The Minstrel Acoustic Concert Series ™

Location: Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, 21 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown, NJ, a smoke & alcohol free environment

Time: 7:30 PM unless otherwise noted. 2nd Friday usually Open Stage/audition night

Admission: $10 on your way in plus the balance of what you think the show was really worth on your way out. Children 12 and under free.

For More Information: Email email icon or call 973-335-9489.

Hotel Discount: Red Roof Inn in Parsippany is offering a discount to Minstrel performers and audience members.

Watch Minstrel concerts on the Web: Most concerts at the Minstrel are webcast live on Concert Window. Click on the CW logo at right to sign in. Check out our Instruction Page if you have not yet signed up for this service.

NEW - Buy Minstrel tickets online: You may now purchase tickets in advance for some Minstrel Acoustic Concert Series shows by clicking on the Buy Tickets icon at right. Note that some events will still accept admissions payment only at the door, with no advance sales.

Beppe Gambetta
Jun 1, 2012

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Friday, November 22: Best of the OpenStage

Best of the OpenStage

The Folk Project's monthly OpenStage has been generating a lot of buzz, and drawing some pretty high-powered local talent. So we’ve invited four acts of distinction to perform in our first-ever Best Of The OpenStage.

The Inspire Project is the collaboration of three powerhouse singer/songwriters have joined forces to entertain, uplift, motivate, and come together in harmony. Tanya Leah, Ilene Angel, and Lorraine Ferro, comprise the group. Is each is a #1 hit songwriter and powerful vocalist in her own right. And together they engage the listener, leaving him uplifted from the experience.

Sol HᴧVN is the dual force of Jersey singer songwriters Sal Roberts on guitar and Hayden Greyson on piano, who sang their anthemic "Psalm for America" at the April open stage. Joined by bassist Dave Mulewski, Sol HΛVN will be performing their East meets West Coast modern folk rock poetry.

The Green Planet Band is a family band comprised of siblings Kylee (14), Tyler (11), and Anna (11), along with Mama Lisa. It started with an elementary school talent show, and has grown to be a credible semi-professional folk-rock act with strong vocals by the kids and lead guitar work from Mama.

Full Circle is a family band comprised of J.O. Smith and his son Matthew. They, along with Matt’s brother Evan started out playing covers in cafes in 2007. After splitting up to work on their individual careers, Matthew and J.O. have now revived the family band, intertwining those old folk covers and supporting each other's original songs.

Friday, November 29: A Folk Project Special Concert at the Troubadour
Livingston Taylor with Juliana Parker Edelston   Tickets $35.00. Troubadour passes and volunteer ticks not valid for this show.

Livingston Taylor

Life is GoodLivingston Taylor could be described as "equal parts Mark Twain, college professor, and musical icon". He has written top-40 hits recorded by his brother James Taylor and has appeared with Joni Mitchell, Linda Ronstadt, Fleetwood Mac, and Jimmy Buffet. He is equally at home with a range of musical genres - folk, pop, gospel, jazz - and from upbeat storytelling and touching ballads to full orchestra performances.

For further information and tickets, click here.

Juliana Parker Edelston

Rhode Island RhodesJuliana Parker Edelston is an up and coming performer, Folk Project family favorite, and friend and student of Livingston Taylor. On the piano she combines the sounds of pop and rock to connect with strangers and makes hearts move. Her major influences are Sara Bareilles, Billy Joel, Queen, and Taylor Swift. She was drawn to their emphasis on lyrics, emotion, and orchestration.

Friday, December 6: Chorus Song Night

Chorus Song Night

An evening of communal singing. The once common, but now rare experience of singing together with others is kept alive in this annual event at the Troubadour. Songs with choruses. Familiar songs. Songs whose structure telegraphs or implies the lyrics. If you like to sing with the radio, it's even more fun when you sing with a real person in a room full of others who like to sing. Songs will be led by:
Bob Dupre: Wonderful acapella singer of sea songs, pub songs, etc.
Olga (Olguita) Alvarez: A respected professional vocalist in Puerto Rico where she grew up, Olga has become a fixture in the Folk Project community, and sings in Spanish as well as English.
Ken & Pat Rolston: Well known for their harmonies, the Rolstons' repertoire runs the gamut from traditional ballads to doo-wop.
Mike Agranoff: Program Chairman of the Troubadour, Mike is a well known songleader at festivals and song circles around the country.

Friday, December 13: OpenStage   Admission: $10 general. $5 age 21 and under, OpenStage only.

OpenStage

The Folk Project Open Stage is the place where a diverse collection of acoustic musicians perform for a welcoming, supportive, and attentive audience. We’re a listening room, not a noisy bar. We've often seen previews of our regularly scheduled opening acts for the first time at our Open Stage. For information on how to sign up to perform at our next Open Stage, visit www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, December 20: Special benefit event - suggested donation $15
Folk Project Holiday Benefit Concert   Special benefit event - suggested donation $15

Folk Project Holiday Benefit Concert

Join The Folk Project in celebrating the Seasonal Holidays. Come on by around 7:00PM to a sing some favorite holiday carols with Andrew Dunn. The concert starts at 7:30PM featuring, The Kitchen Girls (Rachel Streich, Katie Weiss, Jill Lagerstrom), Martin Swinger, The Mother Pluckers (Beth Bachmann, Tracy Roskam, Jennifer Bross) & The One Uke Wonders (Beth Bachmann, Kevin Coughlin, Danny Vento, Mike Sagurton and Bob Kammer), Dennis Mc DoNoUgh!, The Poorhouse Pickers (Bob Cole, Marvin Perkins, FiL Wisneski), and Chrissy Roberts. With our favorite Holiday elf emceeing, Bob McNally.

Friday, December 27: Gathering Time with Terry Kitchen & Mara Levine

Gathering Time

If I Had My WayIt's 4-1/2 years since Gathering Time last graced our stage. This vocal harmony-based trio from Long Island, NY has become a local favorite here in the Northeast. They put together an exciting program of songs from their own pens, those of their contemporaries in the acoustic singer-songwriter genre, and some classics from the 60's. Stuart Markus, Hillary Foxsong, and Gerry McKeveny have voices that blend exquisitely.

Terry Kitchen & Mara Levine

One By OneBoston-based but New Jersey-born, Terry Kitchen has been performing on the folk scene for the past decade,. He was called "one of New England's finest songwriters" by Dirty Linen magazine, Terry's songs are portraits of ordinary people, captured with compassion, honesty and humor. Terry has joined up with the Folk Project's own Mara Levine, whose vocal harmonies (and sometimes leads) add a whole new level of enjoyment to his songs.

Friday, January 3: Toby Walker with Matt Arons

Toby Walker

I Know You RiderThe Blues Revue summed it up neatly. Toby Walker is "...a brilliant remarkable guitarist. A pinch of Piedmont, a dash of Delta, a solid Chicago undercurrent minus the amplification, but not the electricity." At home with both wooden and steel guitars, Toby plays the classics as well as his own songs with an open style and a dash of humor. And as an extra point of pride for us, this internationally celebrated master of the acoustic guitar is a Morris county resident and a Folk Project member.

It's been 4 years since 17 year old Matt Arons appeared on our stage. Now at university in California, he's back for the holidays, and the perfect man to open for Toby Walker. He has studied guitar with the likes of David Bromberg, Woody Mann, and Roy Book Binder. And has learned his lessons very well. He plays and sings with a skill, subtlety, and sensitivity rare in a seasoned adult performer, let alone someone of his years. This kid will go far.

Friday, January 10: OpenStage   Admission: $10 general. $5 age 21 and under, OpenStage only.

The Folk Project Open Stage is the place where a diverse collection of acoustic musicians perform for a welcoming, supportive, and attentive audience. We’re a listening room, not a noisy bar. We've often seen previews of our regularly scheduled opening acts for the first time at our Open Stage. For information on how to sign up to perform at our next Open Stage, visit www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, January 17: Adam Agee & Jon Sousa with Opening act T.B.D.

Adam Agee & Jon Sousa

G-Minor SetAdam Agee & Jon Sousa are a pair of young Celtic musicians from Colorado that have been tearing up the Western states with exciting performances on fiddle and guitar. Obviously taking cues from veterans Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill, they tend to start out slow and dreamy, and build gradually and inexorably to a crescendo of flying fingers and explosive virtuosity that leaves the listener breathless. We are fortunate to have snagged them in the East where they're less well known before they command the big ticket prices here that they so richly deserve.

Friday, January 24: The Loose Canons with Jesse Ruben

The Loose Canons

Perhaps the very name of The Loose Canons will give you some insight to their approach to music. This 11-member choral group sings intricate vocal arrangements of folk songs, do wop, classical favorites as well as audience participatory pieces. But they specialize in parodies, satire, novelty songs, and other bits of musical humor.

Jesse Ruben

This is Why I Need YouJesse Ruben is a young Brooklyn-based songwriter, who can bounce between frenetic, wordy, cleverly written, almost manic ditties to incredibly tender and specific love songs in the blink of an eye. He is at once spontaneous and beautifully crafted in his delivery, and a real charmer to boot.

Friday, January 31: Joe Jencks with Katherine Rondeau

Joe Jencks

A Joe Jencks concert is an occasion for singing, a contagious rising up of voices, an act of joy and defiance. Joe's animating purpose runs deep, tapping into the latent, nearly mystical beauty that a roomful of people can unleash by singing together. His songs touch on social justice and community building. He has been favorably compared to songwriters such as John McCutcheon, Holly Near, Fred Small, Tracy Chapman, and James Keelaghan.

Katherine Rondeau

Sweet KindnessOur opener tonight is another powerhouse vocalist, Katherine Rondeau. She is an up and coming singer songwriter exploding onto the Americana music scene. She is accompanied by Jim Fogarty on mandolin and dobro.

Friday, February 7: Valentines Day Extravaganza

Details to follow

Friday, February 14: OpenStage   Admission: $10 general. $5 age 21 and under, OpenStage only.

OpenStage

The Folk Project Open Stage is the place where a diverse collection of acoustic musicians perform for a welcoming, supportive, and attentive audience. We’re a listening room, not a noisy bar. We've often seen previews of our regularly scheduled opening acts for the first time at our Open Stage. For information on how to sign up to perform at our next Open Stage, visit www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, February 21: Small Potatoes with Kora Feder

Small Potatoes

Simple TruthsSmall Potatoes is reschheduled, after construction at the Unitarian Fellowship forced the cancellation of their show last june. This is the duo of Rich Prezioso and Jacquie Manning. They call themselves "Eclecto-Maniacs", which is pretty apt, as their musical tastes run from Celtic to cowboy with a large dose of their own writing. What helps them pull all this off is the fact that they are both monster musicians; Rich can make the guitar talk, and Jacquie is a great whistle and percussion player. They both sing and their voices blend with the smoothness of years of singing together.

Kora Feder

Automatic TimesKora Feder (rhymes with cedar) is a rising voice in the new generation of songwriters up to the task of confronting the times we live in. "The most talented new singer-songwriter I've heard in the past decade,” says Rich Warren, host of Chicago’s Folkstage. With a lovely voice, and a simple and unaffected style, eschewing vocal pyrotechnics for pure unadorned beauty, she presents her songs straight to the heart of the listener.

Friday, February 28: Poor Man's Gambit with Opening act T.B.D.

Poor Man's Gambit

Pass the BabyPoor Man's Gambit is a trio of traditional artists comprised of Corey Purcell* (button accordion, cittern, vocals, bodhran, dance), Federico Betti (guitar, fiddle), and Deirdre Lockman (fiddle, vocals, dance). They stand out by not only offering a varied array of instrumental combinations, but also by including the visual (and audial) element of dance. Building on their roots as traditional Irish musicians, the trio's repertoire is also influenced by traditional music of other cultures including France, Scotland, England, and the US.

* We saw Corey last October playing accordions as one half of The Free Reeds, opening for Alisdair Fraser.

Friday, March 6: Beppe Gambetta with T.B.D.

Beppe Gambetta

Notes from the RoadWe are happy to welcome back one of the Troubadour's favorites, Beppe Gambetta, the Italian bluegrass flatpicking champion. Sounds like an ethnic joke, but Beppe is no joke. Early in life he was captured by the music of such greats as Doc Watson and Tony Rice, and soon got to the point where he was sharing festival stages as an equal with his heroes. Equally adroit on mandolin, he can blaze through a hot bluegrass tune or croon a lovely Italian traditional ballad. And all with an elegant continental charm that is a joy to witness.

Friday, March 13: OpenStage   Admission: $10 general. $5 age 21 and under, OpenStage only.

OpenStage

The Folk Project Open Stage is the place where a diverse collection of acoustic musicians perform for a welcoming, supportive, and attentive audience. We’re a listening room, not a noisy bar. We've often seen previews of our regularly scheduled opening acts for the first time at our Open Stage. For information on how to sign up to perform at our next Open Stage, visit www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, March 20: Folk Project Special Concert T.B.A.

Friday, March 27: Low Lily with Rupert Wates

Low Lily

False Sir JohnChosen as Falcon Ridge Folk Festival’s “Most Wanted Band” of 2016, Low Lily plays acoustic music that is deeply rooted in tradition yet sounds refreshingly contemporary. The players are Lissa Schneckenburger (Solas, Long Time Courting) on fiddle, Flynn Cohen (John Whelan Band) on mandolin and guitar, and Liz Simmons (backing Livingston Taylor & Tom Chapin) on guitar. All three sing as well in harmonies that have drawn raves from dozens of reviewers and thousands of fans.

Rupert Wates

I'm AmazedRupert Wates is a transplanted Englishman who writes, sings, and plays witty wordy and quirky songs on unlikely subjects. A writer who makes you think while he entertains.

Friday, April 3: Michael P. Smith with Opening act T.B.D.

Michael P. Smith

ZippyMichael P. Smith is the singer-songwriter most well known as the author of "Margaret and the Dutchman" . But that song cannot be called representative of Michael's writing any more than can any of his other songs. Michael reinvents himself with every new song, and the only common bond between them is the excellence and craftsmanship of his work. His latest release is 15 songs from Moby Dick. He can be irreverent, tender, wordy, hilarious, and sentimental in turn. And in all modes, he is hugely entertaining.

Friday, April 10: OpenStage   Admission: $10 general. $5 age 21 and under, OpenStage only.

OpenStage

The Folk Project Open Stage is the place where a diverse collection of acoustic musicians perform for a welcoming, supportive, and attentive audience. We’re a listening room, not a noisy bar. We've often seen previews of our regularly scheduled opening acts for the first time at our Open Stage. For information on how to sign up to perform at our next Open Stage, visit www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, April 17: Trout Fishing In America with Opening act T.B.D.

Trout Fishing In America

You Show Up at the Strangest TimeTrout Fishing in America is the long-standing, and yet seemingly unlikely musical partnership of Keith Grimwood and Ezra Idlet. As individuals, they are about as different as one could imagine. But together, they blend seemlessly in a way that has captured audiences of all ages for over three decades. A willingness to at once make fun of our most annoying daily habits, and then to touch our hearts with tender and passionate images of family life is what makes the connection between the Trouts and their audiences so compelling and poignant.

Friday, April 24: T.B.D.

Friday, May 1: OpenStage   Note: Not the usual 2nd Friday! Admission: $10 general. $5 age 21 and under, OpenStage only.

OpenStage

The Folk Project Open Stage is the place where a diverse collection of acoustic musicians perform for a welcoming, supportive, and attentive audience. We’re a listening room, not a noisy bar. We've often seen previews of our regularly scheduled opening acts for the first time at our Open Stage. For information on how to sign up to perform at our next Open Stage, visit www.OpenStage.FolkProject.org.

Friday, May 8: Deeper Than The Skin   A Folk Project Special Concert. Tickets: $25.00 (OpenStage on May 1 this month)

Deeper Than The Skin

Hickory HillDeeper Than The Skin is a very special event presented by The Folk Project. Its inclusion in our schedule was inspired by the very factors that influenced the change last year of the name of our concert series from "The Minstrel" to "The Troubadour".

This is not just a concert of songs that entertain. This is an examination in song and story of the issue of race in America by two of our favorite artists who have lived that issue, and come to grips with it. This is an evening of singing and listening; of experiencing a connection so deep that it moves us to laugh, cry, and reconsider what we know about our history.

It is presented by two friends well known to the Folk Project community, Reggie Harris and Greg Greenway. This pair, born 3 days apart, one Black and one White, one from the North and one from the South, are both musicians, storytellers, students of history and world travelers. Their two separate narratives are forged into one powerful presentation aimed at finding common ground and helping others to do the same. This will be an event not to be missed, and long remembered by those who experience it.

Friday, May 15: Closed for the Folk Project Spring Acoustic Getaway

Friday, May 22: T.B.D.

Friday, May 29: T.B.D.

Friday, June 5: Folk Project Special Concert T.B.A.