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2015 Schedule
2015 past schedule 2014 past schedule 2013 past schedule 2012 past schedule
2011 past schedule 2010 past schedule 2009 past schedule 2008 past schedule  
 
SEPTEMBER 2015

  • 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.
  • An 8-week session of 15 levels of Irish step dance classes for children, teens and adults with Erika Damiani begins September 10, 11, 12 and 13.
  • A 6-week session of 6 levels of group fiddle classes with Cathy Clasper-Torch begins September 8, 9 and 10.
  • The first class in a new monthly series of roots music appreciation classes with Duke Robillard will take place September 6.

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.

TO MAKE RESERVATIONS, CALL BRT AT: 401-725-9272
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 September, $5.00 per class, $8.00 for both classes same day
5:30-6:15 PM - ZUMBA TONING CLASSES WITH APRIL HILLIKER
6:30-7:30 PM - ZUMBA CLASSES WITH APRIL HILLIKER

Sunday, September 6, 4-6 p.m., $25.00 (includes CD of music covered)
ROOTS MUSIC APPRECIATION CLASS WITH DUKE ROBILLARD

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. This roots music appreciation series will kick off with a two-part class - Sept. 6 and Oct. 4 - devoted to exploring the broad definition and far-reaching influences of what is known as the blues. When did it 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. These first two classes in this monthly 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. His next album is due to be released on September 25 and is called "The Acoustic Blues and Roots of Duke Robillard."

Tuesday, September 8th - 6-week group fiddle classes begin with Cathy Clasper-Torch
Wednesday, September 9th - 6-week group fiddle classes begin with Cathy Clasper-Torch
Thursday, September 10th - 10-week COMPLETE BEGINNER group fiddle classes begin with Cathy Clasper-Torch

Thursday, September 10th - 8-week session of Irish step dance classes begin with Erika Damiani
Friday, September 11th - 8-week session of Irish step dance classes begin with Erika Damiani
Saturday, September 12th - 8-week session of Irish step dance classes begin with Erika Damiani
Sunday, September 13th - 8-week session of Irish step dance classes begin with Erika Damiani

Saturday, September 12, 1:30-4 PM, $20.00
WORKSHOP FOR INTERMEDIATE / ADVANCED STRING PLAYERS
WITH BOHEMIAN QUARTET

The workshop is made possible thanks to the generosity of Dennis McCarten, McCarten Violins, LLC
We are looking for intermediate and advanced string players - violinists, cellists, violists and bass players - for an afternoon workshop with Bohemian Quartet. The $20 registration fee includes the tuition, a T-shirt and a snack.
TO REGISTER FOR THE WORKSHOP VISIT: http://mccartenviolins.com/bohemian-quartet-workshop/

Saturday, September 12, 8 PM, $15.00
BOHEMIAN QUARTET

Pre-Concert presentation on Romani culture/musical styles at 7:30 p.m.; doors open 7:15 p.m. tonight
Experience an amazing performance of gypsy music! The mission of keeping a rare musical flame alight is a noble and often challenging one, but the Bohemian Quartet is more than up to the task. In this case, the acclaimed Providence, Rhode Island-based ensemble featuring violin, viola, cello, and bass specializes in music of the "Romany" or "Gypsy" tradition, along with related Eastern European folk styles. The Bohemian Quartet was formed in 2005. Violinist Stan Renard, a composer and virtuoso player with an impressive list of credentials, assembled the group with the idea of preserving the tradition and indulging in the virtuosic playing of classic gypsy music. Renard recruited like-minded and ambitious friends: Christine Harrington on cello, Nancy Richardson on viola, and Dave Zinno on upright bass. Together, they've made a commitment to the genre, and aspired to performing it with both reverence and adventure. Indeed, like every good curator, the ensemble embraces tradition, and still wanders off in newer, unpredictable directions. The name "Bohemian Quartet" was borrowed from the original Bohemian Quartet (also known as the Czech Quartet after 1918), a string quartet of international repute that was founded in 1891 and disbanded in 1934. Both groups share a passion for the deep-rooted authenticity of the Romany tradition, as well as the ability to play that historic repertoire with extraordinary joie de vivre. On the aptly titled "Beyond Tradition," the quartet's 2010 recording, the group's intentions are on full display. The project was recorded live at Blackstone River Theatre and St. Paul's Church in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. Produced by Harrington and the quartet, the recording is a journey through the musical vernacular of gypsy life, with zippy tempos, virtuosic playing, and above all the flair of performance that makes this music so utterly riveting. Always an amazing evening of music!

Saturday, September 19, 8 PM, $15.00 adv / $18.00 day of show
THE FRETLESS

2014 Canadian Folk Music Awards - Ensemble of the Year!
The Fretless is a new approach to folk music that is quickly gaining high acclaim around the world. This unique Canadian band is taking string music to fascinating places as it transforms fiddle tunes and folk melodies into intricate, beautiful, high-energy arrangements. In late 2011, Karrnnel Sawitsky (fiddle), Ivonne Hernandez (fiddle), Eric Wright (cello) and Trent Freeman (fiddle) got together for the first time on Vancouver Island to start rehearsing this project. After 10 days straight of writing, arranging, practicing and an absurd amount of tea, The Fretless emerged as a band. With the release of their debut album "Waterbound" in early 2012, the quartet grabbed the attention of critics and fans across many genres. The year was capped with 3 awards, bringing the album, and the band further into the public eye; Instrumental Album of the Year at the Western Canadian Music Awards, and at the Canadian Folk Music Awards, the Fretless walked away with both Ensemble of the Year, and Instrumental Group of the Year. 2014 saw them again win a Canadian Folk Music Award as Ensemble of the Year. Musically, the goals of the group are to expand the rhythmic, harmonic and structured arrangement style of the many folk genres they play using only string instruments. There are countless fiddle styles across Canada and around the globe that have been stagnating over time, and The Fretless is working to incorporate a new approach and a new audience. As a band, all four members have come from very different traditional and contemporary backgrounds, and are influenced by a vast array of art. However they are unified in their goal to continually develop their sound in order to push traditional music as far as possible.The group harbors all the energy of fiddle tunes, while shattering all expectations in writing, creativity and performance. Don't miss their Rhode Island debut!

Saturday, September 26, 8 PM, $15.00
SPUYTEN DUYVIL
Seeing a Spuyten Duyvil (pronounced SPITE-en DIE+vul) show for the first time is like "throwing a cherry bomb into a lake." It wakes you up. Their brand of original and traditional American Roots music blends Old Time, Blues, Bluegrass, and Folk Rock with a pinch of punk energy to create a uniquely modern mix. Led by songwriting couple Mark Miller and Beth Kaufman, this six-piece powerhouse brings barn-burning energy to venues throughout the Northeast and Midwest. It's an exciting time for the Hudson Valley-based band. They have just released their 3rd CD, "The Social Music Hour Vol 1." A love letter to the Anthology of American Folk Music, the project features lyrically relevant, known but not worn out, open for suggestion songs that thrives with re-interpretation. Familiar, forgotten words find new meaning in this historically informed but thoroughly contemporary treatment. Old wood, plaster, real spaces, vintage guitars and hot tubes are captured in warm, analog tones by studio designer and engineer Jim Keller (Willie Nelson, Nellie McKay). 2014 saw the band tour the Northeast, Midwest and Northern California with featured shows at Citi Field (Formerly Shea Stadium), Winter's Eve at Lincoln Center, and The Philadelphia Folk Festival's main stage. The group features Beth Jamie Kaufman on vocals, Jim Meigs on harmonica, Lou Geser/Jagoda on drums, John Neidhart on bass, Rik Mercaldi on guitar, and Mark Miller on tenor guitar and vocals. Don't miss their BRT debut!



OCTOBER 2015

  • 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
  • An 8-week session of 15 levels of Irish step dance classes for children, teens and adults with Erika Damiani continues in October on Thursday, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
  • A 6-week session of 6 levels of group fiddle classes with Cathy Clasper-Torch continues in October on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
  • The 2nd class in a new monthly series of roots music appreciation classes with Duke Robillard will take place October 4.
  • A two-day class in Celtic stone carving in limestone for beginners with Laura Travis takes place Oct. 3-4.

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.

TO MAKE RESERVATIONS, CALL BRT AT: 401-725-9272
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 October, $5.00 per class, $8.00 for both classes same day
5:30-6:15 PM - ZUMBA TONING CLASSES WITH APRIL HILLIKER
6:30-7:30 PM - ZUMBA CLASSES WITH APRIL HILLIKER

CELTIC STONE CARVING IN LIMESTONE FOR BEGINNERS
A two-day class - October 3 and October 4
Blackstone River Theatre will offer a two-day class in Celtic Relief Stone carving in Limestone for beginners with instructor Laura Travis, outside, behind the Blackstone River Theatre. The class will be held on Saturday, October 3 AND Sunday, October 4, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day (with a half-hour lunch break.) Teenagers (age 16 and up), college students and adults are all welcome and no experience is required. (Note: Laura WILL also be able to accommodate students who have taken this class in the past and want to build on their skills!) A minimum of six is needed to run the class. The course fee is $125 plus a separate $12 materials fee which is payable directly to instructor Laura Travis (includes several pieces of stone, sandpapers, and access to finishing tools.) Prepayment is necessary. IF you want to purchase your own chisel so you can keep carving at home, we will need to know to pre-order them by September 15. The additional cost would be $18 so let us know and add that to the $12 materials fee already being paid. For more information, visit the instructor's site, campus.digication.com/lauratravis. Relief carving is a satisfying and useful skill which has numerous applications for gardens, landscaping, and creative expression. The saga of The Celt and The Stone is as old as time. If you have seen a photo of the High Crosses in Ireland and Scotland, or British well-shrine covers, you've seen Celtic relief carving in stone. In this 12-hour introductory-level course, students will use manageable scraps of limestone and carve them with an initial, a knot, or an animal motif - bring your own idea or utilize teacher references - and in the process learn something of one of the signature arts of the Celts. Included will be plenty of stone lore, tips for scrounging up materials and tools for practically nothing, and information about techniques including polishing and finishing. Laura Travis has been carving for 23 years, bringing her knowledge and love of Irish and Celtic traditions firmly into her work in stone. As an artist, Laura walks between the worlds of fine and folk art, utilizing traditional iconography in some very contemporary contexts. Travis has shown her work in Providence, Maryland, Toronto, Worcester and New Bedford. She holds an MFA in sculpture from the Maryland Institute College of Art, and maintains her studio just a stone's throw from the ocean in Rhode Island. She's also known for originating and hosting the Irish traditional music radio program, In The Celtic Realm, for the past 32 years on WRIU-FM.

Saturday, October 3, 8 PM, $15.00
NORTH SEA GAS - Music from Scotland
North Sea Gas is a folk band from Scotland who have been performing their blend of poignant and rousing songs and high-energy instrumentals for three decades. With a combination of fiddle, guitar, mandolin, bodhran and bouzouki, complementing strong three-part vocal harmonies and a keen sense of humor, an entertaining evening is always guaranteed! North Sea Gas has now recorded 17 albums and played to audiences all over Great Britain, Europe, Scandinavia, the U.S. and Canada. This marks their 11th appearance at BRT as they tour behind their newest CD, "Fire in the Glen." Their previous project "The Fire And The Passion Of Scotland" won the 2013 Album of the Year award from Celtic Radio in the U.S. as well as first place in the "Jigs and Reels" category for a set of tunes on the album. The band is led by founder Dave Gilfillan on lead vocals, guitar and banjo, well-known for his tongue-in-cheek humor. Ronnie MacDonald on lead and harmony vocals, guitar and bouzouki is joined by Grant Simpson on high-energy fiddle and vocals. The band received a Gold Disc award from the Scottish Music Industry for their album "Caledonian Connection," which American author, Diana Gabaldon, writer of Scottish historical novels, referenced as one of her sources when researching Scottish speech patterns for her books. Additionally, Silver Disc awards have been received for "Keltic Heritage," "Live from Edinburgh," "Scottish Destiny," "Spirit of Scotland" and "Dark Island." Always a great show!

Sunday, October 4, 4-6 p.m., $25.00 (includes CD of music covered)
ROOTS MUSIC APPRECIATION CLASS WITH DUKE ROBILLARD

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. This roots music appreciation series will kick off with a two-part class - Sept. 6 and Oct. 4 - devoted to exploring the broad definition and far-reaching influences of what is known as the blues. When did it 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. These first two classes in this monthly 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. His next album is due to be released on September 25 and is called "The Acoustic Blues and Roots of Duke Robillard."

Saturday, October 10, 8 PM, $15.00
DAVID FRANCEY
David Francey is a Scottish-born Canadian carpenter-turned-songwriter, who has become known as "one of Canada's most revered folk poets and singers" (Toronto Star). Born in Ayrshire, Scotland to parents who were factory workers, he moved to Canada when he was twelve. For decades, he worked across Canada in rail yards, construction sites, and in the Yukon bush, all the while writing poetry, setting it to melodies in his head and singing it to himself as he worked. A truly authentic folk singer, Francey is a documentarian of the working person who never imagined earning a living from his music. But when he was in his forties, his wife, artist Beth Girdler, encouraged him to share his songs and sing in public. The reaction was instant. His first album "Torn Screen Door" came out in 1999 and was a hit in Canada. Since then, he has released 10 albums, won three Juno Awards and has had his songs covered by such artists as The Del McCoury Band, The Rankin Family, James Keelaghan and Tracy Grammer. Francey also had the honour of receiving the prestigious SOCAN Folk Music Award as well as taking home the Grand Prize in both the International Acoustic Music Award and in the Folk category for the John Lennon Songwriting Award. In concert David is a singer and a storyteller. His wry humor and astute observations combined with his openhearted singing style have earned him a loyal following. His newest album, "So Say We All" reflects his own journey through a period of struggle. "The lesson learned," he says, "was to celebrate every day spent on this side of the soil and to keep marching no matter what comes our way." Don't miss this show if you appreciate excellent songwriting!

Saturday, October 17, 8 PM, $15.00
PATRICK BALL - Harp and Story
Patrick Ball is one of the premier Celtic harp players in the world and also a captivating spoken word artist. In playing the ancient, legendary brass-strung harp of Ireland with its crystalline, bell-like voice, and in performing marvelous tales of wit and enchantment, he not only brings new life to two cherished traditions, but blends them to create a richly theatrical and hauntingly beautiful performance. He has recorded nine instrumental and three spoken word albums which have sold well over one-half million copies internationally and won national awards in both the music and spoken word categories. Whether in the stronghold of a Galway chieftain in the years before history began or yesterday in the snug corner of a pub in Dublin, the Irish have always delighted in storytelling. Their passion for eloquence and wordplay, their deep devotion to their mythical past, their ability to find joy and humor in a dark world, and their belief that the supernatural world could appear between one breath and the next made their stories and the telling of them unrivaled in the world of the oral tradition. And always, amidst the storytelling, there was music. Jigs, reels and haunting airs graced the spaces between the tales. And first among Irish instruments, and the most honored, was the legendary Celtic harp. With its bell-like voice and lavish resonance, it would soothe its listeners and lead them deeper into the realms of the imagination. In "Celtic Harp and Story" Patrick Ball rekindles the fire and wonder of an evening of Irish music and storytelling... not to be missed!

Saturday, October 24, 8 PM, $15.00
SUGAR RAY AND THE BLUETONES
We are thrilled to bring back the dynamic Sugar Ray and the Bluetones who have received 7 Blues Music Award nominations this year! Ray Norcia's career kicked into high gear in 1979 when he formed the original Sugar Ray and the Bluetones line-up with guitar giant Ronnie Earl, and it's stayed there ever since. The elegant singer has appeared on more than 50 albums including discs with the Bluetones, Ronnie Earl, Roomful of Blues, Otis Grand, Michelle Willson, J. Giels, Duke Robillard, Pinetop Perkins, and his 1999 "Best Traditional Blues" Grammy-nominated collaboration with fellow harmonica virtuosos James Cotton, Charlie Musselwhite and Billy Branch called Superharps. In the '90s Norcia spent seven high-profile years with the legendary Roomful of Blues cutting five albums with the group including 1996's Turn It On, Turn It Up, which also received a "Best Traditional Blues" Grammy nod. Now, Sugar Ray has led the Bluetones - guitarist "Monster" Mike Welch, drummer Neil Gouvin, bassist Michael "Mudcat" Ward and pianist Anthony Geraci - back into the studio to cut their newest CD, "Living Tear to Tear" which debuted at #1 on the Living Blues Radio Chart in late 2014. A great evening of Chicago blues!

Saturday, October 31, 2 PM, $10.00 advance / $12.00 day of show
THE DIXIE DIEHARDS JAZZ BAND
Join the Dixie Diehards Jazz Band for a raucus, Mardi Gras-style show as they dish out a thick gumbo of traditional New Orleans Jazz! The Dixie Diehards share a passion for the "hot jazz" and blues of the early 20th century. The era, typified by such greats as Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller and Jelly Roll Morton, firmly established jazz as "America's music" and set the direction for much of subsequent pop culture. The term "Dixieland" refers to a form of small group jazz which typically includes a trumpet, a clarinet and a trombone and often a tuba combined with a rhythm section that may include a banjo, percussion or bass player as well as a piano. In most arrangements, the trumpet plays the melody while other elements freely improvise around it or paraphrase the melody in creative solos. The Dixie Diehards have won an enthusiastic reception across southern New England for bringing an irrepressible sense of fun and frolic to their shows. That attitude almost always includes audience sing-alongs, spontaneous dance outbursts (remember the Charleston?) and a spirit of "wonderful nonsense." The lineup includes: Paul Peterson on tenor sax, Bill Dube on reeds, Lorri Inglis on drums, Paul Peterson on reeds, Steve Shaw on tuba, Ron L'Herault on trombone, Chris Wadsworth on banjo, Bill Klesewetter on bass, and band leader Alan Shapiro on trumpet. Don't miss a rare BRT matinee show sure to be fun for all ages!



NOVEMBER 2015

Sunday, November 1, 4-6 p.m., $25.00 (includes CD of music covered)
ROOTS MUSIC APPRECIATION CLASS WITH DUKE ROBILLARD

Saturday, November 7, 8 PM, $15.00
RHYTHM FUTURE QUARTET

Saturday, November 14, 8 PM, $15.00 adv / $18.00 day of show
AN EVENING OF MUSIC OF THE SEA & SHORE FEATURING
THE JOHNSON GIRLS, ROBBIE O'CONNELL AND DAN MILNER

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.


Saturday, November 21, 8 PM, $15.00
MARY ANN ROSSONI & FRIENDS

Saturday, November 28, 7:30 PM, $20.00
BRT HOMECOMING CONCERT & SILENT AUCTION FUNDRAISER



DECEMBER 2015

Saturday, December 5, 9 AM to 3 PM, Free admission!
8th annual BRT HOLIDAY CRAFT FAIR AND FESTIVAL

Sunday, December 6, 2 PM and 5 PM, $12.00 advance / $15.00 day of show
4th annual IRISH DANCE CHRISTMAS SPECTACULAR featuring TIR NA NOG IRISH DANCE
Both performances are fundraisers for the 2016 BRT Summer Solstice Festival

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

AND
Sunday, December 13, 7 PM, $20.00 advance / $24.00 day of show
BLACKSTONE RIVER THEATRE CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION