and Benedict Gagliardi), celebrated Irish singer-songwriter Robbie O'Connell and the Eastern Medicine Singers who will present Algonquin and Native American song, drumming and dance. Rounding out the lineup is Providence singer-songwriter John Fuzek and celebrated guitarist and 5-string banjo player Ed Sweeney.


NOTE: If a show at BRT has an advance price & a day-of-show price it means: If you pre-pay OR call in your reservation any time before the show date, you get the advance price. If you show up at the door with no reservations OR call in your reservations on the day of the show, you will pay the day of show price.

Leave your name, number of tickets desired, for which show, your phone number and please let us know if you would like a confirmation phone call.

  • Zumba on Mondays continues in December.
  • Blackstone River Theatre will shut down for the holiday season starting December 15 and will reopen again on January 9. We wish everyone a very happy and safe holiday season with best wishes for a peaceful new year!
  • Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to BRT before the year ends!
  • Blackstone River Theatre gift certificates make a great gift for friends and family!

Saturday, December 5, 9 AM to 3 PM, FREE admission!
Blackstone River Theatre invites the community to our 8th annual Holiday Craft Fair and Festival fundraiser! Please come out and support BRT programming as well as area craft vendors and home-based businesses while you do your holiday shopping locally! We will have 27 vendors on site and the event will also feature continuous live music by members of Pendragon, The Broad Street Fiddlers, and The Swamp Meadow Victorian Carolers plus raffle prizes, a bake sale table, refreshments and more. Door prizes will be raffled off from each vendor with the raffle proceeds to benefit BRT's programming. Think out of the box (store!)

Vendors will include: The Opulent Squid ("posh and peculiar handmade jewelry"), Scentsy (warmers, armomatic wax and personal care items), Ann Lilley Designs (bags & totes made from recycled materials/seasonal decor), Thirty-One Gifts (organizational items for home and accessories for on the go), Starlite Jewlry Designs, Laura Travis Carving (Celtic stone carving, rubbings, and Brigid Crosses), Sandra-Lynn Custom Jewelry Designs, BoydHolms (whimsical handmade birdhouses and sculptures), Ducharme Creations in Wood (handmade wooden ornaments and more), SilverLeaf Studios (handcrafted jewelry in Sterling silver and copper and repurposed vintage items), Judy Carroll Stained Glass, Tree's Creations (cancer awareness earrings and bracelets), Starlite Jewelry Designs, Bright Edge Candles, Uncle J's Monsters (prints of "monsters who don't know they are monsters"), LnKDesigns (hand-carved wooden LED Star Lights, crystal jewelry, novelty soaps), Bells on My Toes (decorative Christmas stockings), Bead Dazzled, mpic designs, Li'l Smunchie Dolls (handmade sock baby dolls), Charles & B Boutique (custom antique window panes/rustic home decor), The Merry Blacksmith Press (artwork, prints, limited edition books), Jewels by Crissy B, The Drum & Whistle, and more!

NOTE: These shows will take place at ALDRICH JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL in Warwick, R.I.
Sunday, December 6, 1:30 PM and 5 PM performances, $14.00
We hope you'll join Tir Na Nog Irish Dance for a fun afternoon and evening of Irish dance, and live Celtic and Christmas music. All dances have been choreographed and taught by instructor Erika Damiani and will be performed by dancers from Tir Na Nog Irish Dance, based out of Blackstone River Theatre. In the past year, Tir Na Nog has grown so much that Erika decided she would need a bigger stage to accommodate so many dancers and also a bigger auditorium so all family members could attend the shows. Part of today's proceeds will go towards sponsorship of the dance stage at the 2016 Blackstone River Theatre Summer Solstice Festival where Tir Na Nog Irish Dance will perform. The shows will be filled with Christmas cheer, beautiful traditional and modern Irish dancing, live Celtic music, and will conclude with a visit from our friend from the North Pole! Performances will be sprinkled with the magic of Christmas and the love of Irish dance demonstrated by all of the dedicated dancers and their parents. Tir Na Nog Irish dancers are very dedicated to learning Irish dance traditions and have a great deal of fun while doing it. Erika wants Tir Na Nog to grow so she can continue to spread her love of Irish dance to many students for years to come! If you are interested in Irish Dance classes at Blackstone River Theatre, call 401-725-9272 or visit

Two Holiday performances!
Saturday, December 12, 8 PM, $20.00 advance / $24.00 day of show

Sunday, December 13, 7 PM, $20.00 advance / $24.00 day of show
featuring Cathy Clasper-Torch, Robbie O'Connell & Rose Clancy, Erika Damiani and members of Tir Na Nog Irish Dance, Kevin Doyle, Bob Drouin, Josh Kane, Russell Gusetti, Ed Sweeney, and the Swamp Meadow Victorian Carolers

Sponsored by Navigant Credit Union
Blackstone River Theatre will present our 8th annual Christmas Celebration featuring Cathy Clasper-Torch, Robbie O'Connell & Rose Clancy, Erika Damiani and members of Tir Na Nog Irish Dance, Kevin Doyle, Bob Drouin, Josh Kane, Russell Gusetti, Ed Sweeney, and the Swamp Meadow Victorian Carolers Audiences can expect the unexpected - familiar and unfamiliar songs, high energy step dancing, ancient carols, spoken word, jokes and more - as musicians and dancers perform in varied combinations or join together on beautiful Christmas and winter-themed pieces. "That's one of the nicest thing about this show," explains Russell Gusetti, BRT executive director. "We all get a chance to perform with each other in several different configurations, something audiences simply do not get to see at any other point in the year."

UPCOMING SHOWS IN 2016 (more to be announced!)

February 20

February 27

March 4

March 5

March 12

March 13

March 19, 8 PM

March 19, 2 PM MATINEE

March 26

April 3

April 16

April 23