3rd Time's a Charm with Lake Erie Folk Fest at Shore

Singer/songwriter Emily Keener returns

            For the 3rd consecutive year, Shore Cultural Centre will play host to and be a collaborative partner in the Lake Erie Folk Fest (LEFF) taking place Saturday, February 24.  This unique and family friendly music festival is FREE from 1:00-6:00pm with workshops, jam sessions, demonstrations, folk dancing, mini-concerts and activities for young people all taking place throughout the Cultural Centre.  If you are one of the few that has not stepped inside this historic building, once home to Shore High School, this is the perfect opportunity.  Activities will be taking place in what were once classrooms, a band room, the library and the cafeteria.  Between workshops and demos, stroll the halls and view the quilt exhibit on display.  Go upstairs to see the hallway of murals in the “arts wing”.   Serenading you during your tour of the Shore will be a variety of roots and traditional music from Prince Edward Island to West Africa.

    FREE activities include a luthier workshop; an instrument petting zoo to introduce youngsters to fiddles and guitars; dancing and singing for kids; demos of accordion, mandolin, fiddle, banjo, ukulele, upright bass and hammer dulcimer; and a workshop on bluegrass past and present.  There literally is something for everyone attending.  The mini-concerts in the spacious Community Room will feature the Irish band Ballinloch, Sands & Hearn, Tom Evanchuck and Silver String Band.

            Take the time to go downstairs to the Bistro Café where Chef Dan and his culinary students will be serving  good things to eat such as sandwiches, spaghetti and mac and cheese.  While you’re eating, enjoy the “open mic” entertainment taking place throughout the day in the bistro.  The bistro closes promptly at 7:30pm.  Because it’s showtime!

   That evening, at 7:30pm, the Shore Auditorium comes to life with an eclectic array of music.  Featured will be the French-Canadian acoustic trio Ten Strings And A Goat Skin.  Out of Prince Edward Island, Ten Strings plays a variety of traditional and roots music that spans Scottish, Irish, French and Canadian cultures.  “Probably one of the most exciting and progressive new roots groups to come through in some time!” wrote Brian O’Donovan of Burren Backroom Sessions in Boston.

   Sharing the bill of top notch musical artists will be Aaron Jonah Lewis and Lindsay McCaw from Detroit playing their special blend of bluegrass and contemporary music.  Lewis is known for his expert fiddle work.  Wakeman, Ohio native Emily Keener will be returning to LEFF following her highly acclaimed performance at last year’s evening concert.   Also appearing will be the Slovenian men’s chorus, Fantje na vasi, from Cleveland and Shore Cultural Centre artists/instructors Tam Tam Magic performing West African dance and drumming. 

            Tickets for the evening concert are $10 and available on-line at www.shoreculturalcentre.com. Tickets are $15 the day of the show.  Doors open at 7:00pm.

   This roots music based festival debuted at Shore two years ago and received enthusiastic reviews from the hundreds who attended.  It is a collaboration between the Shore Cultural Centre and Northeast Ohio Heritage Music Association (NEOHMA), the latter being a volunteer organization that produces the annual Blue Sky Folk Fest during the summer in Kirtland, Ohio.  “We see this as a perfect opportunity to warm up the Ohio winter by sharing our love and enthusiasm for folk and roots music with music lovers of all kinds,” said LEFF artistic director Laura Lewis.  “It also gives us the opportunity to partner with Shore, another organization with deep roots in the community and the arts.” 

            Roots music has been defined as world music, authentic music or the early music of a particular culture.  In the case of American music that would be Gospel, Blues, Country, Bluegrass and Jazz.  The LEFF involves attendees through open jam sessions, sing-alongs and dancing lessons.  People are encouraged to bring their instruments and hand percussion to join in the music making throughout the day.  “Nothing brings people together like the common ground of music,” said Chris Cipriani, Shore Director of Programming and Marketing.  

                                    The Lake Erie Folk Fest is sponsored by Guitar Riot of Cleveland, Village Blacksmith, Inc., Studio Strings of Medina and Sam Ash Music Stores.  LEFF is made possible by grants and donations from the Char and Chuck Fowler Family Foundation, Ed Ollick, Funny Times Peace Fund and an anonymous donor from an advised fund of the Cleveland Foundation.   

            For further information visit www.lakeeriefolkfest.com and www.shoreculturalcentre.com or call the Shore at 216-289-8578.  The Shore Cultural Centre is located at 291 East 222nd Street in downtown Euclid. 

Jim Spittle

Jim is the Programming and Marketing Manager for the Shore Cultural Centre.

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Volume 9, Issue 2, Posted 2:00 PM, 02.10.2018